Wiki Gnome

A WikiGnome works behind the scenes to tie up little loose ends, adding ISBNs of books that people mention, tracking down the authorship of "someone once said" quotes, correcting BrokenLinks, fixing BrokenWhitespace, answering AnswerMes, tirelessly replacing ChatMode with content, fixing misspellings, and, when appropriate, making ordinary words into WordsSmashedTogetherLikeSo.

A very diligent WikiGnome regularly searches for EditHints (http:wiki?search=EditHint) left behind by MetaWikiGnomes and cleans them up or even takes on major projects, such as breaking down the barriers around WalledGardens.

WikiGnomes love to work in the shadows making what some would call StupidLittleEdits. Look at RecentChanges and you may even spot one!

They are the wiki version of the mythical "menuhunes" of hawai'i - little people who go around and fix things when no-one's looking. (wikihune's?)


WikiGnomes are basically good, along with WikiFaeries and HousekeepingZombies, unlike WikiGremlins.

If you would like to give gnomes a hand you might click on a title to find places where help is asked. Remember, GnomeIsAsGnomeDoes?. eh?

When a WikiGnome corrects a text of a WikiAuthor, the author has to pay him GnomeFees.

If you want to find a WikiGnome, you might want to peek at VolunteerHousekeeper.


Q: Are gnomes designated or they are just users who correct things here and there in the background?

A: Anyone who is doing these things is a wiki gnome.

Q: A gnome deleted something of mine. Should they give me some warning so I can back it up first?

A: That was not a gnome. WikiGnomes only delete what everybody wants deleted. But we can help you: EditCopy and HistoryPages can be used to retrieve recent deletions. But please also see DeleteOnceRestoreOnce - differences of opinion need not become battles.

Given that Wiki lives in the WikiNow, it is also wise to make a copy of anything you don't want erased as you create it. Having said that, it is courteous for gnomes to make some sort of archive when they make non-trivial changes - if a comment is signed, rather than deleting it, a gnome often moves it to the homepage of the author. Of course, some WikiGnomes are new in the business and may make mistakes, so don't ever depend on that.

Q: Should I set my UserName to WikiGnome while gnoming, or sign my edit?

A: No, please don't. WikiGnome is not a UserName. If you want to be anonymous, simply act anonymously, with no UserName at all, and no signature. Your refactorings must stand on their own, and the WikiGnome signature cannot lend them special legitimacy or authority.

Q: I like to think I am a WikiGnome but am worried I may just be a nit-picking pedant... how can I be sure? -- AndrewCates

A: If your changes improve Wiki, that's all that matters. If you're still worried, please arrange a session with DrWiki.

Q: What motivates the WikiGnomes?

A: ObSouthPark:
  1. Clean up zillions of WikiPages.
  2. ???
  3. PROFIT!!!

Q: Do gnomes ever disagree? That is to say, does someone become a gnome by doing gnomish things, like "changing things everybody wants changed" and/or "only delete what everybody wants deleted"? If they are wrong and someone restores or changes what they have done, are they obliged to leave the change alone, since at least one of the everybodies (perhaps even another gnome) does not want the change or deletion? What happens then if they do decide to change the changes back - do they lose ther gnome status or is status merely assumed? I guess what I'm asking is this: are there good and bad gnomes? Or is it a matter of ItDepends?

A: By definition there are only good WikiGnomes, so there cannot be disagreement. That's also because a good refactoring is orthogonal to any other refactoring. Opinionated edits are not the domain of gnomes.

Q: How can I collect the above-mentioned gnome fees for doing gnome work? Do I send a WikiGnomeBill, and if so, to whom?

A: No. Giving the GnomeFee is a voluntary task. It cannot be claimed.

Q: Is WikiHune? a better name than WikiGnome? Cf. menahune.

A: Define "better".
It needs to be reiterated, apparently, that WikiGnome is not a legitimate signature. We have lots of wiki gnomes who are either anonymous or they sign minor edits with their real name (special thanks to those folks who work relentlessly to improve existing pages). This is exceedingly important as they take on a delicate task, and by signing they take responsibility for the quality of their editing.

WikiGnome is a humble position. To paraphrase a famous person, "It is not those who think they have done enough to deserve the title, but those who think they haven't done enough that are really the WikiGnomes."


The WikiPedia has been using an image which used to be here but isn't here any longer. Does anyone know where it came from? Please discuss on -- Sy
For images and works representing Gnomes and Brownies
See WikiAgent, HousekeepingZombie, RedPenObsession, WikiGnomePoem, LazyWikiGnome, UpdatedPage?
CategoryWikiUser CategoryWikiMaintenance

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