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I very frequently go back to my own old answers and re-edit them, but they are mostly only minor edits:

  • Fix typos
  • Improve formatting
  • Change wording if it's misleading
  • Make them more up to date

Often I'll do this many, many times if an answer is popular and has existed for quite some time.

However, I have learned that if you do this enough times you lose the ownership of the answer and it becomes community wiki. The theory behind this is that people edit answers to bump them to the top of the questions list again and these people need to be penalized.

Here's an idea - instead of penalizing people for improving their answers too many times, why not allow them to improve their answer without it bumping the question, and therefore without counting towards the too-many-edits penalty?

A checkbox like "this is a minor edit" with some hover text explaining that it won't bump the question to the top might do the trick. I understand that previous requests to simply remove the bumping altogether have been turned down.

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    I like that editing (i.e. adding extra info, etc.) my questions bumps them, but I do agree it'd be nice to be able to make tiny changes to my older questions without flooding the front page with them. – DaimyoKirby Feb 7 '13 at 21:54
  • I think maybe this should be asked on MSO as this isn't something the AU folks can change. Good idea though. – Seth Feb 8 '13 at 4:43
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    Good idea. Sadly, I went to post my question there and found that it has already been asked, and was totally shot down :(. It looks like a 50/50 split between "but then edits won't be held accountable" and "Jeff Attwood has said he doesn't want it". I'm not holding out much hope. – thomasrutter Feb 8 '13 at 5:06
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Here's an idea - instead of penalizing people for improving their answers too many times, why not allow them to improve their answer without it bumping the question, and therefore without counting towards the too-many-edits penalty?

Since this is unlikely to be implemented here's a counterargument on why I like this feature: It forces every change to have a decent chance of being reviewed by the community when it gets bumped.

This could mean:

  • Wow, how did I miss all this great content to vote on, or
  • Whoa how did some of this get through review, or
  • Hey I can fix some of these.

In my experience when I go through my answers and update them and they get bumped they are seen by a bunch of new people and I end up earning reputation. I'm willing to guess that at the end of the day the incoming votes from updating my questions is worth a hit on the CW armageddon counter.

One thing I have noticed over time is when possible I try to write my answers in a more future proof manner, so I don't get stuck in an answer upgrade treadmill, this is hard to do though and not every answer can be done that way.

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