Wikipedia:Don't hope the house will build itself
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
|This page in a nutshell: A little planning and a little effort is all that is needed to prevent an article from being deleted.|
- A man tries to build a house. He has a few of his neighbors come to help. They are working with much enthusiasm, but without a plan or any organization.
- Soon, a building inspector comes by. "Those stairs look dangerous," the inspector says, pulling out a tape measure, "and by these measurements, they are not wide enough."
- The builder replies, "Someone else will fix them eventually."
- The inspector moves on. "This wall isn't supported enough!" the inspector says with worry.
- "It doesn't matter," the builder replies, "We're not leaning on it."
- "And look!" the inspector cries, "There is no ceiling! The owners of this house will be angry indeed when they get rained on!"
- "They won't be!" the builder retorts angrily, "It will obviously never rain!"
- The inspector ignores him. "This house is no good, builder. it must be torn down." Instead of fixing the problems, the builder then spends the next day setting up an angry protest to prevent the house from being demolished.
There are times when you will walk in on a void in Wikipedia's coverage. A topic nobody has thought of yet, or perhaps one which you know about but few people do. Perhaps you followed a red link, and heard the call of a large edit box on your screen.
This is a story lived hundreds of times every day; of an editor writing a few heartfelt lines on a topic he knows about— only to have his work put up for deletion or deleted outright mere minutes after he started. It's frustrating, and might hurt a little, but the editors who patrol new pages are only looking out for our common objective: the encyclopedia.
Like building construction, there are important rules to follow. And, also like building construction, you can't expect the inspectors to fix things for you, or to close their eyes and hope the problem will fix itself someday.
The topic of your article is notable? State so in the article, don't expect readers to guess or do the research for you. You have been told the article needs sources? Don't just complain that there are plenty out there, add them to the article yourself.
So; how to avoid the frustration? It's actually quite simple:
- Learn the building code, so you know which mistakes to avoid;
- make sure you have a plan, and all the needed materials before you start; and
- if there is a problem, don't spend your efforts complaining about the one who pointed it out or contesting the citation— fix it!
Above all, don't expect people to just look past the problems just because you say they might be fixed eventually.
- Wikipedia:Don't demolish the house while it's still being built
- Wikipedia:Beef up that first revision
- Wikipedia:Why was my page deleted?
- Wikipedia:An unfinished house is a real problem