Wiki Community/Etiquette

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Whenever you have a lot of different people working on a project together, there need to be some basic rules or guidelines to keep everyone on the same page. This page covers the basics of RocWiki Etiquette. You may also find the lists of offenses and non-offenses helpful.

To request changes to this page, please post to its Talk page. If and when a consensus opinion forms about your proposal(s), the consensus opinion will be implemented by a member of the AdminGroup.


Humor is encouraged. That being said, we also want to be the 'People's guide to Rochester". Some complaints have been filed with the Complaints Dept. about humor being distracting or problematic. There is a balance somewhere in there, god only knows if we'll ever find it. When in doubt, make the joke anyway, and someone will let you know if it's out of line.

Hint: if you're that someone, please let them know on their user page, not the content page. This is especially true when dealing with sensational or suspicious comments. This way people won't have to sort through meta-conversations to find relevant information. When conversations get wildly out of hand on a content page, you may find the [[stop]] tag helpful.

A general rule of thumb is to ask yourself, "Does this humorous/sarcastic comment/picture/etc. obscure useful information?" If so, it probably shouldn't be added. If not, go for it! For instance, adding a fictional item to a list of Rochester Oddities probably doesn't hurt anything, especially if the list makes it clear that the item does not truly exist. On the other hand, photoshopping humorous objects into places of business is unhelpful, and may actually be considered offensive or even libelous by the business owner. Ask yourself whether or not you would be confused if you were a first-time visitor to RocWiki.

Don't be a Jerk

Differences of opinion will arise from time to time. This is a Good thing. However, just because contributors have strongly opposing beliefs on a topic does not permit them to engage in personal insults, either explicit or implicit. What is implicit? Well that is in the mind of the beholder and is best left to the contributor's own judgment. Conversely, the person being insulted should do everything in their power to resist succumbing to the urge to respond. What is an insult? Some insults are blatantly obvious. Other comments are insulting to no one, except those cannot abide humor or criticism. If a person is a jerk, just stay away from them, no matter how they might provoke you.

In other words, make every effort to be sensitive to other people's feelings, but also wear a thick skin.

Commenting on Edits

Always supply a comment to describe what change you made to a page, even if the comment length is longer than the change itself. The comments summarize the changes and can be examined in the change-log for a page. It is much easier to find a specific change (a fictional example might be the deletion of the website for a business) if the change log included a comment that indicated that specific change. Include minor changes in comments so the search for a specific alteration can skip those entries.

Fact and Opinion

Separate fact and opinion. This seems to be more of an issue on pages about businesses where an author will praise or disparage an establishment based on their own opinions. Facts include things like location, decor, and prices — try to keep the factual part of a description bias-free, somewhat positive, or at least friendly. Opinions include the quality of services, details of an individual visit, or basically anything where another individual might have an entirely different experience. Opinions are best expressed in a Comment. Feel free to add a Comment block to the page if it's lacking one.

Talk, Talk Talk

Feel free to edit anything at will, but you have to realize that the 'revert' option is easy to use, so you should comment on edits if you feel they need to be justified.

If you see something of opinion you disagree with, comment on it in the Talk section before you just edit or edit it then leave a comment. There is nothing worse than seeing something you saw as OK changed, and not understanding why someone had a problem with the sentence or paragraph.

Editing to Add More Information

Edit pages to add more information rather than remove information. If you find a factual error, you may wish to note it as a misconception and explain why it's wrong rather than just deleting it. Avoid removing facts just to parallel the structure of other pages — start updating the other pages instead. In cases where a page needs to be cleaned up, try to move whole sentences and paragraphs instead of rephrasing: you may miss a piece of information that was important to someone else and it will seem like you arbitrarily deleted it.


Neutral Point of View is often abbreviated to NPOV. See NPOV/Definition for more information.

SEO Activity

SEO businesses are welcome to edit RocWiki. Please be aware that excessive or over-linking on pages for SEO purposes is not allowed. Admins reserve the right to remove excessive over-linking from any page at any time without warning. Excessive SEO-related linking can result in being banned from the Wiki.

Editing Comments

One of the formerly "unspoken rules" of RocWiki is that each user's comments are their own. Nobody else should edit those comments. If you disagree with an opinion expressed in a comment, just add a comment with your own opinion. This of course implies that it is also inappropriate to edit other users' comments for grammar, spelling, etc. The only acceptable edit to someone else's comment is to "wikify" page names if another page was mentioned in the comment. This enhances the interconnectedness of the wiki. Malicious editing of other users' comments is potentially a bannable offense.

Note that deleting or editing comments isn't even effective! Changes are never lost on RocWiki (well, almost never). Simply clicking the Info button allows anyone logged in to see who made which additions and deletions and when they did it and their [wikipedia]IP address at the time. It also allows your fellow editors to easily revert your changes.

That said, comments should be reasonably civil and should be relevant to the rest of the page comment. Personal grudges and in jokes, for example, don't belong on business pages. Likewise, meta-commentary should be considered eligible for deletion once the issue at hand has been resolved. If you think a comment is completely irrelevant to the page content, move the comment to a talk page and discuss it there. This allows other interested community members to weigh in without cluttering up the main page.


A sockpuppet is a wiki account created for the purpose of convincing wiki readers that the account is owned by someone other than the person (or really, identity) that created it. For example, if Alice posts on the wiki using the username "Alice", she may wish to use a different username to post comments that do not appear to come from her. To achieve this, she may create another account called "Bob", so that wiki readers believe that Bob posted comments rather than Alice.

See Sockpuppets for more info. The image is located at {{Sockpuppet}}

On Restaurants and Public Health Concerns

The overwhelming majority of contributions to RocWiki are respectful and informative, including comments with complaints or concerns about businesses. However, a very small number cross a line, potentially damaging a business's reputation and hurting their livelihood. We do not want to "sugarcoat" or suppress legitimate criticism, but:

RocWiki is not the proper forum for reporting immediate threats to public health and safety. In Monroe County, you can reach the [WWW]Department of Health's food protection hotline at (585) 753-5064. For lesser concerns, talk to the owner or the manager. Most business owners are reasonable people, but they don't monitor RocWiki, so give them a chance to make things better.

Those interested in researching a restaurant's inspection history can find a [WWW]frequently-updated database maintained by the Democrat and Chronicle.

Regarding restaurant concerns, talking to a Manager at the restaurant can usually resolve most concerns. It is worth the effort.

Editing Your Own Page

RocWiki includes 'user pages' (currently just the username) to allow users to have a page about themselves. Please use your "user page" as a place to post information (as much or as little as you would like to share) about you. You may want to include photos as well as links to sites that interest you. Be aware that your user page is not the appropriate place for school projects or random non-Rochester related pages of information.

Please note: For users that are public figures or for public figures that are NOT users, it is generally not considered good form to edit your own page. In the near future, there will be a Users section for wiki users, separate from the please-don't-edit-about-yourself 'person' page. If you are a user, and a moderately public figure, please use the "User/WikiUserName" format for the title of your "user" page, and leave the page with "Your Name" (With Spaces) alone.

We don't have an official policy, but we do allow contributors to remove/close pages about people who are not reasonably significant 'public' figures (i.e., not in the news, no newspaper article on them, not the head of a community group, company, etc.) if they are asked. For those deemed to be actual public figures, the page usually ends up staying after a discussion.