The Sims Wiki


Top 5 tips for editing

I've been thinking a bit lately about the things that seem to recur the most amongst editors on The Sims Wiki. Specifically, I wanted to call out to all editors, new and old, of some little things I've seen come up now and again. This is by no means an attempt to show that I'm better than everyone else (because I mess up all of the things I'm about to list, in one way or another); I'm just trying to get everyone thinking about what I'm about to say. Please do with this information what you want :D

So without further ado, here's my top five editing tips. Feel free to leave your own in the comments below, or let me know what you think of mine.

1. Edit summaries are your friend - Every edit you make to a page has the option of being accompanied by an edit summary. Edit summaries should accompany any edit you perform, especially if the edit might be confusing to others or may be controversial. A rule of thumb - if you're editing something and you feel you might need to explain to someone else what it is you're doing, include a summary. Including a summary is also a matter of courtesy in some situations, such as if you're editing a user page or undoing another person's edit.

2. Be careful with Undo and Rollback - Undo and rollback tools are great for quickly cleaning up damage caused by vandalism, but it's advisable not to use them against good-faith edits. If you see a good faith edit that is damaging to a page, you can use these tools but you need to make it clear, in an edit summary for example, that the edit is being undone for a specific reason. Undoing or rolling back without giving a written reason makes it appear that the edit was reverted because it was vandalism. Failing to explain the reason for that action might even cause the original editor to make the edit again - to revert your revert - which often results in an 'Edit war' and possible consequences for both editors. Also note that the rollback tool instantly reverts the edits without the possibility of leaving a summary, so it should be used in cases of vandalism only.

3. Don't aspire for administratorship - The wiki is helped by a group of dedicated, long-term editors who are reliable, trustworthy and experienced. These users, generally speaking, are also administrators, often for many of the same reasons - experience, reliability and trust. The biggest mistake many users make is to aspire to become an administrator. Even if a person's intentions are pure, to openly aspire to become an administrator, or to appear as if a person is doing things purely to become an administrator, might work against the feelings of trust and reliability that are necessary to become an administrator in the first place. To put it more simply, a user who appears too ambitious might rule themselves out of the very position they're seeking to fill. The single most effective way to become an admin is to show you're trustworthy, experienced and helpful; sometimes this takes a fair bit of time to do.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for administrator rights - I know this point seems entirely contradictory, but I assure you that it isn't. Nearly as much as I've seen users aspire to become administrators, I've seen users who are clearly administrator material decline applying, largely because they believe their edit count is too low or that they won't get support. It has been said so many times but it bears repeating: quality is more important than quantity. I would be comfortable with an administrator having "only" 500 edits (I was made an administrator when I had 700 edits, for the record) if I knew I could rely on them and that they knew their stuff. Editors with thousands of edits may not even be so qualified. The most important parts of administration are experience and fairness - edit counts factor in very little here.

5. Avoid drama - Nothing saps the fun out of anything more than fighting, and when you have people collaborating together fights, disagreements and arguments are par for the course. The best defense against being embroiled in these fun-killing feuds is to be friendly and to avoid letting emotion get wrapped up into what you're doing. This is why I have personally adhered to my own 'code of conduct', which includes: Not getting involved in disputes on other wikis that then cross over onto TSW; not showing favoritism through the use of 'Friends Lists'; treating everyone respectfully and as I would want to be treated. This isn't always the easiest thing to do, but keeping yourself above the drama can go a long way to making this an enjoyable place.

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