In my opinion, A question should not be marked Community Wiki if it is possible to write valid, helpful and knowledgeable answers which contribute to the knowledge base. No single best answer doesn't equate to not worth discussing. Restrict marking a post CW if answers have no correlation to their authors' contributions to the community, e.g. Polls and "Best of's" .

Ask yourself if the effects of CW'ing a particular question are desirable:

Rep is meant to reflect helpfulness, level of knowledge and general contribution to the community. If someone writes a good answer to the question, does that indicate a valid contribution? Is denying rep gain for that contribution a desirable effect?

Even if there is more than one valid answer individual answers may still have value, and so they deserve the rep gain when they're upvoted. Marking such a question CW discourages people from putting effort into their answers.

In a poll thread, one answer is as good as another. The value is in the entire set of answers, not in what individuals chose to vote, mark it CW. In a joke thread (although those seem to be getting rare), mark it CW. There may be good and bad answers, sure, but none of them say anything about the answerer's technical skills or contributions to the site. No matter how funny my joke was, it doesn't mean I'm any better at answering questions or that my account should be given broader moderating powers (as happens when you gain rep).

Is there any real benefit of CW outside of joke/poll style threads? I really can't see a use for it any longer. The other functions are largely obsolete with the creation of Meta.

What do you think?

(Adapted from Jalf's answer to When to mark CW.... Please read the original in it's entirety.)

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    ArcGIS Server vs Open Source is an example of an open ended question worth exploring and gaining rep from -- provided the Q is reformulated as I suggested in the comments. I would have waited and marked it CW only if the questioner left it unedited. Aug 18, 2010 at 22:11
  • Good question, and one which I personally haven't fully formed an opinion about, but rather rely on the reflex developed at stackexchange that any slightly subject question should be a CW. Discussion on this topic would be useful I believe.
    – fmark
    Aug 20, 2010 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


It is more difficult for me to find a business justification to spend time answering CW questions.

My participation in this forum is the result of a business decision. Instead of spending money renting booth space at conferences, I've decided to invest in forums where my contributions are written off as good will.

From a business perspective, reputation points provide me a way to quantify the value of my contribution. It's similar to the same way corporate donors are listed in the brochures of charities: if those charities were to remove their rankings (platinum, gold, silver ...) it would become more difficult for corporations to justify contributing beyond the minimum level.

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