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Often an edit to one of my questions or answers will make it a lot better. The edit can constitute more to the site than someone posting another answer or comment.

Some users make quite a lot of good edits and are awarded the Strunk & White and Copy Editor Badges.

However, there is no incentive for people to edit well.

So, as the person that posted the question/answer, let me mark the edit as useful or very useful, and then reward some rep to the person that did the edit.

I don’t think we need a full voting system on edits. That will just make the sites more complex.

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    I already do reward good edits to my questions. I make a comment this: @[editor] - thanks for the edit, made it a lot clearer Mar 11, 2010 at 3:19
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    @Farseeker related to what you said: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36052/…
    – alex
    Mar 11, 2010 at 7:14
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    Seems like some of the answers to this suggestion don't quite understand it. It's not about up-voting. Perhaps clarify this some more? Jul 20, 2011 at 9:51
  • I agree with what people are saying. But partly to discourage useless edits. It is frustrating when someone makes a useless edit that does not improve the post for the sake of their own badges.
    – BenSwayne
    Nov 4, 2011 at 22:49
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    I would love this, even if it's just a "thank user" button that sends something generic to their inbox (like wikipedia has to thank an editor for a revision).
    – rogerdpack
    Sep 14, 2021 at 16:45

7 Answers 7

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Usual expedient: go to their profile, find a deserving question or answer of theirs and vote for it. Extra fun when you can bump them into a badge.

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    I have been know to do this, as it give them the points, but it does not tell them you liked the edit, therefore does not motivate them to keep making good edits Jan 22, 2010 at 15:59
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    @Ian: You have a point. You could write a comment expressing your admiration. No automatic notification yet unless they left you one, though. Jan 22, 2010 at 20:45
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    Hmmmm, seems like a form of "targeted voting" - voting (at least partially) based on who posted, rather than (solely) what was posted.
    – Bohemian
    Sep 11, 2014 at 22:54
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    @Bohemian Yes. Back in 2010 there was less focus on that issue. I still consider this OK if you keep it to one vote. Sep 11, 2014 at 23:08
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There's a ton of things we provide for users to vote on -- questions, answers, comments.

I am not sure revisions are the most exciting or useful thing to vote on.

If it's anything like the code reviews on Google Code -- where you can rate a checkin in revision control as positive or negative -- it's extremely rare.

I suspect voting on revisions would be massively underutilized. I am more open to the other request, to allow @name comments that target editors of a post (who have not commented on the post).

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    @name to notify the editors would be indeed a good idea, as in a way, they are quite concerned by it (especially if rewritten a lot).
    – Gnoupi
    Jan 22, 2010 at 8:31
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    maybe there should be another badge above Strunk and White, a gold badge for editing of some sort. Jan 22, 2010 at 9:17
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    It would be good to reward people who put the effort in to tidy up other peoples questions with some sort of edit bade, but people might just start mindlessly editing questions in order to get a higher edit count.
    – Justin
    Jan 22, 2010 at 10:49
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    @Jeff - "Strunk and Gold"? Jan 22, 2010 at 11:37
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    "voting on revisions" is more than I am asking for, I am only thinking of the original author being able to “tick” a revision to say it is an improvement nothing as complex as a full voting system. Jan 22, 2010 at 13:15
  • @Ian - if you are letting it as the latest revision without rolling back, doesn't it mean that you consider it an improvement?
    – Gnoupi
    Jan 22, 2010 at 14:22
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    "Editor in Chief" might be a decent name for that badge. Or "Webster." Possibly "Roget?"
    – John Rudy
    Jan 22, 2010 at 14:47
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    @Jeff: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1524/…?
    – mmyers
    Jan 22, 2010 at 15:49
  • I think that the reputation given to an ANSWER should be divided up between the original answerer and the editor.. maybe 10 to the answerer and 5 rep to the editor. Then there's not extra voting.. it just happens automatically. Jul 10, 2010 at 14:32
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    I'll quote the OP: "(I don’t think we need a full voting system on edits. That will just make the sites more complex.)" Jul 20, 2011 at 9:48
  • An out of proportion increase in votes after the edit could trigger that new badge.
    – NGLN
    Aug 21, 2011 at 21:13
  • "I am not sure revisions are the most exciting or useful thing to vote on." If it improves the content, isn't that an excellent reason to incentivise it? Some of the edits on my own content have been eye-opening, adding new information, fixing subtle bugs, or just making the text easier to read.
    – l0b0
    Feb 6, 2023 at 20:28
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The concept is nice, but unfortunately it would lead to people expecting to be rewarded for making 'good' edits to posts.

Right now we already have a lot of people that are unhappy when someone doesn't select an answer (even if they're already voted up to the top) - we don't need another "Oh noes, I'm not getting rep that I know I deserve!" trigger point.

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    or worse "don't up-vote the question! up-vote my edit because I made it readable!". May 3, 2011 at 15:13
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Editing to make a question better is a good thing, but I doubt this is what we want to "vote" or reward.

This is not a "normal" thing. Questions (and answers) should be clear in the first place, and include details, from the original poster. Allowing the original poster to give reputation for good edits is like saying "ok, guys, I'm too lazy to make a good question, but I'll reward the one who does it for me".

It is not encouraging original posters to make a good effort in what they write.

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    Agreed. Still, though I don't care about reputation for myself, I sometimes hesitate on rewriting a truly bad question because I (very childishly) do not want the original question asker to gain reputation from that. (Even more childish: recently I rolled back my edits as the question asker was not being nice to others at all.) So, editing in general might not encourage (some) original posters to make a good effort in what they write.
    – Arjan
    Jan 22, 2010 at 9:00
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    @Arjan - I would say it depends on the original poster. Sometimes it's someone who just has difficulties to correctly express what he wants, for this kind, it can be good to help. And sometimes, like the rollback you refer to, it's simply someone unpleasant, and this kind should simply deal with their questions themselves. The kind which criticizes almost every answer without providing any kind of useful feedback, I have to say "pass".
    – Gnoupi
    Jan 22, 2010 at 9:28
  • With respect I think your argument is specious. Allowing (not requiring) original posters to give editors rep doesn't create any incentive to produce bad original posts -- it's still in the OP's interests to ask a question as clearly as possible so as to (a) get the answer s/he's actually looking for ASAP and (b) avoid having to "pay" any rep to accomplish this. The lazy will be lazy regardless; all the possibility of "edit-rep" will do is encourage more lazy questions to be edited well, which improves the quality of the site. Jan 23, 2011 at 12:05
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Edits are wonderful things. That said, I think a lot of their value comes from a desire on the part of the editor to improve something - tainting that with an extrinsic reward would be a mistake*.

The two alternatives Jeff suggested - a gold badge for editing and the ability to reply to editors via comments - are both in place. If someone helps you out with an edit, just... thank them.

*and yeah, I realize that suggested edits can be marked as useful and earn the editor rep; not entirely convinced that was a good idea.

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In addition to everything else said, adding rep for edits will encourage users to abuse the editing system, like editing one . in or something...

Instead, we could have a little simple upvote button (like the comments' upvote), and it wouldn't contribute to rep, but the user could have a stat field on his profile that says something to effect of "This user is a great editor - high satisfaction rate" etc... similar to the eBay rep/satisfaction system...

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    Or we could have a little simple upvote button like the comment upvote button that really doesn't do anything at all.
    – mmyers
    Nov 12, 2010 at 19:29
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    @Michael Myers: true...then we could implement some badges similar to the comment badges, like having 10 edit upvotes on 10 questions or etc...
    – studiohack
    Nov 12, 2010 at 19:30
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On CW questions we show that, for example, 60% of the text was added by user A, 40% by user B. What if we applied the same formula to questions, and if someone made an edit responsible for 40% of the content, they get 40% of the rep?

I'm not completely convinced that this is a good solution, but I think it would be better than the proposed idea of voting on edits (which I think very few people would actually do).

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