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  • Sannse

    The Zen Admin

    September 29, 2014 by Sannse

    Today's topic was suggested by 452, and it's a good one. We've talked about the attributes of the ideal admin, and about the best ways to react to trolling. But between that is the best way to react to users you dislike or are causing problems on the wikia in ways other than simple trolling.

    This is related to "Don't Feed the Trolls," but there are some differences. Not feeding trolls is generally about not giving feedback to those that are editing specifically to get a reaction to their disruption. But sometimes there's more involved than that, and sometimes your reaction is not just about not feeding, it's also about your own effect on the wikia and its community.

    So let's talk about your reactions to vandals, users that don't listen, or w…

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  • Sannse

    Back in May, I talked about how to become an admin. Today we're going to look at this from the other side: how should you choose a new admin?

    The choice of admin or bureaucrat on a wikia is a very important one. A good admin can grow and nurture the wikia, and make it thrive. A bad one, at worst, can cause major disruption and destruction.

    There are different views on how many admins a wikia needs. Some prefer to have many, to divide up the admin tasks between them, and to make sure some are always available. Others prefer a strong core of the best candidates, to make it easier for them to work directly together and in tune. I would advise starting with a very small group for a new wikia, and then deciding how many works best for your commun…

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  • Sannse

    How to Get Unblocked

    July 16, 2014 by Sannse

    Recently I talked about why staff don't change admin decisions to block. But that didn't answer the related question of how do you get a block removed on Wikia.

    Of course, the first way is to not get blocked in the first place! I've often heard people protest their block when they were clearly doing something wrong. So if you get blocked because you replaced the main page with "aasdkadkj" then my answer to you is "don't do that then".

    But even if you act perfectly, there are reasons that you might get blocked. There might be a misunderstanding, or you may have broken a rule that wasn't obvious, or you may have come across an unreasonable admin.

    So my first advice is to take an honest look at your actions. Is this really a bad block, or were you d…

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  • Sannse

    I Want to Be an Admin

    May 14, 2014 by Sannse

    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 …


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  • Sannse

    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…

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  • Brandon Rhea

    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 …

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  • Sannse

    There's a difficult balance on a site like Wikia, 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 wikia 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 wikia 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 mes…

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  • Sannse

    Stand Up and Speak Out

    January 28, 2014 by Sannse

    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…

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  • Semanticdrifter

    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.

    No, really.

    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 …

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  • Sannse

    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 …

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