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This site really needs: an attitude edit

BBilge April 21, 2011 User blog:BBilge

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Allow me to share with you my experiences editing this wiki so far. This blog post marks the first in a series that I intend to write about things that are wrong with this site, dependant upon the feedback I receive from this post. There are a lot of things wrong with this wiki at the moment and I'm keen to expose them. The first thing that's wrong is the attitude of its owners.

A dormant or minor editor for some time, I decided to start making some bold changes to the front page, restructuring some of the key elements logically. Within a couple of hours Sam 3010 reverted my changes without explanation. After opening a dialogue with Sam he revealed that he didn't object to my changes but merely reverted because I had removed one of the unattractive borders and followed it up with an ultimatum that I restore said border within twelve hours or my changes would be reverted again. I was shocked that the most senior editor would only assist by reverting everything I tried to improve, and moreover, force me to apply his improvements under a time constraint or face penalisation.

Continuing to make bold changes, I noticing that some templates were using invalid subpage syntax, using colons instead of slashes. The problem with inventing syntax is that the wiki software no longer understands that you're creating a subpage so all of the subpage features such as breadcrumb navigation and pathing is lost. However my changes were soon reverted. I also tried to upload an image but that was deleted, too.

I don't understand why I'm being penalised for making bold changes when being bold is the first rule of the wiki. If I was anyone else I think I would have given up editing altogether by this point.

Things only got worse when I discovered a blog post that detailed a hierarchy system for wiki users including handing out ownership of entire categories of pages to specific users. This is counter to the attitude of all wikis I have ever contributed to. Rollback is not a reward position and administrator should just provide trusted users who understand what they're doing with a few extra buttons. Instead there's a mentality in place that if you're not an administrator we will ignore your opinion.

As an administrator of various wikis myself I recommend that the owners of this wiki take a step back and familiarise themselves with what a wiki is all about in an effort to understand what they're doing wrong. I've met many great contributors on my wikis by welcoming everyone to make constructive changes. If I treated my users as I have been treated here then I wouldn't have been able to create such thriving communities or had the pleasure of meeting such talented people.

It's time to edit your attitude.

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