Current Pages of Special Interest
Before we begin, let's get some basic rules set. Follow these with all Wikipedia users, and we'll have a nice and healthy community.
- Treat others with respect. Without exception.
- Always assume good faith. Without exception.
- Count all as equals. Without exception. We're all just volunteers.
And there you have it!
Stances and Affiliations
Hello! / Buenos Días / こんばんは!
Welcome! Especialy if you find yourself here because of a welcoming message, this section is for you! It's informational in a lot of ways (I hope!). My general Wikipedia focus is on the rather non-glamorous underground maintenance of the encyclopedia that is needed to keep things in running order at all times! You know, the stuff that no one really notices that has to happen constantly or Wikipedia would fall into anarchy within hours. Actually, drama at times can demoralize certain types of editors, and distract from adding good contributors of all types. If possible, I would eat said drama for breakfast. Well then. How about a list of stuff going on behind your back, and some core ideas that will get you through your first few weeks?
- The only "rule" of Wikipedia is that there are no actual "rules", with one of its founding principles to ignore all rules. This does not mean you can do whatever you'd like! This is an open-ended way of saying that if someone thinks they can improve the encyclopedia and there might be some unusual barrier in the way, go for it. I'd stray away from such things for quite some time, though.
- Despite a lack of true rules, there are a selection of policies and guidelines that we should try to follow. Any such writing is discussed at length before being added and always involves a lot of community discussion, so never fear of things sticking out at random. On top of these, a lot of editors write Wikipedia Essays to express a strong opinion they or other editors might share. They are lowest on the pecking order of being able to make a substantive argument, though many have become well respected.
- ALWAYS ASSUME GOOD FAITH amongst your fellow editors. I cannot emphasize this enough. Even if something seems rude or overly cruel to you, your first reaction should be that their intention was not to hurt or pain you in any way. This can be very difficult at times, for any and all editors. Stay calm, think over the situation, and hopefully you'll come to understand that walking away from a certain point for some time has a lot more benefits in the long run than trying to confront someone. It's just. Not. Worth it.
- Most all new articles and all edits are watched and inspected by at least one person! Patrols do their very best , and most "large" vandalism is gone within a minute or two. See WP:RCP for some easy actions anyone can take up pretty easily and are honestly a huge help as a whole.
Your edits being removed or deleted?
- Contrary to the view of pop culture toward Wikipedia, in order for an article to be deleted it either has to 1) be terribly flawed in a very specific way, or lengthy discussions are opened and left for some time (for most items, it's 5+ days) take place before such a decision is made. Even then, most every article can be part of a deletion review, and even then, some time in the future requests can be made to restore an article if an editor shows they're on the ball and ready to improve it to avoid the same problem.
- Troubles? There's a rather massive dispute resolution process for article content and certain editor miscondust.All may edit, but controversial topics have a narrow balance a lot of the time and I'd rather no one have to put up with that so quickly! Really, there's a surprising amount that goes on "behind the scenes". I use the term in quotations because on Wikipedia everything is open to public view and there's no secret treehouse that needs a special password to go in and observe or participate in these sorts of things. Just remember to assume good faith and read up on some of the more general policies held like those you hopefully saw in your welcome message, and you'll be fine with practice.
Worries in general? Take your time! That article you want to write can wait another week while you learn how to start it with good quality, and you'll know some of the phrases or common terms people might use. Feel free to edit as much as you'd like, of course! Just start slow and get settled in.
Since I'm generally self-conscious-- or at least entirely lacking creativity-- I can't handle researched new article work, so the maintenance is where I most always am. In total, my contributions seem to average out to 1/3rd edits of whatever types of existing articles, 1/3rd on the type of more janitorial matters, and the final 1/3rd on talk and user talk pages going over what happened in the first two groups. Feel free to look at my total contributions here. No matter your preference, there are countless ways users can help the community here and it would be quite hard to ever say there was "nothing to do". I'll say again how important it can be to take things slow at first. You may well find the lifestyle of a Wiki "gnome" or "elf" to be enjoyable. I generally consider myself a WikiElf.
My (extremely unofficial) WikiPhilosophy
It's simple! I will always assume good faith, even under unusual or suspicious circumstances it's always best for keeping tempers down as much as possible. No one actually wants to argue at risk of being blocked... right? Of course not.
Question!: Why don't I edit or write any new articles?
I do! I so totally do. It's important to never get too attached to a particular article or restrict yourself to just one narrow topic, but I really never want to see where that boundary is. There are some random things I edit. For example, I've added sources and other improvements to Hello Kitty. Yes, a shameful hobby. Is it a fantastic article? No, but it's slow, subtle, and over time the article improves bit by bit. Perfect example of how the project as a whole is meant to be.
I am hesitant about adding any large amount of content to Wikipedia such as new articles. For reasons (literally, and seriously) out of my control, my brain can't really handle or end up with a neutral perspective on topics/articles I know a lot about or are involved in. My best lengths of writing are for matters of opinion or justice/policy, and I can turn even a 5-word explanation into a small article like this into the extreme run-on sentence it's turning into. I enjoy the ideals of logic and common sense that Wikipedia holds over trying to set any strict regulations. Naturally, some debate in those fields gets heated, too, but at all times this has meant a self-imposed truce before saying anything extreme, or at least removing myself from article or article talk edits and speaking directly with other editors.
I'll always talk things through with someone who objects to my tagging of articles or comments for suggestions, so long as they are civil. Pleeeease don't think it's ever personal if I mark your article for deletion or open a discussion for it... I just have to treat any article I run into equally and I'm sorry if it was yours. My talk page is open! There are plenty of alternatives to deletion we can work out, and plenty of ways to fix some common article troubles.