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Why doesn't the "Ask Question" page give a short explanation when the "community wiki" checkbox should be checked?

Simply giving the checkbox a different caption might make it more obvious what CW is and when it should be selected, e.g:

[ ] make this a community wiki question if it is subjective or if there is no single correct answer

(of course this is just my interpretation of when the CW checkbox should be checked)

In any case, at least the FAQ should explain when the CW checkbox should be checked.

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Please see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11740/… –  Troggy Oct 20 '09 at 20:54
    
I had seen this question, but can you point to the exact location that explains when to check CW? And still, the checkbox should be explained on the "Ask Question" page (you can't expect users to dig through the numerous CW-related questions on meta before asking their question). –  M4N Oct 20 '09 at 20:58

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would say CW is very much for "many correct answers", as well as "there are no correct answers". CW questions can be used for pooling a number of ideas or approaches to a problem, or a poll, where up/downvotes can be used to sort the answers by "goodness" (rather than correctness).

Ólafur makes me wonder why we allow the "Accept Answer" option on CW questions. This should at least be renamed "Select answer as best", but it would be interesting to see if anything would suffer if it were removed.

But the "Ask a Question" page should definitely have more guidance on it, and with perhaps really verbose instructions for low-reputation posters. It should also have a link to "How to Ask Questions the Smart Way", and a direct link to the FAQ item about asking questions. (It never hurts to put instructions in more than one location; everyone looks for guidance in different ways.)

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Indeed, I've also wondered why there's an accepted answer for CW questions. –  Noldorin Oct 20 '09 at 21:27
    
It's funny that my response was marked as "Accepted", when I still don't think I really understand what CW is for. :) –  Ether Oct 22 '09 at 21:22

CW is not for subjective or many correct answers (if so, then accepted answers would not work on CW questions).

CW is for community edited information. Where we gather round to give our best to sculpt and create the bests answers around.

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I definitely would add the latter to Ether's answer, but I disagree on the former - an accepted answer on a CW question is probably more of a bug than anything else, a result of not fully thinking out the implications of the CW option. Its also easier to see what should(n't) be in retrospect now that we've got some time and user behaviour to look at. ;) –  AnonJr Oct 20 '09 at 22:47

I turned a question, Which SEO questions should be closed as non-programming/non-admin?, into CW because I wanted it to have the possibility of becoming a consensus view, not just a collection of answers. Hasn't happened yet...

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Hardly a day. Give it time. –  random Dec 10 '09 at 14:37
    
Right! I meant that I haven't yet got evidence that this strategy works, sorry for being unclear. –  Charles Stewart Dec 10 '09 at 15:00

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