Be bold when editing pages here. There are few times when you need to ask before making a change. In general you should “ask” by just making the change. If someone doesn’t like it, they will undo your change.

By the same token, don’t take it personally when others boldly change what you wrote. And don’t be offended if someone undoes your change with minimal explanation; feel free to ask if you don’t understand the reason.

In order to allow each other to BeBold, we also ask each other to BePolite? and BeHumble?.

Don’t refrain from making a change, if you think it’s a good change, because you are worried that someone might object. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t - humility teaches us not to overestimate our ability to second guess each other.


Person #1: “Is it okay if I change this”
Person #2: “Sure”
…(months pass)
Person #3: (implements change)

Going through this sequence unnecessarily is a waste of time. It is more efficient to just have:

Person #1: (implements change)
Person #2: “Nice change”

If the change is really unacceptable, we see:

Person #1: (implements change)
Person #2: (reverts change)
Person #2: “I reverted this because…”

Usually, one or the other will explain their actions.

See MetaWikipedia:be_bold

When not to be bold

Here’s when not to be bold:

Being bold and the Wiki Life Cycle

For community members on wikis earlier in the WikiLifeCycle, being bold is all about creativity and collaboration. “Join the fun! Jump in! We need your help! Any little bit will do.” As members spend a lot of time on creating content, being bold is about lessening their workload, even by a tiny amount.

For older wikis, being bold seems to encourage conflict. “Be bold… unless it’s something that we’re not going to like. Then, don’t be bold.” Members spend a lot of their time on SoftSecurity – fighting off vandalism and the like. So being bold is just one more thing to check and verify and compare and possibly revert, therefore being bold is about increasing their workload.



I oppose. The nasty bold ones f*** you up anyway, the shy ones get more shy on a list like this. When to know if something’s central? This is a paedagogic problem. AlexanderSutherlandNeill?MattisManzel

I don’t understand your comment, and I don’t understand your reference to Neill. Can you elaborate? – AlexSchroeder

Nasty bold ones are bad, but WikiMaster boldness is something all nice ones should aspire to. – ?

I think the idea of “BeBold” may disappear as:

1. People get used to wiki.

2. People formalize WikiKM:WikiProcess.

I think the whole idea of “BeBold” existed because people were new, and not hitting the edit button. People thought, “Wiki? What’s that. Hey, there’s an edit button. I better report the security flaw to the owner of this site!” But they didn’t hit the edit button and jump in. So you had to tell them: “That’s buttons there for you! Be Bold!”

I’ve seen just what Mattis is talking about on <cough, cough> wiki.


I think encouraging people to edit pages is a separate (but related) issue. BeBold is trying to do more than that:

(1) save everyone time by not going through the sequence

:Person #1: “Is it okay if I change this”

:Person #2: “Sure”

:(persona #1 forgets to do it; months pass)

:Person #3: (changed)

and (2) to try and make it clear (and make it true :) ) that we are open to “major” refactorings without arguing about it beforehand everytime.

One could imagine wikis on which some amount of editing was welcome (i.e. move comments around, delete some, write headings), but which would prefer to have most people ask or discuss before majorly refactoring anything (i.e. deleting the DocumentMode portion of pages and rewriting them).


Agreed. BeBold is just one value, part of one WikiKM:WikiProcess.

I remember JoeAnderson and I had a conversation where we were negotiating something like you are describing. We were talking about a WikiKM:WikiProcess where you would start ideas on your own page, and then if people were interested, promote them into a public space.

I agree with what MattisManzel was saying: Sometimes, a small number of people take BeBold and turn into something like conversational bullies. And then shier people just stop saying things, because they don’t want to talk with the bully. The bully justifies their behavior with BeBold, and says, “Y’all should BeBold too!” But they don’t want to, because they don’t care about what the bully is talking about, and because if they really were bold anyways, there’d just be a massive flame battle. Yyyeikes! This happens both in wiki and non-wiki.

Sometimes, there’s no problem in a wiki. Everyone can just say what they want, and they’re all heard. Some say more, some say less, and it still works out. That’s great. But it can get really unbalanced and intimidating. I think that’s what Mattis is talking about.


I was bold and yanked the injuncture not to be bold on “controversial” topics on “central” pages. “Controversial” and “central” are both extremely subjective and don’t make any sense to someone who doesn’t a) already have a mental map of the community’s “center” and b) know the history of the community, especially about hot “controversies”.

In addition, controversial changes to central pages are probably the least risky changes to make! After all, central pages are often the most frequently viewed. Because of this, they will be reverted quicker than other pages. In addition, fixes to central pages are the most crucial – it’s the most important place to BeBold. --EvanProdromou


<⇒ AboutUsOrg:BeBold

CategoryThisWiki CategoryWikiConventions


Define external redirect: AlexanderSutherlandNeill BePolite BeHumble

EditNearLinks: WikiLifeCycle DocumentMode BiLinks EditWar CategoryWikiConventions