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I created the question: Which European cities have bike rental stations for tourists?, and there are many answers that can be helpful, but I can't choose one. So can I send to the community wiki?

  • This is a very controversial topic in several SE sites recently. There was active debate last time I looked at meta.SO – hippietrail Jun 25 '11 at 5:16
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Accepting answers is entirely optional. Just upvote what you find helpful.

As well, that's not the purpose of CW. You don't want to deprive the answerers of getting more rep for these useful answers!

To copy from a post of mine on the Music meta:


The Purpose of Community Wiki


Community Wiki is:

  • A way to mark a question for collaborative editing
    • All questions/answers may be edited by users with sufficient rep, but CW makes this purposeful
    • Useful when information is constantly being added and updated

Community Wiki is not:

  • A way to make otherwise problematic questions (list questions or recommendation questions) acceptable


When and Why Use Community Wiki?


As above, Community Wiki is useful when information it constantly being added and updated. This is why posts are automatically made CW after 10 edits or after being edited by 5 users. Posts should be manually marked CW when intention is to have this collaborative editing. This is normally done to questions, to ensure all of its answers will be CW.

Community Wiki posts stop giving reputation (due to upvotes) to the original poster once they are made CW. When you have 90% of the content from a post coming from other community members, for example, why would you want rep going to only one of them? CW neatly solves this problem.

This is why CW is bad for opinions, recommendations, and list questions. If someone provides a useful opinion on an aspect of travel, they should get reputation points if others find it useful! Those do not need to be collaboratively edited, and neither do lists; a new poster will just add a new list item as a separate answer.


Examples of Good Community Wiki Questions


  1. What are "Community Wiki" posts? (Meta Stack Overflow)

    This post is a good example because the nature, purpose, and application of Community Wiki has been repeatedly revised. As such, the answers have needed to be revised over time, regardless of whether the original asker and answerers are around to update their old posts. The appropriate knowledge should be added by whoever has it at the time.

  2. How do I root my device? (Android Enthusiasts)

    This post is a good example because new Android phones and tablets come out all the time, in addition to software updates. The methods for rooting are not the same between devices and software, and so they are constantly revised. Anyone who reads about a new rooting method or tool can post it in the answer. This also is an incredibly useful resource because it eliminates the need for hundreds of "How do I root Device X with Android version Y?" questions; instead, we can gather it all into one cohesive wiki.

  • Thanks, this explains me a lot. – VMAtm Jun 23 '11 at 16:47
  • I knew, there was a reason you gave example from Android.SE. And then I realized, that you're the mod there. – Tschareck Jun 14 '12 at 19:43
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We have provided some additional guidance at the blog:

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/08/the-future-of-community-wiki/

TL;DR version

Most of the time, you should be asking yourself “How can I improve this post so that community wiki isn’t needed?” Community wiki is like a cheese knife: it is a specialized tool to be used sparingly, and only in very specific circumstances.

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What you should really do, is consolidate all of those good answers into a single, CW Answer - rather than marking the question as CW, and robbing anyone who has already contributed of any further rep gain, create a CW answer which can serve as a canonical resource consolidating the information from all of the other answers provided.

  • Great idea. I'll do this soon. – VMAtm Jun 24 '11 at 11:46

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