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There are as many ways to help Wikitravel as there are [[Wikitravel:Wikitravellers|Wikitravellers]]. This article is for those who like the idea of Wikitravel, but are having a hard time getting started with contributing.
 
There are as many ways to help Wikitravel as there are [[Wikitravel:Wikitravellers|Wikitravellers]]. This article is for those who like the idea of Wikitravel, but are having a hard time getting started with contributing.
  
*'''Proofread'''. This is one of the easiest ways to get started with helping with Wikitravel. While you're reading an article, watch for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or other writing gaffes. If you see one, [[Wikitravel:How to edit a page|edit the page]] and correct it. Wikitravel is now ''that much better'' -- thanks to you! You can use the [[Special:Recentchanges|recent changes page]] to find recent articles that have been updated, or you can just hit the [[Special:Randompage|random page button]] to bounce around and find articles at random. You can use the [http://www.wikitravel.org/wiki/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Maintenance&subfunction=mispeelings automatic spellchecker] to find articles that have common spelling errors in them. We have a [[Wikitravel:list of common misspellings|list of common misspellings]]; you can add to that list, and the words will automatically be searched.
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* '''Find articles to help with.''' There are many ways to do this.
 +
** [[Special:Newpages]] gives you all the pages that have been created recently.
 +
** [[Special:Recentchanges]] gives you the pages that have been edited recently.
 +
** [[Special:Lonelypages |Orphaned pages]] gives you articles that do not have links pointing to them. Unless you do something about them, they are most likely to be forgotten about, because contributors will ordinarily never come across them or improve them.
 +
** [[Special:Deadendpages | Dead-end pages]] are those which do not link to any other. Sometimes this is okay, but often this indicates that the page has been created by a new user who is not yet familiar with inserting wikilinks.
 +
** [[Special:Randompage]], as the name suggests, will throw up a random page. Usually, you can find something to improve in any page.
 +
 
 +
*'''Proofread'''. This is one of the easiest ways to get started with helping with Wikitravel. While you're reading an article, watch for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or other writing gaffes. If you see one, [[Wikitravel:How to edit a page|edit the page]] and correct it. Wikitravel is now ''that much better'' -- thanks to you! You can use the [http://www.wikitravel.org/wiki/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Maintenance&subfunction=mispeelings automatic spellchecker] to find articles that have common spelling errors in them. We have a [[Wikitravel:list of common misspellings|list of common misspellings]]; you can add to that list, and the words will automatically be searched.
  
 
*'''Reformat articles'''. Wikitravel has a [[Wikitravel:manual of style|manual of style]] for giving a consistent look-and-feel to our content and making it easier for travellers to find and use information. Just as with proofreading, you can do a lot of good just by reformatting or restructuring articles to match the Manual.  Articles that need reformatting can be listed in [[Wikitravel:Articles needing attention|Articles needing attention]] and [[Wikitravel:Factbook imports needing attention|Factbook imports needing attention]]. The [[Special:Deadendpages|dead end pages]], which list articles without any links on them, are also worth a look.
 
*'''Reformat articles'''. Wikitravel has a [[Wikitravel:manual of style|manual of style]] for giving a consistent look-and-feel to our content and making it easier for travellers to find and use information. Just as with proofreading, you can do a lot of good just by reformatting or restructuring articles to match the Manual.  Articles that need reformatting can be listed in [[Wikitravel:Articles needing attention|Articles needing attention]] and [[Wikitravel:Factbook imports needing attention|Factbook imports needing attention]]. The [[Special:Deadendpages|dead end pages]], which list articles without any links on them, are also worth a look.
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* '''Organize''' the [[Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy | Geographical hierarchy]]. Wikitravel has a way to insert a code, called [[Template:IsIn|isIn]] to show [[Wikitravel:Breadcrumb navigation | breadcrumb navigation]] on top of the page. This will make it easier to navigate the site.
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* '''Rate articles'''. Wikitravel has a system to indicate the [[Wikitravel:Article status |maturity status]] of articles. This helps keep track of what stage an article is in and how many articles are at what level of maturity.
  
 
*'''Check the article for your home town.''' Navigate to the article for your home town, either by going through the directory on the [[Main Page]] or using the [[Wikitravel:Search help|search]] functionality. If the article is there, take a good look to see that it's correct. Make sure that major attractions are listed, and see if you can fill in any details (hours, prices, phone numbers) for any of the entries there. If there's not an article on your home town, [[Wikitravel:How to start a new page|start one]]! You can repeat this exercise for your home state or province, region, country, or whatever.
 
*'''Check the article for your home town.''' Navigate to the article for your home town, either by going through the directory on the [[Main Page]] or using the [[Wikitravel:Search help|search]] functionality. If the article is there, take a good look to see that it's correct. Make sure that major attractions are listed, and see if you can fill in any details (hours, prices, phone numbers) for any of the entries there. If there's not an article on your home town, [[Wikitravel:How to start a new page|start one]]! You can repeat this exercise for your home state or province, region, country, or whatever.
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*'''Don't limit yourself to things you already know.''' You don't have to have firsthand knowledge of a destination or topic to contribute to the article! Find articles that need work and do some research -- on [http://en.wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia], on the Web, or with other reference media -- to get started on working on that article.
 
*'''Don't limit yourself to things you already know.''' You don't have to have firsthand knowledge of a destination or topic to contribute to the article! Find articles that need work and do some research -- on [http://en.wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia], on the Web, or with other reference media -- to get started on working on that article.
  
*'''Make stubs.''' Don't be daunted by the task of writing all of the article about [[Russia]] -- just get it started with a [[Wikitravel:stub articles|stub]]. People are much more likely to change or add to articles than to start them from scratch. If you only know a teensy bit about a subject, go ahead and add it in.
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*'''Make outlines.''' Don't be daunted by the task of writing all of the article about [[Russia]] -- just get it started with a [[Wikitravel:Outline articles|outline]]. People are much more likely to change or add to articles than to start them from scratch. We have a bunch of handy [[Wikitravel:Article templates | templates]] for destination guides, which you can use. If you only know a teensy bit about a subject, go ahead and add it in. We currently have a huge backlog of [[Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Stub | stub articles]] that shouldn't really be there. It is easy to create an outline for most articles and move them to the next level. You can help there.  
  
 
*'''Respond to requests.''' Sometimes people put up requests in the [[Wikitravel:Help wanted]] area for articles, images, or work to be done on articles. Keep an eye on these pages: [[Wikitravel:Requests for articles|Requests for articles]], [[Wikitravel:Requests for images|Requests for images]], and [[Wikitravel:Stubs needing attention|Stubs needing attention]].
 
*'''Respond to requests.''' Sometimes people put up requests in the [[Wikitravel:Help wanted]] area for articles, images, or work to be done on articles. Keep an eye on these pages: [[Wikitravel:Requests for articles|Requests for articles]], [[Wikitravel:Requests for images|Requests for images]], and [[Wikitravel:Stubs needing attention|Stubs needing attention]].
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*'''Work on MediaWiki'''. The software we use for Wikitravel is called [http://wikipedia.sourceforge.net/ MediaWiki]. If you know the [http://www.php.net/ PHP] programming language, contributing to MediaWiki really helps Wikitravel. Fixing bugs or adding features makes it easier for other Wikitravellers to add great content.
 
*'''Work on MediaWiki'''. The software we use for Wikitravel is called [http://wikipedia.sourceforge.net/ MediaWiki]. If you know the [http://www.php.net/ PHP] programming language, contributing to MediaWiki really helps Wikitravel. Fixing bugs or adding features makes it easier for other Wikitravellers to add great content.
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See also: [[Wikitravel:non-administrator tasks|non-administrator tasks]]
 
See also: [[Wikitravel:non-administrator tasks|non-administrator tasks]]

Revision as of 12:43, 7 May 2006

There are as many ways to help Wikitravel as there are Wikitravellers. This article is for those who like the idea of Wikitravel, but are having a hard time getting started with contributing.

  • Find articles to help with. There are many ways to do this.
    • Special:Newpages gives you all the pages that have been created recently.
    • Special:Recentchanges gives you the pages that have been edited recently.
    • Orphaned pages gives you articles that do not have links pointing to them. Unless you do something about them, they are most likely to be forgotten about, because contributors will ordinarily never come across them or improve them.
    • Dead-end pages are those which do not link to any other. Sometimes this is okay, but often this indicates that the page has been created by a new user who is not yet familiar with inserting wikilinks.
    • Special:Randompage, as the name suggests, will throw up a random page. Usually, you can find something to improve in any page.
  • Proofread. This is one of the easiest ways to get started with helping with Wikitravel. While you're reading an article, watch for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or other writing gaffes. If you see one, edit the page and correct it. Wikitravel is now that much better -- thanks to you! You can use the automatic spellchecker to find articles that have common spelling errors in them. We have a list of common misspellings; you can add to that list, and the words will automatically be searched.
  • Reformat articles. Wikitravel has a manual of style for giving a consistent look-and-feel to our content and making it easier for travellers to find and use information. Just as with proofreading, you can do a lot of good just by reformatting or restructuring articles to match the Manual. Articles that need reformatting can be listed in Articles needing attention and Factbook imports needing attention. The dead end pages, which list articles without any links on them, are also worth a look.
  • Rate articles. Wikitravel has a system to indicate the maturity status of articles. This helps keep track of what stage an article is in and how many articles are at what level of maturity.
  • Check the article for your home town. Navigate to the article for your home town, either by going through the directory on the Main Page or using the search functionality. If the article is there, take a good look to see that it's correct. Make sure that major attractions are listed, and see if you can fill in any details (hours, prices, phone numbers) for any of the entries there. If there's not an article on your home town, start one! You can repeat this exercise for your home state or province, region, country, or whatever.
  • Expand listings. It can help a lot to take short restaurant listings, attraction listings, or other listings and fill them out. Contributors will often leave out crucial information about an attraction, such as its address, phone number, hours, or price. Often, this information can be found on the World Wide Web (see contributor research links for some starting points).
  • Check for articles for places you've visited. As with your home town, find articles for places you've visited. Check them for accuracy, add information, or start them new.
  • Don't limit yourself to things you already know. You don't have to have firsthand knowledge of a destination or topic to contribute to the article! Find articles that need work and do some research -- on Wikipedia, on the Web, or with other reference media -- to get started on working on that article.
  • Make outlines. Don't be daunted by the task of writing all of the article about Russia -- just get it started with a outline. People are much more likely to change or add to articles than to start them from scratch. We have a bunch of handy templates for destination guides, which you can use. If you only know a teensy bit about a subject, go ahead and add it in. We currently have a huge backlog of stub articles that shouldn't really be there. It is easy to create an outline for most articles and move them to the next level. You can help there.
  • Watch for wanted articles. The Special:Wantedpages feature of our software lets you see which articles have been linked to but not yet written. These are excellent places to get started -- you're filling in what is an obvious need for the travel guide.
  • Follow red links. While you're reading articles, if you see a link for an article that's Not There Yet, follow the link and add in some information. We're nowhere near close to covering all the info we need to have -- when you start a new page, we're that much closer.
  • Take Wikitravel with you. Before you go on a trip, try to find articles in Wikitravel about the destinations you're visiting. Print them out -- or download them to your PDA, or whatever -- and take them with you on your trip. Keep notes on what's right, what's wrong, and what's missing. If the destination you're going to isn't in Wikitravel yet, take notes for a new article to start when you get back.
  • Join an Expedition. There are several tasks for making a real travel guide that require special skills and talents. We've created special subprojects called Expeditions to organize the efforts of people who have these talents. Do you know a foreign (non-English) language? Help out with the Phrasebook Expedition. Can you draw? Try your hand at the Mapmaking Expedition.
  • Promote Wikitravel. The more people who read and contribute to Wikitravel, the better it becomes, and the closer we get to our goal of making a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. There are a number of ways to promote Wikitravel; check to see if you can do one or more of them.
  • Help new contributors. New users contributing to Wikitravel can have a lot of questions and problems. Your experience with Wikitravel can make their learning curve a lot easier. Watch for questions in the travellers' pub or on talk pages and respond helpfully. If you see the same question over and over, add it to the FAQ. You can even add to the Help index for more complicated questions or issues. If there are help topics already in place that people seem not to see or understand, maybe you can help get that information out by reorganizing the help area.
  • Cheerlead. Nothing makes people feel better than knowing their work is appreciated. When you see a good piece of writing, or a great picture, or whatever, let the Wikitraveller who made it know that you liked it. Just a bit of encouragement on the article's talk page, or on the user's user talk page, can make a world of difference.
  • Shape the community. Our project is still young, and much of the way we've decided to work together is still untested. If you have ideas for how to work together better, please suggest them as new policies and guidelines. It doesn't matter how long you've been a Wikitraveller: you just might have an idea that will make things work smoother. At worst, you'll make explicit some policy that's currently implicit; that's a good thing. If there are policies already in place that people aren't following, maybe you can help get that information out by reorganizing the policies area.
  • Work on MediaWiki. The software we use for Wikitravel is called MediaWiki. If you know the PHP programming language, contributing to MediaWiki really helps Wikitravel. Fixing bugs or adding features makes it easier for other Wikitravellers to add great content.


See also: non-administrator tasks

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