User talk:Truecolors

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Hello, Truecolors, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! —Eustress talk 01:38, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Message moved from your user page by (talk)[edit]

Hey, Truecolors!

Thanks for the note, and welcome to WP. We should carry out our interactions on the talk pages. The dynamics of collaborating with editors of differing points of view make it really important that our relationships with all editors are super-transparent.

You asked why I don't edit much. I came to WP a couple of weeks ago with the express intent of making improvements on the Oliver DeMille article. I'm still tinkering there. While I was new to the process I sort of got caught up in a drama and tried (unsuccessfully) to throw my weight around a little. I came to find that I'm much more effective when I focus on the articles' content and the WP guidelines for quality and procedure. Because I have declared a relationship with the subject matter, my edits could be subject to extreme scrutiny. I'm free to edit if I want to, but I usually prefer to leave that to others to do. So--don't let my conservatism hold you back. If you see things you can do to improve an article, like providing a citations for unsourced material or improving the syntax, flow or word choice, be bold. If your edits change the article substantively, you will likely find resistance and reversion to the previous status of the article if you don't declare your intent and gain consensus before the fact. You will note that some of the most effective editors change just a teensy weensy thing at a time, and staunchly revert if challenged on their edits. This is a strategic approach, as there is a three-reverts rule that brings administrative oversight on disputed content. There is nothing wrong with this approach, and if you are confident of your stance, you should not by shy in provoking its application. That being said, there is more power in consensus by far.

If you feel it's time for someone to go ahead and make changes that have been discussed on the talk page, you should consider that you have every bit as much right as anyone else. The GWU is a contentious talk page, to be sure, and others have a history of using the rules strategically. You're at a disadvantage on that point, as am I, but I'm finding that common sense is helpful, and administrators are available to help sort through the impasses. But understand that it's a legalistic structure. Nobody in particular cares if this or that article is getting a fair shake--just that the article passes muster on WP standards of NPOV, citations, etc. This is a democratic process, and if an article stinks or only tells this or that but not the other part of a story, it's nobody's fault but the people who object to the content but don't show up to discuss and edit.

The only exception to this consensus idea is if unsubstantiated contentious material regarding a living person is entered into an article or talk page. WP standards dictate that this be removed immediately without discussion, no matter which page it appears on. There is no violence to the process in doing so. Any editor that objects to its removal and who has appropriate citations and rationale can simply reintroduce the material in the appropriate form. This is a protection against WP being used to disparage people without recourse.

Next, just a reminder that you must act unilaterally. I hope that nothing I've said could be construed as collusion, and urge you, if you have inclination to invite others to join in, that you do not interact with them about the article outside of WP. It is best if you do not even know their usernames, or speculate about them. To do these things gives editors of the same viewpoint an unfair advantage in the pursuit of consensus and is strictly governed and monitored under the policies regarding sock puppetry. You should look that up, if you haven't already. I have already been through one round of accusations and investigation. It wasn't a happy thing, and two editors who had been trying to work on the GW article got banned indefinitely. I, of course, was cleared, and have studiously avoided entanglements with others who have suggested they might be interested in editing the articles. I actually asked several people NOT to, because I want to be free to act here without concern for my autonomy, or the perception that I have abused wikipedia to promote my personal views.

But back to the point of editing articles: in several places (and in articles relating to the GWU article--those linked internally with it) I have done an analysis of the concerns I have with the articles for other editors to consider that I hope sort of cut to the chase on how to improve the articles. There's sometimes so much talk, talk, talk, that good suggestions get buried in a narrative of conflict. That's unfortunate, because good edits are not made because people took their eye off the ball.

Anyway, have fun with it, and don't let it spoil your day when something happens that you disagree with. It's just a tempest in a teapot, and life outside of Wikipedia doesn't actually concern itself much with the stuff we grapple with here.

--Ibinthinkin (talk) 13:35, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Ibinthinkin, I appreciate your advice. You're right, I am new to this and was getting a little too hot under the collar. But I am now trying to tone it down. Thanks for telling me your views and good luck with what you are doing!--Truecolors (talk) 19:09, 21 April 2009 (UTC)