How to React to Feedback on Your wikiHow Contributions

Three Parts:Reacting to the MessageResponding to the MessageAvoiding More Coaching

Particularly when you're new to wikiHow, it's normal to get some feedback and advice about the edits you make. Every editor has been in your shoes before and knows that it can be tricky to learn the ropes around the wiki. Don't panic if you find out you made a mistake or someone disagrees with your change. No changes on wikiHow are irreversible or set in stone, and you two can collaborate to make the article or edit in question the best it can be.

Part 1
Reacting to the Message

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    Keep calm and read the message. Make sure you know what they are talking about before you reply. Look at your edit or the article, and see what the editor is saying about it. See if you understand what they mean.
    • Unless you spot any errors, don't worry about fixing the mistake; the editor probably took care of it already.
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    Read any guidelines they sent you. See if the situation and their suggested response makes sense to you. If not, don't hesitate to ask for more information.
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    Don't take the message personally. The user doesn't want to discourage you; they just want to help you learn the best way to fix the issue at hand.
    • Remember that everyone contributing here is human. The person coaching you may have misunderstood the situation themselves. If so, you can explain what happened; nothing on wikiHow is irreversible, and exchanging messages to problem solve and fix an editing issue is normal, not a bad sign.

Part 2
Responding to the Message

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    Reply back in a friendly manner. Whether you want to explain your edit, defend your position, or ask for more clarification/feedback, just keep it polite and friendly.
    • If you just made a simple mistake and agree with their feedback, don't stress about the message. A simple note to tell them you understand the situation and appreciate their message will do.
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    Ask questions. If you don't understand the feedback, ask them for more details. They may be able to send you a link to the edit in question, or to the logs for that patrol/tool action, or they may be able to follow up with some more specific advice and guidelines for the future.
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    If you're defending your actions, do it in a polite way. Try to be humble and understand where they're coming from, while fairly explaining why you did what you did. It may be that you misunderstood the implications of what you were changing, or it may be that they've misunderstood why you did it. Try to assume good faith, and be open to explaining your thoughts, as well as asking for more information about their perspective.
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    If you disagree with their opinion, explain why. As long as you remain friendly as you explain why you made the change, you two will likely be able to work out what's best for readers on the page in question. Working in a collaborative environment does require an exchange of ideas and some joint problem-solving, so be open to their position, read any applicable guidelines closely, and consider asking someone for a third opinion if you still don't agree.

Part 3
Avoiding More Coaching

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    Take your time editing and patrolling recent changes on wikiHow. Learn from your mistakes and skip any edits you're not sure of. This will help limit the amount of couching messages you get.
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    Consider taking a wikibreak. Edit as much or as little as you want to; contributing to wikiHow is supposed to be fun! If you are starting to feel down from the messages you are getting, just take a break and come back when you are ready. The editors will understand and nobody will try to force you to stay. Don't force yourself to be on wikiHow if it's causing you discomfort or making you upset.
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    Enjoy yourself on wikiHow. Do things you enjoy. Pick one thing from the Community Dashboard you excel in and do it! Replace those coaching messages with kudos and thumbs up for making wikiHow a better place.

Article Info

Categories: WikiHow