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<font face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Times New Roman"><center><font size="+2" color="green">'''It's Probably a Good Thing I'm Not in Charge'''</font></center>
<center>''A An Ever-Expanding, Rambling Essay and Haphazard Collection of Comments by [[User:ASDamick|Fr. Andrew]]''</center></font>
I've been working on OrthodoxWiki pretty much since it was a little over a month old, consisting of just the [[Main Page]] and , a collection of red links, and perhaps a sketched article or two, back in November [ December of 2004]. I'm not an expert on wiki-software, nor am I a saint, nor am I much of anything at all. Nor am I in charge! But I do claim to have at least a little knowledge on what seems to work here (which is of course worth just as much as you paid for it). I am also one of the sysops, but not [[User:FrJohn|The Man]].
In most senses, this essay is something of a rant, but let me assure you that it's a good-natured rant whose purpose is essentially to expose my own philosophy of what works best in putting together a collaborative Internet encyclopedia of Orthodox Christianity, the strengths and particular genius which continues to make OrthodoxWiki the only site of its kind.
===A Repository for All Your Knowledge===
I'm sure you have a lot of great stuff in your head and in your experience, but consider for a moment whether it's really worth putting into an encyclopedia. If you have an encyclopedia on your shelf (or if you have access to a library), take it off the shelf and have a look in it. Notice the kinds of entries that are included. Notice what's not included. The idea of an encyclopedia is to give the answer to the question, "Who or what is [subject]?" It is not meant to be an exhaustive work on any subject.
===A Documented Archive of Everything===
In history, certain persons and events rise to the top of human consciousness by virtue of their impact on the rest of mankind. For some, this is purely local history, and for others, this history is global. But historiography (the writing of history) necessarily includes a process of sifting out the relatively trivial and putting forth only the most significant and notable. Encyclopedias are ''even more limited'' in their selection of subject matter.
OrthodoxWiki is thus a presentation of people, places, things and events that have made their place in Orthodox Christian history. It is not a vehicle for people hoping to make history, but for third-party writers to summarize information about subjects that are genuinely notable. Your local parish, your parish priest, and your pet theories on Scriptural interpretation are all most likely not of much historical note (yet).
==My Rules of Thumb==
#50% of problems on OrthodoxWiki result from editors either '''not reading the [[OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual|Style Manual]] and [[OrthodoxWiki:FAQ|FAQ]]''' or not following them.
#The other 50% of problems are a result of editors '''not bothering to browse the wiki with some seriousness before deciding to contribute'''. It is this group of editors who contribute indirectly to the expansion of the Style Manual and the FAQ, as new tendencies are discovered which lower the overall quality of the wiki rather than raising it.
#Corollary to Rule #2: Whatever you have in mind for the wiki '''has probably already been thought of before''', so look around to see if the article exists already or if it's already been redlinked (i.e., a link to a non-existent article to invite its creation).
#'''Some subjects are always notable''': [[bishop]]s, [[synod|councils]], [[heresy|heresies]], [[saint]]s.
#'''It is better to delete an article than to wait for it to improve.''' Experience has taught me that it is extremely rare that what is essentially a [[Help:Stub|stub]] will ever expand beyond that status, once a few days have passed from its first appearance. Don't believe me? Check out [[:Category:Stubs]].
#The corollary to this rule is that '''it is better not to start an article at all''' than to contribute a massive number of articles hoping that you or someone else will eventually fill them out.
#'''Presentation matters''' from the moment you first click '''"Save page"'''. There's a reason that '''''Your changes will be visible immediately''''' is printed right below the editing box.
#'''People with an agenda usually ruin the wiki''' or at least attempt to do so. A few actually become normal, useful editors who contribute good articles. Most either end up storming off in a huff or getting banned for refusing to play nice.
#'''Most people think what they're used to is "normal" and "standard."''' This typically results in parochialisms getting writ large into articles. This can be cured with a little research and may even result in personal growth in humility!
interwiki, renameuser, Administrators

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