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It's been noted (in some blog post) that there are three types of users on SO: question askers, answerers, and editors.

Editors are somewhat the unsung hero. Unsung in that, well, there are badges, but no rep, even though their work is really important to the site. Editors are the reason many, many questions survive at all, yet the questions (and sometimes answers) they edit receive upvotes and rep, for the hard work of the editor.

I propose +5 rep for an edit, once the post the edit was made on receives an upvote from a user other than the editor. This isn't a large amount of rep; just that of one upvote. But in many cases that upvote was able to happen precisely because of the edit, so credit should be shared. I am also open to +2, the amount rewarded to a novice user (<1k or 2k rep) when an edit is approved.

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Possibly related, probably not duplicate: – Toomai Jun 2 '13 at 19:03
This can be easily abused. Editing a popular question bumps it to the homepage. It will certainly earn some upvotes afterwards. – Antony Jun 2 '13 at 19:32
@Antony See my idea below. – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:34


First, users below 2K reputation already get rep for making edits that are approved. Anything above that is not subject to review, and there's a hard limit of 1,000 reputation for edited posts.

Second, given the track record of edits and editor patterns (as in, most people are only interested in approving edits for badges, or making extremely minor revisions while ignoring other areas of improvement), if we start to reward poor edits, people will believe that it's okay to make those sorts of edits just for the reputation.

I feel like this will exaggerate the "poor edit" issue, rather than be a positive step to reward the unsung heroes.

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This could be worked out, for instance by rewarding the editor only reputation of users who downvoted first and then dropped the downvote or upvoted. Un the academic world, editors receive some credit as well. – Willem Van Onsem Jan 4 '15 at 2:01
@CommuSoft There's only 2 reputation at stake for an accepted edit. I don't see how one could balance and make fair the new rep awards. Besides, the user is credited with the edit. – Makoto Jan 4 '15 at 7:01

This idea has some merit! I would even say that, instead of getting +5 for the next upvote on a post, the editor should get the +5 for a downvote turned into an upvote.

This would encourage editors to focus where it really matters - the posts that need improvement. If one downvote is turned into an upvote - which would probably only happen because of the edit - then the editor really deserves the rep.

This would also close the loophole of being able to make a tiny, trivial, one-character edit in a massively popular post - and harvesting the next upvote received.

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+1 I was just writing something similar, you beat me to it. – apaul34208 Jun 2 '13 at 19:37
@apaul34208 Sorry :) – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:37
Hm, there's still the potential loophole where a trivial editor snipes or piggybacks the efforts of a more substantial editor. – Tim Stone Jun 2 '13 at 19:38
@Tim Hmm... That's an advanced case. Maybe edits within x time of another edit don't count for this? – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:39
Its all good, you put it better any way, my answer was taking a slightly more negative outlook on people gaming with trivial edits. – apaul34208 Jun 2 '13 at 19:40
It's hard to say, because there's no particular way to judge how much a given edit contributes to the actual quality of the post, as long as it's more than a few characters. – Tim Stone Jun 2 '13 at 19:40
@Tim How about an edit-voting system? SE programmers, start your engines :) – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:41
Or maybe it must be more substantial to count for the edit bonus – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:42
People tend to downvote and not re-visit; I posted a question about trying to eliminate that behavior, but it was not received well. – Dave Newton Jun 2 '13 at 19:54
@DaveNewton Which would make it even a greater feat to achieve this. – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:54
@Undo And less of a motivator. IMO long-running editors do it because they want to do it, not because they'll be rewarded beyond the intrinsics. Badge-chasers will do it until they get there badge, editors will do it because stuff needs editing. – Dave Newton Jun 2 '13 at 19:56
@Dave That's no reason not to reward them for it. – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:57
And I'm saying I don't believe it's a workable, or good idea--it's not a reason to reward them for it, either. I'm okay with disagreeing. – Dave Newton Jun 2 '13 at 19:58
@DaveNewton OK, let's disagree! :) – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:59

I'm not convinced.

I make a lot of edits on just-posted questions, which may or may not have gotten upvoted already.

Sometimes they're substantial, sometimes they're not. I don't believe I should receive any rep for:

  1. Tweaks which, while improvements, are ultimately cosmetic, or
  2. Substantial edits I happened to make early in the question's lifetime.

I'd rather reach my 200 rep cap through useful answers and accepts than pad it with editing.

Case in point:

Javascript formatting of function.function()

My edits were improvements (and I didn't care for the insinuation my edits don't improve question quality: not all improvements are major overhauls), but getting rep for it seems silly.

share|improve this answer
How's my answer look? – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:43
I don't believe you should be making tweaks that don't improve question quality at all. – djechlin Jun 2 '13 at 19:43
@djechlin Neat. But tweaks are still improvements, and I don't get any additional benefit for making them other than improving layout, language, formatting, etc. – Dave Newton Jun 2 '13 at 19:44
@djechlin It is fun to run the body:"Thanks!" is:question search and kill all the signatures, though. – Undo Jun 2 '13 at 19:44
@Undo I've found the likelihood of that to be low, and posted (and subsequently deleted) an MSO question trying to address that--people tend to downvote and run. I'm not sure an automated system is viable. – Dave Newton Jun 2 '13 at 19:46

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