User:Azaz129/Defining administrators 2010/Role of maintenance work

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This sub-page will be used for discussion of the role of maintenance work in relation to administrators.


Maintenance is a key part of an administrator's editing.

General maintenance[edit | edit source]

Admins generally perform all of the standard maintenance tasks that any other editor does. They still check out the various maintenance special pages and act on them (e.g. Special:UnusedFiles, Special:DoubleRedirects, etc), they still fix code on pages where its broken, they still act on the :Category:Marked articles|various maintenance categories.

Administrator tools and maintenance[edit | edit source]

The extra tools sysops have are effectively a bigger bucket and an extra, more specialised mop added to the brush and pan (standard editing tools i.e. edit, move, etc) they already have. For example, the delete tool, often used in countervandalism to remove vandal/spam pages, is also put to use removing duplicate images, a maintenance task - and after using the sysop-only tool, they're expected to check the whatlinkshere and make sure all links to said image are removed; which doesn't require sysop tools (unless protected pages are involved). An important ability in my opinion, though less used, is merging histories - this involves the delete tool and the move tool (or the movefile ability, another sysop tool).

Admins are expected to make sure the varied maintenance only they can do is done, and done to policy.

Expanding the meaning of maintenance[edit | edit source]

However, there is more to maintenance than just making sure the categories and special pages are cleaned out. Thinking outside the box of cleaning supplies, administrators have passed through a rigorous process to determine whether they are suitable, ready, and would have a use for the tools they're given. As such, they're often more respected in the community, often becoming the first go-to points for help on various things. Its important that they make sure the user who requires help receives it, either by helping the user themselves, or, if they don't have the ability, by making sure they know where to go for help (be that another user, or a help page, etc). By doing this they're maintaining the morale of the editor - and by maintaining the morale of many individual editors, the morale of the wiki as a whole is maintained.

Another point is that admins are often the representatives for the wiki. This is especially important in the in-game clan chat (which, for most of the year, is the sole in-game representation of the wiki), where sysops get a shiny silver (or gold) star. This makes them somewhat targets for questions, and sometimes trolls. By making sure they conduct themselves in a mature and respectful way, without feeding the trolls, they make sure to maintain the image of the wiki. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 11:41, July 16, 2010 (UTC)

Discussion[edit | edit source]

I know the last section is heavily linked with the other discussion areas, but I think maintenance goes beyond the janitor's supply room, so yeah. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 11:41, July 16, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - As evidenced by the lack of discussion on this section, I think that this is an underappreciated section of the administrator's duties. The RfA process and public opinion seem to give a higher standing to countervandalism work and to understanding of policy (for consensus determination).

However, despite this lack of enthusiasm, the role that administrators play is still very significant, as you mentioned, since we hold the tools that regular users lack, which helps us in maintenance duties.

I think that one of the ways that we can change this perception is to nominate more users heavily involved in maintenance for things like UOTM or RfA. Stelercus is the only one that I can think of so far. That's not nearly enough. --LiquidTalk 01:53, July 29, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Aye, we used to have Leevclarke, Kitty, and a few others. Unfortunately, over time this area has become both neglected and blurred. Admittedly, I was always more counter vandal orientated, however, I have always had the greatest respect for the maintenance administrators as well. Without them our lovely wiki would not have all the tools, organisation, and inner working that allow all other parts to function. In essence, they're the ones who keep the well-oiled machine well-oiled.-- 16:37, July 30, 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. I'm somewhat more antivandalism orientated too, but I do check and/or clear out speedy d and m at least once a day usually. Its a shame that we don't have as many maintenance admins as antivandal admins, but I guess a lot of the general maintenance is available for all to do. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 17:00, July 30, 2010 (UTC)