User:Basement12/essay

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As Baz Luhrmann once said "my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience" so please don't edit it, make any comments you have on the talk page

So here are a few things that bug me about Wikipedia and its contributors. These thoughts are in alphabetical order by the arbitrary titles I’ve given them; as such similar topics aren’t necessarily grouped together. I may seem to contradict myself in places but that's fine, there are subtle differences between any two cases in the mad house that is Wikipedia, so my view will change with the circumstances.

  • Correcting trivial formatting – yes, that should be an en dash, but making 10000 edits correcting them probably isn’t the best use of your editing time.
  • Deleting borderline articles – it might be borderline now but in a few years we’ll have run out of new articles to make on current notability guidelines. Eventually, if things run their course, everyone who can prove their existence using any reliable 3rd party source will get an article. That doesn’t mean however that you should argue Keep when there is a clear, recent, precedent.
  • Desire for over referencing – if it isn’t contentious or clearly wrong the chances are its true. Either accept it or look for sources yourself, don’t just wipe it out because you don’t think its true and someone hasn’t produced a tome of evidence to convince you.
  • Nationalism/fanboyism – yes your country/ favourite celeb is great, it/he/she/its citizens have never done any wrong. Ever. The enemies of your country/idol have always done lots wrong. They are truly evil and should be outed as such. Now go away and read these nice sources the other editors have found for you whilst Wikipedia tells the truth.
  • Placing a large value on recent changes or new pages patrol – if every one who spends their time on these patrols instead spent it contributing constructively a lot more would get done. Vandalism is soon reverted by the next reader who comes along or someone who keeps the page on their watchlist. If you actual enjoy reverting edits and giving warnings you should probably get yourself a hobby. Yes vandals are bad but if you write that one article that helps them get an A they won’t add “Hi everybody!! Haha I'm typing on Wikipedia and everyone's gonna see it!!” [1] to an article ever again.
  • Quoting guidelines/policies – If I didn’t know the guidelines fairly well I probably wouldn’t have joined in the discussion, save it for the newbies
  • Tagging – the way I see it tagging an article as orphaned or unsourced should be an attempt to draw the attention of an expert on the subject in order to improve it. Don’t do it because you think information is outright incorrect or doesn’t belong, if that’s the case check for conformation yourself.
  • Users who know they are right....yes, for now – just because your opinion agrees with policy it doesn’t mean the policy is correct. These things are fluid and aren’t always applicable in every case. WP:IAR exists for a reason. Don’t think someone is ignorant of policy just because they disagree with it.
  • Users with no specific knowledge – if you don’t have some experience/knowledge in the area but have stumbled across a discussion sticking your oar in just because you think you read it somewhere or because WP:WHATEVER says….. isn’t likely to help a consensus be reached. This goes for deletion debates as well. Where possible try to avoid “per nom” or “per User:Example” and add something new for consideration. It’s not a vote after all.
  • Vandals – what is the point. If you just want to see how long your stupid statement stays in an article just look in the edit history for the last time some 12 year old with unlimited broadband who hadn't yet discovered pr0n thought they were funny.


To summarise my beliefs;

  • Opinion and consensus here and now on the exact subject is far more relevant than a general policy that’s outdated.
  • Search for sources. Adding a reference to something you thought might be incorrect is often quick and easy, chances are someone else will come along and wonder if it’s right, so confirm it for them.
  • Sometimes people know what they are talking about, hey they may even be an “expert”. Don’t argue for the sake of it but if you genuinely think they may be mistaken explain why.
  • If you have strong feelings for or against the subject of an article you probably not best qualified to write a NPOV article. So don’t try.
  • Ignore all rules, but only with good reason. If the rule needs consistently ignoring it probably shouldn’t be a rule.
  • Overall just don't be a dick.

written by Basement12 (T.C) 12:46, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

The Good[edit]

A list that probably goes against a number of policies but if you've stumbled across this page then the following are users whose opinions and judgement I trust and respect based on both my own interactions with them and what I've observed around and about (in alphabetical order and by no means a complete list)

  • User:Andrwsc - an experienced admin who has a great recollection of previous discussions and always provides examples and explains their reasoning when making a judgement
  • User:Belle - good reviews, good humour and good ideas
  • User:Casliber - a prolific contibutor of content, a former and now (as of June 2011) current member of Arbcom who doesn't look down upon others and is always able to accept and correct their errors
  • User:H1nkles - a fine contributor who works hard to bring articles to top-notch quality, both in their own edits and reviews, and shows a great capacity for diplomacy when required
  • User:Hawkeye7 - always good when you can disagree with someone on certain issues but have a respect for them and what they do
  • User:The Rambling Man - seems to be everywhere I go, DYK, co-ordinator of WP:FLC, yet to see an unhelpful contribution
  • User:Tony1 - a user than initialy grated on me for being a stickler to seeming trivial tasks but one who has the best interests of the project at heart and is always willing to offer a considered and progressive opinion
  • User:YellowMonkey - long gone

The Bad[edit]

Listing names probably wouldn't go down too well... Let's say that those that would appear range from borderline vandals to those that it is simply impossible to work with

The Ugly[edit]

Turns out that vandalism can sometimes be hilarious. Serious editors can also be capable of having a bit of fun as well