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.
- Please head over to my talk page if you feel you'd like to contact me about anything.
And there you have it!
Stances and Affiliations
Welcome! Especially 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.
Are your edits being reverted or deleted?
- First of all, it's nothing personal! I'm not targeting you nor am I trying to start an argument. Please check out Wikipedia's guide to vandalism for more info.
- 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 very specific ways, or 2) 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 misconduct. 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. Every edit on Wikipedia, ever, on every page, is open for viewing. Total transparency.
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 lacking in artistic creativity-- I rarely handle researched new article work, so the maintenance is where I most always am. Having recently returned in earnest I can't site any particular editing stats, though in the past my contributions seem to average out to 1/3rd edits 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 in what you'd like to edit, 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 Simple WikiPhilosophy
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 or misbehave at risk of being blocked... right? Of course not. Common sense!
I'll try to expand on this page in the future. Once again, you can contact me on my talk page via the little tab at the top of this screen or here.