Wiki etiquette

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We want this to be a supportive, collaborative experience. Some key points:

  • Review Recent Changes periodically -- once each time you use the wiki is a good idea.
  • Keep content relevant. This site is for helping us design and implement our ecovillage -- please keep things that are not at least marginally relevant to private email, or put it on other web resources or mailing lists.
  • Work toward consensus. This may mean moderating your own dissent, or reconciling with someone else's dissent.
  • Fight entropy. Change opinions to facts, change facts to facts backed by references. Do not rebut facts backed by references with your opinion -- that's entropic, and does not serve our purpose. If you feel you must express such an opinion, put it on the "discusson" (or "talk") page.
  • No personal attacks. It's always good to re-read what you've written before you press "Save page", and pretend you're on the other end.
    • How does what you (the writer) have written, make you (the reader) feel?
    • Use the "Mom is reading" rule: would you want your mom to read what you've written?
    • If in doubt, either put it on a discussion page (also called a "talk" page), or use private email.
  • Use Show Preview. Repeatedly! Before saving, re-read what you're written in the preview to see how it will actually look.
  • Respect what others have written. This does not mean to stifle your own dissent, but you should consider that the previous writer has as much invested in what they've written as you do in your dissent. Seek ways of expressing yourself that avoid conflict.
  • Use your User page. Each person with an account has a user page. When you are logged in, you can get at it by clicking on your name near the top of the page. This is your spot -- put whatever you like here! Limit editing of others' User page to correcting typos and such, unless invited to do more.
  • Use the history tab. Before jumping in with a hasty change, examine the history to understand how the page got to be how it is. It could be that your desired change had been thoroughly discussed, considered, and ruled out for good cause -- in which case, you might re-consider upsetting the established consensus. If you still feel strongly about it, then use the discussion page instead.
  • Use discussion pages. If in doubt, use the "discussion" (or "Talk") page for an article. This is a place where people can hash out differences prior to changing something on a main page. This is especially useful with another person's User page.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite Ben Franklin quotes, which I have to remind myself of from time to time. --Jan Steinman

I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbade myself the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as ‘certainly’, ‘undoubtedly’, etc. I adopted instead of them ‘I conceive’, ‘I apprehend’, or ‘I imagine’ a thing to be so or so; or ‘so it appears to me at present’. When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him immediately some absurdity in his proposition. In answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction. I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right. -- Benjamin Franklin

Wikiquette resources

Many of these resources are on WikiPedia, which is a collaborative encyclopedia that uses the same software the EcoReality wiki is using.

WikiPedia is a functional anarchy with an established code of behavior for its users. Very little of that is specific to WikiPedia, and can and should be applied to all wikis, including this one!

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