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I'm not sure what the original idea behind community wiki was, but as it is now it has very little to do with the wiki aspect and a lot to do with reputation.

I suggest that community-wiki be renamed to something like "rep independent", and that it shouldn't have anything to do with who can edit the post.

Having done that, there should be a "reborn" concept of wiki questions/answers, for specific things that make more sense as wiki. Maybe even allow the original author to gain points from the post for a limited period.

I think there are some deeper issues with the concept of wiki in a Q&A site, that are not even being discussed because the reputation stuff is such a distraction.

I'm not sure there is a specific "problem". It's more an issue of muddled concepts. While you convinced me that it makes sense for the high-participation questions to be wiki, there are other situations where wiki is appropriate. Right now, the "wiki" label on a question seems to mark it as subjective, fun and lightweight, which makes me not want to use it on professional, esoteric subjects. Maybe it's just me.

What happened for me was I wanted to start a wiki that reviews all the different ways to represent date/time values in Python, their relative strengths/weaknesses, and how to convert between all of them. But I didn't know how to start a wiki. Do I collect all the answers into the question like this, or do I write a short question and make the answer the actual wiki like this? I went into meta SO wanting to ask this question, but when I searched for other discussions tagged as community-wiki I noticed all the discussion was about the rep aspects.

This question, for example, should really be a wiki. But right now, saying "this should be wiki" has the faint odor of an accusation. I'd like to see that change.

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see my updated response, but can you provide examples of this "problem"? URLs? –  Jeff Atwood Jul 20 '09 at 10:05
    
Perhaps the check-boxes could be "Community editable" and "Anti-repwhoring"? :P –  dbr Jul 20 '09 at 14:09

1 Answer 1

as it is now it has very little to do with the wiki aspect and a lot to do with reputation.

Did you know that we reduced the threshold for CW editing to 100 rep?

And for the record it has to do with both of those things.. this is the challenge of being a hybrid system, we are balancing opposing concepts. This takes tuning and compromises..

Maybe even allow the original author to gain points from the post for a limited period.

This is already what happens with the current answer force threshold. When a question reaches 30 answers (10 on superuser), it and all answers are forced into CW mode. Reputation gained PRIOR TO that point is still valid, but votes cast after the CW date do not confer rep.

Forcing into CW mode doesn't make a lot of sense with relation to the wiki aspect, only to the reputation aspect.

Sure it does -- if a question has 30+ answers, nobody in their right mind is going to read all those. They're going to skim the answers and maybe the top 3 responses. Enabling CW reduces the barrier to editing the question and best answers to consolidate, refine, and improve (or correct!) the things at the top, so the best information "bubbles up".

Maybe if you could point to some real world URLs that illustrate this "problem"? It's difficult to take these kind of discussions seriously without any data or examples of any kind.

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I didn't realize the threshold was lowered. That's very good, but my point stands. –  itsadok Jul 20 '09 at 9:33
    
Forcing into CW mode doesn't make a lot of sense with relation to the wiki aspect, only to the reputation aspect. –  itsadok Jul 20 '09 at 9:35
    
This was stated before: The wiki part in the name confuses a lot of people. Could you just rename it (e.g. "community" without wiki) and leave the other stuff as it is? –  Ladybug Killer Jul 20 '09 at 9:44
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since editing is one of the most critical parts of our system -- name one phpBB board that lets users edit each others' posts -- the use of the term "wiki" is intentional and necessary, to reinforce this crucial difference. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 20 '09 at 9:57

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