D&D Wiki:Administration

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What is an Administrator?

Administrators are highly trusted users who have been voted into the position by the entire community.

An administrator has access to saving edits on admin-level protected pages. (These mostly include fundamental components of the wiki, such as the main page, the help portal, welcome messages, meta pages, some templates, etc.) Since these are the vast minority of content on the wiki, that privilege should usually go unused unless there is some significant update going on.

An administrator has access to special editing tools, such as mass-reversion of edits, page protection, and moving of pages without leaving a redirect. These tools are intended to aid the user in continuing to do what they have always done: make the wiki a better place. The reason access to these tools is restricted to administration, is because of their high potential for abuse and potentially destructive consequences if given to the wrong people. It is assumed that the same high degree of trust required to become an administrator is required, so the two go hand-in-hand.

An administrator has access to user management tools, such as the capacity to ban users to varying degrees for violating civility and etiquette, for using the wiki to break the law, (including violations of our own licensing) or for vandalism of the project. Obviously, you want to trust your wardens, so again these tools are restricted to administrators.

What Does Admin Do?

Mostly, administrators are simply the most respected and trusted members of a community, so as for "what they do", it generally boils down to just continuing to do whatever it is that made people trust them in the first place! On average, based on the statistics from other wikis, you can expect to find roughly 4 administrators to every 100 regular users. An administrator isn't just a title; it's a personality type.

Some users choose to take on additional responsibilities once they become admin, but there's really nothing requiring them to do so, or stopping a regular user from doing the same, even without admin tools. For example, a user may decide to take responsibility for maintaining quality and balance standards in a given content type by regularly patrolling that content. Such a user doesn't actually need any administrative tools to do that! In fact, users are encouraged to take charge and be active in the maintenance and growth of this community. Be bold! However, if they encounter a situation where social or legal policies are being broken, or pages need protection, they will still have to call an admin to adjudicate the situation.

How Can I Become An Administrator?

1. Stick around for a while. Like, a long while. Part of being trusted means you need to be dependable. We need to trust that, when the community needs you, you'll actually still be involved here. This is also necessary in order to just become known by enough people that you can have some sort of an identity with the community. This area is the hardest type of trust to build with our community today. We have had a lot of admin abandonments in the past years, and it's become something of a trend, so it can be tough to convince people that you're going to stick around long enough to make beneficial use of administrative status.

2. Care about people. Try to work within the framework of the community. Read and understand the guidelines and policies. Respect your fellow users. Call for admin to adjudicate dysfunctional social disputes. Work with other users and admin to enforce etiquette and civility where people would otherwise slip under the radar. Be kind, supportive, and helpful to new users. If the community trusts your understanding of these things, and your capacity to remain rational and calm during a dispute, then they will likely see giving you administrative tools as a way of improving their own experience of the wiki.

3. Care about the project. You don't need to be an administrator to play an active role in how this place works. Be bold! Regular users can invent new templates, suggest changes to policies, initiate new wiki projects, and even discuss changes to major pages, such as the main page! If your ideas are sound, there's a good chance that people will adopt your ideas into the project! (Even if in an altered form) Many of our most active and useful pages were shaped by the actions of such users.

4. Actually contribute stuff to the wiki semi-regularly. How can anyone expect you to understand their work here, if you don't have any of your own? How can anyone trust you to remain active and loyal to this community, if you have nothing invested in it? How can anyone trust that you understand this community and the project, if you aren't actively involved in both? So, since we're a D&D hobby community, that means actually cracking a corebook and rolling some dice from time to time!

5. Get nominated. Eventually, if you are a constant positive force on the edit histories of the wiki, people will notice. People will thank you. People will remember you. People will turn to you for opinions, advice, and support. People will trust you. You may even be given various wiki-awards, like barn-stars or wiki cookies. Someone will eventually nominate you, most likely an administrator, as they are the most likely to have a running record of all of your various activities somewhere in their head.

Can I nominate myself?
Yes, but it's a very bad idea. Chances are, if nobody's nominated you, then you don't have a big enough reputation yet, or there's some distrust about you, or perhaps they just think you haven't been around long enough. That said, some users may spend years working tirelessly on this wiki in ways that people just don't notice very often. Dedicated spellcheckers, for example, are this wiki's unsung heroes! If you truly believe that, if people were aware of the years and years worth of beneficial edits you have made, that they'd support your nomination, then go ahead and give it a try. Take it from me though, putting on the administrator hat too soon sucks hard. The kind of trust required to get votes means the position comes with a ton of unspoken responsibility.
How does nomination work?
If you know of someone who matches the description above, ask them if they'd accept a nomination for adminship. If they say yes, go ahead and nominate them!
Help! I'm being nominated for adminship!
Don't panic. Take it as a compliment. Someone out there in the world really trusts you with their work here. If nobody asked you if you're OK with the nomination first, or if you've decided this doesn't sound like it's your thing, it's OK to politely decline a nomination. (Politely declining a self-nomination, however, makes you look completely insane) If you decide you want to go through with it, go to your nomination page and answer the survey so people can get an idea of what your values and goals are. People will likely suddenly be crawling through your submission history, reviewing your contributions, starting conversations with you on various talk pages, etc. Engage in this as you see is appropriate, but don't be surprised- people just want to get to know who you are on the wiki. Read the votes and comments with humility and a grain of salt. There may be some harsh criticism in there- even if there is, that doesn't mean everyone feels the same way, or even that it's true, it's just one person's opinion. Take criticism as an opportunity to improve yourself. Don't get defensive over something that wasn't intended to offend. And, if something uncivilized does get posted, just notify an administrator- chances are there's a few watching anyways.

Who are the Wiki's Current Admin Team?

The current administrative team can be found on this list.

Of particular importance, User:Green Dragon and User:Blue Dragon are the wiki bureaucrats. They're in charge of the actual physical server. Green Dragon is the person ultimately responsible for this wiki, and generally focuses on social and legal issues, while blue Dragon generally focuses on technical software and hardware issues. They are very busy people, but they care the most about this place, and understand it the best, out of everyone here. You can turn to them for assistance of course, but don't be surprised if another admin steps in if they appear to be too busy to help you. Most of us lurk around their talk pages.

If you'd like to contact the administrative team, but don't know who would be best to go to, or would like the attention of all of us all at once, feel free to bring it up on User Talk: Admin. We even use that page to coordinate amongst ourselves too, so there's no shame in it.

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