SmashWiki:Read This First, Man

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Guideline.png This page is a SmashWiki guideline, a principle that suggests how users should contribute and conduct themselves. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. If in doubt, consider discussing changes on the talk page.

Welcome to SmashWiki! If you're new to the wiki, please read the following page to help familiarize yourself quickly with the Wiki and the community. And if you haven't already, please create a SmashWiki account! See Why create an account? for more reasons why you should create one. We hope you will work with us to build a complete encyclopedia about the Super Smash Bros. games!

Step 1: Get the point

While you should know this by now, we are a wiki. We're not a forum, a personal webspace provider, a social site, or a strategy guide. We are an organized encyclopedic collection of information that depends on its userbase to provide correct and up-to-date content. To that end, we expect all users to have a reasonable work-to-fun ratio - you are allowed a certain amount of freedom on user pages and forums, but at some point you will be expected to contribute positively to the wiki's goal.

Step 2: Get the rules

As a new user, you are not required to know the full technical ins-and-outs of every policy and guideline; other users will generally assume good faith should you break rules, and administrators will almost never issue blocks without outlining what you have done wrong. Regardless, it is your job to be aware of the rules and how they apply to you; ignorance of rules is essentially never accepted as a valid excuse.

Step 3: Get the activity

You may already know this, but all wikis have a special page called Recent Changes used to keep track of all edits made to the wiki. We recommend that users spend most of their idle time on this page in order to watch for proposal discussions, major article revisions, and unconstructive edits that need to be undone. This includes new users, who would do well to get a feel for how the wiki works by watching others edit before making any serious changes themselves.

Step 4: Get the interface

Beyond simple text, wikicode can be confusing to new users. Before fumbling around in articles trying to get things to work, use the sandbox to make test edits. It can also be helpful to click the edit button of a page but not change anything, instead simply reading the code to see how it compares to the page's result. Finally, one can use their user page as a testing ground if you don't want other people in the Sandbox messing up your tests; do note step 1 above however. In any case, the most important rule is to use the preview button before saving edits, as nobody likes it when Recent Changes lists five edits that together only did one thing.

Step 5: Get a target

Now armed with knowledge of how to edit, many new users' next question is what to edit. Picking a random page out of the miasma is as good a place as any to start. In many cases, the usage of Special:Random can help find errors or problems that no one else has seen in years. Even if a user is more of a learner than a teacher, they can still help spot and quash orthographical and grammatical errors, reorder lists or paragraphs to follow a more natural progression, or peg pages as requiring a specific image or video. The maintenance reports listed on the list of special pages can also serve as an assistance to a user unsure of what to edit, as it informs users of pages in need of editing such as double redirects, unused images, wanted pages, etc. A user who thinks there is nothing to do is a user that does not realize what needs to be done.

Step 6: Get involved

While you can put in work and turn out valuable contributions without communicating with other users, the idea of wikis is to get multiple people working together. Use talk pages to discuss ideas for significant changes, potential moves or merges, and resolve content disputes. Especially important is one's own user talk page: other users will inform you here of mistakes you have made and improvements you can make. No one can make their name on the wiki without a few errors along the way, and intelligent talk page use is one way to alleviate them.