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Is there any point forcing a post to Community Wiki after 6 owner edits?

You know, I spent most of my time in the early days of SO perusing and answering questions in the Unanswered category. It took me a while before I figured out that there was a reputation orgy going on if I would try to answer questions under the Hot category. But I'm a bit of an altruist, so I kept answering unanswered questions. You can check my profile, I've answered a lot, and you can see by my low reputation that I've "paid" the price.

To have my second question turned community wiki on me is aggravating beyond belief. Having the original author trigger CW on their own post is totally ridiculous. Why does it work this way? There have been numerous people suggest better ways to deal with "bumping" and the like. This needs to be changed.

EDIT: a bunch of you seem to be on the band-wagon that this behavior is appropriate, which seems to neglect the idea that SO is meant to be a site that helps people solve problems. What good is it to wait (in all cases) until you have your question so figured out that you can ask it once and have a one-shot answer that completely solves your problem? Sometimes questions evolve. The point is to solve a problem. SO is a non-forum site, so if I have follow up questions, or need to clarify something in my question, edits to my question are the mechanic to use on SO (comments, of course, are another, as someone else mentioned). It is completely out in left field to have that process yank control of my question away from me and make it "community" property.

That this broken mechanic is left in place to prevent exploitation of the bumping logic is a non-sequitur. You don't use one broken mechanic to fix another.

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marked as duplicate by Adam Davis, Ether, Ladybug Killer, alex, ChrisF Jan 14 '10 at 20:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

What question are you talking about? –  random Jan 14 '10 at 8:32
I believe he's talking about this one stackoverflow.com/questions/2062084/…, which got turned into CW after he edited it too many times –  Kyle Cronin Jan 14 '10 at 8:45
Aye, that one. Thanks Kyle. –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 8:47
I added the link to your question, just so we can all see what you're referring to. –  alex Jan 14 '10 at 8:48
Good idea. Thanks. –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 8:52
@hardcoded user, I think you added a link to the wrong question... –  Dominic Rodger Jan 14 '10 at 9:13
@Dominic Roger yes I did, sorry for that! Corrected it now. –  alex Jan 14 '10 at 9:22
Just to make it clear: You keep all the rep that you got before making the question CW. Only votes after making it CW don't count anymore. –  Georg Schölly Jan 14 '10 at 12:33
When I ask a question I don't care about the rep, but about the answers. Therefore I'm more than willing to let it be a CW if that might help me make the question visible to more users. –  Georg Schölly Jan 14 '10 at 12:34
And like you already noticed: you cannot game the system by rolling back to the first revision. ;-) –  Arjan Jan 14 '10 at 12:55
Surely there's already a "multiple edits by author shouldn't CW a question" that we can mark this as a dupe of? –  Adam Davis Jan 14 '10 at 16:54
Voting for close as duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/333/… –  Adam Davis Jan 14 '10 at 16:57
The fact that someone followed me from this post over to SO and down-voted multiple of my answers to hurt my reputation just reinforces the flawed high-school popularity contest that is the reputation system on this site. –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 19:31
@sliderhouserules If he downvoted plenty of posts, you'll get your rep back (there's a system in place to prevent this). –  alex Jan 14 '10 at 19:45
SO is meant to be a site that helps people solve problems - and your problem was solved. Why do you care whether your problem continues to generate reputation or not? Are you saying that having your problems solved isn't enough, that you also demand payment for having the problem in the first place? You get to keep the reputation you earned from the question prior to community wiki, and you got an answer that solved your problem. You are certainly one sore winner. –  Adam Davis Jan 14 '10 at 20:11

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Totally agree with this one. The system should reward you for coming back and perfecting your question, not punish you for it.

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How big of a punishment is it really when a question becomes CW? Or an answer for that matter? (Especially given the original reasons of the CW-mechanism, which maybe could be implemented differently, but in my opinion that would not be development time well-spent, unless reputation were really that important.) –  Arjan Jan 14 '10 at 19:44
If a contributing user is underrated by the reputation system, I'd say that's a pretty serious problem –  Andomar Jan 14 '10 at 20:28

You made more than 13 edits. That means that 13 times, you needed to clarify your question.

Some guidelines:

  • Don't write Solved in your question. That's what accepting an answer is for.
  • Only Update the question if you really need to. Your question garnered 1 answer. It didn't have a flood of answers, so there really was no reason for that number of edits.
  • The system rewards asking questions well and knowing what you're going to ask; with 13 edits, it's hard to believe you knew what you were asking.

If you need more information from a particular answerer, add a comment to their answer. If you forgot something, add it; but forgetting 12 bits of information means that perhaps the question wasn't well defined in the first place?

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+1 Well said and nicely summarised. Asking questions is an art. –  Diago Jan 14 '10 at 11:34
"perhaps the question wasn't well defined in the first place" and hence people might have wasted time reading and trying to figure out an answer while the question was not clear...? –  Arjan Jan 14 '10 at 12:49
If he's coming back 13 times to improve his question, how can that possibly be bad behaviour? –  Andomar Jan 14 '10 at 18:55
While I'm sure it was well-intentioned, I find this answer quite arrogant. I asked a very niche question outlining a very specific problem. You're putting a hard-limit on the number of edits I can make to my question on a collaborative site intended to provide applicable, readable content for as long as the SO site exists? Not everybody has the non-forum nature of SO down pat. Most of my edits would have been follow-up posts on a forum. You have to be an "artist" to post on SO or you bump up against the punitive parts of the system? Ridiculous. –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 19:12
George, this is why I'm up-voting your moderator nomination. To sliderhouserules, I'd like to suggest that perhaps you would have been better served asking follow-up questions as... separate questions. –  Shog9 Jan 14 '10 at 20:01
And just so you know, George, Sam didn't solve my problem. He helped me find my own solution, so my options were: 1) answer myself and mark it as accepted 2) let my question sit until someone else came along and provided the right answer, even though I'd already figured it out (I actually let the question sit for a while after I'd figured it out to see if Sam would update his answer or someone else would give one) or 3) provide the answer at the bottom of the question and just mark Sam as accepted to give him some reputation for helping me. –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 20:43
I've gone back and enacted option 1... –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 20:51

It's unfortunate that you lost rep due to the question becoming CW, but there's a reason for that. If I continually edit my question, making tiny modifications, I bump it up with each edit (which isn't always fair, you're essentially gaming the system if you do it too often). Automatically making it CW after a number of edits reduces the temptation to continually bump it up.

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I know about the bumping "problem". I addressed it in the original question. That's a spurious reason to have my own edits turn my own question into "community" wiki. There's nothing community about my editing my own question or answer. –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 8:50
It's not, but there's no way to differentiate between your behavior, and the one I'm talking about. If someone sees your question on the first page on SO every day, and all that's changed is the question, eventually he's going to get pissed off. –  alex Jan 14 '10 at 8:52
What you're talking about is a broken mechanic that's easily exploited, and is no reason to punish legitimate users trying to hone their question so that people see the true intent of the poster in asking for help. –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 8:57
@sliderhouserules - the problem is that users who are trying to game the system need to be prevented from doing so. How would you suggest the system distinguish between users trying to game the question, and what you did? –  Dominic Rodger Jan 14 '10 at 9:14
(I don't think existing rep was lost, was it?) –  Arjan Jan 14 '10 at 9:33
@Arjan van Bentem He didn't lose existing rep, only potential rep after the question became CW. –  alex Jan 14 '10 at 9:40
Perhaps you should formulate your question a little more completely before posting it originally; that would save you having to run the risk of CWing your question accidentally. –  womble Jan 14 '10 at 9:53
My question was complete when I posted it, other than some typos in my code. I fixed those, over a few edits. Then the answer provided helped me track down where I had things wrong, so my question morphed. If author-edits didn't trigger CW then I also wouldn't run the risk of CWing my question accidentally, no? –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 19:15
You don't seem to get it. Your intentions are good, but you're one of the few people with good intentions. Most will try to game the system. There are mechanisms put in place that prevent this, yet a few good people might also suffer from it. It's not that big of a deal. You're getting angry over some virtual points? There are plenty things in this life more important than 20-30 points lost due to CW. –  alex Jan 14 '10 at 19:48
+1 Right, this also makes sense. Perhaps there could be a warning for the edit that would trigger community wikiness. –  Andomar Jan 14 '10 at 20:04
You're right. It's pointless to get angry over this. I regret even posting this on meta. All it has done is make me even angrier. I should have just gotten over the auto-CW thing, and gone back to not using SO like I have been for the last several months. Thought I'd give it another try, but I see now that was a mistake –  sliderhouserules Jan 14 '10 at 20:32

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