So this question seems to be having all it's answers merged into one gian community wiki:

How can I neatly eat messy food without "common" utensils?

As outlined Death to Community wiki, CW should used very rarely, and only with an answer is truly collaborative. This isn't the case here. It's just a question with a very broad scope which is also getting a lot of answers. Any concerns with the number of answers is a problem of the question and not the answers.

One of the major problems with community wiki, which applies here, is that it removes the ability to vote on or verify individual answers.

If answers are posted individually then the best answers rise to the top, allowing users to quickly and easily find what the community believes is the best answer to the question. With CW this just isn't possible, and instead a user needs to read through a CW consisting of unrelated answers and decide for themselves which answer is best.

Individual answers also allow the community to weed out incorrect answers, or point out a major flaws in an answer. This isn't possible with CW. If I edit in an incorrect solution to a giant CW answer the community has no way to quickly and clearly communicate this to users. I'm sure the first thing some users will think of is "Just edit it out if it's wrong", but how do we decide when a specific answer is wrong? You can't just vote on it, like you could with individual questions. Do we just edit war back and worth until people give up? Have a huge argument in the comments about it (a comment section which could very well already be flooded with discussions about other sub answers? Make a meta? all of these are terrible solutions to a problem which shouldn't even exist, because the answer shouldn't be CW in the first place (it's worth noting this same problem occurs if a user edits in a new correct sub-answer, and another user decide it's wrong).

Finally, having one giant answer is a really bad new user experience. If a new user comes along with a new solution to the problem we should be encouraging them to post more answers, not tell them to delete their answer as was done here. This is the exact opposite of the new user experience we want to create.

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    @Tim For starters, we should stop deleteing answers and editing them into a giant CW. Second, any answers which have already been deleted should be undeleted and edited out of the giant CW. We should also avoid doing this in the future, for the reasons listed in my answer.
    – Wipqozn
    Dec 20, 2015 at 1:17
  • @Tim none were yours. You said so. You just "duped" them.
    – ave
    Dec 20, 2015 at 1:29
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    @Tim This discussion about what we do with the CW if we shouldn't be using it is really irrelevant the question of "Should this be done?". If the community decides "yeah, this shouldn't be a CW" but can't decide on what to do with the CW then we just leave it alone and stop editing things into it going forward. We shouldn't just continue with the CW because we can't decide how to deal with the bad situation we've created.
    – Wipqozn
    Dec 20, 2015 at 1:36
  • @Tim It should be a normal question, where users post individual answers.
    – Wipqozn
    Dec 20, 2015 at 1:39
  • 1
  • 1
    @tim for the third time now, just because we can't fix the existing CW, doesn't mean we should be discouraging additional further answers and trying to make the bad situation worse. Dec 20, 2015 at 2:16
  • @tim It's probably not ideal, but it might be the least bad option, sure. I don't know if there are deleted answers that could be undeleted that would make that unnecessary or not, being new here and not having the reputation to see such things. Dec 20, 2015 at 2:20
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    @Tim answers can be migrated between questions by a moderator of necessary and warranted. Dec 20, 2015 at 2:22
  • @Tim what makes you think that? Dec 20, 2015 at 2:28
  • The reason this Canonical Q&A was created: meta.lifehacks.stackexchange.com/questions/1165/…
    – Tim
    Dec 20, 2015 at 2:50

1 Answer 1


I saw this comment on one of the answers.

This is now included in the main CW answer - please can you delete it to keep all answers together as this is a Canonical question which is meant to have just one answer. – Tim 3 hours ago

Yikes, that is not how Stack Exchange is supposed to work. Each answer is supposed to stand on its own and each solution is vetted and ranked by the vote.

A "canonical post" is designed to take an issue that is asked about on a site over and over and finally answer it in one awesome, comprehensive post. But going into a thread and piling 10 unrelated answers into one giant post doesn't make sense… and asking users to remove their answer (and the reputation that goes with it) and piling them into that one post renders all the vetting and community-building features of Stack Exchange meaningless.

What does the voting on that giant post mean? How are the individual answers vetted? If any of them are wrong (or simply not preferable), why should it be added to a post up-voted long ago?

Please do not continue in this activity. Reverse what you can. If the author would like to remove the Community Wiki, 'flag' it for Moderator attention.

And you should generally discourage posting multiple solutions in a single answer anyway (unless they are simple variations of the same solution).

AND ONE SOLUTION PER ANSWER! We cannot properly vet an answer that contain a list of solutions. There are times that a comprehensive answer might cover more than one variation, but if you see a post that is just a brain-dump of unrelated answers, please comment and get it edited down to one answer per post. Answers should be comprehensive, but one solution per post please!

- Lifehacks Manifesto


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