Congratulations! You've just been made an staff member on the wiki! Perhaps you're a moderator, able to temper and fine-tune pages. Or maybe an administrator, with the almighty power to lock and ban. You can feel the power rising within you...you cackle madly, raising your hands in victory, thunder and lighting crashing...
...Wait, that was something else. Anyway...staff member. Yay.
Or perhaps you're here because you want to be a staff member. That's cool, too.
Either way, welcome.
So...when it comes down to it, what is a staff member, and what do they do?
Staff Member: a Definition
Staff member: n. A wiki editor who has proven themselves, through time and talent, to be worthy of the use of special tools and abilities on a wiki.
Look carefully up there at that basic definition, especially one key word: editor. That's right, in spite of all your nifty new widgets, you are still, first and foremost, a wiki editor. Plain and simple.
Now, you may choose to expand that role, based on what you did before you were a staff member. Many wiki staff members do choose to take an active leadership role in the wiki they help on. Some don't, preferring to gnome away quietly in the background. Some help organize massive projects or revamps, while others offer to mediate between disputing editors. Some are technically skilled, able to create amazing feats of programming that you didn't think were possible within a wiki framework. Others may not be technically gifted, but they know the of the people on the wiki, and are able to identify those in need of help, those who need a kind word, or perhaps those who just need a break.
However, if you try to do all that at once, you'll go mad. To start, focus on the skills that work the best for you. You may expand your talents, you may not. Just try to do your best...that's all any reasonable person would expect you do. As this goes along, there will be more examples of specific situations which may call upon your talents and tools that will hopefully give you ideas on how to improve your own skills.
Staff Member: What They Aren't
- Judges: Staff members should always encourage quality edits, as the idea of a wiki is to have a decent resource that anyone can edit. They should not put down other editors, however, because their edits do not meet some sort of unreasonable or unreachable standard. Asking a user to improve grammar is one thing; putting them down or threatening to ban them because of they disagree with the edit is not.
- Owners: Staff members do not own a wiki. They cannot exclusively control everything that goes into it. They cannot pick and choose who and what works for them. Everyone should have free access to the wiki, including those who operate differently from a staff member's ideal.
- Punishers: Staff members should not use their tools to punish users for the slightest transgression by banning, blocking, or reverting. That's a blatant abuse of the tools they've been granted, and is just asking to get them revoked.
Some staff members, unsure of their roles, may make mistakes, usually along the lines of those above. No one's perfect; as long is the damage is fixed and apologies are made, then it shouldn't be a big deal. However, when a staff member flagrantly does one or all of the above, it may be time to assess their appropriateness in the roll.
Next up: Tools of the Trade. Please see the Discussion page above for further Discussion.