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The Wiki's Crossroads

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TL;DR: We need to relax and trust admins to get things done without abusing power.

Hey there, everyone!

I'm writing this blog to tell you all about how our community is at a metaphorical crossroads right now. There's a very important discussion going on now that many of you might not be aware of. Fundamentally, the forum is about how we want to handle many of the larger policy issues of the wiki. It's about how we want to handle ourselves to improve the editing experience here and help retain users better.

Obviously, one of the main reasons I'm writing this to try and get some of you to contribute to that forum, but I also want to explain why it's so important. I also want to explain my personal opinion on what we need to change, and why need to change.

Progress is hard here. We tend to be a more democratic wiki, involving the community in most decisions made here. Sometimes it's great to get the community's opinion on issues. Sometimes, it's a little ridiculous, and the decisions can be made more quickly, and more efficiently by admins alone. How many times has the community been made an awful place full of arguments and insults because of discussions about appointing chat mods? Far too many, and since we've made that a decision for admins, we've had a much smoother time.

One of the most laughable examples of how hard progress can be for this community is how we handle bans for veteran users: Every ban needs a forum. It doesn't seem to matter what someone does, whether it's insulting other users during an edit war, or blatantly vandalizing the wiki, by the current rules, the community needs to decide whether or not these actions need a ban. It doesn't seem to matter how blatantly you break the rule, just being part of the community for awhile saves you from an immediate ban, and can potentially get you off entirely. Can we not trust admins to ban people based on the rules we have and use their best judgement?

Admins are chosen by the community because they are the best, most experienced editors on the wiki, and their decisions should be respected, in the same way that they respect the opinions of the community. We have several great admins here, and I don't think we have to worry about any of them ruling the wiki with an iron fist.

Personally, I love the concept of a community that makes all its decisions together. But in practice here, it slows changes, and makes editors get worn out and leave because of all the arguments. In the end, I'm worried about this place. Recently, we've lost a lot of good editors because they don't want to keep arguing over every small detail. We're shrinking in size, and it's getting harder to attract new editors. Isn't now as good a time as any to reevaluate our core philosophy? I personally think we need to take detailed, yet slow look at some of our policies and decide what we really need to have community involved in, and what we can trust the admins to handle.

Anyways, I hope if you've taken all the time to read this, you can take some more and add to the various discussions on Forum:New Editing Policies, which is where many of the changes we need to make will take place.

Thanks for reading! JustSomeDude...  Talk |

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