Wiki personality type

Wiki personality type (or WPT) refers to the editing and behavioural characteristics of wiki (more specifically Wikipedia) contributors. Edit wars are often spawned out of conflicts between editors with differing characteristics. A person can fall into one or more of the following character types.


  • The Dabbler is a non-specialist that likes to edit a wide variety of articles but not to any great degree. Tasks of the dabbler include editing grammar, spelling, adding pictures, charts, formatting, adding ideas, or sometimes creating small stub articles from scratch.
  • The Power User enjoys going deep into research for an article, often searching the internet and books for secondary sources to confirm and add ideas and information to the article. This person often has specialized knowledge or training in the topics they write about. This may lead to conflicts between other power users leading to edit wars.
  • The NPOV Hunters make sure that an article has a NPOV, neutral point of view with regards to Wikipedia. Much debate sometimes occurs to ensure that the language is neutral. Some NPOV Hunters are power users since research is sometimes necessary to resolve language disputes within articles.
  • The Snoot is someone who re-edits and changes entire pages without warning because they believe that their interpretation is correct. These people often concern themselves with a limited range of issues but tend to introduce these issues in any article remotely related to them. There seem to be very few radical snoot users, although there is likely some snoot in everyone.
  • The Deletionist is a perfectionist that votes for the deletion of articles that are not up to standard. Imperfections bother them so much that they do not want to allow an article time to evolve. They have been known to list articles on the votes for deletion page (for being poorly written, not for covering an unencyclopedic topic) within minutes after the article was created. They tend to see the glass as half empty rather than half full so in most cases they do not feel it is worthwhile improving articles.
  • The Inclusionist is someone that sees all-encompassing as a more important criterion than accuracy. They tend to see the glass as half full rather than half empty so in most cases they will fix or overlook imperfections. They have faith in the Wiki process and believe that, given enough time, even the worst article will be improved. Some also believe that every article should be kept despite its lack of notability or adherence to the wiki's policies.
  • The Delusionist is someone whose philosophy lies in between deletionism and inclusionism. Objections have been made to this label for the obvious connotation of delusion.
  • The Lazy Thinker is mostly a student who cares a lot for a specific subject, and is writing about what they already know (or at least what they believe they remember) within that subject, being too lazy or uninterested to get some books off the shelf or do one of those complicated Google searches. The articles produced are generally accurate, but quite short and difficult to read for those who are not familiar with the field. Lazy Thinkers also prefer creating new articles to improving old ones, since the latter demands the contributor to read the old version first.
  • The Cautious Mover is someone who focuses on making changes one step at a time, previewing all changes before saving, and writing thorough edit summaries. They often avoid editing or discussing articles knowing how long it will take both to do so and to keep track of all changes afterward. While this is clearly advantageous in that it creates less "noise" for other Wikipedians to deal with, it does not generally compete with the pace of vandalism, which may require a hastier approach.

See also