As it says on the title, this is just a little look into my feelings and thoughts about what I do and why I edit on The Sims Wiki. As should be apparent, this blog does not represent the opinion of the administrative team as a whole, or of any other members.
I often contemplate whether I should resign my administratorship and bureaucratship on the wiki. Not because I do not care about the wiki, but because I fear I may care too much. I usually try to dismiss this idea, knowing that my will to keep away from the wiki is nowhere near as strong as my desire to participate on it. Indeed, I care a great deal about the success of the wiki and I want so badly to help it in any way I can. That's where my problems lie.
It seems to me that there is an issue on this community; a situation which has developed, and I fear I may be in large part to blame. The administrators here, and certain administrators in particular, are so active in community affairs that we tend to drown out the voices, opinions, and ideas of non-administrators. I'm not sure if this is a matter of intimidation, and if it is I'm sure it's not an intentional act on my part or on the part of other administrators. I'm not sure if this is simply a case where users feel they would have nothing new to contribute, or that "only administrators" would be smart enough to come up with ideas. As sad as it sounds, I've seen this said before on the wiki. After all, the administrators are more experienced and longer-serving than regular users, so why should we not defer to their judgment? I might be reading the signs completely wrong, but that's the lay of the land as I see it. It seems that nothing on the wiki ever gets discussed and accepted unless an admin has personally led the charge or seems to have "given their blessing" to the idea. Indeed, on more than one occasion I have seen regular users actually deliberately deferring to administrators to make what should be community-wide decisions.
I wish that I could experience this wiki as a new user again, so I could better understand the challenges of speaking up. As well, I wish I could view the wiki from the outside, and view my administratorship from outside, in particular. I have no way of knowing how my actions are perceived by other users, and I can't exactly go around to different wiki editors and ask for them to give their opinion of me; if they are intimidated by me, they certainly will not give a full and accurate representation of their thoughts and feelings. An outside look at my position would do much to help me address those behaviors I may need to change.
I can say with some level of confidence that, among administrators who push for discussions and change, I push the hardest. That is not meant to be a self-congratulatory compliment. My problem is, again, that I have such a strong desire to participate and improve the wiki that I do not often take the time to reflect upon how my actions will be perceived by others. By this I mean, every time I propose a new initiative, start a vote or lead a discussion, I fear I am reinforcing the idea that only administrators — and even among administrators, only the most experienced and active — can start or lead those discussions. I cloak my headstrong actions in the idea of bold action, with some confidence that no one will speak out against what I am doing. Otherwise, I start yet another wiki discussion which invariably concludes the exact point or nearly the same point that I am proposing. I don't mean to say that I am deliberately derailing discussions to get my way, but I fear that others may perceive this as being the case. I can't say I would disagree with that interpretation in some circumstances, either. That idea troubles me greatly.
I come around again and again to the idea of resigning, of leaving this position and leaving the wiki. As I said, I doubt my will to participate would allow me to do this, and in any case I have no desire to abandon the wiki. At times, though, I feel that my departure may ultimately do more to help than it will to hurt the wiki. By leaving, I might finally open the door for newer users to get their feet wet in tackling the issues of the wiki. By exiting, I might take my gravitas out of community discussions, where I again often fear that my participation unfairly tips the outcome to my favor. At the end of the day, I know that if I were to leave the wiki tomorrow and never return, the wiki would get by just as well. We've lost several very active administrators over the years and there has been no lasting damage done. But again, I don't wish to leave.
So it seems to me that departure is not an option. I must instead fix those problems with my own administratorship; problems that I fear may be preventing this community from reaching its true potential.
I've written this largely to get this out in the open, and to get it out of my head. If you've chosen to read this far, then you can have a better understanding of what I'm thinking when I act the way that I do. And, maybe, you can give me that outside insight that I am looking for. What I'm talking about is honesty, brutal honesty if necessary. I can say that I will respect all opinions and will not become defensive. I honestly want to work towards addressing the problems I see. I could just as easily have a completely misguided interpretation of the situation, in which case I would also appreciate being told as much.