Within the local regional smash community, and to some extent a little bit beyond, I am known as an individual who will get the things done that everyone else only talks about doing. 13 months ago today, the city of Calgary went from having no competitive smash community at all to hosting our first Pro Impact BI-WEEKLY Smash event which would ultimately grow into the most popular bi-weekly tournament in western Canada, as well as expanding out to rural areas of the province and further into the country forming the Central Canada Smash Circuit. A big part of what has made this possible rests with the continued enthusiasm for competition from the community members, but I'd be lying to myself if I said that it would be as popular as it is without my help. I have a very objective, community-oriented mindset and am obviously capable of handling administrative and organizational duties--all bits and pieces of a skill set that is equally well-suited to a community-authored encyclopedia. Though I never sought out to be the boss of anything, I still ended up learning how a community responds to someone in a position of "power" and how important the clarity of your communication becomes when saying the same thing to a lot of people. This applies doubly so within the SmashWiki branch of Smash World because we are rarely afforded the opportunity to meet those we work with in person and are left only with text. Text-based communication is something that I definitely have a lot of experience with and it is very important to me that what I write is understood as clearly as possible by as many people as possible--to the extent that I'm a bit of an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist with my writing. Although I may waste time in that regard, it has thankfully yet to steer me wrong.
I've been running a little personal home page called Et cetera for close to ten years now (when I was thirteen years old and everyone had Angelfire sites). The page has undergone some pretty serious transformation since then and as I began to learn more about how media presentation really works, it ultimately grew as a creative project to the point that I purchased a domain name at www.et-cet-era.ca.
Most recently, I've converted the once-relatively-simple HTML-based Et cetera into a MediaWiki structure. It was a challenging port and I learned a lot about the behaviour of the software from the Bureaucrat-side in the process. I additionally spent a great deal of time just preparing my existing server for the software and now, after many tedious difficulties with my shoddy web host, I have a pretty firm understanding of how to install the whole thing from scratch in my sleep if I wanted to. Although I recognize that a lot of these skills are not necessarily useful on a day-to-day basis for a SysOp, the fact is that it represents a better applied knowledge of how the MediaWiki platform is designed to operate. With that knowledge combined with the power to use it, the core elements of what makes a wiki successful can be fleshed out at SmashWiki and make it a place where people want to write good articles, participate in the backend community and improve the entire presentation as a collective body of writers.
On the subject of applying MediaWiki's capabilities here, I've done some comparatively light work in the Special Pages department in terms of cleaning up double re-directs, loosely working out the branches of the smasher Category tree and the various functions that build the foundation for an encyclopedia that can be written by anyone without having to explain the whole thing to each new author. This hasn't been the focus of my work, but I think my contributions in what little existing back-end there is here is again representative of my confidence in understanding how it was made to work at its best.
More significant to most members who know who I am is my contributions on the authoring side; as a user, I've used all the tools I have as well as I can to not only spiff up my own articles and those of my tournament-goers and friends, but also taking a keen interest in other regional smash communities, character articles, overall presentation and most importantly, providing the tools to pass those values on to other authors. For instance:
- SmashWiki:Smasher Project - It's been a long time since I did the math, but at one point, I had written about 40% of all the existing smasher articles (though curiously, I haven't touched Smasher itself hardly at all) and when I began doing significant work on them, the marked inconsistency between what I was doing and what others were doing was so pronounced that I knew it would grow to be a problem as more and more authors came in.
- The solution was the project page: a set of streamlined instructions and guidelines on how to write a proper smasher article. They were based on how I had been writing them at the time but credit for the format really goes to the Wikipedia itself. I modelled the structure of my writing on that of Wikipedia's community because it represented the largest diverse number of people who could agree on a format. Recognizing that smashers and those interested in smash come in many shapes and sizes, I felt adopting their way right off the bat would help avoid some of the time-consuming bureaucracy associated with arriving at the same conclusion on our own talk pages months and months down the road. I believe this was the second project page on SmashWiki, after SmashWiki:Character Project and in fact, I've always meant to add more to it and probably will in the coming months.
- Template:Smasherbeta - This was only a slightly modified version of the already-existing Template:Smasher when I first came around, but the changes I made were subtle and well-suited for a quality presentation. Knowing what was required to make it look as pretty as possible and how to achieve that stems from my experience building websites like Et cetera and ProImpact.ca, which houses data for the Central Canada Smash Circuit. I understand how a website is supposed to operate and what makes them look sleek and professional. Probably the niftiest switch to the template was the inclusion of small national flags for each competing country which helps to give some regional identity to players in a visually-appealing way.
- Template:Ccsc - This was something I made that is just another example of my understanding of MediaWiki software and what can be done with it. Again, it helps to unite community smashers to others in their competitive region and encourages competition between them. Additionally, the page itself contains instructions on how to copy the template and use it for your own smash circuit which has been applied with Template:Sgsc in South Germany and CAOTIC's Template:Aussmash. Seeing this occur is a tangible example of how a community-written website can feed off of its own members when a proper backend is in place.
I also wrote a few power rankings articles like Washington Power Rankings and CCSC Power Rankings and I dabble around making things like Template:Speculation and participating in wholesome community discussions--most notably this one about defining a professional.
I know that I probably could've waltzed in here and said nothing other than "Special:Contributions/Randall00" and still gotten two or three cries for support as a SysOp, but I think it's important that I break down what I have to offer in addition to what I've already done. It should be clear from my contributions that my intentions are community-oriented and I know this to be a necessary administrative functionality of a successful wiki. As a user, I am limited only by the lack of responsibility that the average user carries. As a SysOp, I would inherit that sense of responsibility and with it, herald in some positive changes around here. I promise.
--RJM Talk 01:33, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- After reading all that, Randall clearly demonstrates enough knowledge and goodwill towards SmashWiki that a support from me is practically a given. I trust that he possesses the one quality I personally think should be vital in all admins: That if he uses a sysop power to do something many people don't agree with or are antagonized by and it is clearly apparent he is in the wrong there, he can accept his mistake and attempt to rectify it without clashing over the issue with those other people. Erik, Lord of Universes 13:50, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- Woo. Go Randall. I fully support Randall, he's done countless things for my smash community and the smashwiki community as he mentioned above. Out of the current nominees, Randall seems the most experienced. Look at his pitch! It's amazing. --Janitor 18:54, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- I also support RJM. I was actually surprised that he wasn't already a Sysop with all the editing he does around here, along with various things such as the template. JohnCurriSuxAtSmash 18:56, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- Without dragging this on way longer than necessary, I'll simply say this: I fully support RJM. Just take a glance at his contribution page; it alone explains why he's definitely the top candidate for sysop. User:EPX2/sig 19:02, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- Tbqh, I thought RJM was already a sysop. I support him fully, for reasons already said... And really, look at all the stuff he's done! NeonCrusader 20:06, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- I support randall for brawl! ... wait I'm mistaking something... oh yeah! I remember: I support Randall for sysop, he have the patience and experience and he is alway improving this wiki, and so far I have just see good edits from him.--Fandangox 20:26, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- Just like FNW, I support Randall for a sysop. He is active everyday and helps this wiki out a lot. He has my vote. -- The Magnum Master 21:06, November 23, 2007 (EST)
- I would also like to support Randall. He always makes good decisions, he knows a lot of things about wikis, and his Smasher Project has helped me (and others) clean up smasher articles. He would make a great sysop. --YodaMasterZ 23:42, November 25, 2007 (EST)