Community:Promotion/MattyDienhoff

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Nomination

I nominate MattyDienhoff to become a member of staff. His edits are of consistant quality and has shown good knowledge of how the wiki works.

MattyDienhoff, please reply with whether you accept or decline this nomination, and why.

I accept, because having extra abilities will make it quicker and easier for me to do what I do, wikis can always do with more helpers, and I know I'm capable. --MattyDienhoff 06:13, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Questions

Do you think vandalism is a big problem at GTW? How would you deal with someone who did something like delete all the content on one page? What might be the possible reasons for them doing that? Gboyers talk 16:18, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Frankly, I don't know. I don't currently spend much of my time here looking at recent changes (of course, that would change if I do become a moderator, it's part of the responsibility). But I can say that in my opinion, poor quality edits by misguided/naive users are considerably more common and also more difficult to deal with than plain and simple vandalism. If someone vandalizes a page but it's unclear whether it was malicious (there's a chance something like removing all content from a page is just a mistake), I'd give them a warning. If there's a repeat incident, I'd block them for a time. I block obviously malicious vandals (such as those who just replace content with vulgarity, for example) outright. Reasons? I don't think vandals reason, I think they get cheap thrills from destroying things. --MattyDienhoff 06:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
If you read the role of a Moderator more carefully, you'll notice that blocking users is not part of the responsibility. The extra tools that you do get are inconsequential, they just help you to help the wiki quicker and easier, which IS a moderator's responsibility. Also, you seem to focus on warning users, including those that possibly made a mistake - how would you help them find out what they did wrong, and learn how to do it properly, without having to resort to negative tactics such as warnings?
I know blocking isn't part of a moderator's responsibilities/abilities, I was talking about vandalism in the abstract, and how I'd deal with such situations if I was in that position (having been an admin elsewhere, it's hard not to think in that mode, even though I obviously wouldn't have those tools at my disposal). And yes, I do focus on warning users, because blanking a page is a pretty monumental mistake and if someone did it and genuinely didn't mean to, (And I've never actually seen a mistake like that made) they need something to wake them out of their daze. I'd point them to the Wikia tutorial, for a start. Is that a little too harsh? I don't think so, but you're welcome to disagree. Lastly, I don't understand your point about 'negative tactics'. I think we can all agree that vandalism is destructive and to be avoided, with that fact in mind, some sort of disciplinary action (a warning or a block) must be taken against the vandal so the destructive behaviour will cease. It's inevitable that disciplinary action is at least somewhat negative in tone, because it has to be. Commending people for doing wrong will just encourage them to keep doing so. --MattyDienhoff 14:56, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
You know I wasn't suggesting 'commending' people for vandalism. All I'm saying is that if someone does something bad that isnt obvious deliberate malicious vandalism (eg random swearing/insults in an article), such as blanking a page, remove some markup (it looks silly/useless to them!); then you can't instantly jump to their talk page, tell them off, give them a warning, or block them or whatever. You have to assume good faith - unless you have reason to believe it was malicious, then it is possible that it's just a disoriented newbie, so you say something like "do you realise you removed a para from this page? just be more careful in future". or if they make a big change (like blanking a page and pasting the content in somewhere else (effectively moving the page) you ask them to discuss big changes like that before doing them. If we had a moderator that jumped down people's throats at everything, they wouldn't be very popular and they'd scare a lot of people off; if not upset them. I understand if you're a forum moderator or something (as am I), it can be very easy just to hit the delete button, lock a topic, and warn/suspend/ban a user, with no consequences. But here, this site IS the community, and we are ALL working together towards a common goal. All we do as staff is guide the project, and nudge people in the right direction. If you look at the block log, you'll notice that we very rarely use that tool. About once a month each? Every other time we use various other methods to persuade people to contribute positively, and help those that are having trouble. Whilst the administrator role does deal with vandals and suspensions a lot, the primary role of EVERYONE on this wiki (myself included) is to the content, and helping more users write that content. I'm not suggesting you wont/cant do that, but it really needs to be your focus. I am still happy for you to be a moderator, but make sure you tone down on the banhammer, ok? Gboyers talk 15:44, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I get your point, but I think you misinterpreted what I said to mean that I'm impulsive, which is not true. I always check the contributions of users whose edits I suspect to be vandalism, because it provides context. The example you provided, for example, of a user blanking an entire page (not just a section). If it was an isolated incident I would have a talk with the user to find out if it was an accident. I always check contributions, to see if there's a pattern in their behaviour and to find out if they're acting on good intentions but just going about it the wrong way... Like in the example you provided, a user might conceivably blank a page to put the content somewhere else as an impromptu way of moving it. If that was the case, I'd pick up on it by checking their contributions and establish that their edit wasn't vandalism, but rather ignorance of how things are supposed to work. If that was the case, you could be sure that my message would be much friendlier. --MattyDienhoff 16:55, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
That's what I was looking for. So long as you stick to that, it'll be great to have you on board. Gboyers talk 17:03, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


What do you think is the hardest thing for new editors to get the hang of (whether a technical skill, a policy or just the way we do things here); how would you spot they were having difficulty; and how would you help them? Maybe explain what was the hardest thing you've had to learn whilst being here? Gboyers talk 16:18, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

The most difficult things that come to mind are referencing and learning to identify and follow standards. At some point, most new users need a nudge in the right direction in matters of categorization, maintaining consistent page layout, and so on. I'd help them by pointing out how things should be done and encouraging them to ask if they have any trouble with anything.
what was the hardest thing you've had to learn whilst being here?
Tolerating policies I disagree with. --MattyDienhoff 06:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I can see why this would be difficult, but we're all friends here! Perhaps the best way of persuading A-Dust in that situation would have been to make the "shops in vice city" page that would replace the single page for every inaccessible shop. That way he could see that we were keeping all possible content, making it easier to find, whilst not stretching it out unnecessarily. I can see you were frustrated, and passionate, but you kept a cool head, which is very important. Gboyers talk 13:44, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


Becoming staff isn't a reward for good edits. It's work that needs to be done on the wiki, so it's a job. Why do you think that you would be best for that job? Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 22:36, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm interested in the topic, I'm now very familiar with wiki formatting, I hold my work to high standards and, quite simply, I enjoy it. --MattyDienhoff 06:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


Are there any little tasks you do around the wiki that you are particularly proud of? Gboyers talk 00:46, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, I'm proud of my attempt to establish a standard for the vehicle articles, but it didn't work out all that well. Few contributors are interested in discussing these issues or maintaining standards. Disappointing. --MattyDienhoff 06:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your work on this. Sometimes discussions like this can get lost or forgotten, so don't be afraid of linking some of us back to them if we disappear. As a Moderator, you would have access to the Staff Noticeboard, and would be the first place I'd look for new or updated policies. Gboyers talk 13:44, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I always liked the idea of having a needs discussion template that, when added to a page, would display it in a list of discussions that need attention somewhere visible on the site (maybe the community portal), but I'm no good at making templates. --MattyDienhoff 14:56, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


Could you give one example of what you think is one of the best pages on this wiki, and a brief explanation of why you chose that. It should probably be an informational article, but you could use a list or category or similar if you explain why. Gboyers talk 00:46, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Taxi comes to mind, but only because I've concentrated on the vehicle articles so much, and this is, currently, one of the few good examples of them. --MattyDienhoff 06:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


Do you have any questions about the wiki, its staff or the role of a Moderator, or any final comments before we make our decision? Gboyers talk 00:46, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

None come to mind. --MattyDienhoff 06:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Comments

I just went through this users contribs and randomly clicked the diffs links. This user seems to know what he is doing. He uses talk pages often, and discussion is an important part of being staff (whether asking users for opinions or helping other users). Something that shows that this user knows what he is doing, is all the recent categorisation in his contributions. Categorising is easy to know how to do, but what makes it hard is having to know the category system (there are alot of categories). So if he knows the category system, it is a sign that he might know alot about how the wiki works (if any of that makes sense). Matty, How would you use the new tools (see here for a list) to help the wiki? Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 08:14, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Rollback would make it easier to deal with vandalism incidents, although it really only makes a difference when many incidents of vandalism take place in a short time. I'd mostly just do what I've been doing, fixing what needs fixing, helping who needs helping, discussing what needs to be discussed. Moving pages will inevitably be the tool I use most, because there's a fair bit of content that needs organizing, and moving articles is often part of that. --MattyDienhoff 06:41, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Votes

People who agree with the nomination, comment here

I obviously support the promotion of MattyDienhoff to staff, as otherwise I would not have made the nomination. MattyDienhoff has shown good knowledge of how to edit the wiki, has contributed a great deal (in the vehicle articles) and has shown good use of talk pages. He also seems aware of the tasks on the wiki, recently helping with the categorisation of pages. A-Dust 20:00, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Although I was initially hesitant due to this user's obvious experience with forum moderation (which is notoriously vicious and arbitraty), this user has proved that they are more than capable of helping the wiki, and there is no good reason why they should not be a Moderator here. It also helps that this user has not adversely reacted to the delay in promotion, or my critical questions. Gboyers talk 20:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

People who do not agree with the nomination, comment