|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
|This page in a nutshell: The good work of others deserves recognition|
So, you are watching a page and you see someone makes an addition or other to it that improves it.
You are working on a large project yourself, and taking your time because you know it'll take forever. Then, someone comes along and helps you.
Or you notice the creation of some article, project page, template, or something else that you think is really good.
What do you do now?
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION!
On Wikipedia, barnstars are given out as awards. A barnstar can be awarded by anyone to anyone. You do not need any amount of experience to award a barnstar. You do not need any permission or any elite status. You may even be an IP editor with no registered username. Technically, a barnstar award can be your first edit ever, though this is unlikely, given that you probably won't know what one is at this point.
But no matter who it is from, a barnstar will make its recipient feel good. Everyone who edits Wikipedia likes for their contributions to be noticed. But there is little that is more flattering than for someone to say it is award-worthy.
Effects of awarding a barnstar
By awarding a barnstar, there will be several benefits for you and others:
- You may be better respected by other editors, especially the one to whom you award it
- You will help encourage others, including the recipient, to work harder to improve Wikipedia. They will feel more encouraged to live up to the badge of honor.
- You will improve the etiquette of others, including non-recipients. As others see barnstars being awarded to other editors, they will strive to do whatever earned someone else a barnstar.
- You will spread the word that barnstars exist. Many people would award them in various situations if only they knew the concept existed.
- You never know. What goes around comes around. If you get into the habit of awarding barnstars to others when appropriate, you may sometime receive them from others in the future.
Keep editing, either with or without
A barnstar may motivate you to live up to its name. But even without, keep editing and doing what is right. You may receive one one day. Then again, you may not. Either way, do what is right. Like how a wise editor once said,[a] "...Indifference to praise is a hard task for mere humans, but millions of potential anonymous readers demand it of you...And remember this: you are allowed to take your work seriously here, and think highly of your own efforts; but be advised, don't talk about it."
- See observation no 60 for full quotation