WikiFur:Please do not bite the newcomers

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This page documents a guideline on WikiFur. It is a generally accepted standard followed by editors on this site, although occasional exceptions may apply. When making significant changes to this page, please make sure that your edits are consistent with consensus. When in doubt, any changes should first be proposed on the discussion page.
Squirrel (PSF).png This page in a nutshell:
Be tolerant and welcoming towards newcomers. Remember that you were new here once, too. It takes time to become familiar with the policies, guidelines, and customs of our community. Be patient, assume good faith, and recognize that newcomers bring with them fresh ideas and new energy. Be courteous and polite to all fellow editors, but especially towards the new ones.


WikiFur articles are improved through the hard work of our regular editors, but also through numerous contributions made by newcomers. All of us were new editors at WikiFur once, and in some ways (such as when editing an article on a topic outside our usual scope) even the most experienced among us are still newcomers.

New members are prospective contributors and are therefore WikiFur's most valuable resource. We must treat newcomers with kindness and patience — nothing scares potentially valuable contributors away faster than hostility. It is impossible for a newcomer to be completely familiar with all of the policies, guidelines, and community standards of WikiFur before they start editing. Even the most experienced editors may need a gentle reminder from time to time.

Guidelines for dealing with newcomers[edit]

Learning how all this "{{wikistuff}}" works takes time. Please don't bite the newbies.
  • Remember that although much of the article cleanup and improvement is done by regular editors, most of our new content comes from newcomers. We should encourage them to stay and become more involved, by treating them as welcome members of our community. No one can carry this project alone.
  • Remember, our motto and our invitation to the newcomer is be bold. We have a set of rules, standards, and traditions, but they must not be applied in such a way as to thwart the efforts of newcomers who take that invitation at face value. A newcomer brings a wealth of ideas, creative energy, and experience from other areas that, current rules and standards aside, have the potential to better our community and WikiFur as a whole. It may be that the rules and standards themselves need revising or expanding; perhaps what the newcomer is doing "wrong" may ultimately improve WikiFur. Observe for a while and, if necessary, ask what the newcomer is trying to achieve before concluding that their efforts are substandard or that they are simply "wrong."
  • When a newcomer makes a small mistake, try to fix it yourself rather than putting them down for it. They'll learn from what you do. Remember, editing and improving WikiFur is everyone's responsibility. If you must point out an error, do so gently, with a focus on helping them and making them feel welcome here. An appropriate welcome notice on their talk page is a good start, followed by an explanation of how the newcomer could improve their edits in the future. Discuss their edits, not the person. We assume good faith and believe that our editors, even our new ones, have good intentions.
Bites hurt! Be gentle with newcomers.
  • Try to point out the good things they've done. By leading off with what they've done well, newcomers won't be as likely to take offense at any constructive criticism you offer them.
  • If reverting a newcomer's edits, please take time to explain on the talk page that all edit histories are saved. Newcomers may panic if they think that all of their hard work is gone forever, and may start an edit war or leave WikiFur, never to return. Remind them that editing is a consensus process and that they can rework the article and try again.
  • Newcomers may be afraid of damaging WikiFur. Teach them that this resource belongs to the whole community. Remind them to be bold.
  • It's OK to point newcomers to policy and guideline pages. When doing so, however, please do so using a constructive tone rather than a negative one.
  • Do not ask newcomers to refrain from voting or participating in discussions. Our constant motto to editors is be bold, and we must stand behind that. Telling newcomers that they should wait until they have more experience before joining discussions is absolutely contrary to the principles of WikiFur. We want new editors to speak up, because they bring new viewpoints and new ideas.
  • Remember that this is a community resource, freely editable by all. It is NOT an exclusive club. We want new members to feel genuinely welcome, and to understand that their contributions do matter greatly. Without a continued infusion of new ideas, projects like this one invariably stagnate.

Everyone is welcome to be a part of WikiFur. All we ask is that you read our policies and guidelines and that you contribute in good faith, with the intent of making WikiFur a better resource for all. We want to truly be the furry encyclopedia -- and all users, both seasoned professionals and newcomers, have an important part to play. Thank you for being a part of this community!

For further reading[edit]