Last year, Wikimedia Nederland asked me to write a manual for editing Wikipedia. The philosophy behind it was to tell people how to edit without hitting brick walls, rather than explain our rules to them. That seemed easy enough, with 12 years of experience. Re-reading policy pages and guidelines, it turned out that things are a little more complicated than I remembered: hidden away rules, unfindable pages, contradictions and outdated guidelines. Many experienced Wikipedians did not have to dig through policy pages for quite some years. This is a story how I wrote a manual for editing the Dutch Wikipedia without hitting brick walls.
This is not an introduction session to Wikipedia, but rather an attempt to outline some angles how we as a community could make the editing of Wikipedia easier to comprehend and more fun for new editors. The experience is from the Dutch Wikipedia, but likely translates to some extent to other language editions.
The idea is to make wikipedians more aware of the body of rules we created, and how hard it is to understand it for new contributors. I will also share a bit of our approach to writing a guide/manual for editing Wikipedia in Dutch, which may or may not be an inspiration for others.
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