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What is the intention of 'community wiki' questions?

asked 2012-03-03 13:33:41 -0600

powlo's avatar

updated 2012-07-07 11:52:29 -0600

todofixthis's avatar

Probably a bit of a noob question, but I can't quite see what service the 'community wiki' question provides.

I can understand that it allows others to edit your question. (As per the 'This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >750 is welcome to improve it.' text). It creates an optional lower bar; normally a user would have to have 2000 karma to edit a post. I also see that answers can be made into 'community wiki' answers.

But then what?

The feature isn't really documented as far as I can tell, and where other features usually have obvious functionality this one seems a little lost.

Is the idea that 'communities' ie all the members of the site, will have certain pages that they wish to make wiki pages?

How can users see these pages? Is there a filter that can be applied somehow? Perhaps wiki questions should be marked with a small graphic on the main page. Perhaps wiki questions (and or wiki answers) should float to the top of the main page.

I'm not sure because I'm not sure what it's designed to do.

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The feature can be disabled in the settings.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny  ( 2012-05-04 14:10:59 -0600 )edit

Please add the [community-wiki] tag to this question. Please.

slelievre's avatar slelievre  ( 2016-07-22 06:52:38 -0600 )edit

@Evgeny -- Please!

slelievre's avatar slelievre  ( 2018-04-06 13:57:58 -0600 )edit

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answered 2012-05-04 10:56:47 -0600

todofixthis's avatar

updated 2012-05-04 11:52:24 -0600

I believe Community Wiki emerged on SO primarily as a way of preventing abuse of the reputation system. See the FAQ entry on SO's Meta.

  • Posts are automatically marked as CW if they are edited more than a certain number of times (since editing a post bumps it to the top of the homepage, this acts as a way of preventing people from "spamming" the homepage in an attempt to gain unfair reputation-by-exposure).
  • For popular but not constructive questions, moderators often mark the question and all its answers as CW so that nobody benefits from participating in an off-topic or otherwise not-good-fit question, but they can still keep the content around (you'll see this a lot on "polling" questions).

You might also find the SE blog post on "The Future [sic] of Community Wiki" to be of interest.

One thing to note is that CW was considered to be much more important on SE before they implemented peer-reviewed editing... which, incidentally, is a feature I would love to see in Askbot (:

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Yes, I agree, CW is pretty useless. The blog post seems to struggle explaining value of the feature. In askbot community wiki can be disabled. Re: suggested edits - it is a good feature request and I am sure we'll get there.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny  ( 2012-05-04 14:10:05 -0600 )edit

answered 2012-03-03 16:20:24 -0600

Evgeny's avatar

To be honest I don't know how useful this feature is. In SO wiki is used mainly to make posts not affecting the user reputation.

I find it mostly useless and don't mind at all disabling it or even removing altogether.

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may be we don't this at all. Even I never have found a strong reason to have one.

pajju's avatar pajju  ( 2012-08-16 23:09:26 -0600 )edit

answered 2017-12-12 18:45:45 -0600

updated 2017-12-12 23:06:00 -0600

Three things Askbot is missing with respect to the "community wiki" functionality, in my opinion, are:

  • a good description of when to check this box, that a user would see when posting a question or answer; including the recommendation to not check the box if in doubt;
  • a way for site administrators to modify the "community wiki" status of a question after it has been posted (i.e., turn this on or off for a question when the original poster made the wrong choice);
  • a way to search an askbot-powered site for questions tagged as "community wiki" (one can search other tags, but not that special one, with the site's search box); see;

I opened a ticket on Askbot's issue tracker at GitHub to request these features:

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But it seems nobody who knows how to do it cares enough...

slelievre's avatar slelievre  ( 2018-04-06 13:58:56 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2012-03-03 13:33:41 -0600

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Last updated: Dec 12 '17