You sometimes see the term administrator, or admin, thrown around in discussions from time to time, but what is an admin? In the simple sense, an admin is a user with special powers over administration and management of the site. The fastest way to contact an admin is often via IRC or by posting on their talk page.
What administrators are
Admins have several special abilities including:
- Protecting pages (lock them from editing or moving)
- Deleting pages and images (remove them from the public database)
- Deletion review and undeletion of pages
- Suspending or banning users
- Implementing certain policies
- Editing protected and restricted pages
- Creating new admins and flagging bots (bureaucrats only)
They are also empowered to break the spirit of a wiki, but only in rare cases. Being an admin is a privilege, not a right.
Note that admins are not "required" to use their powers, but when they do it is appreciated.
What they are not
Importantly, they should not generally be viewed as the leaders, or staff, of the wiki. The wiki is generally not hierarchical, and only very rarely can the title be used to win an argument. Unilateral decision-making should also be avoided as it can damage the trust that should be built up between all users of a wiki.
Becoming an admin
Every so often, users are asked if they wish to become admins or users may ask to be considered for the role. However, admins need to show that they can cope with a fair bit of responsibility. To request the position of adminship, please see WoWWiki:Requests for adminship. Before doing so, it should be noted that prospective (and incumbent) admins should be able to:
- Stay calm, mature, and rational at all times.
- Be able to negotiate and cope with not always getting their way.
- Have a high standard of reasoning and communication skills.
No user has ever been demoted on WoWWiki for inactivity since we know no-one can escape the World of Warcraft. :)
Types of administrators
This is the admin (also known as a sysadmin) who sets up and maintains the actual infrastructure of the wiki, such as what computer is runs on, what internet connection it uses, how things get paid for, what software is used, etc. All major decisions about WoWWiki defer to the system administrator.
Wikia acts as our system administrator, whilst the technical system administrator role is filled by Wikia technical staff.
A bureaucrat is a type of wiki user able to rename users, as well as alter the group memberships of users. These groups include the "bot" right, the "sysop" right, the "patrollers group" right, among others.
- Kirkburn – Spam, vandalism and "ickiness" cleaner; Main page, MediaWiki, and general stylist; developer of ClearFont; deletion machine. Not so very active on IRC.
This is your more day-to-day admin (member of the "Sysop" wiki user group) who responds to issues in the wiki, like making special changes (page locking, blocking users, restoring deleted pages, large-scale rollbacks, importing pages, etc.). This is the user who you should appeal to when you have a problem, and they should also help resolve disputes and enforce policies.
Most active or semi-active administrators can be reached, at least by talk page or IRC. Activity in this case is how much said administrator makes changes to the wiki in some way, outside of certain page maintenance.
- Deadlykris – Former forum MVP, current active admin of The Vault, recruited to help out. Will be available by talk page most of the day most days, and will be keeping an eye on things as well.
- Ragestorm – Laird of the Lore. Slightly more than semi-active, and slightly more than semi-sane.
- TherasTaneel – Image naming fanatic and NPC organization extraordinaire.
- Varghedin – Disturbingly active contributor, over 50,000 listed edits about NPCs, zones, and much more.
- AlexanderYoshi – Cosmos founder and initiator of the Interface Customization section of WoWWiki. Performing secret missions in a hidden land.
- Baggins – crazy lore contributor. Inactive.
- Schmidt – Organizer, thoughtful editor. Inactive.
- Gryphon – Cosmos staff. Wiki spam and vandalism cleaner. Battlegroup and Mal'Ganis stylist, tender of Servers. Active on IRC.
- Hobinheim – Navigation bar enthusiast and Hobinbot controller. Currently semi-active.
- Montag – Active commentator and contributor; player character caretaker. Currently semi-active.
- Rustak – One-time leader of the wiki. Today he is very busy with projects outside of WoWWiki. Known as vlad_ on IRC. Inactive.
- Sancus – Rustak's support class, but also busy on other projects. Mostly EVE Online. Sometimes on IRC. Semi-active.
- Tekkub – Member and wikimaster of the Ace development team, table stylist, and stuff contributor. Active on IRC.
- Teomyr – Background worker. Developer of multiple extensions, maintains WoWTestWiki and more. Inactive.
- Have one's own edits automatically marked as patrolled (autopatrol).
- Mark others' edits as patrolled (patrol).
- Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page (rollback).