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In my opinion, the names "tag wiki" and "tag wiki excerpt" are misnomers. Why?

  • In most wikis (that allow the community to edit them), very little permission is needed to edit each of its pages. For tag wikis, though, a whopping 20,000 reputation is required to edit most tag wikis without approval, whereas for Community Wiki posts, the requirement is merely 100 reputation.
  • Strictly speaking, an "excerpt" is a small text quoted from a larger text. However, many "tag wiki excerpts" are not "excerpts" per se, but rather more like summaries.

For these reasons, I recommend calling "tag wikis" and "tag wiki excerpts" by a different name.

I prefer "tag details" and "tag summary" myself, but there may be other, better names.

(I am not suggesting that the way tag wikis work should be changed beyond their names.)

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I see nothing wrong with the (as I see it) appropriate naming of them as wikis. A wiki has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the edit requires approval, merely with the fact that the document is a collaborative effort among users. Requiring approval before the edit goes live is more an extra precaution as it lets other users verify if new information is indeed correct and/or relevant as well as preventing a lot of rollbacks of bad edits, spam, etc (catch it before it's even seen). They are wikis and that part of the name should remain the same.

I do agree with you on the excerpt part, though. Like you've said, a lot of them are summaries, but even that is not the intended use of that text. The real purpose of it is to give users quick instructions on what the tag is to be used for. Sometimes a summary of the wiki will get that point across, since there really isn't any other way to identify the tag's purpose. Other times (especially here on Meta), it outlines what kind of questions should (or should not) be asked under the tag. Keeping that in mind, the word "summary" fits that a little better, but I feel there is probably some other word out there that would fit even better than that (I can't think of it).

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    "A wiki has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the edit requires approval, merely with the fact that the document is a collaborative effort among users." Most things actually called wikis require little more than signing up to edit and some don't even require that. So going by the preponderance of the evidence, I would have to say that yes, the bar for editing being low is a part of being a wiki. It's not just collaborative editing on the web; it's collaborative editing on the web without approval. Otherwise Google Docs is a wiki. – Nicol Bolas Jun 2 '13 at 17:35

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