On many kinds of community Web sites, most participants have a very limited set of tasks they can accomplish. On those sites, special participants called administrators do most of the rest of the jobs to keep the site going. Although this keeps "normal" users from maliciously or inadvertantly messing up the site, it also makes a bottleneck where important jobs aren't done until an overworked administrator finds the time to do them.
Wikitravel, like most other WikiWiki sites, is not like that. We have administrators, but the list of things they can do that other contributors can't is really really short; mostly they're things that can't be easily undone. But most jobs that would traditionally be done by "admins" or "sysops" on other sites are done by regular contributors here. Wikitravel works better if every Wikitraveller participates in the "janitorial" jobs that need to get done to keep the site going.
This page lists some important jobs that need to get done that new Wikitravellers may think they're not allowed or not supposed to do. Probably the fact that a lot of administrators are also "old hands" who know what jobs need being done, so they get them done, makes it seem like only administrators should do them. Not true at all! Please feel free to plunge forward and make these things happen: Wikitravel needs all the help we can get!
- Welcome new users. When new users come onto Wikitravel, it's nice to leave them a brief welcome message pointing them to important parts of the site. We normally wait until folks have created a user account and possibly set up their own user page. Welcome messages let new contributors know that they're part of a community, and also make sure they have pointers to important tools for contributing.
- Clean up the travellers' pub. The travellers' pub, as the default place to put discussions about Wikitravel, tends to get a little crowded at times. For this reason people take turns moving discussions out of the pub and into the archives or to more specific talk pages. It only takes a few minutes, it helps make discussions more clear, and it's easy to do.
- Make or edit policy and style guidelines. The policies and manual of style define how we work together to make a great travel guide. If you're working on Wikitravel and think there's ways we can make a better guide, or we can work together better to achieve our goals, by all means start a new policy or guideline page! We try to make decisions by consensus, so there's no guarantee that your idea will be accepted, but it definitely won't be if you don't suggest it in the first place!
- Add logbook entries. The logbook is for keeping track of new news about Wikitravel. If you know of something that's going on inside Wikitravel, or someone who's talking about Wikitravel, feel free to add a logbook entry. The latest three logbook entries also go on the Main Page.
- Archive the logbook. Each month we move old logbook entries to a new page. Make sure the logbook entries on the Main Page are copied to the logbook first.
- Add links to the Main Page. The Main Page is the entryway for most new readers to Wikitravel, so we like to have it look great and have great articles on the page. We have a set of guidelines for what should and shouldn't go on the Main Page. But if you know something that should be there, and fits the guidelines, please do add it!