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There's already an explanation on why answers become wiki. But this is about just the question part.

Why almost every question that starts as non-wiki and should not be wiki, are changed to wiki status after they reach a high amount of votes?

I'm just trying to understand how the "CW flagging" works, and a little bit on the reputation system.

If you go to StackOverflow and sort questions by votes you'll quickly see that they're all community wikis, and most of them really should be, including the top one. They really are subjective and even don't have accepted answers, as there is no single answer for them. That's just fine for most of them.

But there are some of them that don't seem like it fits the CW purpose of subjective questions. It seems like they are changed to CW after gaining some popularity and, if they didn't gain that, they wouldn't be changed.

I think a very good example of what I mean is this (on a side note, the highest voted example could be this). They're questions with a single answer and that's it. I believe they would not be marked as wiki if they haven't received so much attention.

Are all of them mostly just edited too many times and automatically made into wiki? Both of my instances above didn't seem like that.

Also, taking what Kip said out of context:

it (CW) is 'fun' rather than 'technical'--that the community feels it would generate unearned and undeserved amounts of rep.

So are those "high voted questions" changed to wiki just because of that? Is CW used just to prevent people from earning too much rep?

I'm really missing a clarification on this whole subject (why does some questions become CW) from the FAQ about community wiki.

And sorry if I used too much bolding.

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I think you missed this point from the FAQ: "The question generates more than 30 answers (15 on Super User). In this case, the question and all answers will enter community mode, as will any future answers." –  Ladybug Killer Mar 29 '10 at 7:09
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I don't see why stackoverflow.com/questions/2193953/flash-cs4-refuses-to-let-go should be CW. It's not subjective and it can be answered. –  fretje Mar 29 '10 at 7:39
    
@fretje - up to me, I would have closed that as "not a real question", because even if most find funny the story telling, the question is not clear at all. You have to focus on reading the whole text to actually know what he is asking about. Even the title is vague and doesn't really let you know what it is about. –  Gnoupi Mar 29 '10 at 7:44
    
@Gnoupi: Sure, but still, it shouldn't be CW. –  fretje Mar 29 '10 at 7:50
    
@fretje - nothing to say about it, I agree that it has indeed nothing to do in CW. –  Gnoupi Mar 29 '10 at 7:53
    
@fretje that's exactly my point! - but that question isn't CW already (or is it?! o_O), so it's fine. –  Cawas Mar 30 '10 at 17:39
    
@Cawas: But why then are you saying that it should be CW (in your question)? –  fretje Mar 30 '10 at 18:36
    
@fretje ops, my mistake! :P –  Cawas Mar 31 '10 at 18:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm answering your edit instead of your original question. By the way, in the future don't change what you're asking: open a new question.


Some questions - such as RegEx match open tags except XHTML self-contained tags as you pointed out - are CW even if they are not really "wikis". The only reason that they are is that it would be unfair for the people involved to gain huge amount of reputations from one single lucky question or answer.

Let's use your RegEx question example again: the question is well written but certainly not exceptional or super good. The question became famous because of one lucky answer; it was also posted all over the internet (google search for it) and on the official blog. Every day new people come to the question and many upvote it. It was made community wiki to avoid people getting rep from those upvotes as it wouldn't be fair; I'm certain the OP would have received a decent amount of rep per week for the rest of his life.

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I wasn't changing what I was asking, I even thought fretje had understood it, so the original intent was there somewhere. I'm just bad with words. By the way, thanks for the answer! –  Cawas Mar 31 '10 at 18:51

The reason most of them are community wiki is both because they are subjective (which we tend to disallow), and they are meant to be polls.

If you look at the top ones on that list, the answers are mostly items in a poll. What is the best hidden features of C#. As a courtesy, the people creating poll questions make them community wiki so someone doesn't get a lot of reputation just for being the first person to answer with a popular feature.

By making them community wiki, they also take the question out of the general context of 'Is this Answer/Question useful', and set them almost apart from the site. Community Wiki questions tend to have their own rules on voting. AKA: A Poll is based on popularity. Funny Posts are which ones made you laugh, etc.


Another reason for making things community wiki is just if you are posting something broad enough that a lot of people might have things to add, and you are letting them add it no matter how much reputation they have.

This question is an excellent example of that. Everyone had different backgrounds and expertise, so the community wiki let them add to a list.


The bottom line for Community Wiki posts is they are meant to be posts where it is just not voting up/down answers. It is suppose to make the post more of a focal point to the users where everyone can participate, and they can throw away some of the rules/dramas of regular Stack Overflow.

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Well said. The most gratuitous example is probably "favorite programming cartoon". Is it appropriate for someone to get 1,000+ reputation by posting their favorite XKCD? They didn't exactly do anything... –  Jeff Atwood Mar 29 '10 at 3:42
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@Jeff: exactly! Some of them didn't even post the alt text! –  perbert Mar 29 '10 at 12:38
    
@Chacha I think I didn't made my point clear, as usual. Sorry for that. I'll try to re-do it. –  Cawas Mar 30 '10 at 17:22

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