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This first section is about the responsibilities and qualities of admins, and has been compiled from a range of opinions in the previous discussion, archived here and in the comments below.
The next stage is for everyone to read this text carefully, and add your thoughts below.
Does this text correctly reflect everyone's views? What's missing? Is there anything you feel is wrong, unclear, or said too strongly, or not strongly enough?
The second section is about the role of bureaucrats and the third section is about selecting admins and bureaucrats.
As before, the ground-rules.
- Please keep the conversation calm, productive and civil. Please share your ideas, do not attack other users.
- Please do not edit or remove other people's comments. If someone is excessively abusive, then Sannse will act as a moderator and remove comments and ban if necessary.
- Please do your best to say why you feel a particular way. It helps us all to understand each other if you explain your views
- The most productive discussions include flexibility and compromise. Let's try to work together to find the right solutions for this wiki.
Draft Policy: Section 1, Admins
Admins are a key group in any community. The are responsible users who have shown they have the experience, ability, and attitude to be accepted as leaders by the community. They are reliable members of the wiki who have been part of the group for a reasonable length of time.
They are both the role-models and the rule-keepers for the wiki. They should think of this role as serving the community, helping to maintain and care for it, rather than as a position of power and control. They are equal to other users, but have more responsibility and the permission of the community to make decisions for the group.
An admin must act in order to maintain the hairline balance of precise & accurate information and community happiness. This means they are responsible to ensuring the wiki is not damaged by bad actions, but also that the community as a whole is happy and enjoying their time on the site.
An admin is a diplomat. A gifted diplomat has an opinion, but is able to put that aside for the sake of discussion. They look at things in a broader sense than most, and and make decisions within that greater scope. In an argument over the choice between a between a peanut-butter sandwich or jelly sandwich, the gifted diplomat sees the possibility of a peanut-butter-jelly sandwich!
Admins are chosen based on their history and involvement with the Terraria Wiki.
Their key responsibilities are:
- Maintaining the wiki and keeping it clean.
- Making decisions on behalf of the community.
- Engaging the community, answering questions and helping people out.
- Teaching editors how to make good edits and about MediaWiki software.
- Enforce the rules of the community, blocking as needed
- Managing issues on the wiki, being the moderators and mediators during disputes
The ideal admin:
- Has a love of and knowledge of Terraria, and the Terraria Wiki
- Is willing to maintain the wiki and has available time to do so
- Is kind, friendly and helpful to be helpful to others.
- Hates vandalism and has shown they know how to clean it up.
- Is willing to learn and listens well to others
- Is honest and makes fair and reasonable decisions
- Is happy to answer users questions and to deal with disputes.
- Is authoritative in their decisions (but not authoritarian)
- Makes high quality contributions, with solid spelling and grammar.
- Manages to obtain and hold the trust of the community as a whole
The admin team should contain people with various skills, including some with knowledge of (or interest in learning) advanced wiki markup including templates, CSS and JS. The style of contributions are often more important than the number or type. For example, someone with thousands of small spelling corrections is an asset to the wiki, but may not make as good an admin as someone who shows they have experience in helping others in the community
Admins should have served as a Chat Moderator or Rollback member and used their powers responsibly.
Draft Policy: Section 2, Bureaucrats
note from sannse: This next bit was harder to draw together into a single view. The main area that still needs to be hashed out is whether bureaucrats on this wiki are "senior admins", or admins who also act as tie-breakers in disputes, or simply admins with an extra rights-adding ability (that they use only on request of the community). The majority of those commenting on this leaned towards the last view, or were somewhere in the middle – so I've tried to pull together a section for this that reflects that. But if this version doesn't feel right, then it's definitely up for discussion!
A bureaucrat is an admin with the extra ability to add and remove rights from others. They are chosen from among active admins, and most of their rights and obligations are part of their admin role. As with admins, they are long-standing and knowledgeable contributors, selected from among the most respected members of the community.
In the case of a disagreement among admins, bureaucrats can also act as "tie-breakers", helping to find middle ground and selecting the best decision for the community as a whole. In this role, at a least two bureaucrats will look at a deadlocked situation and consider all admin and community views. Both must agree on the final decision (or a clear majority if more than two are involved). Because of this extra responsibility, bureaucrats are expected to be the most responsible and reasonable members of the community.
Draft Policy: Section 3, Choosing Admins and Bureaucrats
note from sannse: This last bit was the most tricky to reconcile: how to choose admins and bureaucrats (including how to choose who to consider for those roles). The two key ideas were a community-driven "requests for adminship", and a process where admins choose new admins. Most people who commented seem content with admins being key in choosing the new admins, even if some level of community involvement is part of the process. So I've written this as a modified RfA, with the final decisions made by the admin team (and with a provision for the short-term). This is the part that needs most feedback. If you have other ideas, want to suggest tweaks and changes, or think I've missed something - please speak up!
When new admins are needed, the current active admins will ask the community for recommendations. Any member of the community can suggest names of people to be considered (self-nominations are not accepted). The ideal people are those that the community knows and trusts, and who quickly come to mind when the question is asked "who should the next admin be?" Each suggestion will then be discussed by the community, to give an opportunity for everyone to give their opinions on the suitability of the candidates.
It's not necessary for everyone commenting to agree on a new admin, but there should be general agreement, especially from other well-respected community members. Overall, a successful candidate will have general support from the community, support from at least two existing admins, and no strong objections from any admin.
Views from unknown commenters (including people from other wikis, or who don't have a known connection to the Terraria Wiki) may be part of the conversation, but should be read in context. For example, an allegation that someone has been rude on an unconnected Wikia wiki might be useful data in reviewing a potential admin, or might be a biased and distorted view that shouldn't affect this wiki. Equally, a large number of supports from unknown people might show that the person is popular with readers of the wiki, or might show that uninvolved people (without actual knowledge of the wiki or it's community) are getting pulled in from elsewhere.
Once everyone has had a chance to suggest and comment on candidates, and once the generally preferred candidate is clear, a bureaucrat will set the rights. In a situation where the conversation is mixed and the overall consensus isn't clear, then the bureaucrat must consult with other admins and bureaucrats before making the change.
Bureaucrats are selected in a similar way, but only current admins are eligible. In this case, all commenting admins must agree strongly with the selection before the rights change is made. The ideal is for the community to have at least three active bureaucrats (although this may take some time to achieve).
After some serious disputes in the community, staff are currently involved in this wiki. Because of this, all new admins and bureaucrats must be approved by staff. This provision will be removed once the admin team is stable (which is not expected to be the case for a few months).
Who Are The Current Admins?
Note from Mathmagician: For those who may not be aware, I just wanted to point out who the current admins are and their level of involvement on this wiki. Please refer to Special:ListUsers/sysop as a source for this info.
- Dratini17 (Founder, Bureaucrat, Admin. Inactive.)
- Kiruwagaka (Admin. Semi-active.)
- Mathmagician (Admin. Active.)
- Port5 (Admin. Active.)
- Zenofire (Admin. Inactive.)
Also, Gracey91 and HeroGaming were admins until recently. Due to certain circumstances, their admin rights were revoked by Wikia Staff. They may potentially be selected as admins again by the community. Note: due to their inactivity, I have never had a chance to speak with Dratini17, Kiruwagaka or Zenofire at any point in time in the past 2 months. Please be aware that the only active admins at this point in time are myself and Port5.
Mathmagician ( talk ♥ blog ) 04:16, February 17, 2012 (UTC)