Hello one, hello all...this is the Expansion Project! Take a second to read through the basics...and then we'll move onto the important stuff.
With Season 5 coming to a close, the chance for spoilers has been knocked down to information made public over the next 8 to 9 months (until Season 6 begins). Furthermore, one should not worry too much on editing regarding that policy...UNTIL Season 6 begins. However, the policy is still INTACT for other sources of media (such as future novels or video games).
Speculation and Personal Opinion
Enough about that for now...our focus as contributors is to expand this Wiki and remove what doesn't belong. First and foremost, a contributor brought up a excellent point a few weeks ago: there is a lot of speculation and personal opinion on the articles. We're all guilty of it, so there's no reason to point fingers (doesn't matter what level of guilty you are)...our job is to fix this, which means searching through articles and looking for any instances where something is speculated upon...such as "how a character is going to act in future episodes/seasons/etc.".
Everything should be written in-universe, EXCEPT in the opening paragraph. The purpose of that paragraph will tell the reader a little bit about the character and what Season they were prominent in (such as Jordan Chase, for Season 5), then moving on to the more detailed information. So far, only the character pages are meant to be moved in-universe with information.
Personal opinion such as saying a character smells bad will not be tolerated...and when it comes to the appearance sections, if someone is attractive to you that's fine but comparing their bodies in such a manner that would suggest personal preference should not make their way into the articles. If their personality has some flaws and you decide to edit saying they're "somewhat stupid for making that choice", then that will not be tolerated. Use common sense and you'll understand.
References are now essential. If plot information exists that comes from a specific episode, you should use the reference tags (<ref>REFERENCE</ref>) with information such as Season, Episode and if possible...timeframe. For the novels, use the name of the book, the chapter and which pages this part of the plot takes place on. FROM THIS POINT ON, EVERY UPDATE SHOULD INCLUDE REFERENCE TAGS. So any expansion on the plot will have to include where this information comes from...remember, WE AIM TO SERVE THE CORRECT AND PROPER INFORMATION.
Plot sections may be divided by Seasons, however refrain from doing it by episode. This will be fixed in Lumen's case...the reason for removing episode sections will obviously make the page far too large and to write a summary on a character's importance in every episode will make other characters difficult to copy. For example, if Astor is seen only once during an episode yet she is chronicled as having been shown there...you could hardly write a paragraph entry for such a section. Therefore, Seasons will be the section dividers while REFERENCES will be used to explain a character's importance in a single episode.
Now for the expansion. Obviously this requires several different aspects...first and foremost, there are many articles which need a lot of attention. The problem is a lot of us move about articles randomly...make a few edits, then go to something else. While yes this allows contributors to input information, not much is being done for the page when you simply change "adn" to "and". I appreciate every bit of handling in fixing typos and grammatical errors, so don't get me wrong.
So what's this mean exactly? Really simple...for our main contributors, I need you to choose articles that you want to work on to expand beyond what it currently is. If you want to make Dexter's page amazing, then make it amazing...but try to work on it as much as possible. This by no means restricts you from editing other pages, but it's about dedication...do you want Astor's page to look like a quick character summary of a nameless character...or do you want it to be broad, give you insight into what she has done and who she is?
Basically what I want is for pages to be handled as projects...for example if I wanted to work on Angel Batista's page and expand that as much as I could, I'd have to do some active research on his character and everything he's done throughout each season. That means having episodes on hand (which may be difficult for people who have only seen the show on showtime and don't have access to the previous seasons, unless through DVD/BluRay) to grab information from, then putting a reference tag at the end of a edit so that people know where they can see him acting out this part of the plot. Remember, REFERENCES ARE VERY IMPORTANT NOW!
Remember...you can edit any page you want and there is nothing holding you back from doing so...but this will allow you to take on a page, treat it as your project and expand it to make it stand out more. Hopefully we'll stand out as a Wiki through this method. YOU CAN HAVE MULTIPLE PROJECTS AS WELL.
Second...there are a lot of characters, episodes, etc. that have not been covered on this Wiki...it's up to us as contributors to insure every named (or at least mildly important) character receives the proper amount of information for what they are. We need to be a database for all possible characters...and the best way to do this is go through each episode, listen and check credits for character names and see if they exist on the Wiki. Not every character is listed in the credits, so be sure to check for victim names or MPD names.
Third...spellchecking and overall appearance. Rambo is doing an amazing job of this, but a lot of articles are pretty bulky in the sense that there isn't a lot of spacing between information. Hidden in this bulk are multiple typos and inconsistent words that just don't seem to match up...so be on the look out for that on your project pages as well as articles you often visit to make edits.
We need them. Plain and simple, Godisme set up an amazing one that can be worked on in various ways to make certain parts nonexistent and others existent...it's great. MANY characters are without these infoboxes still...and some of them are stuck on the old format, which leaves a lot of messy (and frankly, bulky) blots of information to process. As part of the expansion, any old-format infoboxes should be moved (talk to Godisme for me info) and information that isn't filled in for the current infobox should be done.
Everyone gets one, even the minor minor ones. Trust me...the boxes are set up in a way that even if all you can get is a name and episode, that's all that will show up.
Images are an important part of informative Wikis...and it helps an article if you can get images of a particular scene in the storyline (especially a character's final moments of life). Not everyone has access to episodes in a particular fashion, so this is left up to contributors who can get ahold of said images (such as myself and others). Let me know if you can get images and if you have access to episodes, that way you can add images not only to character articles but episode articles as well.
Spread the Wiki
As much as I love making edits to this Wiki, there aren't enough contributors...we need other fans that love the series and taking on this series alone just puts the Showtime Dexter Wiki (the one that Dexter's official facebook and even Showtime themselves credits) that much further in front of our progress. I'm not trying to make this a competition, but this site is meant to give information...and if everyone is looking somewhere else, what's the point? So spread it...wherever you go, say something about the Wiki...try to get more people to help and read the articles. It's not a requirement but it helps site traffic...and the more contributors, the better this wiki can become.
I want to see this Wiki grow and I hope with these methods, we can get there. We have to clean up the Wiki and make the articles better, so leave comments and state which pages you want to make the most contributions to...good luck!