On Wikipedia, an essay is a page in the project namespace (Wikipedia:) that is written by one or more editors that typically addresses some aspect of working on or with Wikipedia. Such pages are categorized into Category:Wikipedia essays or a related subcategory. Essays may range from personal or minority views, to views that enjoy a wide consensus amongst Wikipedia editors. Unlike policies and guidelines, no formal attempt to gauge their consensus has been made.
User essays have a purpose similar to essays placed in the project namespace; however, they are often authored by only one person, and may represent a strictly personal viewpoint about Wikipedia.
WikiLove is a term that refers to a general spirit of collegiality and mutual understanding among wiki users. It was coined over time on the mailing lists. Because people coming from substantially different perspectives work on Wikipedia together—religious fundamentalists and secular humanists, conservatives and liberals, etc.—it is easy for discussions to degenerate into flamewars. But we are all here for one reason: we love accumulating, ordering, structuring, and making freely available what knowledge we have in the form of an encyclopedia of unprecedented size. Wikipedia is not just another discussion forum, it is a project to describe and collect what we know.
An impression of the abstract concept of WikiLove.
If we keep this common goal, this love of knowledge, in mind, if we concentrate on achieving a neutral point of view even when it is difficult, and if we try to actually understand what the other side has to say, then we can reach the state of "WikiLove". If we fail to achieve WikiLove, this will only mean that the encyclopedia and its mission as a whole will suffer. Constant flamewars will scare contributors off, biased articles will drive readers away, and both will harm our reputation in the long term. Read more...