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Asked: Aug 06 '11 at 23:27

Seen: 960 times

Last updated: Jul 09 '12 at 07:54

I cannot calculate the number of points I have lost because I seem to be a pro at writing Community Wiki Questions. How can I avoid this?

asked Aug 06 '11 at 23:27

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited Aug 06 '11 at 23:28

I'll be the first to acknowledge that Community Wiki is a problem area for IQ.

And just to be clear upfront the only effect that Community Wiki has is in whether someone receives reputation/karma points or not for their contribution.

So the issue is only one of points allocation rather than one of whether information is being allowed onto the site or not.

We have tended to switch questions to Community Wiki when it is clear there can never be a definitive, correct answer to a question.

For example, "Why is the sky blue?" may have a definitive answer and so it will never be turned into a Community Wiki question.

"What did you have for dinner today?" is obviously a question with no definitive correct answer and may well be turned into a Community Wiki question, or for something as off-topic as this, it will probably be closed.

Avoiding asking this second type of question will definitely avoid the question becoming Community Wiki.

But it's still not as clear-cut as that.

The software that runs IQ was designed for subjects where there are obvious definitive right/wrong answers to questions e.g. computer software development. With subjects as open-ended and vague as those discussed on IQ, we are pushing the boundaries.

From the moderator/administrator level, we always have to consider the good of the site over an individual's personal points balance. The unique value that Inward Quest appears to offer is in functioning as a high-quality information exchange rather than a discussion/chat area (there are plenty of chatty places already on the internet) however shutting that social-style outlet down completely on IQ also appears to destroy the sense of "community".

The Community Wiki option allows us to give some leeway to chatty-type questions appearing on the site without shutting them down completely.

Also, at certain periods, when we would like to encourage a bit more "community feeling", we're likely to allow the chatty questions to remain as points-accumulating questions to encourage participation from the quieter users on the site but, sooner or later, if those questions keep resurfacing then they will probably still become "Community Wiki" to prevent abuse of the points system.

I know many people on IQ claim again and again that the points don't matter to them but certainly from the administrator/moderator level, we do notice it has a significant effect (at times) on whether some participate or not. I appreciate though that it's not usually about the actual points themselves but about the feeling of approval from others and a sense of "progression" as the points total accumulates.

We also sometimes (such as at the moment) allow "chatty" questions to run as normal questions as "experiments" in seeing how it affects the site generally because even though some ask "chatty" questions, others will still provide answers that are of the "high-quality information exchange" type. So again, it's difficult to say what's the right approach.

After nearly two years of operating IQ behind the scenes, we still don't claim to have a definitive straight-forward answer as to when something should be Community Wiki, and when not.

There are arguments on both sides of the issue. Part of the reason I wanted to set up IQ Meta was to give others a chance to voice their own opinions.

For whatever reason, I seem to have ended up with the ultimate authority (for now) over how IQ runs and so my own personal viewpoints and gut-feelings are clearly going to carry the most weight (for now) over how the site operates. But that doesn't mean that I'm not open to listening to what others have to say. So if you have ideas/approaches as to how Community Wiki should operate that you think are better than how we do it now, I'd be interested to hear them.


answered Aug 09 '11 at 00:41

Simon%20Templeton's gravatar image

Simon Templeton ♦♦

edited Jul 09 '12 at 07:54


Thank you for a reply that obviously took a great deal of thought and time. I have sensed this weakness in the system, although I could never quite put my finger on it. I DO tend to ask "Chatty" questions, because I am a story-teller at heart, and I believe there is great power in stories. I probably will always be this way; I am a writer and I cannot change from that. Thank you for allowing those questions to remain open, for I KNEW that there was always the potential for great answers, if only the right people would step up to the plate (which does not happen enough for me!). >>>>>>>>>>>

(Aug 09 '11 at 03:16) Jaianniah

I notice that you posted a couple of "chatty" non-Community-Wiki questions on IQ soon after my answer. These have now been made Community Wiki. Please don't take my answer as an indication that "chatty" questions are now welcome. Personally, I feel they reduce the usefulness of the site because they increase the noise/information ratio. IQ is simply not a social networking site. I'm just saying with my answer, maybe unclearly, that we are tolerating some of the borderline ones for now, that's all. Obviously "chatty" questions will always be CW-ed to prevent abuse of the points system.

(Aug 09 '11 at 07:19) Simon Templeton ♦♦
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