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Metapedianism is the philosophy of focusing on the internal workings of Wikipedia, including guidelines and policies, and the social side of Wikipedia, rather than editing articles and related content. Users who tend towards this philosophy are called metapedians or meta-Wikipedians and fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from exopedians. Mesopedians lie somewhere between the two.

Metapedians often know how rules and processes are created, why the existing ones work the way they do, and what you'd need to do to get one changed. They are often admins, and most people who are admins on multiple projects are metapedians. Experienced editors often find it handy to keep in touch with a couple of metapedians, because when you run into a complicated situation, your metapedian friends can help you sort it out and save you the trouble of reading dozens of screenfuls of guidelines and procedures – or tell you to give up early, if they think your goal is hopeless.

Metapedians are often seen as the "social gadflies" of Wikipedia, doing honourable work and civic duties: giving out Barnstars, having general conversations on Talk Pages, taking part in deletion discussions and contributing largely in Wiki-Associations and places where discussion may be required, such as Articles for Deletion, Requests for Adminship, Requests for Comment, Help desk, Reference desk, mediation noticeboards, and other such places on Wikipedia that relate to Wikipedia itself.

Metapedians do not necessarily edit at the Meta project, although many of them congregate there.

In theory, all groups, associations, collaborations, and "cabals" are, by their nature, metapedian, although there is a metapedian-specific group called the Association of Metapedianist Wikipedians.