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I propose a community initiative to edit through the tag wikis (and of course, approve them) during a two-three days period, perhaps some weekend in the near future.

The idea is that we agree on a weekend, and everyone who is willing to partake will specify which tags he is even able to edit (I, for example, am unlikely to edit anything related to categories - while probably competent enough to write something for (oh right, I already did that :-)))

Then we set to write, updating on this (or some other?) thread on the meta so that the high-enough rep. users (and moderators of course) could approve, and others could edit and so on.

We could work a general guideline for writing tag wikis, or use the ones that are written as example (choosing those which are properly written as a study case, and fixing the others).

Perhaps for that period of time the rep. limit for editing tag wikis can be lowered to a reasonable limit of 3-4k to ease the work load on the moderators and trusted users as well?

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  • $\begingroup$ Related question: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/1678/… $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Apr 25 '11 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ At the moment, it's not even obvious who, exactly, approves tag wiki edits. I edited the tag wiki for "logic" and it was "approved" by someone else with over 5,000 rep but under 20,000 ( math.stackexchange.com/suggested-edits/476 ). We'd need to figure out exactly how the system works before we can plan an editing blitz. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Apr 25 '11 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Carl: Of course, my original posts about tag wikis are very relevant, and I have decided instead of waiting for someone to pay attention to run this blitz, as you eloquently put it. Along the way we will certainly get the instructions from those who designed the system and perhaps figure out how the system works. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 25 '11 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ I think that's a good idea. I just wanted to point out one of the things that needs to be done along the way. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Apr 25 '11 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl: I'm pretty sure that the 20k threshold is for making tag-wiki edits without needing approval. I think anyone 5k+ can approve the edits. (That is, edits by people under 20k must be peer-reviewed by someone with at least 5k.) $\endgroup$ – Isaac Apr 25 '11 at 22:53
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    $\begingroup$ @isaac that's correct.. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Apr 28 '11 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ I've started with a few (but I'm not too sure with this business of getting +2 rep for edits); hopefully my write-ups do not turn out to be screw-ups. How does one view the queue for suggested wiki edits anyway, apart from typing some number after http://math.stackexchange.com/suggested-edits/? $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Apr 29 '11 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M.: This is why I was asking for a full community project, this way we could perhaps lower the rep. limits (or some other criteria) for a duration of two-three days, so users like you and I (or at least users other than Arturo and the mods :-)) could view the queues and approve/disprove/edit them. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 29 '11 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Isaac: I know that the software uses the term "peer review" but that phrase implies that the person doing the reviewing has some special expertise in the area being reviewed, which is not the case here (if anyone with 5k rep can approve, how many of them are qualified to "peer review" any particular area?). I think we should use some more neutral term. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert May 2 '11 at 3:09
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Let's start by changing the reputation required to edit directly (without approval) to the same amount required to edit others' questions. That will streamline things significantly, since many of the people who will likely participate will have that much rep. There's no reason I can see to have an absurdly high limit of 20,000 to edit a tag wiki directly; we should simply vote on a more reasonable limit.

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    $\begingroup$ Any change like this isn't going to happen on a per-site basis and should be proposed on meta.SO. $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 2 '11 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Isaac: The trouble is that the current rep. limitations are of no issue at SO. I'd guess it is possible to do it on a per site basis. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 2 '11 at 8:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Isaac: we have the prerogative to vote on the change here, since this is our site and we can decide how we'd like the rep system to work for us. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert May 2 '11 at 10:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl: the problem is that the rep system is part of the backend of StackExchange, and as far as we know cannot be changed on a per site basis. As such "voting on it here" is rather meaningless. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong May 2 '11 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: I disagree. At its core, this is a locally governed site, and we should feel free to express our opinion on how we would like it to operate. If the software doesn't support what we want, that's an issue the developers need investigate for us. It's our role to tell the SE developers how math.stackexchange.org should run, not vice-versa. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert May 2 '11 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl: it is .com, not .org. They are offering a service, for which we are not paying. While we can politely suggest what we think should be done, I hardly see it as "our role to tell the SE developers how [things] should run." I find your faith that they must listen to what we think rather fascinating. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong May 2 '11 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: they are paying us for our expertise by providing the site for us without charge. The scarce economic resource here is our mathematical knowledge, not the website. Moreover, there are many statements from SE Inc. such as "We don’t run Stack Overflow. You do." ( blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/12/… ) I take them at their word: "We gladly reciprocate by trusting you to lead and govern your own community." We are supposed to make our own decisions; my proposal here is intended as a step in that direction. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert May 2 '11 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ Existing precedent is that reputation thresholds are common to all sites because the sites are supposed to be a somewhat uniform network, with functionality and rules largely shared among all the sites. The community at large does run things to a large extent, but that's what happens at meta.SO, the capitol of the SE realm, not here, at our local county seat. $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 3 '11 at 4:01
  • $\begingroup$ Isaac, when the site went out of beta stage I remember closing questions went from 500 or so to 3000. I don't know whether or not it is a fixed menu for beta stage and public stage - but it seems that something can be done here. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 3 '11 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: I am pretty sure it is fixed, in the sense that all beta sites have the same thresholds. But don't listen to me, go ye and ask on Meta.SO! $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong May 3 '11 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: You already know I cannot do that, it is my nature as a lazy jerk... :-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 3 '11 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: You mean "bum". You're certainly no jerk, but you sure are a bum. :P $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician May 3 '11 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M.: It might not show you here very much, but I am a jerk ;-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 3 '11 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: The thresholds are fixed for private beta, public beta, and launched (post-beta). $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 3 '11 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Isaac: Oh, if that is the case... then sucks for us. I also strongly support the opinion expressed by Carl a few comments back regarding this matter. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 3 '11 at 22:39
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I don't see the point of the weekend, why not just have people start doing it as much as they can. Random free time seems like a much better plan for users to do this, and for mods to look over/approve. But this is just my opinion.

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  • $\begingroup$ Watch the way a pack of lions hunt a gazelle. They run as a pack, when running individually they are not only risking their own lives on the antlers of their prey but they also minimize the chance of doing it right. If we work as a group on a pre-decided time (and weekends are usually free), then we have better chance to sit through it and just write and edit and squeeze it all into a small timeframe. Moreover, since we asked for a temporary decrease in permissions it can be useful to have a preset duration in which these limitations can be changed, if a global and permanent change is unwanted $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 3 '11 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this permission business is very important, since we can just accept each other's tag wikis. Both BBischof and me have had good experience with that so far. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus May 3 '11 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: I'm more inclined to think of it as a pile of bricks that needs to be moved from here to there—sure, we could have a brick-moving party, or we could each just grab a few bricks when we happened to walk by. $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 3 '11 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Isaac, by all means I agree with that. However I do believe that planning a brick moving party, while we do move the occasional brick here and there, is still a good idea. It will give us the psychological boost to overview the existing wikis, trying to set the level of each sufficiently high, as well add those that are missing (at least on the front page tags). I do give the occasional attempt at writing a tag wiki, but usually I end up deleting it as I feel it is not good enough. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 3 '11 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: I think you've probably hit where we differ—I've given the occasional attempt at writing a tag wiki, but I leave it up to someone else to decide to delete it (or, better, improve it) if it's not good enough. ;) $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 4 '11 at 0:16

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