If I make my answer a Community Wiki, I don't gain any reputation from the votes on the answer.

If I thought it was a good answer, why would I reject the possible increase in reputation, and make it a Community Wiki? Are there any incentives for the asker to do this?

  • 2
    You can not directly make a question community-wiki. It's very rarely appropriate, so it was made a moderator-only action a long time ago.
    – Jeremy
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:31
  • 1
    The linked answer states "Posts enter the community wiki mode when... The answer's author checks the community wiki checkbox when composing the answer ... The answer is edited by its original author, who when doing so opts to check the community wiki."
    – Cory Klein
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:34
  • 1
    Ah - keyword "answer".
    – Cory Klein
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:35
  • 3
  • I have changed the question to refer to the process of making an answer a community wiki, as opposed to making a question a community wiki. (In truth, I originally thought that if I checked the box "Answer your own question" that this was the same thing as making it a CW, therefore I thought that making your own question a CW was possible.)
    – Cory Klein
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:43
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    @EsotericScreenName - That is the same link that I provided in the question.
    – Cory Klein
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:57
  • @CoryKlein I had included it as part of a response to a now deleted comment. Since that comment was deleted, I edited out everything except the link. I never noticed that it was linked in your question. Jul 19, 2013 at 20:58
  • In case you're curious you can look at the 1000 Most recent wiki's made by the user Ignoring the 10 edit count or 30 answer count cw's I can't seem to find any usage pattern based on the content, maybe you can. Jul 19, 2013 at 20:59

3 Answers 3


There are a few reasons to post CW answers:

  1. The answer is not yours

    This can happen if you determine that a comment contains the answer. You may want to complete the process by ensuring that the question gets a proper answer, but don't want to take credit for the information. You should usually do this only if sufficient time has passed to determine that the commentor does not intend to post the answer.

  2. The information is common knowledge

    On some very simple questions, people feel bad about regurgitating common-knowledge answers. In this case, you should also consider whether the question shows appropriate research and is a good fit for the site.

  3. You want to lower the bar for others to edit your question

    If you feel that your question is incomplete and could be improved by others, and want to ensure that almost anyone can edit it, make it CW. This lowers the reputation limit required to edit so that almost anyone on the site can add information. It also signals to others that you are willing to accept edits and improvements that bypass the normal comment-suggestion process.


community wiki is intended to reflect questions or answers that are intended to be editable by anyone (including people with < 2000 reputation). It might be an answer you don't feel you deserve reputation for (such as converting a comment to an answer), or an answer that you would like to encourage others to edit in order to improve it. You also might want to stop getting pings from the question/answer comments or modifications.

You don't have a reputation-based incentive, but you do have the incentive of improving the Stack Overflow (or Stack Exchange) community in those cases where it is appropriate.

  • I think that when a post has been edited more than x times, is automagically upgraded to Community Wiki.
    – Braiam
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:36
  • @Braiam 10, and only edits by the original author count.
    – slhck
    Jul 19, 2013 at 21:14
  • I found the answer... in a Community Wiki post, thanks @slhck
    – Braiam
    Jul 19, 2013 at 21:39

Yeah, you won't get any badge, reputation, award, privileges, free-coffee of CW answers, just the satisfaction that you are improving the community without any kind of retribution. Think of it as community work... or cleaning the beach. Something you don't benefit directly of, but you still can get satisfied.

  • 4
    You do get badges, awards don't exist outside badges and reputation, privileges are solely tied to reputation and no-one gets coffee :-(. Jul 19, 2013 at 23:14

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