Commons:Staying mellow

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A place where people from different places come and share

Commons is a special place. It's not like any other wiki. It has a special mission. It's a place where people from many other wikis come, to share wondrous images, to work jointly to resolve issues and to make the overall site better (by sharing tools, techniques and experiences). Not everyone speaks your language. Even if it's English (don't be so provincial! :)...

So, in order to preserve the neatness and peacefulness that is Commons, you need to be extra mellow. Don't assume that everyone understands where you are coming from. This may not be your home wiki, and not everyone does things the same way. Compromise, reasonableness, and explanation are needed. Remember: consensus is the building block of all our projects.

So take the time, explain why you did what you did, don't get mad if someone else asks you to explain, and don't get upset if someone else doesn't understand what you meant. Just explain it again. Be patient. Take extra care to ask for input from others. Take extra care to seek consensus. Take extra time to make sure everyone's cool with what you propose. There is no rush. And don't be afraid to ask for help!

What to do while you are here...

  • Kick back and enjoy some of the awesome work your fellow contributors have already done. It's amazing!
  • Help translate stuff. There is always stuff that needs translating, and if you translate it into your home wiki's language you have made things better! Heck, translate this essay if you want.
  • Help with the tools. There are always tool improvements possible.
  • Help with the backlogs. It seems we always have a lot of images we're not sure about. Take some time to look at them and help decide what to do. There are other kinds of backlogs too.

What not to do while you are here...

  • Don't bring disputes from other wikis. This is not an extension of those wikis. Assume a fresh start, assume good faith, see what your colleagues want. Heck, maybe a friendship you make here will help resolve a dispute there? For cross-wiki issues, the right place is Meta-Wiki.
  • Don't start brawls over stuff that doesn't matter. Colors of things, names, titles, which language to use? None of that really really matters in the grand scheme of things.
  • Don't be afraid to speak your mind. Mellow does not mean timid. If you have a point, make it. Just make it in a mellow way.
  • Don't be afraid to be passionate about what you do, what you have contributed, what you believe in, what you think needs fixing. Mellow does not mean uncaring. It's OK to care. Just be passionate politely and remember others may feel differently than you. It's not about who's right and who's wrong (both sides think they're right), but it's about working together and resolving issues as a team.



Commons is a media repository, so there's space for all. If you feel you can improve an image, go ahead and do it. It's not worthwhile to quarrel around what a picture should look like – just upload a new file with your version and link it in the "Other versions" field of the existing file! (overwrite existing files only for improvements that won't be disputed)

Don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry" if you screwed up, or "Thank you" when you're given some advice – people here tend to be genuinely nice and helpful, and kind words help establishing a strong, united community, while keeping everybody happy.

To be continued... (by you, edit away! this is a wiki)

To show you are mellow


If you're a fan of userboxes, you can add {{User mellow}} to an appropriate page to show you favour staying mellow:

This user stays melon mellow.

See also