This page borrows from similar principles in Wikipedia.
NSwiki contributors come from many different countries and cultures. We have different views, perspectives, and backgrounds, sometimes varying widely. Treating others with respect is key to collaborating effectively in building an encyclopedia.
This page offers some principles of "Wikiquette" — guidelines on how to work with others on NSwiki. You can read about more basic conventions at the Policy page.
Principles of NSwiki etiquette
- Assume good faith. NSwiki has worked remarkably well so far based on a policy of nearly complete freedom to edit. People come here to collaborate and write good articles.
- Avoid reverts and deletions whenever possible, and stay within the three-revert rule except in cases of clear vandalism. Explain reversions in the edit summary box.
- Amend, edit, discuss.
- Be polite.
- People can't see you or know for sure your mood. Irony isn't always obvious, and blunt, raw text can easily appear rude. Be careful of the words you choose — what you intended might not be what others think.
- Sign and date your posts to talk pages (not articles!).
- Work towards agreement
- Don't ignore questions.
- If another disagrees with your edit, provide good reasons why you think it's appropriate.
- Concede a point, when you have no response to it; or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste.
- Don't make people debate positions you don't really hold.
- Be prepared to apologize.
- In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we hadn't. Say so.
- Forgive and forget.
- Recognize your own biases and keep them in check.
- Give praise when due. Everybody likes to feel appreciated, especially in an environment that often requires compromise. Drop a friendly note on user's talk pages,
- Remove or summarize resolved disputes that you initiated.
- Help mediate disagreements between others.
- If polite discussion fails, take a break if you're arguing or recommend a break if you're mediating.
- Come back after a week or two. If no one is mediating, and you think mediation is needed, enlist someone.
- Walk away or find another NSwiki article to distract yourself — there are 26,164 on NSwiki!
- Review the list of common mistakes.
- Be Civil.
How to avoid abuse of Talk pages
Most people take pride in their work and in their point of view. Egos can easily get hurt in editing, but Talk pages are not a place for striking back. They're a good place to comfort or undo damage to egos, but most of all they're for forging agreements that are best for the articles they're attached to.
Here are a few things to bear in mind
- NSwiki records NationStates history, not real-world history. If someone's nation page doesn't match your perception of historical events, that doesn't make the author wrong. Thanks to the NS concept of fractal reality, both views can be simultaneously opposed and correct.
- NSwiki articles are supposed to represent all views (more at NPOV). The Talk pages are not a place to debate which views are right or wrong or better.
- If someone disagrees with you, this does not necessarily mean that (1) the person hates you, (2) the person thinks you're stupid, (3) the person is stupid, (4) the person is evil, etc. When people post opinions without practical implications for the article, it's best to just leave them be.
- NSwiki invites you to be bold. Before initiating discussion, ask yourself: Is this really necessary to discuss? Could I provide a summary with my edit and wait for others to quibble if they like?
- You can always take a discussion to e-mail or to your user page if it's not essential to the article.
A few more tips on polite discussion
- Always make clear what point you are addressing, especially in replies.
- Quoting a post is O.K., but stating how you interpreted it is better. Before proceeding to say that someone is wrong, concede you might have misinterpreted him or her.
- Don't label or personally attack people or their edits.
- Terms like "racist," "sexist" or even "poorly written" make people defensive. This makes it hard to discuss articles productively.