Growing as a Wikipedia Editor

Wikipedia is a gargantuan project that has revolutionized the way that information is shared and stored on the internet. Wikipedia currently has over four million pages of data and that number is always rising thanks to the hyper connectivity of the internet and the digital age that people are currently living in. In order to keep this information standardized and updated it needs a volunteer force to help funnel it into the proper locations. Many people dip their toes into becoming Wikipedia writers for hire but most never ascend to the upper tier of editors. Here are a few ways that new editors can grow into better Wikipedia editors.

Be bold but remain honest.
Wikipedia editing has a habit of making people nervous. New editors are afraid to edit content that has been around for a long time. This causes these editors to stick to small edits on lesser popular page. However, if an editor sees a place to update comment then they should boldly take the job in order to do it. Wikipedia is a collaborative effort where no one voice overrules another one. Be bold in the decision to edit but also only edit what can be done honestly and to the proper chain of protocol.

Partake in Wikipedia ‘missions’.
Wikipedia has so much data on their website that the occasional ‘mission’ will overtake the editors side of things. One such mission is Project Punctuation. Wikipedia wants their volunteer editors to focus primarily on updating the pages in order to comply with the Manual of Style’s outlook on how punctuation should be used in the Wikipedia. This is just one example of a mission. Follow any of the missions that get posted in order to help Wikipedia in a direct way that actually matters and will end up getting noticed.

Study the Manual of Style.
The Wikipedia Manual of Style is the compendium of rules and regulations that keeps Wikipedia one cohesive force of information. Ignoring the MoS or not remembering it can lead to articles getting pulled down and deleted. At best poor MoS standards will cause Wikipedia to degrade in quality. So always take time to refresh those rules and keep them at the forefront when editing. Following the MoS is integral in keeping the website looking good.

At the end of the day editing Wikipedia should be viewed as a passion project and that passion must extend to keeping the project looking good.

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