I think it is healthy for all editors, no matter how long they've been clicking away in these virtual halls, to review these links and ruminations concerning what it means to be a Wikipedian.
A proposed Wikicovenant
- Make others feel welcome (newcomers, veterans, and everyone in between).
- Create and maintain a friendly, supportive environment.
- Turn the other cheek (which includes walking away from potential edit wars).
- Model civility, always.
- Give praise (especially to those you don't know).
- Refrain from policing articles. You do not own any article.
- Encourage others.
- Remember, people grow.
- Remember, you're not always right, even when you think you are - and sometimes you're wrong - and sometimes you're dead wrong - even when you think you're right. And even when you know you're right, it still sometimes better to concede or forget it.
- Maintain the dignity of others (even of those you despise or don't respect).
- Leave well-enough alone.
- Do your research before intervening, refereeing, casting !votes or discussing policies, blocks, etc.
- Don't bite newcomers. When a newcomer adds new information, rather than revert it and fight against it, try to work with it and either find the appropriate reference or help the newcomer track it down. Providing an explanation on the new comer's talk page (including anonymous editors) is courteous, instructional, and invitational, while reverting with no or vague wording in the edit summary can be alienating.
Thinking about administators
- Some of what administrators now know about being an administrator they learned after becoming an administrator.
- It isn't the system that is preventing successful RfAs, it is the community. No matter how the system is changed, the community will adapt to the change and the frequency of successful RfAs will turn out the roughly same.
Parting words of advice from Larry Sanger
- be open and warmly welcoming, not insular,
- be focused singlemindedly on writing an encyclopedia, not on Usenet-style debate,
- recognize and praise the best work, work that is detailed, factual, well-informed, and well-referenced,
- work to understand what neutrality requires and why it is so essential to and good for this project,
- treat your fellow productive, well-meaning members of Wikipedia with respect and good will,
- attract and honor good people who know a lot and can write about it well, and
- show the door to trolls, vandals, and wiki-anarchists, who if permitted would waste your time and create a poisonous atmosphere here.
Parting words from others
- User:Danny/The real Cabal
- User:DGG/my view of WP
- User:Antandrus/observations on Wikipedia behavior
- User:Beyond My Ken/thoughts
On treating others and on interacting
- Assume good faith and the presence of a belly-button
- Ethic of reciprocity
- No personal attacks
- Staying cool when the editing gets hot
- Standard user greeting
- No legal threats
- Don't be a dick
- Three-revert rule
- Don't panic
- Avoid Parkinson's Bicycle Shed Effect
- Ignore all dramas
- Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point
- It's ok to use your brain
Remember, we're human, not merely humanoid
- Right to vanish
- Missing Wikipedians
Being an admin is no big deal. What matters? Will the editor be able to help Wikipedia by having the tools? Will the editor abuse the tools? Will the editor be civil? Utility, responsibility, civility.
The often paraphrased comment about adminship is the following, said by Jimbo Wales in February 2003, referring to administrators as sysops:
I just wanted to say that becoming a sysop is *not a big deal*.
I think perhaps I'll go through semi-willy-nilly and make a bunch of people who have been around for awhile sysops. I want to dispel the aura of "authority" around the position. It's merely a technical matter that the powers given to sysops are not given out to everyone.
I don't like that there's the apparent feeling here that being granted sysop status is a really special thing.
- Taken from Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians in order of arrival:
- "We Wikipedians abhor the idea that the amount of time spent working on this website is any sort of indication of how well one can write an encyclopedia article. Indeed, we distinguish ourselves by our ability to write good articles, which is what really matters. We ought to do our best to underemphasize seniority, which can be used, often illegitimately, as a way of deciding who to accord how much respect."
Get a WikiLife
"Do you spend all your time crusading on one bureaucratic tip or another? Factboxes! Notability! Must slap "not good enough" templates on all non-featured articles!!! Do you?! Well, then you're not doing Wikipedia right. Get a life, and contribute something useful, instead of nagging the rest of us who are trying to get some actual work done." - Jengod
Reasons I like to wikify and copyedit
- I become educated in matters I didn't know about
- It helps me become a better writer
- Useful redirects can be created
- Non-existing articles that might be of use can be discovered
From SimonATL's userpage
"Wikipedia allows anyone to add to the sum total of human knowledge and is also a great outlet for budding writers and editors. I am proud to be associated with Wikipedia and consider it a truly amazing human resource all humanity can be proud of.
"As a child growing up on a farm in the midwest USA, I used to enjoy reading encyclopedias up in the upper reaches of a maple tree. Little could I have imagined at that time, in the mid-20th Century, that one day, I would actually contribute to a encyclopedia of revolutionary scope and import, a truly international project that all editors can be proud to be associated with.
"One of the things I most like about Wikipedia is how research in one area leads to others and one never knows where the trail of information will take the reader. This is way cool, and one of the most mind-expanding aspects of Wikipedia, nes pas?
"Wikipedia is an opportunity to give back something of my life experience and education in history, languages, philosophy, geo-political-military issues, miltary science, history (ancient, military, US and european) and information technology as well as language skills in English, Spanish, French (and occasionally Latin and a little Greek) with a wider audience of fellow info junkies."
Reasons I am an inclusionist
- What is important to me might not be important to you, and vice versa. I should not judge whether your interests are valid, useful or important. That's for you to decide.
- I learn a lot from the variety of topics covered in Wikipedia.
- Deletionism can lead to an Imperialist mindset that supposes only sanctioned cultural interests are of worth.
- "If someone has taken the time to do something, whether that be creating a new article or modifying an existing one, that is important. So long as the work falls within the clear guidelines as to what can be included in Wikipedia: verifiability, no original research, and neutral point of view." - Truthanado
- "The majority of effort in Wikipedia should be to continue to add to the sum total of knowledge by adding and improving articles....It's all too easy to delete articles, less easy to accept that readers may find the content therein useful and therefore may contribute to the encyclopaedia by improving them." - Stephenb
- See also: Association of Inclusionist Wikipedians
Fed up with vandals? Have patience
The following was taken from Chinese3126's user page on 3 January, 2008:
- I'm a proud Wikipedian. I used to be a major vandal, don't get me started on how I got an IP ban on my house, a six month softblock at school, mainly because I wanted revenge for having Wikipedia content as the reason why I got caught for plagiarism. Now I have converted and started an account and I am a reformed vandal.
Wikimedia should just hire a lawyer who never edits to be a full time arbitrator. and nix the arbcom system. That's how arbitration works; not by committee, but by trained single arbitrator.
- Your first article (even long-time editors should read this)
- Be bold (and BOLD)
- Ignore all rules
- What "Ignore all rules" means
- No angry mastodons
- Avoiding common mistakes
- Writing better articles
- What Wikipedia is not
- Neutral point of view
- Ownership of articles
- There is no deadline
- Guide by and for librarians
- Somebody's bored at work
Wikipedia has two main goals, as far as I can see. One is to provide quality content to readers and the other is to encourage newcomers to participate in the creation of content. Redlinks are an invitation for newcomers to participate. They are also an invitation to people with a particular expertise to dive in.
From Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links): "If a red link is within the context of the article, and it is a topic with the potential to eventually be a neutral, verifiable encyclopedia article, then the link should be kept as an invitation for an editor to begin the appropriate article with this title. Such links do not have an expiration date." Red links "point to "buds" from which Wikipedia will grow in the future." Why is a red link better? From Wikipedia:Red link: "Good red links help Wikipedia — they encourage new contributors in useful directions, and remind us that Wikipedia is far from finished."
From Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links): "You should not add a descriptive title to an embedded HTML link within an article." Embedding external links is meant for citations and references, not for covering up red links or for creating external links. An embedded external link takes the reader away from Wikipedia, and could take that reader on a reading and link-clicking adventure that takes them away from Wikipedia for a long time. We want people to stick around. A red link is an offer to a reader to make an article, to stick around, to help.