The world-famous Wikipedia has a certain set of standards that the staff and volunteers enforce so as to make Wikipedia authoritative and respectable. There are also, of course, hidden crazy articles, and articles that are incomplete or don't quite live up to Wikipedia's standards, but continue to be hosted and displayed. This happens because the editorial staff, at some level, has decided that the non-conforming articles provide some minimum level of value.
We intend to run this wiki in a similar fashion.
While we will not use the same set of standards that Wikipedia uses, we will adhere to this published set of standards so that we will also be seen as honest brokers of what we believe to be accurate and reliable information.
Wikipedia most notably refuses for article authors to inform articles with their own personal knowledge. We will not use that standard. In fact, part of what we believe will make this a good and useful wiki is that the articles can and should reflect the experiences of the authors... within reason.
Axioms are assumptions we make about the universe that we accept as true. In this case, when we use the term "universe", we mean to refer to the Thermionic-Studios.com website. We do not claim for our axioms to be completely infallible, but we feel is it fair to use them for the purposes of having integrity with the work of this wiki.
- We have a point of view. We like certain kinds of music better than other kinds of music. We like Metal, Hard Rock, Psychedelic, Electric Blues, and other forms of "heavy music". Given this preference, we make no apologies for choosing not to cover other genres. If we should decide to cover other genres even if only minimally, we make no apologies for that either. This is our site, our community, and our choice. If you want your favorite country or hip hop music covered, create a website yourself and go do it. This is not and will not be a platform for "all music".
- Axiom #1 provides the perspective on and for our art. Through this perspective we will cover, create, edit, and update the content for this wiki.
- There is an objective truth to nature, the universe, and everything; but the only reliable means of getting to the objective truth is by use of objective facts. The realm of objective truth and objective facts is the realm of science and while objective truth is not the highest value we're using for this wiki, it is up there, and it does serve to inform our perspective.
- There is no objective "best". "Best" speaks to values and therefore opinions, not facts, or reality. Individual human beings are imperfect. As imperfect beings, we have imperfect perceptions and these imperfect perceptions are the only tools available to us to conceptualize our personal, or subjective best. Every individual has his or her subjective best. Despite its inherent fallibility, the most reliable (not necessarily the easiest!) means of arriving at a subjective best is by use of objective facts guided by a subjective lens. It is the input of others that independently come to the same conclusions that help sharpen the focus of, and turn the subjective lens into an objective one.
- We want the best Heavy Music wiki.
Here is a list of the principles and policy standards we want for this wiki. They flow from the above axioms, from our shared love of heavy music. They flow from the love and passion that other great musicians have, and the from musicianship supporting it.
- Wiki articles need to be about facts, rather than opinions. There will be occasional exceptions to this, but we expect for these exceptions to be rare. Please see below.
- Wiki articles are to be written and used as follows:
- To describe various pieces of equipment and their uses. Such wiki articles would also be expected to describe HOW to use a piece of equipment, the nature and use of the instrument and/or any controls, and to offer suggestions where in a signal chain a the described piece of equipment could be used.
- To describe the nature of music, or performance, or electric/electronic theory and any associated underlying principles. This could also include auditory theory (how the human ear hears things) along with physics (how a speaker vibrates).
- To describe different music artists and how these artists have used, and do use, various pieces of musical equipment, instruments, techniques, and effects to get their own unique sounds. Instances of artists using different or unique pieces of equipment in their signal chains, especially if unorthodox, are expected and valued.
- Articles discussing equipment should always be written based on a piece of equipment offering high value to a musician. Equipment that offers high value is always more important than equipment that demands a high price. Our editorial policy, to the extent that wiki articles are about equipment, will always instruct us to discuss equipment that offers value, as opposed to equipment that offers prestige. Some pricey equipment can be bad; some inexpensive equipment can be great. While THIS TENDS NOT TO BE THE CASE, it will always be our primary endeavor to host wiki articles that are about equipment that delivers value to musicians.
- Despite what we've just said immediately above, we are aware that prestige and value are not mutually exclusive. In many instances it will not be possible to ignore high-value equipment that, because it happens to cost a lot, also offers prestige. In such cases, we will not hesitate to offer wiki articles on such equipment. Great equipment is great equipment. There is a reason certain companies are recognized as great brands. The only warning in this respect will be that we do not write sales copy for other companies. If other companies wish to market their products, we do not contest their freedom to do so; but their freedom to do so does not exist within the pages of this wiki.
- Wiki article authors are not to use marketing-speak: There should be no superlative assertions made. There should be no "best" pieces of equipment since "best", besides being superlative, is also subjective. Similarly ,there should be no "worst" pieces of equipment. If the author of a wiki article describing a piece of equipment wishes to either advocate for, or voice a complaint against, a particular piece of equipment, the means for doing so is to provide a link to an external article to such a review. That review can even be a journal or blog posting on the Thermionic Studios main site. This wiki itself is to house dispassionate, practical information and facts (the how), not emotional responses (the why). Judgments of great or crappy musical equipment are for the opinion pages. We have no problem describing great or crappy musical equipment as great or crappy, this wiki just isn't the main place for it.
- Rather than creating wiki articles about bad or inferior pieces of equipment and then simply, and exclusively, filling them with external links bemoaning their inferiority, our editorial policy prefers that we simply not write and host articles describing weak, cheap, inferior, or mediocre pieces of equipment. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS. These exceptions will tend to be for:
- The occasional musical practice of the intentional use of inferior music equipment due to unique sonic/textural properties,
- Equipment development efforts that are so substandard that they result in almost-unusable equipment (This usually results in #1, above).
- Occasional Humor. There are cases when equipment is so shoddy, or business practices are so negligently or fraudulently over the top, they are fair game for calling out (Freekish Blues, anyone?).
- Exceptions must be vetted with the editorial staff because documentation of such exceptions MUST BE MEANINGFUL in the context of our mission. Exceptions not vetted with the editorial staff but posted anyway will be deleted as soon as possible, as soon as is discovered. Offending authors who are perceived as having deceptively engaged in this behavior will have their authorship privileges suspended or revoked at the discretion of the editorial staff.
- Wiki articles must be original work and cannot be cut-and-pastes of other works, unless such cut-and-pastes are provided as visible quotations and are properly attributed.
Of course, we reserve the right to update or change these principles and policies at our discretion. All changes will of course happen in the spirit of continuous improvement and for the purposes of providing more accurate, useful, and meaningful information.
Now that you know the above, if you are a competent writer and researcher, have an abiding love for heavy music gear, and want to join us in this mission, we would love to hear from you!