I've been thinking a lot about conflict on wikis recently. There's a wiki I've been watching (I won't name it) where it seems everyone is fighting with everyone else. There are groups on one side or the other of the argument, and no one is managing to calm things down. Obviously this is affecting the productivity of the community, as well as driving away those who can't stand the bickering. As I tried to think of ways to help them resolve their differences, I found a blog I wrote in 2011 that talked about how to resolve disputes. I'd like to share it with you now.
One of the earliest wiki principles was "Assume Good Faith". When we're disagreeing, it's easy to think the other person is being malicious or is trying to do harm. Usually though…
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One question I'm often asked is how to get more people to join a wiki. This is not an easy question to answer, recruiting people to your wiki can be a difficult and drawn out process, but it is possible! Here are some tips to help you on your way.
First, think about your topic. Is it one with a big fan-base? Or are there only a few people around who might be interested in editing? It's also good to search for existing wikis with the same topic (they appear on the right of the global search page) It can be hard to get contributors if there is already an established wiki on the topic, and hard to get high on search results too. If there is an existing wiki, think about joining that rather than making a new one on the same topic.
If you are rea…Read more >
This is the sixth post in a series of six about admins on FANDOM, adapted from past posts written by Sannse.
There's some skill in being a good admin, and some pitfalls too. So how can you avoid those pitfalls, along with the crocodiles that are likely in the pit! Here's some thoughts on how to navigate around them, and find your way safely across the wiki landscape.
Wikis are accumulative. If things are working well, the smallest start can build into a beautiful article. All you need is for someone to make that first edit and then others to help build on that. Wikis are never finished, there's always something more to add, and even a little helps the wiki more forward. But sometimes admins insist that only complete articles are added to the…
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This is the fifth post in a series of six about admins on FANDOM, adapted from past posts written by Sannse.
Today's topic was suggested by 452, and it's a good one. We've talked about the attributes of the ideal admin, and about the best ways to react to trolling. But between those is the best way to react to users you dislike or are causing problems on the wiki in ways other than simple trolling.
This is related to "Don't Feed the Trolls," but there are some differences. Not feeding trolls is generally about not giving feedback to those that are editing specifically to get a reaction to their disruption. But sometimes there's more involved than that, and sometimes your reaction is not just about not feeding, it's also about your own effect…Read more >
This is the fourth post in a series of six about admins on FANDOM, adapted from past posts written by Sannse.
I've given a lot of social advice to admins and to others on FANDOM, but today I want to give admins some more practical advice on pages to use and skills to learn. These are the top five areas that I'd suggest any admin learn.
Wiki Activity is a useful page for getting an overview of what's going on on a wiki, but it's not the full picture. The full details of what's happening on any community are on Recent Changes. This essential page lists every change on the wiki, including edits on pages that are less often changed, like templates.
For an admin, or for any keen contributor, this page is the starting point for understanding every…
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This is the second in a series of six posts about admins on FANDOM, adapted from past posts written by Sannse.
People on FANDOM want to help. It seems to be a characteristic of people around here, and is something really special about our community. Often that urge to help leads to questions like "please can I be a chatmod?" or "how can I join the VSTF?" So today let's look at that.
The most important thing to know is: you don't need to have rights or a profile badge to be helpful. There is a lot you can do without the admin profile badge, and a lot of pride and satisfaction you can get out of doing it.
The route to becoming an admin or getting other rights for a community will vary a lot from place to place. Some wikis have a voting page wher…
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This is the first in a series of six posts about admins on FANDOM, adapted from past posts written by Sannse.
These are some thoughts about the things that I strive for when I'm on FANDOM. My aim in life is to try to avoid adminitis and to follow the example of the best admins around.
Admins are role models. They are the people who others want to be. They lead by example, showing how it's possible to stay polite and reasonable in the most heated dispute. They are the ones that others trust and try to emulate. They choose their words and actions knowing that they are demonstrating good practice with everything they do.
Admins are supportive. They are the person that everyone turns to in a difficult situation, the one who brings calm and reason …
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Wikis are communities of people working together on a common project. It's almost inevitable that there will be disagreements and arguments as the community grows - that's just human nature. But when do disagreements become harassment or cyberbullying?
Harassment and bullying are more than just a mean comment or a nasty argument. In both cases they involve repeated attacks over time. They might involve nasty texts, threats on social media and elsewhere, and even posting personal details and pictures. These are serious issues that may have "real-life" or even fatal consequences.
Some examples of harassment or cyberbullying on Wikia might be:
- Making repeated nasty comments, Chat messages, Wall messages, etc.
- Following a user to other communitie…
Blocking is the right and duty of all admins. It's a way to stop damage to a community, such as the damage of vandalism or the more subtle reasons such as social disruption.
Blocking itself is not hard to do. You can find a link to the block page on contribution pages, or go to Special:Block on your wiki and add the name of the person you are blocking, make some selections, and click "block this user".
What's harder to do is to block well.
The first things to consider are the options given on the block page. The first is possibly the most important - the timespan of the ban. It's tempting to make this as long as possible, after all, since we usually get to the block page when we are annoyed at someone's bad actions. But a long ban removes any …
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New users are something that every community needs, whether it's an established community or a brand new one. New users bring more hands to do the daily work of building and improving the content, and can bring valuable new ideas too.
The problem is that many people make their first edit and then disappear back into the Internets. Reaching out to talk to new users is one way to help bring them into the community.
All communities come with an automated welcome tool that leaves a message for each person when they make their first edit. This is a good start, but it's not the end of the welcoming. Each message is "signed" by an admin. That way, if a new user replies to a welcome message, there's an admin who's notified of that who can write back…Read more >