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Where did the “community wiki” name came from? And should we change it?

I suggest renaming Community Wiki to No-Rewards Zone. That would make it clear what it's really about: Questions that are marked as community wiki do not affect any user's reputation, your user score does not go up or down for asking or answering in such a zone.

The new name would make the concept easy to understand, and the (rightly) confused questions by newcomers would disappear.

They ask:

  • How is that a wiki? It doesn't look like Wikipedia, for example?

  • Oh, it's a wiki because you can edit other users' questions and answers? Hmm, don't people always do that on stackoverflow? I've seen people editing other questions all over the place?

Sure, 'wiki' questions have a lower reputation threshold for editing, but that's not a fundamental difference that would justify the name wiki for some but not others. Also, it's not necessary: I think the threshold for editing a question should be the same everywhere. It's even confusing for newcomers to be able to edit some questions but not others. (They typically don't notice these different question categories.)

Update: Some people misunderstood my post, thinking that I said that community wiki questions are useless or without value. It's far from what I said. I think community questions can be as useful as other questions. It is a fact, however, that you cannot gain reputation from asking or answering a community wiki question. That's what the new name is supposed to reflect.

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marked as duplicate by random, JSONBog, Ladybug Killer, fretje, alex Jan 15 '10 at 15:29

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.

You didn't get it, dehamnn:… – Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 15:13
Why so hostile? – user140539 Jan 15 '10 at 15:38
I absolutely agree with dehmann that there's no need to be so hostile... – ChristopheD Jan 15 '10 at 18:53
I absolutely agree with John Smithers that dehmann did not get it! – Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 19:14
Haha, it looks like some people read the bullet points only. – user140539 Jan 15 '10 at 21:06

It's all about the content, not the rep.

It's wiki in the sense that anyone can edit something marked community wiki. The rep is there to show that there are community trusted users that have more "privileges" than others. The threshold for editing is the not same for everyone so that new / malicious people don't come in and just wipe content right and left. We want people to show that they know what they're talking about and are willing to take the time to provide quality content before allowing them to just write all over the place.

Renaming CW to something relative to rep would put too much emphasis on rep.

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You can still earn badges off of a community wiki post. They are a reward. Not reputation, but rewards nonetheless.

Thus, your suggestions to rename it "No-Rewards Zone" is invalid again.

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No-rewards-zone suggests it's useless. There is no reward whatsoever, however the whole point of SO is that the reward is information! And CW is not ineligible for good information sharing!

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No-Rewards Zone does not suggest it's useless. It just describes the most important aspect of community wikis: You cannot increase or decrease your user reputation by participating there. The most prevalent reason for marking a question 'community wiki' is that others don't want the poster to gain reputation from an 'easy' or popular question. Sure, you can still upvote an answer to push it to the top of the list, which is good, but you can't earn reputation. – user140539 Jan 15 '10 at 15:21
No rep isn't the most important aspect of CW, its that the whole place is a dicusssion zone where each user can edit and add to the information available. People who only want rep can stay away if they want, surely if they care that much then they'll learn after not gaining rep the first time. – cjk Jan 16 '10 at 9:27

Not only do I not agree with renaming, "Community Wiki," but I have to ask:

No-Reward Zone?

Sounds like something that can't be discounted at Best Buy.

Just because you don't earn rep from it doesn't mean it's without merit or value. Some of us are here for information and knowledge, not Arbitrary Big Number next to our names.

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But you are not one of them :) – Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 15:32
My Arbitrary Number is not that big. :) – John Rudy Jan 15 '10 at 16:06
Bigger than mine :) – Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 17:40
How did you finagle 7,400 Meta Internet Dollars and a max of 1,200 at the other sites? I'm actually impressed by that! (And I have to admit, having never viewed your flair before, I always assumed you were much higher rep at SO ... ) – John Rudy Jan 15 '10 at 17:52
You get easily impressed. And easily fooled :) – Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 18:17
I am not easily im--OOOH! SHINY! – John Rudy Jan 15 '10 at 18:44

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