(Please note: This blog is not meant to be treated as though a member of Wikia Staff or the VSTF wrote it. I am not an admin on any big wikis, so I may have some of my facts wrong.)
I, KCCreations (aka KC, KCC, Rina Maximum Zaslavski, Spectrum Koma, Max III, etc...), have been on the Wikia network for almost a year. During my stay, I've learned a lot about the Wikia system(s)...and now I would like to share my thoughts on one thing many users get confused about a lot: adminship.
From what I've learned and experienced, admins are an essential part of any Wikia community. Without them, all heck would break loose (vandals and trolls would vandalize and harass in much bigger numbers because nobody could block them except Staff) because the members of the local community would have nobody to look up to.
Though being an admin doesn't automatically mean you're the boss of everything (don't be a cruel and merciless dictator, please), it does mean quite a few things.
For starters, you're trusted by at least a few people. On big wikis, this means that the community regards you as honest, dedicated, and trustworthy enough to be successfully voted into your position. On smaller wikis with only a few contributors, it more than likely means that the bureaucrat decided that they needed a potential successor and therefore trusted you with the rights so that you could take action if they weren't around to see danger strike the wiki. And on abandoned wikis with just about nobody helping out, it means that Staff carefully checked your contributions and logs and have decided that you would be an apt candidate for adoption. Think about it; all three of these scenarios involve trust to some degree.
However, a common mistake for new users on big wikis is asking for admin rights. They go straight up to a bureaucrat/VSTF/Staff member and say, "Hey, can I be an admin here on [wiki name]?" And more often than not, the bureaucrat/VSTF/Staff member asked responds, "No," and the user who asked just completely blew their chances of ever being able to be what they want to be.I will not hesitate to say that I've asked for admin rights on wikis before; however, those wikis were tiny and the bureaucrats didn't edit much. It is on sites like those that asking makes even remote sense...but on large wikis with at least 10 active admins and a dedicated fanbase, asking doesn't make sense at all. Rather, it will only make you seem greedy.
It's hard to tell what a person is like in real life over the internet because anyone could pretend to be anyone else. A user could act all dedicated and into the topic of a wiki, but there is still a chance that they only want rights so that they'll have the "ADMIN" sticker pasted onto their masthead. However, the sticker is not meant to be a sticker of power, but rather one of responsibility...
...which brings me to my final point. In my eyes, there are few differences between being an admin on a small wiki and being an admin on a big one; both require leadership, trust, and responsibility. HOWEVER, bigger wikis have more contributors, meaning that there's a bigger community that needs to be watched over and led, more policy, and more activity. And a lot of new users would more than likely crack under pressure if given admin rights without a second thought because they wouldn't know how to lead the community since they haven't gotten a chance to get to know it first.
Remember that these are only my rough thoughts, meaning that I may have left out quite a few things. I may or may not update this later.
Bye for now!