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This answer of mine was turned in a CW. I'm not sure I'm happy with that. Everybody can edit answers, but as far as I understand it a CW is an invitation for edits. I don't want everybody to mess with my answer. If someone wants to contribute, why doesn't she write her own answer? Answers will be more varied, and can answer per answer be judged for their value, so that the author knows when it needs editing.

Now I understand CW won't go away, but shouldn't I at least be consulted before changing my answer to a CW, especially since it's the only answer on the page to which it happened. (It's a different situation if all the page, question + all answers, is made CW.

Shouldn't I have been asked first?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that you stop receiving rep when people upvote your CW posts, but you don't lose the rep you've already gained for that post. \$\endgroup\$ – endolith May 15 '12 at 13:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't like CW either. You put a lot of time and effort into a answer, and then you suddenly don't own it anymore. I learned the hard way not to do that again due to electronics.stackexchange.com/q/28251/4512. This is also why I refrain from making minor typo fixes and the like later because it automatically becomes CW after a while, which is apparently what happened to you. There are many little things I would have fixed if it weren't for the automatic CW problem. All around CW is seriously demotivational to those who spend time writing detailed answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop May 15 '12 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Olin - No, I didn't know it turned into CW after that many edits. I'm not sure people often make use of it. Your answer may be an exception, but due to some error it doesn't show the editing. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh May 15 '12 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @steven: The question I linked to above was deliberately turned into CW by a mod, so that's not what happened there. I was vaguely aware of many edits causing CW, so refrain from small typo fixes and the like. Again, I really don't like CW, but it is what it is. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop May 15 '12 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop, feel free to edit and improve away, just flag us if it does become a community wiki question by that course it can be easily fixed as I answered. I am sorry that you are unhappy that the post about how to draw schematics is a community wiki, but that makes sense, people dont worry about rep and can vote as they agree with the ideas. You did put great effort into it which most users will see by reading such a substantial piece of effort. There is fame but not money in that post, badges also I believe. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk May 16 '12 at 8:33
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Users are allowed to edit your answers to both add small details or improve formatting. The system automatically converts answers to community wiki if a large number of edits are performed assuming that the answer is being regularly improved and edited.

It is very easy for a moderator to correct this action if the situation does not call for a community wiki in the rare case that 10 edits does not mean community wiki. I think this answer could go either way, but I have corrected it as they seem to all be your edits and most of them follow user input and your review.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So it was my own fault? :-) Thanks for the reversal \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh May 15 '12 at 9:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, if you keep improving posts like that it will do it again but it takes me 3 seconds of work I do not mind to resolve, just flag me and ask for the reversal. It probably takes you longer then myself. I prefer you take your answers and continue improving them to the other option of avoiding CW by not adding in additional content. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk May 15 '12 at 9:39
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As Olin said,

Maybe a solution is to not bump a question for small edits

Probably the same mechanism has been suggested in meta.SO, but I post it as an answer so we can see better how much agreement it gets. Maybe we can change it!

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It happened automatically because you've edited your answer more than 10 times, so the system supposes that it may benefit by multiple edits prevents you from gaining rep with bumping your post.

I don't understand the mechanism that well, but it's explained in the FAQs and probably discussed in meta.SO

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    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't happen to "encourage multiple edits". It's done to prevent people from repeatedly bumping their posts to the front page with small edits and continuing to get rep from them. CW prevents you from accruing any more rep. Kind of a clunky solution if you ask me. They should just stop bumping it after a certain number of edits. Why remove the incentive for users to keep their answers up-to-date? \$\endgroup\$ – endolith May 15 '12 at 13:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @endolith: Yeah, sometimes I see typos in old answers of mine, but am afraid to fix them because they might become CW. I remember getting a warning message about that a few times long ago and have stopped making minor fixes since then. I can see the point about not wanting rep farming (hadn't even occurred to me before), but is the potential for such abuse really worse than not getting small errors fixed? Maybe it's happened in the past and is a real problem, I don't know. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop May 15 '12 at 14:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @endolith: Maybe a solution is to not bump a question for small edits. The system already tracks how many characters were deleted and added, so this should be easy. If someone adds a whole paragraph, it probably is worth bumping it. If they fix a typo, it's not, regardless of how many previous edits. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop May 15 '12 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop: I agree with that, too. Also not giving rep for small edits (instead of completely preventing us from making them). All these ham-fisted restrictions just to prevent gaming a system of points that don't really matter... \$\endgroup\$ – endolith May 15 '12 at 16:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Olin - "Maybe a solution is to not bump a question for small edits." Seconded! \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh May 15 '12 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop, a couple character edit could be changing a number that is key or a sentence that is key. The reason behind a bump is to allow community review of what changed. Being worried about it changing to CW is crazy, just flag for a moderator if it happens. If someone is gaming the system it is different but I have never seen that on this site. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk May 16 '12 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have seen some systems (MediaWiki, perhaps?) that have a checkmark for "trivial edit" on the edit page. Thus you can fix typos and improve formatting without causing a mess in the version control system. The stackexchange system handles small edits an absurd way. \$\endgroup\$ – markrages May 17 '12 at 4:13

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