People on Wikia 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. Of course you need to be careful about not trying to take on a role you don't have - there is a difference between being helpful and trying to take over from those whose job it is to manage the wikia. But 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 …
Read more >
A few weeks ago I talked about why staff don't remove bad admins. But that's only half the story. Bad admins still sometimes need to be removed, and that's what we will look at next.
Young wikias tend to be run almost completely by the Founder. They set up the wikia, make the decisions of its content and scope, and choose who else should have admin and bureaucrat rights. At this stage, it's generally best for unhappy people to vote with their feet. If they don't like how the wikia is being run, then it's a good time for them to move on and find or start a better one! It's a form of survival of the fittest, or in this case, survival of the best managed wikia.
More mature wikias tend to be run by admins selected by the community and will often h…Read more >
Did you know that the majority of Wikia's views come from readers, meaning people who don't click the edit button or even have a Wikia account? Clicking that edit button for the first time can be daunting—your contribution will immediately be available to the entire world—but there are ways that we all can help break the barrier between reader and editor.
One of those ways is the recently-launched Wikia University, a quickly digestible source of how-to information for Wikia—including how to make your first contribution. Wikia is also always hard at work making sure our interface is the best it can be, by finding how people interact with Wikia and lowering barriers for entry. But there’s a great deal that local communities can do as well in …Read more >
There's a difficult balance on a site like Fandom, between the ideal of communities running themselves and the need for Staff intervention. What we all hope for is a community, led by its admins, that runs on civility, good sense, and fluffy kittens. But, of course, no wiki is perfect. There can be angry disagreements, hasty admins, uncivil conversations, and often all of those at once.
That's when staff are often asked to intervene. Maybe someone has been unfairly blocked. Or their perfectly good edits have been reverted. Or perhaps the wiki has developed a habit of excessively hostile conversations, with no chance of a careful and thoughtful idea being considered. Or maybe it's just one overly grumpy admin who keeps leaving rude wall mess…Read more >
A while ago I was asked about online or cyberbullying and harassment, how to deal with it, and how to help those affected by it. I thought I would share some of those thoughts on this blog
In any community there is good and bad. And when things are bad online they can be very bad. There can be nasty comments, over-aggressive reactions, and all sorts of bickering and conflict to disrupt the wikia.
Of course, even in the best wikia communities not all interactions will be nice. Disagreements are part of life, and can be a healthy part of a community working out what the right choices are for them. But in the past there have been extreme cases around the Internet where normal disagreement and clashes have gone way further into harassment and bu…Read more >
Sharing information is the backbone of editing on Wikia. Part of that sharing means that content is often reused and repurposed after the initial contribution. This freedom makes it much easier for all of us to share our knowledge, passion, and creativity.
Giving credit where credit is due one of the cornerstones of polite society. And we all benefit from this generosity, so making sure to properly credit the source of any information that you find useful is the least you can do.
It's literally the very least.
Anything less violates the terms of the CC-BY-SA license. When you contribute text to a wikia, you agree to release it under the CC-BY-SA. (Images are slightly different, but we'll get to that in a minute.) While you do retain …Read more >
We often talk of wikis as "communities", but I don't know that we stop and think about what that means.
A community originally meant a group of people living and working together in the same area. But Wikia certainly isn't that, there are people from all over the world here, and you are probably more likely to come across people from the other side of the world than you are your hometown.
Communities are more than just people connected by a common location, they are also people linked by a common interest, or occupation, or belief. We are a community because we care about wikis, and using wikis to create awesome sites about things that matter to us.
And within the wider Wikia community, there are many smaller communities. From Adventure Time …Read more >
Any time you have a community of diverse people, things are sometimes going to get difficult. There are lots of reasons for disputes and disruption on a wiki but today I'd like to talk about one specific type of problem: trolls and how to deal with them.
The first question is, what is a troll?
A troll is someone who is acting badly in order to get a reaction. Trolling is the Internet's equivalent of a practical joke. Trolls are the people gluing a virtual quarter to the virtual sidewalk. They're out for the the LOLs at your expense.
Most vandals are trolls. It's not just the vandalism itself that matters, it's knowing that the people on the wiki are getting annoyed. And if there is visible proof of that annoyance, then all the better! From a v…Read more >
Wikis are all about groups of people coming together to build something. They grow best when people can work well together, agreeing on what the site should be and how to best build it. Wikis work because most people are good, and most edits are a positive addition to the project. Otherwise, we’d all be drowning in spam and vandalism, not building awesome sites!
But every group will have its conflicts: disagreements over how things should be, arguments when participants can't get along, or someone causing a stir simply because they can.
Each situation is different, but there are some general tips that can help everyone get through the difficulties.
One of the earliest wiki principles was "Assume Good Faith". When we're disagreeing, it's easy …
Read more >