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User talk:Tramp

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Hello, Tramp! Welcome to Wikitravel.

To help get you started contributing (although I'm not sure you need much help -- you've really hit the ground running with your Hokianga work, thanks!), we've created a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style, as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page.

If you need help, check out Wikitravel:Help, or post a message in the travellers' pub. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:33, 20 July 2007 (EDT)

Hokianga[edit]

Thank you for sharing your knowledge of Hokianga—it is always great to see an expert drop by! I have made a few formatting changes and shifted content between the region and city pages, based on our Wikitravel:Manual of style and Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy. If you are of a mind to add more information and really make the Hokianga guide great, you might want to check out Wikitravel:Region article template and Wikitravel:Small city article template to get ideas about what sort of information would be helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a message on my talk page. --Peter Talk 12:31, 20 July 2007 (EDT)

Northland hierarchy[edit]

Sorry to be slow about answering questions—there is a huge arts festival in Baltimore that has captured my attention this weekend. One of Wikitravel's more prominent conventions is that it is town-centric; non-settlement attractions nearly always get included in the nearest town, rather than an article of their own. The main reason why we do this (I think) is to keep article formats standardized. The only real exception to this rule are large parks with a lot of attractions and places to sleep/eat. I would say that a non-settlement destination probably will only get an article if it would require a tourist-map. The region pages mostly serve to tease readers into specific town destinations. So the Wairere valley hotels do belong on the nearest town of note, which my satellite seems to tell me is Horeke. It should be fine, I think, so long as we clearly indicate that these two hotels are to the south of the town by Wairere.

Also, just to clarify things a bit, the get in section is most useful when it gives a specific explanation of routes into the town/region. For example: "Road X will take you straight to Horeke from place Y. The journey takes only 45 minutes, but the road is unpaved." Get out is a way to highlight nearby destinations, e.g., "*The picturesque town of Rawene is just 25 minutes away by car". Get around is a good place to let travelers know whether they can easily cover a town on foot, or if they need some other form of transport. And the "see" section on region pages is (somewhat oddly) reserved for itineraries only, so the attractions like the Koutu Boulders (which look amazing) should go under "Other destinations." Sorry if any of this is confusing!

I'm very glad to see you are organizing the Northland geographical hierarchy, as only someone familiar with the area can do that well. The navigation chain at the top of pages is explained at Wikitravel:Breadcrumb navigation. In short, use the isIn template, {{isIn|Next_region_up_the_hierarchy}} at the bottom of any page and the navigation should appear. Unfortunately, this template is not perfect, and it needs the underscores, rather than spaces, between words. I did this myself on Far Far North as an example.

Lastly, I just wanted to thank you again for taking an interest and I look forward to more Northland content! --Peter Talk 03:29, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

Avoiding congestion and duplicate listings[edit]

Who makes these policies? Really, anyone who edits Wikitravel makes them. Most policies grow out of common practice—if most everyone is doing things one way and it works, we'll write that up as a policy. If there is disagreement, we'll discuss until we can come up with a consensus satisfactory to everyone (or at least almost everyone). If you want to change an existing policy, the best way is to leave a message with your rationale on the policy talk page. To put through new changes, you will usually have to first build a consensus for the change on the talk page.

The Wikitravel:Image policy might have something regarding how many images/when to use images that I'm not remembering, but common practice is to avoid adding a single image to multiple pages. It is fine to link to a certain attraction from multiple region articles, but the actual listing (the details) should only go on the one city/town article. The way we control the number of linked attractions/towns/regions/etc on region articles is to limit each section to 5–9 listings. 9 is a bit of an arbitrary limit, but there is at least a rationale for it and a limit is necessary. This is why most well-maintained country articles only list a representative sample of 9 cities (New Zealand right now has too many—could you help trim the cities and other destinations to 9?).

When deciding what to list (or what to show in photographs) on a given region, common practice is to choose the most prominent (i.e., most visited) attractions/destinations and to try to represent different regions equally. So in England, for example, we try to make our 9 cities the most visited cities and, as best as we can, one from each subregion. Also, please remember that natural attractions should be listed under "see" only on the city article, while they should be listed under "Other destinations" on region articles. Hope this helps! --Peter Talk 10:02, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

I just wanted to add that if you are looking for a good example of content organization, check out Russia. There isn't always a lot of content there (we need more Russian contributors!), but I've gone through that pretty meticulously to make sure everything is organized how we like it. --Peter Talk 10:06, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

NZ cities and "featuring" attractions/images[edit]

First, regarding the cities on the main New Zealand page, I understand your point that New Zealand's principal cities are only three (they are the only ones that I could locate from memory), but it's still probably best to keep some other lesser known cities on the main page. 5-9 is never an overwhelming number and we can indicate in a brief introduction to the section (or in the short city descriptions) that Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch are the main cities. The main concern with city lists on country pages is that all sorts of contributors come by and add their favorites or hometowns, causing the country articles to become overloaded with content belonging in region articles. Accordingly, we like to have 9 listed so we can point to the rule that mandates no more than 9. Probably the best thing to do here is to just choose one of the 10 to remove (although we are obviously not removing it from its respective region articles). My hunch is that Gisborne is the one we should remove, but I just don't know that much about NZ.

Second, our common practice of featuring well-visited attractions is more of a rule-of-thumb than a hard policy. If you think it makes sense to deviate from this practice please do so (as long as you are ready to defend your reasoning). But keep in mind that our ultimate purpose in content organization is to make things convenient for the traveler—if a lot of people are looking for Waitangi, then we should make it easy to find. There are other ways, though, to get your personal favorite destinations featured on the site—the best way is of course to make their articles really good. If the Far North content becomes some of our best content, Wikitravel will feature it as an example of our best content (see Wikitravel:Star articles and Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates).

And last, please don't worry about having perfect English grammar—any editor can (and will) come by to make grammatical fixes, but I'm pretty sure you are our only Hokianga expert! --Peter Talk 00:59, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

I just thought of one other good way to feature some of the content you have been working on. My understanding is that New Zealand has a lot of interesting geology-related attractions. Perhaps you could write a section for the main New Zealand article about NZ's geology attractions, in which you could provide a link to Hokianga? --Peter Talk 01:05, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Itineraries[edit]

I noticed your intriguing new itineraries for Hokianga. Is there any chance that I could persuade you to make them into formal Wikitravel:Itineraries? This is the template that we use for itineraries, and an excellent example itinerary is Route 66. A formal itinerary (or two!) would be nice, I think, because it would give you a lot more room to really go into the details.

On a somewhat related note, as itineraries are best with maps, I was looking at the Hokianga map that you uploaded—do you have the licensing information for it? We need to know who is its author and whether it is compatible with our Wikitravel:Copyleft in order to keep it on Wikitravel. If it is not compatible with our copyleft, that is not a tragedy; I am fairly handy with maps (like the ones here and here) and would be happy to make a Hokianga region map. It would actually be quite easy, in fact, to make a very accurate one from NASA satellite imagery. --Peter Talk 01:51, 28 July 2007 (EDT)

External links[edit]

Thanks for notifying me about those external links. We do have an extraordinarily useful policy on external links, which you can read here. I can guarantee that everyone here will appreciate it if you do take the time to remove such links; when doing so, please provide a link to the Wikitravel:External links policy, so that whoever put the links there understands why they are being removed. --Peter Talk 02:54, 28 July 2007 (EDT)

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