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Someone asked a somehow complex question, and I first answered fast, and iteratively improved my answer, so it was better presented and with the ideas better exposed and organized.

I found out after all my hard work, I was no longer worthy of my reputation (because of the hard work =/).

Someone asked this same question here, and one of the arguments for this "feature" was that "Editing a post will bump the question to the front". At least from what I notice now, this doesn't seem to be true anymore (I always get my answer in a random position, at least that's what it looks like).

This is a real incentive not to try to improve your answer too much. =(

Also, will I lose my reputation I won before it becoming a CW when there is a rep recalc?

share|improve this question
@samuel - yep, I find the flip to CW when it's just me and only me editing my answer into better shape pretty annoying. – Kev Apr 10 '10 at 0:00
Congratilations with your Enlightened badge! That's why you posted a quick and bad answer and then started editing it in the first place, right? – Pavel Shved Apr 10 '10 at 6:27
  • Editing an question or one of its answer bumps the question back to the top of the active list (the one shown on the frontpage). Editing does not affect the display order of answers.
  • You can not recall a post from community wiki
  • You are still eligible for badges on that answer

The bump to the front of the active list brings in additional views and has been abused as a means of generating reputation in the past. That is one reason for the switch to CW---one that applies if you're doing a lot of editing on your own post.

On the other hand, if many people are editing a post there comes a time when it no longer makes sense for the OP to get a lot of credit for other people's work. That's a reason that applies to collaboratively edited content.

Important note Edits made within five minutes of the original posting are not counted toward the five-edits-mean-CW thing; This is also true of edits made within five minutes of another edit that does count. So you can build an answer incrementally, if you do it in a few short bursts of work. I try to leave one spare "edit" for fixing any glaring typos.

Finally, you got credit for 8 votes and an acceptance, which isn't bad at all.

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Won't I lose it after a rep recalc? Also, I know it isn't bad, but this is the kind of question for which you get random upvotes even after months being written. – samuelcarrijo Apr 9 '10 at 23:10
@samuelcarrijo: No, you will not lose rep gained from a post prior to it turning community wiki. See… – John Rudy Apr 9 '10 at 23:32

This is a real incentive not to try to improve your answer too much.

I disagree. I think that the incentive it creates is to try to post well-written, well-organized answers the first time around. The preview system here is almost flawless; you can see exactly what's going to get posted and are encouraged to improve your answer as much as possible before submitting it.

The wikification rules also don't interfere with the usual process of first posting a quick-and-dirty answer, then adding more detailed information in one or two iterations. With 7 "free" edits, you can:

  1. Post a quick answer;
  2. Edit to make it a "decent" answer within the 5-minute grace period;
  3. Edit again to make it a "good" answer within another 5-10 minutes (for tougher questions);
  4. Edit three more times to respond to question updates;
  5. Edit another three times to respond to important comments.

If this isn't enough for you, then you're probably jumping the gun on submissions, not really using the preview effectively. Be glad that Stack Overflow doesn't have hard edit limits like so many other forums. This seems to be a reasonable trade-off.

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perhaps you can mention that the total number of free edits is 7 (8 revisions) (…). – Peter Mortensen Apr 10 '10 at 11:04
@Peter, you're right, I was confusing self-edits with edits by other users. – Aarobot Apr 10 '10 at 15:39
Different people have different motivations. And this has nothing to do with the "almost perfect" preview system. – nb69307 Apr 10 '10 at 16:09
@Neil: I think 7 free edits is enough to cover just about any rep-based motivation. We shouldn't be encouraging people to post crap and keep hammering away with edits until they're presentable. And if you're one of those people who isn't motivated by rep at all, then it's all sort of a moot point - right? – Aarobot Apr 10 '10 at 16:26

Someone asked this same question here, and one of the arguments for this "feature" was that "Editing a post will bump the question to the front". At least from what I notice now, this doesn't seem to be true anymore (I always get my answer in a random position, at least that's what it looks like).

Your answer is not bumped to the front. The question is bumped to the front page on the site.

This mechanism is to prevent a user from continuously pushing the question to the top of the site, thus getting more people to see the question and up vote it.

share|improve this answer
hmmm, so what's the idea behind the answer automatically marked as CW?? – samuelcarrijo Apr 9 '10 at 22:55
@Samuel Answers can get up vote just as easily as questions. – Tyler Carter Apr 9 '10 at 22:57
More easely as voting is heavely biased towards answers. – perbert Apr 10 '10 at 0:36

The purpose of the X amount of edits makes it CW makes sense over a long period of time as an answer is eventually owned more by the community than original author. (read: edited many times) but I'm not entirely sure why the author is counted for this X amount of edits.

A good solution to this problem though would be the 10-15 minute grace time that a question or answer can not become CW by the number of edits, as suggested in this recent post to a similar question

share|improve this answer
The post in question was edited over a 4 hour period. – Tyler Carter Apr 9 '10 at 23:02
Yes, but it's possible that 6 of those edits were in a 10-15 minute period. I know I do this commonly to try to make it into a certain time slot. I'll post a rough draft of the answer and usually edit my answer 4-6 times in a 15 minute period to make it more polished. – Earlz Apr 9 '10 at 23:09
@Cha err, never mind it was edited like once per hour. I recommend then that the author of the answer should be immune from CW by editing. – Earlz Apr 9 '10 at 23:11
@Chacha102 The last 2 edits was trying to get a rid of CW (rollbacks), so they don't count. I actually re-read while I was getting upvoted (they were an incentive for me to improve them), and I added stuff as I thought more stuff and had new ideas for the answer (or read something about it) – samuelcarrijo Apr 9 '10 at 23:13
The first 9 ones weren't actually too far from each other – samuelcarrijo Apr 9 '10 at 23:54

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