Wikipedia:You are not irreplaceable

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You are not irreplaceable is an important concept to remember in a worldwide collaborative project like Wikipedia.

You are important[edit]

Every good-faith editor is important to the overall success of Wikipedia. Many positive changes are made by IP editors, or editors who have no desire to make an ongoing hobby out of Wikipedia. A mass of people making one or two positive contributions to Wikipedia keeps our encyclopedia updated, fixes errors, and actually does the bulk of the work.

At the same time, there is a pyramid of editors who make more edits than most—these highly active editors form the backbone of the project, working to keep everything flowing smoothly. Some of these editors become administrators or assume other roles tasked with more authority and responsibility. Others perform equally important tasks such as informal dispute resolution, programming bots, rescuing articles up for deletion, or chairing collaborative efforts. Of course, all of those exist to support the gifted editors who function in our audited content areas such as DYK, good articles, and featured content.

You can take a break[edit]

Wikipedia is a hobby. If you ever begin to think Wikipedia will fall apart without you, you're almost certainly wrong. While there are many people who are important, anyone can be replaced. If you are involved in a community process and you're the only one doing it, consider enlisting someone else to help. It's been said that in a volunteer organization, one's first task upon taking a new job is always to train one's replacement, and Wikipedia is no exception. Wikibreaks are often required by real life events, and no editor should ever feel guilty by taking the time they need to deal with family, work, school, or other situations that demand their attention.

Editors who are unable to appropriately depart from Wikipedia in order to deal with real-life issues often suffer consequences in the neglected areas, become burnt-out on Wikipedia, or both. In no case is any of these outcomes helpful to the editor or the project.

You can be replaced[edit]

If you need to leave, you can be replaced. If you were doing an essential function without anyone else helping you, either the community will do without or someone else will take over and pick up where you left off. Either way, you don't need to lose sleep over the fate of your Wiki-work.

On a more sober note, no individual contributor is so essential that consistent poor behavior will be tolerated. While it is true that idiosyncrasies are more tolerated in established editors with a track record of good contributions, the community has sanctioned any number of editors who made positive contributions to the encyclopedia because their behavior failed to uphold the civility pillar.

See also[edit]