So you want to be a staff member?
Constantly, or often enough, we have open spots for members of the wiki to file to be apart of the staff and it may be hard to recognize whether you may or may not receive the position you've applied for. And should you be granted the staff position, it can be worrisome to figure out whether you are doing your given duty in the way the existing staff had expected of you when you applied. While it can be nerve racking to apply for a staff position as well as uphold your privileged duty if it is granted, there are some tips and tricks to being more well versed in recognizing when to appeal for a staff position and how to continue the expected behavior.
Defining A Staff Role
Being apart of the staff is more than just a coveted title. While it attributes a feature unique to a select few users, it requires more than just the single desire to have said title. To list several, being a chat moderator, rollbacker, or admin demands much more dedication, the responsibility of using the given privileges in a method beneficial to the wiki, and constant interaction and participation with the community that comes with the perks and "fancy" title. The staff are meant to be the examples that newer users can come to for questions, an archetype of the community. They should uphold a prime example of how to best contribute to the wiki like every other user. There is much more than meets the eye when encountering and aspiring to be a staff member.
Staff members exemplify concepts and activities such as dedication, participation in the community, and encouraging users, new and old alike, to edit and improve the wiki in a constructive and suitable fashion. Such positions also require the ability to resolve fights in a non-biased method as well as making difficult decisions between certain aspects of what to do or who to pick. Having a role to play as apart of staff can lead to some immensely tight situations which can create difficulty in deciding which of the potential solutions is the most probable and will result in the most success. Although being included in the staff can seem quite exhilarating, it is also best to keep in mind that having extra privileges requires many more demands and duties for you to carry out.
Among a few of my regrets that I have on the wiki, a major one would be how I presented myself through my speeches in my RfA and RfR. Whether it be a speech for becoming a chat moderator or for becoming an administrator, a wrong word or phrase could potentially put off those voting for you. Your speech introduces and opens yourself to scrutiny. Try to keep in mind what specific words might be taken the wrong way and remember what impression your words can and will give off to the audience. Take care in what you write for your nomination speech because it can potentially decide whether your application is accepted or declined.
Showing doubt in your speech is plenty fine. It even demonstrates that you are aware that being apart of the staff is a learning experience, or in fact, that participating in the community in an effective manner is a learning experience. It shows that you do not believe you are invincible. However, you should also be careful as to how much doubt you exhibit as well as remember to offer a good explanation and solution that you intend to implement whether or not you get the position or not. By offering an explanation and solution to a piece of doubt you illustrate, you elucidate that while you have doubts and reserves, you're confident that you can pull through and do your duty in the best way you possibly can.
Assume Good Faith
- An excellent method to use on the wiki and just in general is to assume good faith in all users. It's a core policy for all wikis and should be exercised constantly. Situations can become loads more easier to handle and deal with in the best manner when you simply assume good faith of someone.
Don't Feed the Trolls
- Among the most difficult practices of communicating with other users, not reacting to vandals can be difficult to their actions. They're attempting to provoke you, but the best practice is not to give them a reaction. Aggressively chastising them and making a situation seem larger than it really is grants the trolls their satisfaction. However, the best practice to handle the trolls is to keep calm and show that they cannot get a reaction out of you.
- See More:
Being a Role Model
- To stand out as someone who could potentially be one superb staff member, a fitting practice to exercise is to be a role model for the community. Be someone any and all users can go to for questions or an opinion and strive to inspire others to be the best members of the wiki that they can be.
- See More:
Participating in the Community
- A key to being an admirable staff member and to have a successful application is to be familiar with the community. Being involved with the community will get you engaged and help you grasp a better understanding of yourself and how others feel. This can include becoming friends with several users and being cordial with acquaintances.
What to look at
- In applying to all staff positions, there is the practice of look at several edits one has made. When browsing through someone's edits, one of the foremost attributes of someone's edits are edit summaries, particularly when undoing another edit. When reverting someone else's edit, it's efficient to observe that you're attempting to explain why you reverted that edit. If the only reasoning you can think of is that "it looks better" or if you're struggling to find a reason, then refrain from reverting it because it can discourage users to edit and therefore defeats part of the reason of being a staff member. Edit summaries can also represent how a user defends their edits which can give some insight to everyone how they would justify their actions.
- Another attribute to your contributions that will catch the eye of one scrutinizing is if you spam edit, or in other words, edit a multitude of sections individually to make minor edits. This demonstrates a poor way of editing that gives the impression that you only edit for the edit count. Several methods of editing that can be easily deduced to editing for only the number of your edits can include strictly only editing the linking pattern of articles, editing minor spacing unless it conflicts between words, or the like. However, don't get the misconception that these are edits to never be done, just don't do them in excess.
- Editing content pages and projects is what advances the wiki and so it's important to establish suitable edit habits. When deciding who could potentially be a commendable staff member, a user must first prove their worth through editing.
- Wishing to be a staff is not at all bad. In fact, it sets up a path for you to achieve your aspiration. However, just wishing to be apart of the staff won't get you very far. You must demonstrate thoroughly through your activities on the wiki that you have earned and thus deserve to be granted a few extra duties.
- There are two extremes that can be dangerous to aspiring to be a trusted member of the community enough to be granted a staff position. One is being overly exuberant in your activities and application. This can demonstrate what your values and whether you truly understand what a staff member does. The other extreme is to expose a listless, apathetic attitude when applying because it automatically makes you seem like you're only applying for "shits and giggles". Of these two extremes, the more detrimental one towards your chances at gaining a few extra tools to use is the latter, demonstrating a lackadaisical manner because it can potentially ruin your chances for any kind of endorsement for staff for your time on the wiki or at least make someone vehemently skeptical at any applications you make for a staff position.
- Dedication is a key acknowledgment in the decision to accept a user's application. If there's a hiatus for three weeks to a month within three to six months of applying, that's something that would make people pause to endorse or vote for you because it can make people ask: can this user be trusted to stay dedicated or will this user disappear soon after they're granted a staff position?
Becoming a staff member includes taking on more responsibility and carrying out more duties to help out the wiki. It can be a coveted "rank", but it also requires much maturity and thought to do your duty successfully and continue to do it. However, the first step of the process is to apply, and to successfully apply, it can start with your nomination speech because it can give the first impression of how you would handle a staff position. Applying for a staff position will open you up to scrutiny in how you handle certain situations with certain practices and anything that could potentially make someone hesitate to vote or endorse you which can very from editing to hiatuses. Atelda insert vague subtext here 05:02, March 9, 2013 (UTC)
- User blog:Brandon Rhea/Tips for becoming an admin - While it may be intended specifically for becoming an administrator, it also describes how to simply become apart of the staff.
- User blog:Trellar/Best Behavior and Management Practices for Chat - Chat can be an excellent step to start putting several practices into action.