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We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. - Carl Sagan (introduction to A Brief History of Time)

About me[edit]

I'm Richard Wilde, from Auckland, New Zealand.

In early 2012 I finished my MSc in biology at the University of Auckland. My masters project was on the spatial vision of a species of triggerfish. I don't have any immediate plans to do a PhD.

I'm here to help fight in the war on ignorance (including, of course, my own) and to make the internet not suck, or at least to suck somewhat less. I'm interested in many subjects, including but not limited to philosophy and science. I haven't been very active lately; I now mainly make minor edits to articles that I read or come across.

I've also contributed a fair bit at Wikimedia Commons, though not so much of late.

Common mistakes[edit]

There are some frequent mistakes I constantly fix, which I'll list here as I come across or think of them. Hopefully someone reading this will learn from them.

See also sections[edit]

Further information: [[WP:SEEALSO]]

These sections should seldom contain links already in the article, especially those linked in the first sentence. The see also section is a place to link related topics that wouldn't be out of place linked in the text of the article, but which currently are not present. Listing half the article's internal links again is of no help. Also, please keep lists alphabetical. I often leave the same message in brief as a hidden comment simply because this happens so often.

Headings Should Not Be Capitalized[edit]

The above heading should of course read 'Headings should not be capitalized'. The same goes for article names. A common mistake among new users, though I seldom see experienced users fixing it.

Lead sections[edit]

Too often I see articles with a tiny introduction or lead section. An article's lead should be a concise summary of the whole article. There are some articles with overly large leads, but more often they are too short. The length should be proportional to the length of the full article, so while a brief article can get away with only a one paragraph lead, a detailed one should have a lead of 3, 4 or even 5 paragraphs. Unfortunately even some GA or 'A' class articles suffer from this issue.

The tragedy of the Commons[edit]

Please upload to Wikimedia Commons. The number of free images that could be moved there is staggering, and seems to be growing larger by the day. The template {{un:c}} is useful for new users.

Also, please link to Commons whenever possible (use {{commons}} or {{commonscat}}. You don't have to look far to find an article that is screaming out for a link to a useful Commons gallery or category to be added.


Citations come after punctuation,[1] not before.[2] The previous sentence is a good example.

Talk pages[edit]

Talk pages are only for discussion of improving the article. This means that off topic material should be removed from talk pages. If you see off-topic fluff floating around, please, do as I do and remove it.

Reverting vandalism[edit]

There is little point reverting vandalism if you are reverting to a revision that itself contains vandalism. Often I see someone revert one IPs vandalism by merely rolling back to a vandalized version by another IP. And guess what usually happens next? Yup, people assume everything has been fixed and the vandalism stays put. If you see this happening, please find the reverter and explain what has happened. Bots do it too; there's not much we can do about this besides closely watching articles. Often, this doesn't happen though (see below).

Thoughts about Wikipedia[edit]

I think the internet would be a lot better if it was more like Wikipedia. Many sites would be much neater if they were wikis or took on some of the characteristics of a wiki (wiki hybrids, if you like). I am both impressed with the progress of Wiki(p/m)edia but at the same time disappointed at the slow development of some important things given the large number of people in the world who could contribute here and at our sister projects.


I'm an inclusionist both in terms of how notable an article has to be to have a Wikipedia article and what type of pages we should have on Wikipedia (i.e. I'm less inclined to say "Wikipedia is not a...")

Ideas to improve Wikipedia[edit]

The need for organized page maintenance[edit]

See User:Richard001/Maintenance for an essay about the need for organized maintenance of Wikipedia pages.

Article requests[edit]

The Wikipedia assessment scheme describes how articles can be placed in certain classes - stub, B-class etc. But what about articles that don't exist? I'm not suggesting that we assess the quality of such articles, but rather I think we should pay more attention to article requests. I think WikiProjects are the best way to handle requests. More WikiProjects need to get involved with requests, and in a bigger way. Requests pages need to be refined and improved, sorted etc. Requests should also be assessed in the sense of "yes, this is a good request, we should have an article on it" or "no, there is already an article on this topic/it isn't notable etc" (i.e. there would be three classes of non-existent article: non-requested, new requests and approved requests. Of course, some non-requested articles may still be article worthy, even urgently needed!) Request lists should include assessment of how important it is to any relevant project(s) (and thus how urgent a request it is) and, if possible, reliable sources which could be used to create such an article. It is important for projects to look not only at what articles they have and how good they are, but what articles they should have, how many there are, and how important they are.

Video and audio is shite[edit]

We need to get more video and audio files, including fair use video clips. For some reason people are against fair use video.

Want a dictionary definition?[edit]

Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but if you want a definition just type "wikt:" before the word, e.g. "wikt:candor", and you'll be taken to the Wiktionary entry.

Current work and to do[edit]


I am listed as a member of the following WikiProjects. I work on a range of articles and assess almost anything, but these are the ones I'm most involved with:

Recent contributions[edit]

New articles (full list at User:Richard001/Articles I have created)

Some articles to create[edit]

Feel free to beat me to creating these!

Other ideas for articles...[edit]

Notes/to do[edit]

  • Read WP:NPOV again.
  • R/K selection theory within a species
  • Expand on argument by analogy (or analogical reasoning)
  • Empty Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of mammals
  • Photo for Francis Darwin - copyright status of the one at CDOL?
  • Possible AfDs: Evolutionary Biology (textbook)
  • Categorization - hidden items and better navigation?
  • Uploading images of dead people - should be an option when uploading, rather than making it a pain
  • Bots
    • Can I get a bot to find images that aren't at Commons?
    • Can I get a bot to move pages to a newly created subcategory?
  • Article popularity for WikiProjects
  • The 'list-class' is a category error.
  • Rather than simply classifying WikiProjects as active/inactive, they should have an activity level scale.
  • 'Articles that cite this source' (similar to 'what links here', but for articles that cite the source that is the subject of the article (e.g. a newspaper, a famous scientific paper etc.)
  • What, if anything, should we do about people who contribute nothing besides a self-promoting user page? (e.g. User:Dancecritic, User:Tourist Sound)
  • Do something about WP:LS
  • Can Popups show the number of pages/files etc in a category, and the quality of an article?
  • Is there an easier way of typing, e.g. Categories? If not, could one be created (perhaps with a template)?
  • Should be able to open popup suggestions in new tab
  • Subcategories should appear on the first page, especially when there are thousands of pages but only a few subcats
  • Animals by colour - discuss
  • Needs-photo to arthropods banner
  • IFDs: and
  • Make a template that calls the class of an article for the articles I've created list. Is there a category for such lists?
  • Option to show a link to a redirect as a red link?

Other projects I contribute to[edit]

My other work at WMF projects is almost entirely at Commons, with occasional editing at Species and other projects.

  1. ^ 1
  2. ^ 2