I am not happy that this question was closed by three votes. Can we change the limit here to be more representative of the numbers that can now vote to close topics? It is reasonable that it should have been marked to point to the Wiki but closing says a topic is off topic on site are we really saying that.

Also I am not happy that my answer on the Terms Wiki and been deleted and other have not, why? All the answer make up the thread to make the correct answer in the Wiki and they have equal weight. Just because one is more blessed than another does not mean that old ones have to be deleted by the management. There was a question about the perception of this site to newbies. This is the kind of high handled attitude that make people put there hand up and vote with their feet. I did for 2 months.

As an example, if I had been asked, then I would have probably removed my answer myself to the Term Wiki, if that is the policy then it should be put at the top of the Term Wiki and people should be asked before they are just removed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Then rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/5208/what-does-aedu-mean should also be closed and merged, I guess. \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Feb 17 '11 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adriano - Perhaps retroactively, yes. The AEDU question actually pre-dates the Glossary, which is probably why it's gone untouched thus far. However, the AEDU one would be more appropriate for the D&D Glossary than the more general one. Even then, I'm not sure it's an exact fit since it's 4e-specific as far as I know. \$\endgroup\$ – Iszi Feb 17 '11 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I voted to close because I thought it was too localised. For me, asking to expand an abbreviation isn't a good quality question. That said, I'm open to persuasion. If you think it was closed wrongly, the most effective thing is to get it reopened. It's happened before. \$\endgroup\$ – Graham Feb 22 '11 at 0:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ More widely, don't be too offended. It's annoying when a question gets downvoted or closevoted, but it's not personal: it's part of the site process. \$\endgroup\$ – Graham Feb 22 '11 at 0:53

I'm displeased that the question was close too, but for different reasons.

To be honest, I don't much care for Community Wikis. I've tried caring about them (heck, I've been a mod at Wikipedia, so you'd think I'd care about wiki-things), but I just fundamentally can't bring myself to care about CWs. If something is switched to CW, regardless of how much I try to care about the question, observations of my actual behaviour indicate that a question switched to CW is dead to me. Evidence indicates that my approach to this site is effectively to ignore that CW even exists as a feature.

So, I'm displeased that anything is getting closed because it "belongs" in a CW ghetto. The glossary is a particularly unappetising example of a CW because it's been done better in multiple elsewheres. RPGGeek has a project to build an RPG glossary that, even dormant for the past nine months, puts our CW glossary of terms to shame. To move something to the CW and then close the original question using "duplicate" as the reason seems like a run-around of what the system is supposed to do.

It's just not a thing that SE is any good at. It's something that exists and gets added to despite the fact that SE demotivates participation in wikis.

However, despite my deep dislike for CWs and the glossary in particular, it may be true that the best thing for the site overall would be to discourage trivial terminology questions. If that is truly the case, then I would say without reservation that eliminating trivial definition questions would be the correct course.[1]

  1. Five years on, I don't think that it's the best thing for the site to discourage trivial terminology questions. They're not our most brilliant questions, but they get worklike answers that help real people with real problems. They've earned their place (and their tag not through theory, but just by being pretty OK in practice.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Eh. This bumps up the IMO potentially misguided "put it on the SE instead of just linking to a place that already defines it fine." Given that we don't want to just respond to all comers with a link to an external glossary like that one (though we may want to add it to our glossary, come to think of it) then it's the best option to not clutter q's (and give undeserved rep) for trivial "what is X?" questions. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 18 '11 at 0:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk I don't know that closing and linking to our own glossary is any better than linking to an off-site glossary. The clutter and rep issues are valid points... But personally I'd wait to see if it becomes a problem. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 18 '11 at 2:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Ah, my objection is two-fold. First, that I think the glossary is low-quality (and SE's system doesn't incentivise CW quality). Second, and more importantly, I'm going to start resenting the thing if it's interfering with Qs that wouldn't be closed if it didn't exist. So a) it's crap and b) it's make the rest of the site crappier. (a) by itself is fine, and (b) would be fine if it wasn't crappy, but getting a crappier site without any added benefit? That's super-crap. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 '11 at 3:56
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Besides, not all terminology Qs are trivial. For example, my "ashcan" Q could be closed with the same reasoning, and defending it and articulating why it shouldn't be would be difficult. Further, even trivial Qs can be redeemed by excellent answers. Who knows what sort of depth of answer the system could have garnered if "What does RAW mean?" had been left for a day longer? A month? A year? Maybe someone has an excellent answer in them about the meaning, origin, and cultural context of the term. Why shortcut the system as designed? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 '11 at 4:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, we could have got a better definition. It should have wait until I had blessed an answer. I have now, only as it is closed and I would get no further answers. I have a policy of always blessing an answer after leaving it a while. I try to closes all my questions hence my 100%. If I get no answers, or an answer that IMO is not correct, I answer it myself and bless it. But try to give a reason. I try to never tell people there answer are off topic, I only down vote answer that are spam, offensive or rubbish. Even answers that seam not relevant to me, help others. \$\endgroup\$ – David Allan Finch Feb 18 '11 at 9:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, my turns of language from five years ago… goodness. SSD, watch your mouth! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 26 '16 at 7:03

Here's something that I haven't seen mentioned in other answers: Closing a question DOES NOT mean that it is off topic. By definition, if a question is closed as exact duplicate, it is very much on-topic.

This isn't even unusual behavior unique to StackExchange... RTFFAQ, calls to use the search function, and the like are pretty common on other help-related boards.

That said, I'm a little torn on the "What does X mean?" questions. On the one hand, they're pretty trivial. The most trivial questions we can possibly get. On the other hand, keeping them around has some SEO implications (Dr. Strangedupe), and we aren't exactly overrun with them (also: I've defended other trivial questions in the past, and my reason for defending them still applies here).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Closing it does say that there is no further answer to this question. We have decided we no longer what this topic to be further talked about. From my PoV something that you can't talk about any more is the same as off topic. It is a topic that can be discussed any more. \$\endgroup\$ – David Allan Finch Feb 18 '11 at 9:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @David - I'll repeat what @AceCalhoon said, and this especially applies in the case of the RAW question: Closing a question does not necessarily mean it is off-topic. The RAW question was closed as a duplicate. That does not mean, as you say, that "we no longer want the topic to be further talked about". Contrarily, in this case it means that the topic is already being discussed and should be discussed, but any further discussion should be carried on in the pre-existing thread. \$\endgroup\$ – Iszi Feb 18 '11 at 13:26

I wait for the community to close when it's a judgment call. We have decided to put definitions into the one big wiki, however, (http://rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/746/community-wiki-of-abbreviations) so closing the other question wasn't a judgment call, two other votes are more than enough to tell any of the diamond mods they're doing the right thing.

And you need to have less ownership of your answers in a community wiki. I see Brian is actually going in there and rolling up all the answers into one big one, and that's fine. Wiki means "anyone edit" and I edited that wiki to make it better back on Jan 8. It does not mean your answer doesn't have worth or whatever, but there was a duplicate and I merged them. That is the right thing to do in the SE philosophy. There is no "ownership" especially in a CW. It has nothing to do with me being a mod, I would expect anyone with enough rep to edit would do the same thing (and they are).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a note: Even in CW, only diamond mods can delete Answer posts - all anyone else can do is edit. \$\endgroup\$ – Iszi Feb 17 '11 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then I'll be happy to clean up after Brian. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 17 '11 at 14:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Deleting the extra answers is actually kind of unusual behavior for the site. I'm all in favor of it (especially now that we have a merged answer)... But we should probably have something in the question body about it. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 17 '11 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon - If this is going to be an established norm for CWs of this site, perhaps it's something that needs to be stated in the FAQ or somewhere else. I don't see a statement in the question body as having real relevance - the question body should be about the question itself, IMHO. \$\endgroup\$ – Iszi Feb 17 '11 at 17:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Iszi I'm not sure where else you'd put unusual, question-specific rules other than the question body. Not every CW requires a single categorized answer (in fact, for a few of them, that's actively harmful). The question body also has the advantage of (theoretically) having been read recently by most answerers. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 17 '11 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon - I would be very much against Deleting questions that originate, original input to a CW. It would be reasonable to Delete duplicate questions, after first pointing them to the original question. But if a new question creates useful content and is added to a terms definition then it should be retained. What is the point in creating the perfect answer to a question, then for it to be cut and pasted into a CW and your answer Deleted and you lose all the Rep? \$\endgroup\$ – David Allan Finch Feb 18 '11 at 9:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ One of the points here is that there doesn't need to be rep whoring for defining common terms, in terms of additional questions. In terms of contributing answers to the glossary CW, no answers to a CW get rep, so that's not a concern. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 18 '11 at 13:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @David - I don't think anyone's mentioned deleting questions. Even a closed question can continue to earn rep. But, if the new question duplicates an existing one, then all answers should appropriately be directed to the pre-existing thread. \$\endgroup\$ – Iszi Feb 18 '11 at 13:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Iszi I believe David meant "answers" from context. One of his answers to the glossary CW was deleted. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 18 '11 at 14:14

Per the "cast close and reopen votes" FAQ:

It takes 5 close votes to reach the closing threshold

The RAW thread was not closed by voting threshold alone. Please direct your attention to the blue diamond next to mxyzplk in the "closed by" text. That diamond means that he is a site moderator (we call them "diamond mods", to distinguish them from super-high-rep users who are effectively psuedo-moderators). Once a diamond mod casts a vote, the action is done regardless of whatever threshold that action normally requires.

Additionally, diamond mods are the only ones who can delete entries at-will. These individuals represent either the founders of the site, or other users who have been specifically selected by the community because they hold a high level of respect and trust within the community.

Generally, when your own post has been deleted or you have high enough rep, you can see the deleted post highlighted in red. I can see yours now, with a note from @mxyzplk:

Deleting as redundant with the PC/Player/GM post above; I pasted relevant bits from here into that one

The content you have generated was not lost. It was simply incorporated into the larger answer to the question, as that is meant to be the final authoritative list. This was discussed in another question here on Meta.

On a similar point, participation in a Community Wiki thread - or marking a specific post as Community Wiki - grants implicit permission for practically anyone (only 100 rep required) to edit your content. In cases where the item is edited, you are still free to rollback changes but that change in itself may even be rolled back or further revised - these become referred to as "edit wars" and are frowned upon. In any case, this is a common issue in the SE environment and should come as no surprise.

Lastly, it is perhaps worth noting (in case this was one of your concerns) that Community Wiki posts earn no reputation - so, there was also no reputation lost in deletion of your answer in that thread.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I am not worried about the rep. The Term Wiki does not say answers will be removed. Answer just as old as mine have been integrated and have not been removed. \$\endgroup\$ – David Allan Finch Feb 17 '11 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidAllanFinch I have undeleted your post in the CW on the grounds that I don't care and am sick of the bellyaching. Luckily Brian's good work there will cause the individual unvetted answers to sink to the bottom, where they will cause clutter but apparently still amuse their authors. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 18 '11 at 13:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .