Help:Wiki etiquette

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Wikis do not have firm rules

Be bold in editing, moving, and modifying articles, because the joy of editing is that, although it should be aimed for, perfection is not required. And do not worry about messing up. All prior versions of articles are kept, so there is no way that you can accidentally damage this wiki or irretrievably destroy content.

SettlementAtWork wiki etiquette

Good wiki etiquette means: respect for others, politeness, write to be understood, collaborate in good faith, stick to the subject, work to achieve a collective product.

When working with a wiki – as with any new technology – it's easy to unknowingly make a faux pas. Here are some wiki etiquette tips drawn from Wikipedia to help you steer clear of newbie errors.

DO

  • Be bold: Go ahead and create content or edit someone else's work. Wikis develop faster when people fix problems, correct grammar, add facts, etc. This is a collaborative tool, after all.
  • Make notes: If you make changes, explain why you made those changes in the related discussion page.
  • Give praise: Has someone added useful content to the page or spent a great deal of time cleaning up the page so it's easier to read? Praise helps let people know their contributions are valued – and makes them want to contribute again.
  • Build structure: Wikis need people to synthesize and structure content so it's easy to read. Even if you're not creating content, you can still help by shaping what's already there.
  • Be polite: As with email and instant messaging, it's often easy to misinterpret the tone of a comment. Disagreements over content or edits can become heated. If that's the case, it's a good idea to take a break for a day or two and come back to it later.
  • Be clear: When creating a page, be clear as to WHAT you want from your readers (input, comments, participation, etc.), and HOW you want them contribute (Are you only intending to share information? Or do you want users to make direct changes to page content? Or do you want them make their comments on the discussion page? And so on...) The first thing you need at the top of the page is the intended use of the page and what you want from your fellow wiki users.

DON'T

  • Take it personally: Yes, others may edit your work and you might not agree with every change, but that's the nature of collaboration. It doesn't mean that your co-workers dislike you or think you're stupid.
  • Ignore questions: Colleagues may disagree with your changes and ask why you made them. If so, be prepared to give concrete reasons for your edits.
  • Delete useful content: Many times a posting can be improved by amending or editing it, but deleting content upsets people, and they may feel they've wasted their time.
  • Be chatty: A wiki shouldn't be used as a chat room. Any discussions related to a wiki subject should take place on the discussion page, not on the actual content page.
  • Keep it secret: Tell others about the valuable content you find. Wikis benefit from a wide range of contributors.

Edit wars

It is feasible that some changes could be considered unacceptable, leading other members to change an article back to an older version. The author that then made the changes which sparked the debate could then re-edit the article, and the cycle could repeat itself, causing an Edit War.

Such situations are unlikely, but could happen. These situations should be averted by proposing major changes, particularly ones that might be controversial, on the discussion page. However, if an edit war occurs, the following steps can be taken to resolve the issue:

  • Contact the other member via their talk page or via their contact information and discuss possible compromises.
  • Take a break. Often times, a 24 hour break is enough for the emotion to cool and for the situation to resolve itself.
  • Request other opinions on the talk page in an effort to work towards consensus and find different solutions.
  • Find other creative ways to work it out as fellow professionals
  • As a last resort, you can contact the wiki administrator. Only administrators can lock pages or block users. Locking a page can be useful while a controversial subject is discussed on a talk page.

For more on wiki etiquette check Wikipedia’s Wiki etiquette.