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Wikitravel:Usable articles

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Revision as of 23:50, 9 December 2006 by Bill-on-the-Hill (Talk | contribs)

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A usable article is a status rating for any article in Wikitravel that has enough information to be useful for an adventurous traveler. That is, by using the information in the article, they can (for example) get to a destination, find good places to sleep and eat there, and have some pointers for what to see or do.

Of course, length doesn't guarantee usability. An article about a destination can go on for pages and pages and still not give the enough information you need to survive there. Each article should cover its subject with the appropriate depth or breadth. But if you do not know how to get there, or where to stay if you do, then the article is not very useful. Such an article would still be an "outline", even though it has a lot of content.

In general, usable articles are not really complete articles, however. They may not offer many options for where to eat and sleep. They may not contain much information about nightlife or shopping, for example. Or they may be lacking much helpful information about the destination in general, or nearby destinations. This prevents them from being considered true "guide" articles.

See also: Stub articles, Outline articles, Guide articles, Star articles.

Identification

The criteria for what makes a "usable" article varies depending on what the subject is. For example, an article about a city must have some hotel and restaurant listings, but that doesn't make sense for an article about an entire region, which should instead have a listing of cities in that region. Obviously the criteria for a travel topic or phrasebook would be different. See Wikitravel:Article status for links to the specific criteria for each kind of article.

What to do with them

Tag

If you find an article that meets the criteria for "usable" but hasn't been tagged as such, or if you improve an article to the point that it qualifies, please tag it appropriately.

There's special markup in our software to mark something as a usable article. Unlike the "stub" and "outline" tags, which are generic enough to apply to any kind of article, we have different tags for the different kinds of articles. For example, the tag for a usable article about a city looks like this: {{usablecity}} which makes this appear on the page:

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




The other kinds of "usable" tags are {{usableregion}}, {{usablecountry}}, {{usabletopic}}, {{usablephrasebook}}, {{usablepark}}, and {{usableitinerary}}.

You can add one of these messages at the bottom of the page. This tells adventurous readers that the article might be adequate for them to use, but acknowledges that it's not up to the standard that we hope all Wikitravel articles will eventually achieve. Also, it invites them to add whatever they can to make the article better.

Upgrade

If you find a "usable" article about a subject you know a bit about, or if you're planning a trip and doing some additional research beyond what you find in the article, you can help upgrade an article to an actual "guide". Find information to add to any missing or sparsely-populated sections. Add more options for places to eat or sleep (especially different kinds: add a budget hostel if the existing listings are all for five-star hotels). Also, if the existing information isn't formatted clearly, or doesn't look like our style guidelines, fix them up.

The specific criteria varies depending on the kind of article (i.e. city, country, etc.) but the general theme of a better-than-just-usable article is that it is more or less complete, covering every subtopic that a good guide should, and with enough detail that people can pick and choose which information to act on. At that point it's a real guide, and the tag can be changed to {{guidecity}} (or whichever kind of guide it is).

Variants

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