I have noticed a lot of comments indicating that FAQs should be community owned.

Why is this a good practice?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 17 '09 at 9:39

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sofaq questions are by essence subjective: they require a consensus of the community about the way this site operates.

As subjective questions, they should not generate any rep' points for the one asking the question.

Rep' points are about interesting programming questions and answers, not about meta-questions (meaning questions about StackOverflow)

This community mode for sofaq question is suggested to you in order to respect the spirit of reputation points and, I believe, their original intent.


One good reason is currently evident in this question:

This is a "notable" question with a lot of votes and nearly as many marks as favorite. I'd put out a call for a user to add a response that compiled up all the different answers so I could accept it as the answer (couldn't do it myself, since it's my own question), and those following the question could then improve on it.

Someone provided an excellent answer, and it was itself upvoted about 20 times. And then something odd happened. The user got offended over something (no idea what) and deleted everything he had done at the site, including this answer. Community owned content is (or should be) harder to just delete.


It's also good practice to make answers to subjective questions also community-owned.


Everyone could edit/fix an answer, and nobody would try to get any reputation from it.

  • Why is that wrong to get reputation from a good question even if it is an FAQ? – David Segonds Oct 17 '08 at 16:56
  • 1
    The fact that it is dead simple to ask "not programming related" (faq or else) questions that get a lot of up votes just because the statistical effect coming from more people looking at them. – Tomalak Oct 17 '08 at 17:02

It makes it easier for people to edit them, (i.e. a lower rep is required to 750 vs 2000) and you get no rep for them. I think the community doesn't want rep to be gained for questions that should have just been answered in the FAQ.


Most of the questions of common interest generate a lot of rep really fast. Answering specific questions of less common interest makes the system seem unfair, so to keep it more balanced, FAQ and favorite style questions should be wikis.

  • What is wrong in getting rep. from question of general interest. This puzzles me. Rep. should be a measure of the amount of value you bring to the site, shouldn't it? – David Segonds Oct 17 '08 at 17:00
  • But the value is in giving good answers to real problems, not in entertaining the crowd by asking subjective stuff that really can't have the "one correct answer", isn't it? Yet the subjective stuff produces much more rep than serious answers, so it's a matter of fairness, somewhat – Tomalak Oct 17 '08 at 17:06
  • I think he's arguing the the sofaq questions are not just subjective. – Joel Coehoorn Oct 17 '08 at 17:08
  • I'm with what VonC (stackoverflow.com/questions/212942/…) thinks. But I guess we agree on the "should be a wiki" thing. – Tomalak Oct 17 '08 at 17:22
  • The value is in having every question answered. If rep is easy to gain without having to look at the harder to answer questions then it makes the site less valuable as a resource for getting answers to questions. – Sam Hasler Oct 20 '08 at 9:14

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