I know that questions can be flagged as community wikis if there isn't necessarily a solid answer for them.

Is it generally frowned upon to ask a question which I know should be a community wiki?

I would like to ask a question to get peoples' opinions and the question doesn't have a particular answer.

It is GIS-related but not about a particular software application.

However, I believe the answers could benefit the GIS community.

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    whats the question?
    – jakc
    Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 12:45
  • 1
    Please See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11740/…
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 14:38
  • Right now there's no mention of cw or wiki in the FAQ. Maybe we could add something there about cw, as well as a link that searches for cw questions? Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 19:24
  • I just came across this question, and I am not sure if, 3 years later, this is a view that you still hold. I'm going to add a link into your question that leads to an FAQ on Community Wiki posts. I would be keen to see a specific example of the type of question you are thinking of.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 0:36

2 Answers 2


How Community Wiki is used across Stack Exchange sites has changed considerably since its inception and since this question was asked in 2012.

It is now described at What are "Community Wiki" posts?

If you wish "to ask a question to get peoples' opinions and the question doesn't have a particular answer" then I think the solution is not to make it Community Wiki but to ask about it in the GIS Chat Room instead.

If that chat and those opinions helps you to formulate a focused question then by all means ask that on Main.


[Disclosure: My initial, unflattering, and perhaps embarassing "contribution" to this thread remains for posterity in the revision history. In order not to be a censor, I needed note that.]

Many of those popular/famous questions seem to have started life as regular questions, then they become community wiki (cw) either procedurally from comments and moderation, or programatically once a large number of answers are contributed over time. While cw questions cease to gain points once they're categorized, they continue to rack-up badges, so it seems they are not officially discouraged.

But you ask this question that starts, "Is it generally frowned upon to.."

..and it suggests a sentiment I've detected, myself, like when I see a comment like this floating below a question, sometimes an interesting question..

enter image description here

For some reason that upsets me. And the "3" to the left of it feels like a ganging-up.

The worse part of it is, there is something contagious about that behavior, and I've found myself getting the urge to jump on those cw questions, too. Could it be to get those comment up-votes? I sure hope not. Is that comment really "adding something useful to the post"?? (..bothering me even more is the fact that I even care. What gives! Where does this rule-crazy sentiment come from?)

So there is a situation here I can't resolve. Basically I can't feel good about either asking open questions, feeling the guilt and the stigma, or hustling at the chance to get comment votes for my keen ability to segregate the real questions from those.. other questions.

Nevertheless, on the final analysis there are some pretty great cw questions, and I'm glad they were asked. Otherwise, I would never have known about Clickie, among many other odd bits. They definitely contribute something useful, and they shouldn't be frowned upon, but I'm at a loss to explain the mysterious stigma surrounding the cw threads. Whatever you picked up on, I've definitely picked up on it, as well. :/

  • 1
    This is a very negative way of describing interactions on gis.se It's certainly not true for me, and I hope it's not the case for many people.
    – djq
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 14:40
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    @djq, for the sake of fostering a better peace, I hugely-modified this answer to be more palatable. I apologize for the sarcasm and hyperbole I applied the first time around. I think the OP tapped into a very interesting phenomenon, one that bugs me sometimes, and I really got carried away. :=
    – elrobis
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 23:33
  • +1 I was unaware which pieces were sarcastic on first reading (sometimes that is lost in text, unfortunately) and I've always had a rose-tinted view of the interactions here, compared to The Rest of The Internet. On the FAQ of reddit I read a nice description of the karma system: "don't set out to accumulate karma; just set out to be a good person, and let your karma simply be a reminder of your legacy" which is how I've feel about my interactions with this site.
    – djq
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 16:00
  • Well, I was going for a Modest Proposal kind of vibe, but later I felt bad, decided I buried any real point I may have had, and ultimately concluded it was in bad taste. Thanks for the reality check.
    – elrobis
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 16:44
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    @elrobis, thanks for your opinion on the matter. I think I'll go ahead and post the question anyway and see what happens. As far as Clickie goes, I recently noticed that in Windows 7, holding down Shift while right clicking adds the same functionality without having to install anything.
    – Fezter Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 3:27
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    Also, it's not enough that a question is interesting. It must also follow the StackExchange format. As for cw being frowned upon, I think it has something to do with the SE management's official stance toward it. blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/08/the-future-of-community-wiki
    – R.K.
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 5:47

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