I am extremely interested in the field of Network Engineering, although I do not have the experience of others to be able to answer questions.

Therefore, to try and help out this new community as much as I can, I have been editing posts to try and up-the-bar of posts as much as possible.

However, whilst some of them have been received in good faith, I've just had a batch of them rejected, by the same OP;

  1. https://networkengineering.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/419
  2. https://networkengineering.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/421
  3. https://networkengineering.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/418

All of these were rejected as "too minor", yet in each edit I fixed multiple (all) issues in the post, and (IMO) made the post better.

Should I continue making such edits, or how should I assist this beta community as best as I can?

  • Minor point: In this case it was the OP who rejected them. But I think that was only because he happened to be the first member who saw them in the 'review' area. I don't think OPs have any special approve/reject powers on their own questions. (RCartaino may chime in with an answer if he sees this.) – Craig Constantine May 23 '13 at 14:09
  • ...and I just approved one of your edits. (I think it needs a second person so also review and approve. Just putting my clicks where my mouth is. :) – Craig Constantine May 23 '13 at 14:49
  • @CraigConstantine: Hehe, thanks. I think normally an edit needs 2 approval or rejections to determine its outcome; however an OP has a binding vote, and can therefore decide without the interaction of others (which is what happened in the scenario mentioned in the question, I think). – Matt May 23 '13 at 14:54
  • 1
    @Matt the rejections aren't personal, it's in my opninion a matter of personal taste. I don't like my questions to be in too long sentences and didn't see a reason to change them. No offense towards you mate :) I just think, I can decide about my own formulation. Anyways :) I do appreciate the intention ;) – Bulki May 23 '13 at 19:43
  • @Bulki: Thanks for posting something :)... No offence taken :). – Matt May 23 '13 at 20:31

Those particular edits don't seem to be too minor for my tastes, but where you draw that line is somewhat subjective. If someone is going through the trouble of suggesting improvements, I'm typically watching more for issue of vandalism and inadvisable commentary than taking a stand against "that's not helpful enough."

But here's the basic guidance I've compiled for where folks should be directing their efforts:

The "avoid trivial edits" guidance is designed to keep otherwise well-meaning user from annoying everyone with endless, overly-pedantic changes that bump every post with trivial "activity." It's a bit user-hostile to have someone micro-editing every post; so we ask that most punctuation and semantic changes be accompanied by substantive changes that actually improve the post.

Having said that, some content is more visible (an thus more important) than others, and needs to be kept in optimal condition. So in order of importance:

#1, Titles should be top notch. Period. There is no excuse for sloppy or vague titles with punctuation or spelling errors. The titles on your front page say a lot about your community, and when experts are drawn to your site, those titles set the authority and tone of your site. It defines who you are. Keep titles pristine, clear, and easily understood.

Edit titles anytime they can be improved or clarified.

Question introductions need extra attention, too. A close second to titles, the opening lines of every question should clearly summarize what the question is about. Don't ramble; Get to the point. Editors: keep them error free.

It's those first few lines that appear below the title on the 'questions' page. Remember that the lifeblood of this site is search; and its the question openings which will drive Google searchers (potential users) to click through to your site… or not. Keep openings clear and error free. Edit away!

Question bodies should be relevant, but concise. This is where editing out unnecessary salutations, ranting, and off topic minutiae is helpful. Edits to improve formatting are often helpful; not all users are familiar with our markup.

Widely-appealing top answers should also be pristine. The top answers in highly-upvoted post get a lot of eyeballs. Make sure everything "above the fold" (i.e. the top-voted answers) get top attention, too. These posts get Tweeted out and reused (with attribution linked back here), and they may even get syndicated by some of our partners. So let's be sure to give that content a lot of love, too.

So what kind of routine edits are appropriate?

Certainly any overly distracting or egregious grammatical errors — especially those that make the post difficult to understand — should be fixed. Always try to edit any comments that help the post back into the body of the text (i.e. don't leave useful information in comments). Beyond that, we like any edits that clearly improve the post. We just don't want to create an overly user-hostile environment where the punctuation-and-grammar police are always ready to pounce and call you out on every little faux pas.


I happen to disagree with those three specific rejections; I would have accepted them. HOWEVER, I'm nobody special. I'm not criticizing the member who rejected them. Just saying:

Keep contributing. It's a democratic community and it will take us all a little time to get the feel of things.

You must log in to answer this question.

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