I think that one of the first things we need to ask a newcomer is to verify an article for the countries, areas and cities he lives in / knows most of all. With the current state of our User retain ratio (which is pretty low), most contributions we have right now are from people who had a single (and pretty short) visit to some place, got much pieces of practical info, generalized them a bit (I saw that myself/heard about one case => it should be so usually so)--and never coming back to discuss/revise/argument/specify. This is where we need locals of that country: they rarely know what travellers to their country should be informed of (unless they're professionally in tourism industry)--but they can easily verify and fix what other people say about their country. Even before something like "verify" marks will be implemented on Wikitravel, just reading few content pages from beginning to end is a good start.
This doesn't necessarily apply to US and UK (there's enough recurring users from that countries to discuss every piece of info), but I would definitely vote for that for other countries.
Personally I'm about 1.5 years with Wikitravel contributing bits and pieces on countries I visit for a week or two, but only recently I red carefully Russia and Moscow, and it needs major revision in non-sightseeing stuff like Money, StaySafe etc--not to mention all the listings. I could started much earlier if someone suggest that in the beginning--let's start doing so for every newcomer?
What do you think? --DenisYurkin 16:34, 25 November 2006 (EST)
on my user talk page! I realise it was probably a bot, but nevertheless I wish to thank and congratulate you for taking the time and care to create it.
I shall now wizz off (as you suggested) to the pub to ask for assistance on changing the position of the ToC on pages. [Drop me a line if you ever think you'll be in Glasgow...]W. Frank 08:38, 7 March 2007 (EST)
It wasn't a bot. Sapphire is Andrew H., who is very much a human, and you are really welcome here. This is the right place to ask questions, but about the position of the ToC on pages, right now the position is that users can't personalise, because we cache for performance reasns. Most people are unhappy about the amount of whitespace it consumes, but at some point in the past when it was changed so that the ToC came up on the right, outside the main body, it caused a major storm. Now the issue is being discussed in the talk page of Wikitravel:Table of contents location, but the discussion has been dormant for some time, and there have been no changes on them. — Ravikiran 08:51, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Thanks pal! You've saved me starting a redundant thread (I was very worried about the ugliness of pages and waste of trees caused by all that white space but I guess the predominant ethos here is an 'american' attitude to resources). W. Frank 09:07, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Congratulations Ravikiran on your recent wedding! May you both be blessed! W. Frank 09:11, 7 March 2007 (EST)