One of the first things some people do on their new wiki is write some rules and guidelines for the site. After all, we all want things to be done right from the start.
My advice would be: don't. For a new wiki it's much more important to make it welcoming and inclusive than it is to be perfect. At this stage of your wiki you are best concentrating on building content and attracting those elusive contributors.
But there comes a time when guidelines become important. Often it's when someone starts pushing limits and taking advantage of their being no written rules. But ideally you will start to get some guidelines written before that point.
FANDOM has its own guidelines, which lay out rules of behaviour for the whole site. That means the basics …Read more >
FANDOM is a diverse and complicated community. We all have different likes, dislikes, and ideas. We also come from many different places and cultures, and are varied in race, sexuality, gender identity and many other beautiful ways.
Most of our differences don't cause issues on wikis unless someone is involved who objects to our group. For example, age and religion don't generally have a strong influence on how someone edits on a wiki, but we have seen problems with people prejudiced against those groups. Be careful not to blame the target of attacks in such cases, and remember that a varied and interesting wiki comes from a varied and interesting community. You don't have to like everyone, or even approve of them. But that doesn't stop you…Read more >
I mentioned recently that one of the first things to do on a new wiki is start writing pages. For design help we ask that you have at least 50 pages on the wiki, and that's a good number to aim for. But 50 is a big number! How are you going to get there when all you have is a blank wiki?
The key thing is to get started. Don't let the task overwhelm you, just pick a place to start and get that one thing done, followed by the next one thing, and then the next. It's much easier to write in bite-sized pieces rather than trying to take on too much too soon.
The main page of any wiki is a critical one. It's your doorway into your wiki and making it interesting, attractive, and easy to use is an important early task. Of course, you aren't going to ha…Read more >
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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