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About Me[edit]

Me in Pictures
Irish clover.jpgThis user is Irish.
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
This user lives in The United Kingdom


The Sandwich of Diligence ::: Awarded for diligent assistance in resolving a dispute. Thanks a bunch! (awarded by User:J.smith)

I started contributing to Wikipedia in December 2005. I live in Reading. My editing "style" varies on my mood, and contribute to Wikipedia by either:

  • Monitoring recent changes and reverting obvious vandalism
  • Choosing Random Articles and proof reading for spelling mistooks.
  • Retargetting links from disambiguation pages to the correct article.
  • Adding information about topics I know a little about. (e.g. UK Issues, Telephone Preference Service, Individual Savings Account, Lottery-stuff, Reading-related stuff, Irish Topics Tuam, Knock Airport,Films I own.
  • (Feb 9,2006) rewrote Child Support Agency almost from scratch. Full articles are a lot harder than they look! Other articles I've created up to stub level include Monsignor James Horan, the Hogan Cup the Galway International Oyster Festival, and Éamon de Buitléar.
  • Adding pictures from my travels to appropriate articles. (See my gallery for some of these images) Of those, I'm especially happy with two: the view from the bungy tower, and a sunset from Mauna Kea.
  • Commenting on Afd's, DRV, RfA's etc.
  • Latest focus is sorting through Category:Articles that need to be wikified, which is quite relaxing :)
  • I'm also quite pedantic about references, many of my contribution summaries include "+ref", or "expand ref" (where I expand inline links to include publisher/title/date in the article reference section)

I lean more towards the factual rather than the eloquent, so my additions might often be boring lists of facts and/or references, in the hope that they will be useful to others whose skills in writing make up for my lack.


Miscellaneous thoughts on wiki-related issues:

  • (The 3D's) "If a discussion over a dispute fails, delegate." - Edit warring, constant reverting never helps. Instead of stressing out about "the other side", ask for help, e.g. a third opinion and see meatball:DefendEachOther
  • "Never ask a question unless you are prepared for any answer". In real life as well, no one is always right. Be prepared that if you ask for an opinion/start a poll that the answer may not be the one you want. Accept it and move on. Corollary: "If you find yourself unwilling to ask for an opinion of your actions, chances are that you really know you are wrong"
  • "Logic is blind." Test your arguments by applying the same logic to the opposing view. If you disagree with it, the disagreement is based on your view, not the logic. If you say "but that's different", be prepared to say why. If you can't, it's not different at all.
  • "Never argue with a fool - people may not know the difference." (one of Murphy's laws)
  • "You can not walk forward if you keep digging your heels in." (my own version of the below)
  • "You fight and contend with the wind, and consequently you are destroyed; while we on the contrary bend before the storm and remain unbroken, and survive." - (paraphrase of The Oak tree and the reeds, Aesop.
  • "It is as important for people to clearly see policy being applied as it is for the end result to be policy compliant." - For the sake of a few days, it is better to follow policy than to short cut it, even if the end result is the same, as the latter will cause more problems in the long term.
  • "It is more important to do things right, than to do things 'right now'" - the above in a nutshell.
  • "Offence can not be given unless the recipient wishes to take it." - This is not to excuse personal attacks, but often when on the receiving end of a uncivil comment, it's too easy to react and escalate the problem. Ignoring it will often diffuse the situation a lot quicker.
  • "There's more than one editor at wikipedia" - WP:CHILL - don't try and do everything yourself!
  • Let the dust settle before creating an article on current events/people - full reasoning outlined in proposal/essay at WP:DUST


Miscellaneous opinions on specific wiki-topics:

  • Lists - Can be very useful, but also can over broad. My personal take on lists is that they should fall into one of two categories: a) Contain only notable items on the topic, or b) contain all the items on the topic. If including all the items makes the list too long, that to me is an indication that the topic is over broad.
  • Speedy Deletes- A speedy delete is basically a "delete without discussion", and, as such, is quite an extreme measure, and should only be used in limited cases where it is really required where immediate harm will come if the article remains in place for the duration of the discussion (e.g. copyvios, attack pages). All other deletions should be open for discussion.
  • Notability (in a nutshell) - if a wikipedia article makes a notable difference to a person or company, then that person or company isn't notable enough for a wikipedia article.
  • Userpages Even some long standing users seem to be converting them into personal web pages. Personally I prefer to see short web pages, as this gives me more confidence that the editor can distil lots of possible information and knows what's really relevant.