Policy:Be bold

Nutshell.png This page in a nutshell: If you see something that can be improved, do not hesitate to do it yourself.

Be BOLD![edit]

The BattleTechWiki community encourages users to be bold when updating pages. Wikis like ours develop faster when everybody helps to fix problems, correct grammar, add facts, make sure the wording is accurate, etc. We expect everyone to be bold and help make BattleTechWiki a better encyclopedia. How many times have you read something and thought, "Why aren't these pages copy-edited?" BattleTechWiki not only allows you to add to, revise, and edit the article — it wants you to do it. It does require some amount of politeness, but it works. You will see. Also, of course, others here will edit what you write. Do not take it personally. They, like all of us, just want to make BattleTechWiki as good as it can possibly be.

Also, when you see a conflict in a talk page, do not be just a "mute spectator". Be bold and drop your opinion there.

… but don't be reckless.[edit]

Though the boldness of contributors like you is one of Wikipedia's most precious assets, it is important that contributors do not edit recklessly. "Being Bold" does not excuse a disregard for verifiability, neutrality, and the other guidelines/policies that comprise the five pillars of BattleTechWiki. However, any changes you make that turn out badly can be reverted, often quite painlessly. It is important not to be insulted if your changes are reverted or edited further. Although users often display ownership of the articles they've written, we all understand that BattleTechWiki is a place of collaboration. The BOLD, revert, discuss cycle is one popular way to use the "Be Bold" approach responsibly, especially when other editors have questions over your ideas.

The unintended consequences of certain significant changes can be more lasting, for better or for worse. This includes changes that are difficult to undo for technical reasons, like renaming the articles, creating new categories (see below) or other non-article pages, etc. Such edits are often warranted but please be sure you know what you are doing and feel free to ask for advice.

Also, substantial changes or deletions to the articles on complex, controversial subjects with long histories should be done with extra care. In many cases, the text as you find it has come into being after long and arduous negotiations between BattleTechWiki Editors of diverse backgrounds and points of view. A careless edit to such an article might stir up a hornet's nest, and other users who are involved in the page may become defensive. If you would like to make a significant edit to an article on a controversial subject (not just a simple [copyedit), it is a useful idea to first read the article in its entirety and skim the comments on the talk page. In the absence of discussion and consensus, it is generally safer on controversial articles to add information (such as a dissenting viewpoint) and sources than to delete existing content, even if you believe it incorrect or non-neutral.

Non-article namespaces[edit]

Although it is generally fine to be bold in updating articles, it is easier to cause problems in other namespaces by editing without due care. The admonition "but do not be reckless" is especially important in other namespaces.

Being bold in updating or creating categories and templates can have far reaching consequences. This is because category changes – and even more so template changes – can affect a large number of pages with a single edit. Templates, moreover, may have complex source code that can easily be broken by untested changes. Because of these concerns, some heavily used templates may indefinitely protected from editing. Before editing templates or categories, consider proposing any changes on the associated talk pages.

It is generally recommended that you not edit another Wikipedian's user page, or comments left on talk pages (other than your own, and even then do not be reckless). Fixing vandalism is nearly always welcome, even on user pages; specific users will let you know if they find your changes inappropriate.