Battlestar Wiki:Faux pas avoidance

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
This is a proposed policy for Battlestar Wiki.
This non-policy is considered by the community and its leadership is to be considered for the status quo of Battlestar Wiki, though changes to it can be discussed on the appropriate talk page.

Newcomers to Battlestar Wiki may find that it's easy to commit a faux pas. That's OK — everybody does it! But here are a few you might try to avoid:

  • Making dictionary-type entries unrelated to Battlestar-specific words / jargon / slang. We take the stance that, should a word be not unique to Battlestar, they be linked (or edited / added) to the Wiktionary.
  • Making redundant articles. Before creating a new article, run a search for the topic — you may find a related one that already exists. Consider adding to existing articles before creating an entirely new one. In searching keywords, remember that article titles are usually singular, e.g. "Tree", not "Trees".
  • Deleting useful content. A piece of content may be written poorly, yet still have a purpose. Consider what a sentence or paragraph tries to say. Clarify it instead of throwing it away. If the material seems miscategorized or out of place, consider moving the wayward material to another page, or creating a new page for it. If all else fails, and you can't resist removing a good chunk of content, it's usually best to move it to the article's "Talk page", which can be accessed using the "discussion" button at the top of each page. The author of the text once thought it valuable, so it is polite to preserve it for later discussion.
  • Deleting biased content. Biased content can be useful content (see above). Remove the bias and keep the content.
  • Deleting without announcing that you're doing it. Remark on it in the edit summary box. Otherwise, other users who care about the article's development will be caught unaware, and may think you're being intentionally sneaky.
  • Deleting without justifying. Deleting anything nontrivial requires some words of justification in the edit summary or on the talk page. If the justification is presented on the talk page, you can simply write "See talk:" in the edit summary box.
  • Using Battlestar Wiki pages as a chat room. Battlestar Wiki is not a forum.
  • Respecting "the author".
    • Critiquing instead of editing. Articles have no single author with one overarching plan. Offering a suggestion or critique on the Talk page can be helpful, but it is often faster to just give the article what you think it needs.
    • Failing to be bold. Yes, you might mess things up a little. But someone else will very likely clean up after you. Really, go ahead and change it: we mean it.
  • Arming for war. Battlestar Wiki is a unique community of altruistic and consensus-oriented people. In other words, this isn't Usenet, and flaming is just not done. For more about Battlestar Wiki manners, see Battlestar Wiki:Etiquette.
  • Over-capitalizing titles. For instance, the second word in "French grammar" is in lower case. That's the Battlestar Wiki and Wikipedia house style.
  • Leaving in a huff because you find some bad articles. Battlestar Wiki is a work in progress; please tolerate our (temporary) imperfection, and help us improve. There are a lot of smart people here, and everyone finds they have something to contribute. If you're still skeptical, see the replies to common objections.
  • Deleting your User Talk page or removing text from your User Talk page. Talk pages are part of the historical record in Battlestar Wiki, and your User Talk page is the best way others have of communicating with you. It's OK to clean up or archive old content, but please be very careful before removing content from your User Talk page; it makes it look as though you're trying to hide criticism.
  • Creating more work for WikiJanitors, especially for pages in the Battlestar Wiki namespace. Many well-meaning users will attempt to improve a process without considering that their changes will increase the workload for others. See: instruction creep.