I recently posted this question and answer, where I wikied the answer. If you follow the comments under the answer, I was asked why I wikied my answer. I felt it better to continue this discussion in meta rather than in the comment thread.

I felt it better to wiki the answer so as to allow other people to add knowledge about this specific topic rather than allowing a chain of answers where information can get lost in the stream. Having been challenged on this, and this being my first time across SE of wikiing an answer, I feel it best to seek the community views on how a Q&A like this should be dealt with.

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3 Answers 3

There's no clear guidance when an answer is supposed to be wikified, and there's no requirement to do so. For long, detailed answers, such as the one you provided, which are more of a list/to-do/tips-and-tricks variety, it might make sense to have them as community wiki.

Some sort of guideline that you can use: if you don't mind other people contributing to your post, make it a wiki. Preferably, such posts would be written more informally without referring to yourself in first person, otherwise it would feel weird -- like putting words in your mouth, so to say. When describing purely personal experience, it's best to leave as it is. Posts edited more than a few times (I think five) by two or more users are automatically converted to wikis, and AFAIK there's no easy way to de-wikify them. It's a one-way street, so think carefully whether the answer should really be a wiki.

One last thing -- wiki answers don't give you reputation. While this might not matter to you much, some extra rep could grant you new privileges on the site, which would allow you to contribute in other ways to it (tag wikis can always use some love, for example), so be a little selfish and keep some of the answers with your name on them. Extremely good and popular answers can also be point of pride to some as well, even if they don't care about the rep game.

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My intention with pointing this out is because Community Wiki is mostly a 'legacy' feature on StackExchange websites. While the intention of using community wikis is generally good, it is advised to be a used sparingly because going by your rationale, most answers should be wikis which others can add to. StackExchange is a Q&A site rather than a wiki! The reason why we don't usually keep answers as wikis is so that competing answers can be voted upon by the users.

One of the situations when it's considered okay to make an answer as community wiki is if you consider an answer to be incomplete. For more details on this, read 'The Future of Community Wiki' on the StackExchange blog.

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I think we shouldn't use this feature manually. There are a lot of automatically made checks for the post became a wiki. If people will decide to edit your post to add information there - ok, then it became a wiki soon.

I've done such a thing before, with this question - I've added post to collect whole data in one answer. But people didn't use it, and post was deleted. So such feature isn't very popular here.

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