From electowiki
 From: Rob Lanphier (a.k.a. "User:RobLa")
 To: you! whoever you are reading this webpage
 Date: 03:39, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
 Updated: 02:38, 14 August 2023 (UTC)
 Subject:  Welcome! (and a few words of "wisdom" from a stubborn admin who co-created Electowiki in 2005)

Hi editors of electowiki!

If you're reading this page, there's a reasonable chance that I pointed you to this page. Assuming you are a new editor: welcome! Here's a few tips, and things to keep in mind as you contribute to electowiki:

  • We're watching you.... - You may have been pointed here because I was watching Special:RecentChanges, and noticed that you made a change to one of the pages. I'm kind of obsessive about doing that, and many other editors here are too. Don't worry about it, it's pretty standard on a wiki like this one. It's how we make sure that new editors aren't actually vandals coming to trash this wiki. If I sent you a welcome message, I'm probably not too worried about you. (at least not yet...don't push your luck :-))
  • User pages - You can read all about user pages on Help:User page, and you can read all about the author of this letter on my user page ("User:RobLa"). You may have been pointed to this page because you're new here, and hadn't put anything on your user page. If that's you, then when visiting Special:RecentChanges, you will probably see a red hyperlink associated with your username. I would appreciate it if you filled a little something in there, even if it's "I'm new here, please help me even though I want to remain anonymous." Or "I'm new here, and here's a webpage you can use to learn more about me: ". I get a little fussy about pseudoanonymity, but other users here don't, and have elected not to reveal their real identity. Also Note: if you want to have a user page for all Miraheze wikis, please visit meta:Global user page to learn more.
  • Timestamps - I'm writing this in the early evening of 2020-05-26 in the Pacific timezone. However, you'll see from the date above that it's "03:39, 27 May 2020 (UTC)" in UTC, which is the international standard timezone. Since we have editors in other parts of the world (not just in the United States), we just use "UTC" rather than the Eastern Time Zone. See the "Help:UTC timestamp" article on this wiki to learn more about UTC and why we use it here.
  • Conflict of interest - I have long been cranky about conflict of interest editing (and as of 2022-07-02, I still am). One fear that I have is that some people are using electowiki's reputation for search engine optimization (SEO) of their website (it's happened before; I won't name names, but I could....). Another fear that I have is that staff members and board members of various electoral reform organizations (like FairVote and the Center for Election Science) could start editing electowiki, and talk about how great their electoral reform organization is. I don't think that organizations with a multi-million-dollar annual budgets (like the previous two) would risk their reputation by by being too overt about making changes to wikis like this one or like English Wikipedia without disclosing their conflicts, since that's incredibly dodgy. But it wouldn't surprise me if smaller organizations (and zealous individuals) would be willing to take that risk. I don't mind it when editors pseudo-anonymously make typo fixes or grammar fixes to articles, but I get a little upset when they make large changes all over the wiki, and other trusted reviewers (that at least I've come to trust) aren't able to keep up with all of the changes they've made.
  • Code of Conduct - well, there's the written code of conduct (found Code of Conduct) and then the version that exists in my head. I've been "working" on a much better code of conduct over on my personal wiki (at, but I haven't articulated enough of it. It's still mostly in my head. Regardless, I ask that you treat each other with respect, and that you behave like a curious person that has more questions than answers. I'll probably ask a lot of questions, and some of them might be genuinely dumb questions, but please be patient with me, too.
  • We're EPOV, not NPOV, but still... - electowiki has a policy somewhat similar to Wikipedia's NPOV policy, which is referred to here as "EPOV" (see Electowiki:Editorial policy). Though our policy is not 100% neutral (due to our explicit editorial slant as election method reformers), we strive to create articles that are worthy of being copied over to English Wikipedia. We err on the side of neutrality.
  • Copyright - Part of copying to English Wikipedia includes having a clear associated copyright license. Even if it's not clear, you are agreeing to license the stuff you post here to everyone else in the world, usually with the "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International" license (see "Electowiki:Copyrights" for more details). Anything you compose yourself is still yours (even if other editors make "de minimus" changes). I am not a lawyer (hence the "IANAL warning), and I'm guessing most folks on electowiki aren't lawyers either. Nor anyone on the Miraheze staff, so don't take anything written here as legal advice. Many volunteer editors on Miraheze wikis are language lawyers, though. :-) Please assume you are giving me a perpetual, non-revocable license to copy and modify any changes that you make on electowiki, because you are (and please, make sure you have the right to give me that license).

Please feel free to edit anything you like to edit (for changes to theMain Page, please make a comment on Talk:Main Page). Don't feel bad if one of us (including me) reverts your change almost immediately. These things happen. I often use English Wikipedia's "BOLD, revert, discuss cycle" as my standard editing practice on electowiki. I hope that you use it too.


Rob Lanphier (a.k.a. User:RobLa)

Versions of this memo:

  • v1 - 03:39, 27 May 2020 (UTC) - original memo
  • v2 - 04:12, 13 June 2020 (UTC) - added bit about the the updated code of conduct that we need to have here.
  • v3 - 02:04, 11 July 2020‎ (UTC) - fixed a couple of interwiki links to pages on English Wikipedia
  • v4 - 06:18, 1 November 2020 (UTC) - Updating to link to meta:User:RobLa/Global user pages and Electowiki:History
  • v5 - 22:08, 28 September 2021 (UTC) - Updating link to 'meta:Global user pages'
  • v6 - 06:03, 12 October 2021 (UTC) - Fixing link to meta:Global user page, and verifying my work before submitting. Also updating text about UTC
  • v7 - 03:44, 13 February 2022 (UTC) - Adding the "#EPOV, not NPOV" bullet point
  • v8 - 07:07, 13 February 2022 (UTC) - clarified the "#EPOV, not NPOV" bullet point, separating out a new "#Copyright" bullet point below it (which I meant to do in v7)
  • v9 - 08:45, 4 May 2022 (UTC) - adding link to "Rob Lanphier" (in addition to "User:RobLa"), and removing deprecated link to "C4ES"
  • v10 - 04:50, 3 July 2022 (UTC) - fixing unclear sentence noted on the "Talk:" page, and making all sorts of other changes while I'm at it.
  • v11 - 02:38, 14 August 2023 (UTC) - Noting that folks can read all about user pages on Help:User page, and can read all about the author of this letter on my user page ("User:RobLa")