Should we have a "What are the best books for X martial art" questions as community wiki or should we have them as real questions (asking for a list, thus not a real question IMNSHO), or should we just close them with extreme prejudice?

I vote for community wiki...

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Why the down vote? –  Sardathrion Feb 6 '12 at 8:44
    
I up-voted this as it's an interesting question. –  Simon Peter Chappell Feb 6 '12 at 16:09

3 Answers 3

It should be noted that community wikis should be the exception, rather than the rule: It's really intended for more collaborative answers, not for questions.

If we say "What are the classical/canonical books for martial art X" are on topic (open for debate, but let's go with it for a moment) then it should be possible to provide great answers for that question. If someone makes a post that's a seed of an answer but feels that it isn't a good or complete list, then I feel that a community wiki might be appropriate for their answer. But probably not for the question itself.

Basically, I feel that if the situation comes up and suits itself to a community wiki then we can handle it accordingly. We shouldn't be looking for scenarios to create community wikis for.

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In addition to what David replied, the question needs to be changed: instead of What are the best books for... it should be What are considered the canonical or foundation texts for...

The modified wording I suggested is intended to accumulate the existing knowledge, rather than just people's opinions. But even that wording will not sit well with a lot of people.

These questions have been tried before on StackOverflow, and currently there is a mass cleanup going on because the community has decided that they are no longer on topic and are not a good fit for the "question with a definitive answer" style.

I think we can make it work though. Admittedly the question What is the best [whatever]... makes a very low quality question, but the answer it produces can be quite valuable.

For this to work, I envisage it would have to be one answer per question, so naturally the answer should be CW (it will end up that way after a number of edits anyway). I think the question should be CW as well, mainly to stop people trying to game some easy rep with not-so-hard-or-good-quality questions. Ultimately this question should be a wiki entry, but if this is executed as a question/answer I think it will get a reasonable amount of attention and response, probably way more than one or two people beavering away quietly on a wiki entry that may take most people a long time to find.

In the future these particular types of questions will get asked - several times over - whether we like it or not. If we start a couple now, make them CW, lock them once the site is out of beta to prevent newbies and l4m3rs leaving trash answers (i.e. you need a minimum amount of rep to be able to contribute to the answer), then see how it goes. If it doesn't go well then we can tidy up later. Doing this now while the site is in a nicely controlled beta could be our best chance to make this work.

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I vote that questions about martial arts books be considered on-topic. But I suspect you knew that. :-)

If they aren't on-topic and @David H. Clements is right that Community Wikis are supposed to be few and far between, then what avenue does that give us more bookish types to discuss and recommend books?

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