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Today, it requires 2000 reputation to edit questions/answers; most users don't have that much reputation.

Quora allows anyone to click on a "Suggest Edits" button; it launches the editor and privately emails the author with the suggested changes. With one click, the author can accept the edit right from the email. It's quite nice.

For example: http://www.quora.com/How-does-Twitter-make-money

SE should have a "Suggest Edits" button, too.

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FWIW, I think "Suggest Edits" should also have a reputation bar, but a much lower one. 150? 200? –  Dan Fabulich Jan 9 '11 at 17:04
    
There are already mechanisms available for suggesting edits. You just have to learn how to use them. –  IAbstract Jan 9 '11 at 18:18
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No emails please. –  rightfold Jan 9 '11 at 19:42
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Note that meta.stackoverflow.com/privileges/edit states: If you don't have enough reputation to edit, there are alternatives: 1) If the post is in urgent need of editing, flag it for moderator attention. 2) If the post has a minor mistake, leave a comment for the author explaining the issue. –  Arjan Jan 9 '11 at 20:52
    
Related: Diff is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!, which discusses the actual implementation options. –  Arjan Jan 19 '11 at 10:11
    
[status-about-to-be-completed] as per minor bugs like Pending edit does not reveal any changes, maybe due to edits in grace period? (and its comments). –  Arjan Jan 19 '11 at 12:31
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So, it only took 10 upvotes to get this one 'status-planned'? Even where other mechanisms are in place to do this? And we can't get a copy the codez button...bummer. Oh well, the community has spoken. –  IAbstract Jan 19 '11 at 18:27
    
@Dan - I disagree with your "most" statement. True, most new users don't have edit privaleges, but I don't think they should be as worried about fixing other people's posts as they should about building up their rep by creating their own posts. Just one guy's opinion... –  Wonko the Sane Jan 26 '11 at 22:35

3 Answers 3

If a reader does not have the rep to edit, there are several options:

  • Add a comment to the question or answer
  • Flag the question or answer for attention
  • Request an edit on the corresponding meta site

Two examples of requesting assistance:

Edit
As ChrisF points out, flagging for moderator attention should be used sparingly. Don't request mod attention for spelling mistakes, or minor grammatical errors. If you don't have the rep to leave a comment, I recommend asking for assistance on the corresponding meta site.

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Adding a comment requires 50 rep. Flagging can be done by everyone, but you should use this sparingly - moderators are not copy editors. –  ChrisF Jan 9 '11 at 18:24
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Comments are a poor way of suggesting edits, because they clutter the conversation. And flagging for a spelling mistake is clearly the wrong thing. –  Dan Fabulich Jan 10 '11 at 4:49
    
Well, I guess you have your third option - ask for help on corresponding meta site. –  IAbstract Jan 10 '11 at 14:45
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@Dan: Also, you are free to delete your own comment once the edit has been completed. –  IAbstract Jan 10 '11 at 19:23
    
In my experience, users are not deleting their comments once the edit has been completed; the comments remain, creating clutter. Asking for help on a meta site is not really reasonable for grammar errors, formatting issues, etc. Imagine if everyone did that! –  Dan Fabulich Jan 10 '11 at 21:52
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@ChrisF: Well, actually... –  mmyers Jan 13 '11 at 22:25

I think this will be very useful on “new” sites where not many people have enough reputation to do edits.

  • The author of the question/answer should be shown the suggested edit when they next access the site, as a banner as well as in the Stack Exchange inbox
  • The only way to get rid of the banner should be to:
    • Approve
    • Reject
    • Modify
    • Or mark the edit as spam
  • An email should be send if an email about a new answer/comment would have been sent to the author
  • Users with a reputation over ??? should see a marker that shows there is an unproved edit when reading the item and be able to approve/reject it, etc.
  • 10K users and moderators should be able to see a list of suggested edits filtered by tag, etc.
share|improve this answer
    
There are already mechanisms in place. I don't see a requirement for this added feature. A comment is just as good as leaving a suggested edit. If the user does not have the rep to comment, and formatting/spelling/grammar is just that bad, ask for an edit from the appropriate meta site. –  IAbstract Jan 17 '11 at 16:41
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@IAbstract, you are assumming that low rep users read meta, anything less clear then a "suggest edit" button is unlickly to get used. Most real life users are very low rep and don't use the sites much, unlike the people that use meta. –  Ian Ringrose Jan 18 '11 at 9:06
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Will the lo-rep users you describe even care about edits? If they do, then they will find one of the methods already available and use it. –  IAbstract Jan 18 '11 at 12:58
    
While I may not be as passionate about this as @IAbstract :) I do agree. Somebody with low rep shouldn't worry so much about editing other peoples' posts as with building enough rep to do it themselves (or, at least, to leave a comment). –  Wonko the Sane Jan 26 '11 at 22:32

With most severe mistakes in questions and/or answers, like formatting issues, I experience that there are enough high rep users on this site to correct those obvious mistakes within a few minutes.

I don't think we need this feature. I know it's frustrating to look at malformed content when you're not able to correct it, but just waiting for a few minutes is sufficient in most cases.

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"Need" is such a strong term. But it would improve the quality of the site. Why settle? –  Dan Fabulich Jan 15 '11 at 8:20
    
@Dan: As one of the comments on your question already said, you can always write a comment to draw the OP's attention. –  Marcel Korpel Jan 15 '11 at 11:42
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@Dan - I am not sure I agree with "improve the quality." My worry is that it will actually muddy the site. One major draw of SE is the relative simplicity of the design. –  Wonko the Sane Jan 26 '11 at 22:33

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