Wiki Community/Can't We All Just Get Along

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In hopes of staving off side arguments, any threads devolving into accusations or the rehashing of old arguments can /Get Off My Lawn (and go to that sub-page).


As JW and many others have noted recently, a lot of the meta discussions over the last couple of months have been extremely heated. It's bad enough that it sucks for the people directly involved, but unfortunately, it's spilling over to affect others, including new editors who haven't done anything more than inadvertently violate a disputed wiki norm. Hell, norm's not even really the right word, since many of the "norms" are under dispute.

If this trend continues, we're going keep driving away well-meaning editors. Certainly new ones, and quite possibly old ones, too. We need a collective wiki chill pill. I feel that this is bad for the wiki. Really bad. —TomGarberson


Pretty sure that this is all going to boil up again if we do not discuss all these things to death at some point. Possibly a bad time to do it since we are tabling and trying to be on our best behavior right now, but I think all the topics we get into heated debates over should be gone over before LocalWiki gets more publicized. Maybe we need to set up another forum for this? —hankim

I think talking in person is good. Han, can you send me your email? I'm philipn@gmail.com. (for fundraising). —PhilipNeustrom


I agree. But things are so touchy that I'm not even sure we can have this conversation without it devolving into accusations of whose fault it is. —CovertProfessor


The thing that bothers me about it is that since I got active around here, I've regularly told people that we're a very friendly, helpful bunch of people. Recently, that's begun to feel like a lie. As a whole, we're as likely to tell a new user to eff off (through reverts, angry criticisms of their user name, or whatever else) as we are to try to make them feel welcome. At some point, we go from having a community that tries to get people involved to being a bunch of crotchety old farts who want the damn kids to get off our lawn.

I believe that every single frequent editor on here wants what's best for the wiki, but I think we're losing sight, as a whole, of the fact that what's best for the wiki is far bigger than a few conventions and norms. That's not to say that conventions and norms should be thrown out the window. My point is that the way we've been enforcing them, as a group, feels like it has done more harm than the conventions and norms themselves prevent.

I guess it's kind of like the DLM magazine links: it's not what we're doing; it's how we're doing it. —TomGarberson


Your wish came true, we are ["Users/CampusRec/Talk" all getting along] on something. Anyway, I feel that the whole new users thing has not been too much of a problem. I have been welcoming quite a few new users recently and I thought those welcomes were friendly. I can only recall about three that have had a rough start on the Wiki in the past few months. They just stand out more because reverts happen. Sure, it is unfortunate that some people get a rough start, but if you are going to be a Wiki gnome, you probably will be butting heads with other gnomes and arguments are going to break out, but that is normal in a community that is not a dictatorship. —hankim


I think talking in person is good. —PhilipNeustrom'


I think that taking on a sour attitude is harmful. Often more harmful than someone, say, not using their real name. The goal is to encourage a healthy, friendly community.

As a regular wiki editor your perspective is very different from those who come on and, on a whim, decide to add something here. We need to strive, always, to be welcoming, curious and polite (meaning: assume good intentions!) with new people (and everyone!).

Getting burnt out or frustrated happens, especially as a volunteer — it's happened to me a bunch of times. It's especially hard when you see the same mistakes over and over. The key is to acknowledge that harboring resentment isn't helpful, and to step back and stop editing for a bit.

I also want to make a tangential point that there's a lot of seemingly social issues — like encouraging more identity, or changing the way comments work — that can be improved with more vibrant software. So that's something we're going to be working on real soon. —PhilipNeustrom


Tom, I would be happy to discuss this topic with you or anyone else off-Wiki. redbarn@omsoft.com.DonShor Please look at the edit history of [WWW]http://daviswiki.org/V.I.P._Studios_Photography to see an example of what I consider to be problem editing. —Don


This seems like a fairly good place to discuss enumerating some standards for civil editing. This stuff seems pretty self-explanatory, but it's become a problem lately. I'm going to start us off with just one. Feel free to add your own thoughts and/or your own suggestions for standards.


For the record, I want to say that its all the argumentative bullshit and general aggressiveness of some editors that made me stop making any significant contributions to DavisiWiki and other Wikispot Wikis. It's a shame, really. I think there's a lot of potential for this type of media but somehow it seems to easily devolve into one of those crappy craigslist discussion boards. Kind of like this page. Ok, I'll go slog off into my internet cave of solitude now...- MaryLieth


Anything further on this topic?

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