The question what are good reads about writing? would, if asked today, almost certainly be closed.

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Should we close this question and give it a historical lock?

1 Answer 1


The question seems to have been discussed before (8 years ago): Community Wiki, The One Item per Answer Thing, and Lists of X

I think this question should be locked as it's not a good example of what is on-topic now and leaving it like that on the frontpage might make new users think such questions are on-topic. All the answers are community wikis, which don't generate reputation, but apparently there have been some throughout the years such as here or here or here that didn't get the memo about making it a community wiki. This whole list irks me a bit as the community wiki rule to disincentivize reputation farmers might have been a good idea, but is not consistently applied and it feels like the community wiki tool is a bit misused here - community wikis should make it more easy to edit a post, but here everyone just posted their own stuff.

After Monica mentioned in the comments that the community wiki answers could have been an automatic conversion I started to look around a bit. According to Stop using community wiki as a reputation denial mechanism my intuition for the reason that these posts are community wikis was quite close, but as Monica pointed out the conversion happened automatically by the system. Once upon a time it seems that 30 answers would have triggered an automatic conversion of all answers. This mechanism was, together with all other automatic conversion (10 edits by the OP; 5 different users edited), abolished in 2014. It's interesting that the answers I mentioned were from 2013 and didn't get converted automatically, but anyway - for those wondering why they can't find any discussions about turning all answers into community wikis: it was an automatic conversion.

This is also visible when you are looking at how the revision history looks like. Here is a new answers that explicitly states that the OP made his post a community wiki, whereas this answer doesn't indicate anything like that.

This whole post is a testament for old rules of how the system automatically tried to punish people when there are too many answers for a normal question, showing that the amount of answers was not considered good years ago - and certainly is not considered good now. As can be seen by my own confusion newer users will probably not recognise that this was an automatic feature and what the reason for activating this feature was - we should lock the post.

It's not a clear, objective question as they ideally should be posted on the main site, which means it shouldn't be on the main site as we don't want more like that from new users.

I like the following quote from The Future of Community Wiki (which I found in the this answer to the first question I linked above):

Community wiki is for that rare gem of a post that needs true community collaboration. That’s when community wiki shines.

If it was one big list of useful resources that is curated by the members of the site on Meta I would say that it would be on-topic, just like the What makes a good answer?, but on main it should be locked.

  • Once upon a time a question that got a certain number of answers (I think 15?) was automatically converted to community wiki. That's no longer true. So for older questions, CW might not have been a thoughtful, intentional move but something the software just did -- meaning that inconsistencies aren't necessarily due to inconsistent humans. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 2:53
  • @MonicaCellio Thanks, I didn't know that. I did some digging around and added a bit to my answer. It seems like 30 answers (or 10 edits by OP or 5 users editing) were triggers for automatic conversion of an answer/all answers. Looks like this is an old (and I think quite confusing) feature that is not used anymore - all the more reason to lock the post in question so that others don't get confused the way I was. This new answer that was made a community wiki shows that this really happens.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 8:28

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