Some weeks ago I asked this big-list question. It was converted into community wiki only 6 minutes later, without giving any notification or comment. Frankly speaking, I wasn't too enthusiastic about that. Of course, corrections to my question are always welcome, but I wanted it still to be my question, without the community wiki label inviting others to freely change the content.

Searching the discussions on Meta, I found out that it seems to be some kind of a convention to make big-list questions community wiki.

Yesterday, a new big-list question of quite similar nature was posted. But it wasn't made community wiki. What's the difference here?

Edit: Now the second question is community wiki, too.


As I see it, the major difference is that one question was almost immediately flagged by some user to be made CW, and the other wasn't similarly flagged for 1 day, 11 hours, 14 minutes and 49 seconds (or thereabouts) after being posted.

I will note that the time between the flag and conversion to CW isn't much different between the two questions.

This is to say, at least on the moderator side of things I see no evidence that the two questions were treated differently.


Personally, I do not see any reason to turn any question into CW.

Why would we want to not recognize the effort put by a user in coming up with an answer?!

The idea that CW applies when the question «does not have one answer» has always seemed incomprehensible to me. That a question may have many possible answers somehow makes each answer less valuable?

  • $\begingroup$ I am aufkag and I approve this message. $\endgroup$ – Keep these mind Oct 21 '13 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for weighing in. I've long thought the same way, but am just a peon. Alas! $\endgroup$ – The Chaz 2.0 Oct 21 '13 at 19:55

And then this happens:

enter image description here enter image description here

So, there is a demonstrable negative effect on the quality and quantity of the answers after turning a question into CW.

  • $\begingroup$ @MarianoSuárez-Alvarez Some users are in it for the points. Even if they have a potentially good answer, they will simply not be bothered. That might actually be the reason for some people not to be interested in CW questions. $\endgroup$ – Keep these mind Oct 21 '13 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Ah! I did not see the image before. $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Oct 21 '13 at 20:04

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