DrumCorpsWiki:Avoiding common mistakes
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Newcomers to DrumCorpsWiki may find that it's easy to commit a faux pas. That's OK — everybody does it! Here are a few common ones you might try to avoid:
Feeling possessive about 'your' material
- Some contributors feel very possessive about material (be it categories, templates, articles, images or portals) they have donated to this project. Some go so far as to defend them against all intruders. It's one thing to take an interest in an article that you maintain on your watchlist. Maybe you really are an expert or you just care about the topic a lot. But when this watchfulness crosses a certain line, then you're overdoing it. Believing that an article has an owner of this sort is a common mistake people make on DrumCorpsWiki. see DrumCorpsWiki:Ownership of articles
Helping in the wrong way
- 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". Also attempt a search on Google of the form "site:www.drumcorpswiki.com <topic>"; articles may be missed by a Wikipedia search but caught by Google, especially if the terms you choose are not present in the article title.
- 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 that isn't trivial 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.
- Deleting or removing text from any Talk page without archiving it. Talk pages or any discussion pages are part of the historical record in DrumCorpsWiki. Every time the pages are cleaned up, don't forget to store the removed text in its corresponding archive ([[/Archive]]) page. (See DrumCorpsWiki:How to archive a talk page.)
- Deleting your User Talk page or removing text from your User Talk page. 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 careful before removing content from your User Talk page; it may look as though you're trying to hide criticism.
- Over-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 probably clean up after you. Really, go ahead and change it. We mean it.
- Over-capitalizing titles. For instance, the second word in "French grammar" is in lowercase. Place names that are used within a drum corps name may make exceptions to this. An example is: Hawthorne Caballeros.That's the DrumCorpsWiki house style.
- Over-Wikifying. DrumCorpsWiki thrives on internal links, but keep it within reason —.
Taking it too seriously
- Arming for war. DrumCorpsWiki is a unique community of reasonable and consensus-oriented people. In other words, this isn't Usenet, and flaming is severely looked down upon. For more about DrumCorpsWiki manners, see DrumCorpsWiki:etiquette.
- Using DrumCorpsWiki pages as a chat room. See How to avoid Talk page abuse.
- Getting annoyed because you find some bad articles. DrumCorpsWiki is a work in progress; please tolerate our imperfection, and help us improve. There are a lot of smart people here, and everyone finds they have something to contribute.