I've always had a hard time getting reviewers to approve my edits pending peer review. It's very often either "too trivial" or "too much change", with "should be a comment" thrown about here and there. How do I hit the silver lining?
Just today, in this post, I thought I would improve the accepted answer by adding some useful information that would help the next person. In the process, I also decided to improve the formatting a little bit:
I suggested this edit first with the following comment:
improved formatting, add footnote about errors that can be ignored
Within seconds it was rejected 3:1, so I thought I'll try again, this time with this comment:
(why reject? I'm trying to add some useful information here so that the answer is more clear to someone who would encounter the same problem again. how is this edit "minor" or "trivial" or "not substantial"?) improved formatting, add footnote about errors that can be ignored
Again it was rejected 3:1, with one of the rejects explicitly saying "Should be a comment instead.". I would argue against this saying that making the extra information a comment would defeat the purpose of a website like StackOverflow, where seekers of answers should be given correct and complete answers.
In this specific case, the phrase "Make sure you don't have any errors" is misleading, because in the Eclipse IDE, even after other errors have been fixed, the error which I was talking about will still remain, which can only be fixed by doing the step that follows it ("Fix Project Properties") or the instructions in the second paragraph (modify XML file and save). This is what led me to suggest the edit to make the answer more complete and comprehensive, so the next person does not have to sift through the comments for such a valuable piece of information.
I think very often, peer reviewers at SO are rejecting suggested edits too harshly, too quickly and without fully understanding the original problem and the context in which the edits have been suggested. They seem quite often to follow a gut feeling when making decisions (how can you reject an edit so quick within mere seconds of posting it?) rather than analyzing the question/answer properly, understanding the context and thinking about whether the suggested edit is actually something worth keeping.
I hope the SO/SU community can improve on the peer reviewing process so that actual useful edits are not lost in your battle against useless ones. Perhaps reviewers should be forced to spend some time reading the original question and the original answer, and deciding whether the edit adds valuable piece of information that could be helpful to the next person who has the same question. (This would mean edits can't be approved or rejected within seconds of viewing them, but the reviewer could be delayed by a minute or two* - I believe this will reduce the chance of impulse reviewing as the wait will encourage the reviewer to use the time productively.
* The time to wait could be tied to the caliber of the reviewer: a new reviewer could be given 3 minutes of wait; a learning reviewer 2.5 minutes; a graduated reviewer 2 minutes; a seasoned reviewer 1.5 minutes and a veteran reviewer 1 minute (the minimum wait for any reviewer).
Alternative Suggestion (courtesy CodyGray and Mr.Wizard):
The edit queue could be filtered based on tags of questions on which the edits were made, meshed with the top five? tags the user had been most active on (their past questions and answers combined, with answers bearing more weight and high-voted/accepted answers bearing even more weight). Those edits which had lapsed a couple of hours or a day without review could be placed in the unfiltered queue for anyone with enough reputation points to review them even if their top tags do not match the tags in the question. Both the filtered and unfiltered queues should be made available to the users with enough rep to see the review queues, without any specific restriction towards one or the other.