Today marks one month since I made my first edit to the wiki, and I figured that warranted enough of an occasion for me to write my first (and hopefully not last) blog post. I may not have had a massive presence on the wiki over the last month, but I like to think my experiences are interesting (or at least, entertaining) enough to make reading this post not a complete waste of your time.
Maybe a bit of a waste, but not completely.
Although I made my first edit a month ago, I had been a regular visitor to Avatar wiki for some time before hand, though admittedly I never made a single contribution during that time; I was the perennial prowler, observing from afar but never daring to make contact. However, exactly one month ago, I made the leap and dived right it, though considering my first edit was changing the word an to and, perhaps 'dived in' is not the best phrase – splashed my feet seems closer to the truth. Nevertheless, that first edit opened the floodgates, and soon I was making bolder and bolder edits; I left comments on pages, fixed some bad grammar, I even reverted a bad edit. Yes, back then, I was unnoticeable, making small edits and doing nothing to stand out.
But then, two things happened which changed this. One day, reading through the list of recent activity, I came across a new fanon, by a new user like myself. Intrigued by the title, I read through the first few chapters that had been posted; the writing was good, and the plot of the story interested me, although the grammar needed something of a cleanup. But this was something I felt I could help improve; a quick message to the writer, and suddenly I was the fanon's brand new editor. Finally, I had found something I could make a significant contribution to, something that would require more than just small edits. I spent the next few days feverishly editing and improving the chapters that had been posted, and I like to feel my contributions were at least in some small way helpful.
If this event turned the key, then the following flung the doors wide open. I came across a blog post by The 888th Avatar talking about tolerance towards new users on the wiki. As a new user on the wiki, and someone that has had bad experiences with elitist users in the past, I felt this was something I could relate to very deeply, and so I composed a response detailing some of the impressions and feelings I had had during my time on the wiki. The response was overwhelming. Users I barely knew left comments encouraging me to express my opinions, and not to be hesitant about making edits to existing articles, something before I had been anxious about doing. But I realised I had nothing to fear, and my concerns were pointless. To everyone that replied to me, I thank you most graciously for taking the time to do so.
After this, I was a man on a mission. It was like my eyes had been opened to the wondrous possibilities at my fingertips, and I couldn’t wait to begin. The nervous, hesitant user from before was gone, and I performed greater and greater feats of editing, cleaning up article after article, leaving comments on pages and reverting even more bad edits.
But like all great men, I soon came crashing down to earth, and hard. I was making some small edits to an article, only to find error upon error on the page when I published my work, ruining the page beyond all reason; I tried to undo it, but everything I tried just made it worse. Only the intervention of The Bos, riding in on his chariot of fire, could restore hope. I had become foolhardy, believing myself beyond making such errors, but this made me realise what a fragile thing I held in may hands, and how quickly it could be broken. Since then, I have handled every article with the care and respect it deserves, hopefully never to make those errors again.
And so we come to the end. My time here so far has been great, and hopefully I have begun to build myself a reputation as a good and respected user. I thank everyone here that made me feel welcome, or took the time to send me a message or reply to my comment. Your help and advice is gratefully received.
One month on. Here's looking forward to the next one.