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You are bored with editing your major wiki, so you look around for other wikis to edit. You pick one that is a wiki of your favorite TV show, and you search through the maintenance categories looking for under-the-hood tasks to help with. However, as you start performing these tasks, your edits are reverted and someone leaves you a message asking you to stop.
This has happened to me on nearly every single wiki I have edited apart from my home wiki. What's the deal? I've had redirects that have over 4k hits in the SearchDigest deleted, edits removing a red link on a userpage reverted, edits to tag an unused file for deletion reverted, edits to add automatic categories to templates reverted. I have seen wikis with thousands of UnusedFiles and hundreds of broken or double redirects, wikis with tons of redlinked templates/files/pages/categories, wikis with mainspace templates on userpages, causing even more redlinks and category issues. What's the deal??
Some wikis have certain rules that others do not. For example, one wiki I edited has a policy about not editing userpages unless it's your own. I am aware of this policy from other wikis, but proceeded to remove a red link since it was no more than a basic maintenance task. Reverted, because the userpage owner "owns" the red link and it's their job to fix it. On another wiki I created some redirects for uncreated pages with over 2k hits. Deleted, because it's unnecessary to help people to get where they are going apparently. I find these reverts to my edits astounding and unnecessary.
There is a huge gap between wikis and their allowed maintenance tasks. All of the maintenance pages are readily-available on every wiki, but whether or not the wiki supports use of said pages is up in the air. Many admins of the smaller wikis are unaware of the help I am trying to give them. Wikia is all about helping new founders and admins with their wikis, but what about the normal day-to-day editing? No one is taught basic maintenance. If a wiki is meant to survive, it needs to be maintained, and the smaller wikis floating around are maintenance nightmares. Wikis with a tiny userbase are at even more risk as they are completely unaware of these maintenance tasks and do not have time to even look into it. They simply do not understand the benefits of having a cleaned-up wiki and proceed to revert maintenance edits for reasons beyond my understanding.
This gap between knowing about basic maintenance and not needs to be fixed.