FANDOM


We were all new to FANDOM at some point. There are those of us who have been around since the dawn of what was then Wikicities, those of us who came in later in its development as Wikia but still have been around for a while, and many other users who may not fit into a specific "join" category; a time existed, however, when all of us were inexperienced.

Do you remember what being new was like? (I do – back in my early years, I struggled to comprehend the technical aspects of wikis, my article writing wasn't that great, and I quite frankly was very immature. Only through a lot of trial and error, and with a great amount of time and learning, have I been able to mature and improve.) For most of you, it was quite difficult at times, was it not? And when you struggled, to whom did you turn?

Guidance is very important during these initial stages – and, even as you dive into deeper waters, having someone to aid you in your endeavors when you need it can be a great thing. In this blog, I'd like to share a few bits of advice on how to be a figure users will want to turn to when they need a helping hand.

1. Don't be cruel to new users

Harsh words may not sting as much as physical attacks, but they can still leave someone in pain, which is why it's important not to bite newcomers. Very few people want to, within reason, seek guidance from those who have hurt them!

2. Be honest but kind

If someone is struggling with following the rules of a wiki, it's best to assume good faith and, rather than attack them for their (potentially unintentional) noncompliance, point them in the right direction. Tell them the rules as they are intended to be read, but be polite in doing so.

See also: Help:Best practices for administrators#Admins should be friendly guides

3. Support positivity

There will always be users in need of help, so encouraging fellow editors to be friendly guiding figures can be a smart move. Be the good-faith user you wish to see on the Internet, and others will follow in your footsteps.

4. Don't bite off more than you can chew

Nobody is perfect. If you find yourself trying to help a user but coming to a standstill due to a lack of expertise, it's alright – let them know and make sure to redirect them to a place where they can receive sufficient help. As an example, if a user wants to know how to customize their wiki in a certain way but you do not know CSS and/or JavaScript very well, tell them that but also redirect them to the developers' wiki or to Community Central's forums.

Anything else?

This is all I have for now, though if you have any other advice you'd like to share, feel free to do so in the comments.

Take care, all!