Wikipedia is one big community with different users offering different qualities into the set-up. Although every user is different, every constructive user's contributions are valued and, when put together, they form the makings of one big team effort to create the world's best free knowledge encyclopedia. This essay focuses on how the Wikipedia community can be seen as a successful soccer team, with all the staff that go into making the team perform at the highest level.
The players of any team are the people who are seen by the public. It is the accumulation of everyone's efforts within the setup and, without the contributions of them, there would be nothing to see and ultimately no team.
A goalkeeper in any team is the person that makes saves. On Wikipedia, the goalkeepers are the users that go through article for deletion discussions, looking for articles to save from deletion. Although they cannot save everything, they are able to keep content on the encyclopedia that, without their efforts, would be deleted.
The defenders of the project work slowly to create the best articles that Wikipedia has to offer. They create many featured articles and good articles but have to spend time researching topics, so ultimately they work on a relatively small number of pages – but the value that they add to them is incredible.
The midfielders of any team are the people that hold the whole team together. Their work may help bridge the gap between the stubs and featured articles or may be gnomish tasks, such as copy editing or wikifying. Without their efforts, Wikipedia would be a much less reliable source.
The attackers of Wikipedia are the users that create many articles. They may not be the best articles Wikipedia has to offer, but their contributions mean that Wikipedia covers most topics that the reader would wish to read about. Examples of their work include creating stub articles
As with all successful teams, the backroom staff hold the team together and offer advice and encouragement to help the team play to the best of their ability. Backroom staff don't get credited by the fans, but, without their efforts, the team would not be as successful as they are.
The directors of Wikipedia are the people that have to make the tough decisions right at the top level. They include the arbitration committee and Jimbo Wales. They often have to make tough decisions which the players and other staff don't like – but they have the long term interests of the project at heart.
Managers co-ordinate the day-to-day running of the team. These users contribute to noticeboards such as Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard, Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism, Wikipedia:Requests for page protection and CAT:CSD. The managers also participate in policy discussions in an attempt to increase the efficiency of the team. They often have to make decisions on behalf of the community to keep the content reliable or stop it from attack. Without these users, the project would descend into chaos.
These users analyse the work of the players in an attempt to make the final product better. They contribute to XfD discussions and other process related discussions to help improve what the fans see.
First aid staff
If someone has an injury or is feeling down in the community, the first aid staff are the users that help these users overcome their problems. In many ways, they keep the morale up.
These users protect what is coming into the project. They include the new page patrollers. They act as a gate to keep Wikipedia's content reliable. Without these users, many pages would appear on the project that should not be there.
These users patrol the fans and make sure no-one is misbehaving. They are the recent change patrollers, they stop disruptive users in their path and can report them to the managers if any step too far out of line.
Groundstaff make the pitch look aesthetically pleasing. These are the users concentrate their efforts on the formatting of Wikipedia or contribute to images. Many of these users will contribute to the template namespace. Without these users, the end product would not look as good to the reader.
As with any team, the fans are the users that come to watch the team play – they are our readers. Without their fans, the role of any player or backroom staff would be pointless. The fans are the most important part of any team. It is important that standards do not drop, or the fans will begin to leave – without that, we have no project.
Hooligans in any environment cause disruption. These users are not wanted on the project. They vandalise the project through IP's or throwaway accounts. Generally speaking, the gate staff and matchday stewards keep these users at bay.
The English Wikipedia is in a domestic league with its same language counterparts. These include Wiktionary, Simple English Wikipedia and Wikinews. On the world stage, the English Wikipedia is on the same level as all the other language Wikipedias. Its main rivals include the German, French and Spanish Wikipedias. All the teams have one goal – to be the best that they possibly can be with the resources they have available．
To be a successful team, every part of the Wikipedia community has to work as part of a team. We have to work together in a civil manner and help each other whenever possible. Suggestions to make things better are always welcome, as efficiency keeps the project working at its most effective level. Quality should always be paramount, without it our readers will look elsewhere for information and, without our readers, we are nothing.