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I would like to propose a new PostType to the tetralogy. PostType = Wiki.

What should be Wiki?

I think the ideal candidates for wiki style posts would be posts that are long and already are community wiki.

For example this query captures quite a few of them: http://odata.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/q/66

What is different about Wiki posts?

  • Wiki posts are owned by the community.
  • You can gain reputation by improving Wiki posts.
  • Wiki posts do not fit the current Q&A model, the question is the title, the answer is the body.
  • Wiki posts only have commenting, there is no answering allowed.
  • Wiki posts have a special UI
  • Wiki posts have search priority (maybe)

OK, give some examples

List of freely available programming books is a wonderful post with lots of information, the trouble is, there is no incentive to keep it up to date. And the answers, well they are noisy and a repeat of what is at the top.

One more is Git for beginners. The big trouble is that you need a page reload every time you want to navigate to a section. And scroll-up foo.

Another C++ for a C# developer. It's really useful information that would cover probably a few hundred questions and really is a community effort.

The seminal Hidden Features of C#? would by amazing if it was just a single document with collapsible sections. After you work through 2 of them you just get tired of refreshing your web browser.

This one, The .NET SDK Programs - What does each tool do?, fits the wiki mold so tightly it's scary. It's a perfect candidate.

Other ideas around post type wiki

  • Wikis could be used for some static pages on the site like this one.
  • On meta we could use a wiki for the long requested change log
  • If we allow an abstract for wikis (8 lines of so) they could be associated with a tag and show up in the box when a tag is selected.

So:

  1. Do we need this kind of post?
  2. What are the mechanics involved in building this?
share|improve this question
    
I think you just wrapped every feature-request into this one post around the wiki thing :) –  Earlz May 12 '10 at 23:16
    
Would give me more stuff to do. –  Tyler Carter May 12 '10 at 23:32
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none of this stuff is what our sites are really about. As you said "Wiki posts do not fit the current Q&A model". I only see it happening at the [tag] level as we coalesce [tag] level FAQs and info. –  Jeff Atwood May 13 '10 at 3:42
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also these are terrible questions you're using as examples. Yes they have a lot of content, but the presentation is just.. noise. This is not what our sites are about. –  Jeff Atwood May 13 '10 at 3:43
    
Humm, This question should be a community wiki then.. –  JamesM Jan 19 '11 at 4:20

5 Answers 5

I'll be the (so far) lone dissenter and upvote the idea. Putting my Meta Internet Dollars at massive risk here, just so you know!

Why do I like the idea? SuperUser. Wha-wha-wha?! Yes. I recently discovered that one of my questions on SU was closed as an exact duplicate by random. At first I thought, hey, they're not dupes! The tech involved is different!

Then I realized why it was closed -- SU would be overrun by the phenomenon of a million super-similar-but-different-only-in-a-single-technology questions if mods weren't diligent. (And thank you for your diligence, mods, particularly in the land of Ewoks.)

As this dawned on me, I was thankful that the question was closed, but felt a little empty: How could the community address scenarios like this, where a million similar-but-just-slightly-different questions could come up?

I think your idea, waffles, could handle that scenario. And thus, I support the idea. Either that, or one master community wiki post in the current framework with answers for specific technologies. But I think your idea, if the ability to include named anchors were included, would probably be more effective. (And would provide accurate dupe fodder for those questions.)

share|improve this answer
1  
They could address it by coalescing common FAQs to the tag page, as in my answer. Supporting random "true" wiki questions isn't going to happen. ever. –  Jeff Atwood May 12 '10 at 23:47
    
@Jeff: I wouldn't expect any of the discussions on SOFU to become 'true' wiki questions or topics. One of the characteristics that define an idea like this, the way I see it, is more like an archive. There are many, many topics that have worn their welcome (not that I wouldn't want to re-read all the 'Skeet-isms') - CW items that have traveled their journey should be moved to a repository. I think it would be like cleaning up the classroom and building a reading room addition. Please forgive my poeticism... –  IAbstract May 13 '10 at 2:37

This is a good idea, but I am not convinced that it is possible to combine wiki with reputation without becoming too complicated or open to abuse. I think that people will contribute without reputation incentives just to reduce the number of duplicate questions or because they want these resources for themselves.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 @ Casebash: I would be concerned about gaining rep as well. I think that some may be appropriate...but such a small amount that it is obviously not because of the rep that contributions are made. Should only be a token thanks. –  IAbstract May 13 '10 at 1:52

I agree with @Aarobot. There is something here. Great idea waffles. I see a huge difference in this idea of a SOFU-wiki than the typical wiki-pedia.

  1. the wiki is produced by the SOFU community. Not only are the items brought up from questions that have been wiki-fied, but a huge source of information follows. A lot of it is very valuable information that I would guess is actually fairly untapped.
  2. the Wiki is moderated by 6K+ (or whatever) users ensuring that all information is maintained - adding new information and editing.
  3. a more dynamic, digital tome of vast amounts of diverse technical information and data.

Well, these are just a few ideas on why it is a good idea. This idea for a wiki just doesn't have the same feel as a wiki-pedia site would. I really think that it can be done in such a way that it isn't just another wiki.

This question is an example of a good discussion to wiki-fy.

share|improve this answer

In my opinion, this is closely related to the

Create a tag homepage/FAQ

proposal.

I don't see us doing this except as a [tag] page feature. The focus of the sites is not to be a host of epically large FAQ questions, but a host of related questions around a topic.

The natural place to coalesce the common elements of the topics is in the parent [tag] page which is the natural home for that "topic" anyway.

Wiki posts do not fit the current Q&A model, the question is the title, the answer is the body.

.. which is why they're a bad fit. We do Q&A. There can be some wiki-ness around the [tag] parent but that's about it.

share|improve this answer
    
I always thought "tag homepages" would be little things like a paragraph or two. not "large FAQs" –  Earlz May 13 '10 at 0:01

Meh, too many implementation details and complications for very little gain in my opinion.

(post kept here for historical purposes. I withdraw this opinion though)

share|improve this answer
    
Try googling this google.com.au/… lots of traffic comes in here, it would be nice to have a better page to present that info –  waffles May 12 '10 at 22:56

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