BoyWiki:Curator handbook

From BoyWiki

As a Curator, you are a member of the administrative team at BoyWiki. Like your medieval namesakes at the great libraries of old, you are charged with the day-to-day oversight and care of all BoyWiki content. In addition, you will assist the Keeper of the Wiki as he maintains an overview of the entire resource.


Aside from BoyWiki itself, there two means of communication for Curators in their administrative capacity. BoyWiki Council allows for internal discussion and the email alias allows for communication with BoyWiki users in addition to being a backup should the Council board be unavailable.

BoyWiki Council

The BoyWiki Council consists of the Keeper and the Curators. It is also the name of the message board where most planning and special day-to-day discussion between administrators can be held. It should be a home base for your daily operations, and you should check it at the start of each session where you perform administrative duties at BoyWiki. Access to this resource is restricted to authorized users--the Council and the Free Spirits Committee.

Whenever anything important comes up on BoyWiki, whether it be plans for special events or pages, trouble with a user, ideas or suggestions raised by users, or nominees for Scribes, the Council board is the place to communicate with the other BoyWiki administrators. Although the FSC has access to the board, communication between BoyWiki and Free Spirits is typically handled by the Keeper of the Wiki.

Visitor roster

Minutes since last visit
First visit  
2.5   32.5  
5   35  
7.5   37.5  
10   40  
12.5   42.5  
15   45  
17.5   47.5  
20   50  
22.5   52.5  
25   55  
27.5   57.5  
30   60  

At the top of the message board under the common links header is a list of Free Spirits usernames and a "sign on" link. Any time some one views the Council index, his username is added to the visitor roster. In addition, if a Curator has visited within the last hour, his username will appear in a color coded to the time since his last visit, viewable in the table to the right. Free Spirits user names are separate from nicks used for posting.

Signing on

The "[Sign On]" link is a way for other Curators to know that you are currently actively working at BoyWiki. Clicking it causes your username to be underlined. When you are done working at BoyWiki, you should return to the Council board and click on the "[Sign Off]" link. This is not necessary every day but is useful in the case of an emergency situation or other ongoing event where teamwork is required, like during a fundraiser or other drive.

Your first visit to the Council board

Before you can gain access to the BoyWiki Council board, you will need to receive a Free Spirits username. Details on requesting this were given to you in your acceptance email. After this, you should try to visit the board, which is only available via HTTPS. The first thing you will want to do before you post is register your posting nickname.

First, click on the "Council Tools" in the common links header, then choose "Users" from the sublink menu. Use the "Add new user" form to create your nick. Remember that your password will be displayed to other visitors if they visit this page, so do use a unique or throwaway password. Leave trustlevel at 0. If you would like to add a sigpic at this time, browse for it (it must be a local file saved at your computer). Copy and paste a SigHTML block from another user and change the filename and alt text to correspond to your sigpic. Hit the "Add user" button, and verify the information that shows up on the next page.

You will receive Curator status on BoyWiki from the Keeper once you have visited the Council board.


When you were accepted to join BoyWiki as a Curator, a BoyWiki email address was established for you as well. Email sent to will be forwarded to this email address. It is important to read these emails as very important announcements made on the BoyWiki Council board are sometimes repeated via email..

The primary amount of emails sent to this address will be user feedback. Because sensitive requests will come via email rather than the public wiki, prompt response is needed. Always be helpful and polite when responding to email. All replies to email sent by users to should be cc:'ed to to allow other Curators to know that a reply has been sent. Out of respect for the user's expectation of privacy, cc: is to be used instead of bcc:.

Discussion about emails that come in should be held on the BoyWiki Council board so that they may be accessed in the future.


Curators are responsible for the day-to-day oversight of BoyWiki content. Your most critical, important job is to patrol each new contribution to ensure compliance with the content guidelines, abuse policy, and the copyright guidelines. Other duties include receiving media files from users.

Patrolling articles

Because this is a Curator's most critical duty, Curators are not allowed to hide "minor changes" in their preferences.

As a Curator, Special:Recentchanges will display a ! next to edits which have not yet been patrolled by another Curator. To patrol an article, click on the "diff" link for edited articles, or the article title for new articles. Review the article and the modifications made, and if the new content is appropriate, click the "Mark this article as patrolled" link under the edit summary for changes or after the article for new articles. This will remove the ! from the recent changes list.

Please note that if an article has been changed since its creation, the newest revision and not the original form will be displayed. Please check new articles to see if there is a history, and review the original before using the "back" button to mark the article as patrolled. Even though a newer revision is displayed, the original revision will be marked as patrolled.

You may enable an option to automatically mark your edits as patrolled, which will save you the hassle of patrolling your own edits. Go to Preferences, choose "Editing" and enable "Automatically mark my changes as patrolled".

Inappropriate contributions

If a change to an article is inappropriate for some reason, check the article's history to see if it has been modified since then. If a user has removed the inappropriate content, then lesser infractions may remain in the database. Edit the article and remove the offending material.

Greater infractions, on the other hand, may not stay and are required to be removed from the database. If the content has been removed by another user, go to the history page and click the "purge revision" link. If the inappropriate contribution is the newest revision, click the "rollback" link on the diff page. This will restore the last version of the article that was not edited by the latest user. Then use the "purge revision" link on the history page.

If a new article has been created with inappropriate content, simply delete it with the “Delete” link.

See also:

Deleting articles

If at all possible, articles should not be deleted if they contain any valid content. Articles which were created but are empty or have only spaces and no valuable content in the article history should be deleted to give room for an useful article. This will make links to the article appear red, which should bring the attention of users who are able to make informative contributions.

Dealing with vandalism

Vandalism is any change to a page that hinders the usefulness of BoyWiki. This can take many forms, from inserting false information into articles to replacing articles with nonsense, inserting content to break an article's visible layout, or repeatedly editing articles in such a manner as to reduce the usefulness of the article history or the recent changes page.

If vandalism is recent or ongoing, you may wish to temporarily protect the article until you can go through the article history and find a suitable point to revert to.

If a single user has vandalized a large number of articles, you should follow the link to his user page and follow the "User contributions" link in the toolbox. This will list his latest contributions to the wiki. For all articles where he has made the latest contribution, you can click the "rollback" link to revert that article to the state it was before he made any contributions.

See also:

Managing articles

Curators are responsible for taking care of BoyWiki and making sure that articles are easy to find. There are a variety of tools available to help bring order to the natural chaos of a wiki. It is important for Curators to use the edit summary field to explain the changes they made, so that users will have a sign that such housekeeping is necessary.

Normalizing articles

It is important that articles have proper article names. By enforcing standard naming conventions, we make articles easier to find and link to. If an article is not properly named, it should be renamed using the move tool. Such conventions as lowercase words in article names and section titles are important, and sections such as See Also should be renamed See also and so forth. Renaming an article will create a redirect page under the original name. It may be useful to leave the redirect if there is a common misspelling or capitalization mismatch. But it may also be useful to delete the redirect so users can note that a term is misspelled.

For similar reasons, Curators should occasionally check the list of broken redirects and double redirects to see if articles with redirects need to be repaired.

Categorizing articles

MediaWiki automagically reads links to categories and files the article under the linked category. Articles can be linked to more than one category simply by adding extra category links. If an article is uncategorized or miscategorized, then category links should be added or changed as appropriate.

Many times, it is not easy to choose a category for an article. In such cases, the tone of the article may be useful in deciding whether it belongs under Category:Encyclopedia or elsewhere. There is, however, no reason an article can't belong to many categories at the same time.

Dealing with highly subjective articles

In the main namespace, Category:Encyclopedia and Category:Entertainment are primarily meant for informative articles rather than subjective articles (unlike Category:Life, where such are often more appropriate). The most common instance of subjective articles being inappropriate for a category will probably be personal movie reviews. Reviews and other subjective articles are useful, but in the main namespace they take away article names which could be used for objective informative articles.

Any article written in the first person or which is signed is a candidate for movement to the User namespace. When appropriate, this can be done by moving the article and prefixing the page name with User:Author's_username/. Articles moved for this reason do not need to be recategorized.

In other cases where an article is not intentionally written as a review or opinion piece but is merely biased, the article should be allowed to stand. Other users can help edit the article to make it more balanced. Curators need only become involved administratively if user intervention is unlikely to result in a balanced article or when an edit war develops.

Protecting articles

Protecting articles takes away the ability for normal users (but not Curators or Scribes) to make changes. Therefore it is the ideal first step during realtime vandalism or edit wars, but should be used sparingly and articles should be restored as soon as possible.

Articles can be protected after repeated vandalism to give the vandal a couple days to become bored and move on. Protection can also be used to end edit wars and force disagreeing users to start discussions on an article's talk page.

To protect an article, visit it and click the “Protect” link. Give an explanation for why the article is being protected so users know what is expected before the article is unprotected again.

Scribes also have the ability to protect and unprotect articles.

See also:

Accepting files for upload

Curators should monitor for files submitted by users to BoyWiki. Use the link on the BoyWiki Council board and log in with your Free Spirits username and password to access the Web interface, at the Free Spirits Mail Service login screen, use images as the login name and choose for the domain.

All user-submitted files must be checked for compliance with content and licensing guidelines. Once a file has been approved, it can be uploaded using Special:Upload. Enter a description of the file's contents and the submitter's username. When uploading sigpics, include the message This is a user sigpic and is '''not''' available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Working with users

While the nature of a wiki means that users have a vast amount of power and control, there are still features that are not granted to normal users. Curators will work to assist users in their tasks as BoyWiki expands and evolves.

Leading by example

Despite the creation of the first wiki in March 1995, wikis have only recently seen a massive surge in popularity. Most users have had no prior experience with wikis, so it is doubly important for Curators to be a model of how we wish our users to act. When we act with understanding and are eager to help, users will be more likely to do the same once they discover that they have much of the same ability to help others as Curators do.

Although the rest of this section deals mostly with handling user problems, you should always keep in mind that BoyWiki exists solely for the benefit of the community and users are the difference between a thriving, vibrant wiki and a lifeless, empty site.

Arbitrating disagreements

It is inevitable that certain topics will be the source of contention between users. In most cases, there is room for opposing viewpoints and opinions to be represented side-by-side. Users are supposed to use an article's talk page to discuss the direction of articles, but in cases where an edit war erupts or where agreement is not reached on the talk page, a Curator may be asked to step in to help arbitrate.

BoyWiki should strive to represent different views fairly with minimal bias. It your job to ensure that this happens in situations where users need assistance. You may be required to create a new revision of an article that gives space to unpopular viewpoints or restates a point of view objectively without loaded language. Try to express unpopular viewpoints with the same respect you would want your opinion to be given by others.

Handling edit wars

In cases where discussion has broken down or not occurred, edit wars can begin. This is where disagreeing users begin to change an article back and forth in contrary ways. If this is happening in rapidly in real time, the article should first be protected and then a note should be added to the top of the article with a link to the talk page. An appropriate amount of time should be allowed to pass for user discussion to occur on the talk page. Ideally, the users will come to an agreement amongst themselves. At that time, the article can be unprotected.

See also:

Dealing with vandals

If a user has contributed a greater infraction or has repeatedly made lesser infractions, he should be edit blocked at the block user page. Edit blocking does not bar a user from reading BoyWiki content but merely prevents that user for editing or creating articles for a specified length of time. The duration of an edit block is largely up to your discretion. Lesser amounts of time should be used for minor problems and can be used as a wakeup call. Penalties for greater infractions should start at 1 day and increase with later offenses.

If a user has vandalized a large number of articles, you should follow the link to his user page and follow the "User contributions" link in the toolbox. This will list his latest contributions to the wiki. For all articles where he has made the latest contribution, you can click the "rollback" link to revert that article to the state it was before he made any contributions.

See also:

Renaming users

A user may register an account with a malicious username, either something with a vulgar or obscene meaning, or with libelous or other offensive content. In this case, the user should be edit blocked infinitely and the username renamed to something generic such as “Renameduser1” at Special:Renameuser. Do not duplicate an existing username.