The Signpost


Wikipedia does not need you

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By Kudpung

Written in 2012 by Drmies, this essay is as apt today as it was then. (image added by The Signpost)

Wikipedia does not need you

You need the wiki—that's a fact. It's statistically proven and phenomenologically indisputable: you need the wiki.[citation needed] After all, you're here. Equally true, and much more insidious to the idea that we are all unique individuals and that we matter, is that the wiki does not need you—especially if you're a diva. It likes you, it appreciates your presence and your contributions, it wants you to get an account, to patrol Recent Changes (well... it doesn't mind it), to start verifying unreferenced BLPs, to make copyedits by hand or by bot—but the wiki does not need you. It wants you to trim External links sections, to change {{Reflist}} into <references /> and back again, to trim trivia sections and tag them, to add WikiProject templates to talk pages—but the wiki does not need you. The wiki appreciates your incessant jokes at WP:ANI, your useful advice at Wikipedia:Reference desk, your cheerful jabs at Jimbo Wales—but the wiki does not need you.

Sketch caricature of person walking away
"I better get out of here!"
(image by Frode Inge Helland)

Should it happen that a cabal of admins, operating on the talk page of an article or the lion's den of AN/I, manages to block you on an invented charge, the world will continue to turn. The grass will grow, the birds will lay eggs, the number of Pokémon-related articles will still double every 1.7 weeks, and articles on weathermen will be brought to AfD. Sure, it won't be done as smoothly and as elegantly as when you did it, but it will be done. The wiki will continue to turn. Sad, but true.

So if things are too stressful—take a break. Or leave. The latter would be especially sad, but Wikipedia will still be here tomorrow. It's bigger than me, bigger than you, possibly bigger than Jimbo. So if you start to think you're untouchable because you're indispensable to the project, just remember: you're not. However, there's a good chance that a deep breath and a cup of tea will resolve the problem that has you stressed, and then you and the Wiki can spend more quality time together.

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Love me a quality WP:HTD essay in the morning.--Catlemur (talk) 09:36, 1 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

...and in a week or, wait, that’s a month or six now, with the Signpost on life support as it is...there’l be the other sort of essay, the one complaining that there aren’t enough writers. Phaughh. Qwirkle (talk) 14:50, 1 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

agree w/ Qwirkle--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 18:44, 1 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
That message could as easily be conveyed as “Wiki needs you, but check your baggage at the door”; this essay can have other implications. Qwirkle (talk) 17:44, 3 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yeah, I agree with the sentiment of bringing humility to one's contributions, but when I think about other editors, I'm filled with the idea that Wikipedia does need them. Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 17:44, 8 August 2018 (UTC)[reply] much are you paying Wiki for the use of the server? For the ads on everyone’s watchlist? For the exclusivity? Really, when you think about it, there might be some anti-trust violation here...perhaps we should make sure Wikipediocracy also gets a link on the watchlist? Qwirkle (talk) 06:04, 7 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't find this essay to be comical. Condescending, yes. Comical, no. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 13:32, 7 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, well. At least the magazine is free and we work here for nothing to keep you informed and entertained. I see you all have absolutely no sense of humour whatsoever. What it must be like to share an office with you guys in RL. Yes, perhaps you're best off hanging out on the Wikipedia hate sites. Probably more fun, n'est-ce pas?Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:41, 7 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't like the essay. Don't take it personally. Maybe you're the one who needs a break? Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 17:03, 7 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Keep those essays coming and I am sure they will.--Catlemur (talk) 15:41, 7 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]


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