The monthly Guru competition is a beauty to behold. A work of genius. The competition encourages new authors, higher quality contributions whilst washing your whites whiter.
The Acorn Metaphor
There is a confidence curve with new authors who are attracted to the Wiki in this way.
In time these little acorns can grow into mighty oaks.
Saplings are good but it’s the mature trees which are particularly valuable to the community.
The thing any gardener can tell you about growing plants is they need particular care whilst they establish themselves.
Our new Wiki authors are like these seedlings.
Not so much with giant slugs eating anyone, more with the sensitivity.
These new authors are particularly sensitive. They need careful handling and encouragement.
Encouraging them to give it a go is great, but we want them to stick around and post loads of super articles.
The Dual Nature of an Entry / Article
All articles posted on the Wiki are the property of the community.
That’s where there’s the potential for issues to arise.
Someone spends days writing a competition entry.
It’s only natural they consider it to be theirs – they wrote the thing after all.
That tendency is particularly reinforced if their motivation is the fame and fortune from winning a lovely Guru medal.
"MMmmmmmm shiny medal !"
Where was I now, oh yes. They see their article as their competition entry. Their hopes of glory are riding on that thing.
Any change to their article is likely to be viewed as negative. People can be very competitive and if they aren't used to usual practices on the Wiki then they probably won't expect anyone to change their entry.
This is where you come in. You can keep an eye out for these new authors.
Maybe encourage them with a comment.
If you see the odd thing which they could possibly improve maybe give them a nudge in that direction.
Particular sensitivity is advisable though.
If you see areas you could improve on, it’s usually great if you dive in and edit.
Sharing and synergy is what the Wiki’s about.
SIR, SIR. HE MESSED WITH MY ENTRY !
The newbie is likely to see editing their entry as stepping on their toes.
That’s not so great for encouraging people.
Try to take it particularly easy on the new guys.
It is of course possible to imagine an article so utterly broken that nobody could possibly see your efforts as anything but positive.
Anything short of totally broken is probably best left until after the judging is done.