One of the key Wikia tenets is "Jump right in!", however, many people still see themselves as Bystanders.
The "Bystander effect" primarily refers to something that happens when a group of people witness a crime, but they all individually assume that "someone else will do something".
Just because the term originated due to people doing nothing while someone was being murdered doesn't mean that's the only time it applies.
On Wikis, many people just assume that cleaning up articles is "someone else's job". In truth, it's everyone's job.
- Any time you see someone being murdered, it's your personal responsibility to stop it, or to call someone who can.
- If you see someone dying, it's your personal responsibility to save their life, or to call someone who can.
- If you see an article with a problem, it's your personal responsibility to fix it.
- If you see notice that some information is missing, it's your personal responsibility to add it.
- If you enter the chat and you're the only person there, remember that leaving will make it empty.
- If you aren't sure whether something is true, the right thing to do is ask on the wiki, so that it can be examined and fixed - asking about wiki content on some other forum doesn't help.
- There's no such thing as a stupid question, or a discussion that "too old" for you to leave a relevant reply.
You might notice I left out "or call someone who can" on a few of those: that's because you can.
I'm not immune to the Bystander effect. Just yesterday, I was watching a TV show with a guest actor who said something that was a reference to another part he had played. I immediately went to the related wiki and checked whether it had been added, and it had not: someone had mentioned it on the talk page, but no-one ever added it to the article. I was a newcomer to that particular wiki, and didn't know whether it was right for me to "jump right in" and add it myself - which was silly, it is always right to "jump right in".
After all, even if that trivia was too obtuse for the wiki, someone else would fix it later. If you know something, then it's always right to add it.
It shocked me to realise that I had fallen into the newbie-thinking of "not knowing whether it was okay to add something". I don't really know why I thought that, or what about that wiki would have made me more likely to "just edit it", but I figure the best thing I can do is to write about.
Don't be a bystander. By reading this wiki, you are already a part of the community.
You can choose to be someone who just watches, or you can choose to take part and add information.
You can choose to just fix spelling, tense and grammer, or you can choose to give your opinion in discussions.
You can choose to add which vehicles appear in each mission, or you can completely rewrite articles.
You can choose to upload screenshots, or you can research different ways of failing each mission.
How you contribute is up to you, but don't think that you're not part of the wiki just because you haven't edited yet.
- There are a few times you can't do something, such as if a page is protected due to recent persistent vandalism, but that doesn't happen very often, and at the time of writing, there are NO protected articles. Every single article can be edited by anon users - including the main page.
- The reason for this is that it is my personal belief that excessive page protection is a abuse of admin rights.
- I've seen admins protect pages after a single edit they disagree with - that's not how admins should behave, and those people shouldn't be admins.
- Protecting a page is a last resort, and should not be used unless a page is regularly vandalised.
- I've also seen admins who make infinite blocks - people who do that are poor admins, and there is absolutely no reason to do that. Most vandals simply do not return. Blocks of longer than a day should be reserved for returning vandals only, and in practice, blocks are rarely needed at all.
- 452, 2014-01-03T20:36:17Z
- Further reading: