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I am wondering what the attitudes towards the community wiki concept are.

I personally consider it overused and mostly undesirable. I'm now probably on Joel's personal execution list but let me explain why I feel this way:

I am not a user who can farm the site 24/7 for new questions to answer. Many traditional questions get their correct answer quite quickly so in most situations I'm left with:

  • voting up answers
  • the occasional comment
  • the even rarer exotic question that does not yet have an answer and I happen to actually know something about it
  • and the kind of questions that cannot be fully answered

The only kind of questions I can reliably contribute to are the ones that - according to official policies from the founders - should be community wiki. Their reasoning is that CW fosters contribution. I don't see it that way - exactly the opposite actually.

  1. Contributing to CW earns me no recognition. Don't get me wrong - virtue IS it's own reward but when you are given the choice between receiving recognition for your help or not: what do you prefer? The entire SE/SO system is so focused on rep. Everything depends on how much rep you have.
  2. Anyone can answer a question but you need 100 rep to contribute to CW so you are actually shutting members out that probably would like to help.

So what am I saying about CW? What is it good for IMO? For "moderators" to condense discussions into separate posts. Nothing else comes to mind right now.

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Looking at questions like this (and the answers to these types of questions), you can see why, for all intents and purposes, there is no more community wiki.

So many people are overly fixated on "counting pennies" when it comes to the arbitrary valuation and accumulation reputation. People have long since lost sight of what wiki was supposed to be about. Even if you could explain to a new (or even an average) user the merits of foregoing ownership in lieu of allowing a broader range of editing, the rules and almost-metaphysical philosophy applied to the feature simply aren't worth the complexity, problems, and abuse it causes.

So from @Jeff's post on Meta.SO: Important Change

Important change

End users can not mark questions wiki anymore, so the only appropriate way to get action on a question you believe really should be wiki, is to flag it for moderator attention.


A couple points..

  1. Vote-to-wiki will not be implemented. When the answer to a problem is "let's make things arbitrarily more complicated", it is rarely the correct answer.

  2. Do not bully users into community wiki. You can offer a carrot in the form of a comment that says "wow, I'd love to vote this up if it was community wiki" but downvoting and other nagging is not appropriate. (addendum: the community wiki flag checkbox is not shown for new users because they can't possibly understand it, you may potentially be nagging new users about a setting they don't even have.)

  3. If you think something should be community wiki then flag it for mod attention with a comment to that effect. Simple.

Also, note that as of now the CW edit threshold has been reduced from 750 rep to 100 rep on all sites.

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I used it in the "Basic Dominion Strategies" thread when I contributed 3 or 4 separate answers as of way of saying:

  • I am not trying to farm rep here
  • Please add additional details to these strategies that I have forgotten

But I had the luxury of doing that and having a bit of rep already.

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