"The Administrator nominations for the Wikia are long over, yet this new addition of BSST brings it back to the forefront! Today, we will be interviewing none other than the illustrious The Ultimate Waterbender, who due to popular community opinion, won the nominations in a landslide."
The Ultimate Waterbender has been well known on the wiki for years, from her time as a productive user through 2010, and then as a Rollback from the start of 2011. She has always been regarded to be amongst the most open and compassionate of Rollbacks, consistently sparing time to talk with new users and always exercising a calm, empathetic demeanour, no matter what the occasion. The editors of Ba Sing Se Times are eager to have her as our new Administrator, and we want the entire community to recognise why The Ultimate Waterbender has enamoured our support in such a fashion. To that effect, we have invited The Ultimate Waterbender to give us a few open words to some of our questions.
1. As the newest Administrator, how do you feel about being given this responsibility? How will you step up to your predecessor's shoes, who was widely known for his contributions in the Fanon Portal, and to a lesser extent, on Canon articles?
- I’m honored to be able to aid this community using the tools I’ve been given and prepared to handle certain situations that may arise. I hope to carry out my duties proficiently and decisively, as my predecessor had, and serve the wiki well. Although the fanon side of this wiki has never been my most prominent area in regards to editing, I will always be on the look-out for fanon articles that need touch-ups. Ultimately, the canon side of the wiki will remain my most significant area of editing; however, I am striving to become a more active editor of fanon articles and lend a hand wherever needed.
2. Most of the community has welcomed you with open arms, however, there will always be critics. What do you find are your most apparent weaknesses, and how do you intend to improve them while fulfilling your role as an administrator?
- My main concern lies in the fact that I’m, by nature, a forgiving person and imposing a block on someone may conflict with my inclination to absolve them. I fear clouded judgment and being lenient when issuing a block. However, I hope to be able to make decisive resolutions based on a user’s history of contributions if and when the time comes. I can’t let my natural tendencies lead to the wrong decisions and I will have to be firm and think rationally. Most likely, I will also have a look at other instances of users being blocked – see what offenses they have committed and for how long they were blocked – to better shape my judgment. And lastly, I’ll keep in mind that blocking is a measure taken to protect the wiki and, because it is always in my best interest to protect the wiki from harm, that thought will help in keeping my priorities straight.
3. How much time are you likely to be an Admin for on this wiki? Are you intending to fill the role as a long term commitment, or will you be here for a relatively short time when compared to titans such as The 888th Avatar?
- I sincerely hope to be an administrator and a user in general on this wiki for many more months to come; my intention is to remain an active member on here all the way through high school (of which I have three more years left) and, who knows, beyond that? This, for me, is a long-term commitment, a duty I intend on carrying out for as long as I possibly can. Unless something dire happens – and spirits forbid that – I’m here to stay.
4. This year, a plethora of community issues have appeared in our ever growing Wiki. One of the most important recent events has been the controversy over the removal of article comments. Exactly where do you stand on this issue, and how do you intend to contribute to a solution as an Administrator?
- With the debate over the removal of article comments, I take a neutral stand. I feel that comments are quick and easy ways for users, especially newer users who may not know other forms of correspondence, to communicate their ideas pertaining to that article. However, there has been an influx of non-contributive and sometimes inflammatory comments, mostly due to the new series and the hype it’s been generating, and it can really flood the recent changes page. Thus, I viewed comments overall as having both a positive and negative side.
- I feel that the compromise that was recently reached, in which the commenting feature on Korra articles has been temporarily closed, is the most effective way of dealing with the issue at hand. It’s only for a short duration of time, while people re-gather themselves after the finale, and we have many blogs open for discussion, should anyone want to voice their opinions. Had the compromise not been put into effect, we would have been inundated by a tidal wave of comments, among them irrelevant and spammish ones that we don’t need. I know there are people who are upset by this turn of events, but I find it to be an effective method; and keep in mind, it is only temporary and only for certain articles.
5. Another widespread subject of debate centred upon allegations of bullying by administrators and various other users. Comment on how the role of an Administrator correlates to that of community mediators, if it does at all, and if Admin rights should be further regulated by the community.
- Administrators may certainly feel the need to act as negotiators and “peace-makers” in discussions, but I don’t feel that the role as a mediator should fall entirely on their shoulders. Any user, admin or not, could become the mediator in a debate, if they felt the need to do so; it’s not a position only administrators can assume.
- Administrators should certainly be kept in check to ensure that they are using their tools for the greater good and one’s actions should not be dismissed by the community if they have committed any wrongdoing. That being said, however, I don’t believe any rights at this point should be necessarily restricted, as the tools administrators have allow them to safeguard the wiki. This is so long as those rights are being abused and are genuinely aiding the wiki.
6. Finally, another community issue that has been brought to the attention of the Wikia is the lack of a diverse assortment of editors participating in improving our content. Can you give one proposal that you would contribute to as an Administrator in order to ensure that the Wiki is more open to new contributors?
- I believe that a little encouragement from frequent contributors can go a long way in ensuring that this wiki remains open to new contributors. If you see that an anonymous user has made a particularly good edit or has been posting several well-thought-out comments, leave them a message, thanking them for their work and inviting them to create an account and join the community. If you see a newer user making noteworthy contributions, do the same; leave them a message, thanking them for their efforts and telling them to keep up the good work. I believe that with these positive messages and displays of gratitude for their work, users will feel appreciated and motivated to continue making strides on this wiki, and then we’ve got another regular contributor.
7. Much has been said about your new responsibilities and the issues on the Wikia, so now for a few questions tailored specifically to you. You are the youngest administrator ever to be accepted in this WIkia. How do you think your youth will affect your actions and judgement on the Wikia?
- I don’t think my age will have much of an impact on my judgment and actions on the wiki, in all honesty. With the time I have been on this wiki, I have come to know the policies and workings of this wiki and I believe I can make good decisions relative to anyone else.
8. You are widely known for your compassion and friendliness, but there are few instances where you have been seen to deal with more unscrupulous figures on the Wiki. As an Administrator, it is a very likely you will encounter abusive and unreasonable trouble-makers. How do you plan on dealing with such users on a regular basis?
- With any user that stirs trouble on the wiki, at first, I would always take my usual light approach, politely asking them to cease their actions and trying to guide them along the right path. If the behavior persists, I would turn to official warnings and sterner cautions, but I would continue to try and reason with them. If the user does not amend their ways and the situation called for a block, then I would take that measure. Throughout that entire process, however, I would always be mindful to maintain a calm composure and not show any disrespect to him or her, regardless of how irrational their behavior is.