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My philosophies on editing (even if I don't follow them)(they'll be good for you, though)[edit]

It's just Wikipedia[edit]

Avoid editing wars. When there's been a tussle over some portion of an article, I remind myself that it's just Wikipedia. In my last salvo, I make my best case, and explicitly encourage opponents themselves to edit the article to my satisfaction. If they do, I've convinced. If not, the article stands as desired by the community. Many articles have watching editors numbered in dozens. When I've spent my all, I trust other editors to carry on if it's justified.

What is "not an improvement"?[edit]

I sometimes use "not an improvement" to explain my reversal. The article is just better the way it was, in my opinion. It's reversing an edit without going into detail as to why, because it's a nuanced argument that I can't fit into the edit summary, or more often because I have no clue how to explain myself.

It offers other editors the opportunity to bear the burden of deciding. Usually, my "not an improvement" reversals go unchallenged. If any editor reasserts the edit, I accept it as evidence that they've taken an interest in the article, and reflected on whether or not the edit is indeed an improvement.

I am but a cog[edit]

When reverting, a bold editor is admirable, but I am sometimes a coward. If I'm hesitant that I could justify an edit if called on it, let another editor or inertia deal with it. Wikipedia is crawling with editors, so it might be wise to see if somebody else is bolder and wiser. Also, why should I do all the work? Where an article is watched by only a few people, I try to be a little bolder in my stewardship. I respect the emergent nature of Wikipedia's power.

unsourced, unexplained[edit]

Some think that Wikipedia aims to provide objective truth. It does not (see WP:Verifiability, not truth). Wikipedia seeks to provide only knowledge that can be traced to reliable sources. Enough information should be given that any doubtful and diligent reader can follow a path and be convinced that the knowledge is true.

Durable edits rely mostly on two things: sources and explanations. If an edit is properly sourced (see WP:Verifiability), it stands a good chance of staying in Wikipedia. If not, it might achieve persistence by explaining why Wikipedia was changed in this way (see Help:Edit summary).

Without a source or an explanation, any valuable contribution is vulnerable to being wiped away by an editor reverting it with the explanation "unsourced, unexplained". If it's not a big deal, accept the rejection. If it's sort of a big deal, repeat the edit with an account of where you got the information from -- if not a formal citation, then something in the edit summary. If it is very important that Wikipedia speak the truth about something, you should be ashamed if you fail its readers by repeating an edit without explanations and sources. The truth will be reverted again, and people won't know.

Miscellaneous things[edit]

  • 20:50, 30 June 2015: There's nothing wrong with this format, but let's admit that it's awfully tempting to change the time of day to "50:20".
  • Anomalously persistent vandalism: This IP ( has been used exclusively for vandalism from its first edit in March 2011, over a diverse range of articles, persisting in short spurts between a six month block, followed by a one year, then another two year block, and now another one year block (see the talk page). I can't decide whether this IP is high maintenance or low maintenance. I guess dealing with it once every year or two isn't so bad. (posted October 2015)


Cheers, Willondon (talk).

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