Here are some Fearfully Anticipated Questions that Wikitravellers have heard, or think they may hear, or wonder about themselves.
If you don't see your question answered here, ask it at the travellers' pub.
What is Wikitravel?
Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. It is built in collaboration by Wikitravellers from around the globe. You can read more about Wikitravel on the About page.
(Phew! That was an easy one.)
Who are you people?
We're Wikitravellers. People from all over the world who are dedicated to making Wikitravel the best darn travel guide around. Most of us are people who stumbled across the site, just like you, and decided to share our knowledge.
Who edits and organizes all this, though?
We do. Wikitravellers. We create articles and then edit them, and we organize the articles into hierarchies and make links between them and have navigational pages, and things like that.
So, anyone can just drift in off the Internet and start writing travel articles?
Well, that's never going to work.
Bzzzt. Not a question.
How is that supposed to ever work?
Doesn't seem like it ever could, does it? With anyone able to edit any page, things should just descend into terrible chaos, shouldn't they? Madness, mayhem, and a horrible bog of unusable drivel.
Strangely enough, it doesn't. People who care about having well-written travel articles on this site are the majority. People who just want to vandalize or delete things eventually get bored with it -- and, you have to admit, it's not that much of a challenge -- and the rest of us come in and clean up.
The other great part is that wikis converge. One Wikitraveller adds as much as they know about a topic, and others start adding more information. Other people come through and condense it all so it reads well. As the topic changes -- new hotels open in a city, new bus routes start between regions -- more Wikitravellers can add that in.
It's strange, and it doesn't make a lot of sense, but it just happens. It's really cool.
I still don't believe it.
Do you have any proof that this works?
Well, we have the existence of other projects that create reference works collaboratively as proof. Probably the most famous one is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Many of our policies and guidelines were originally borrowed from that project.
OK, so, there's all this hippy-dippy love stuff about working together, but who's really in charge?
You are. Any Wikitraveller can change articles, rewrite navigation areas, even overwrite information about the site itself. We try to make decisions about policy and guidelines collaboratively, but if you have a good idea for how we should work, plunge forward and let us know.
That all said, there are certain Wikitravellers who've been working on the site for a while, and they can become Administrators. Administrators generally get some higher access -- like really deleting pages instead of blanking them -- but not much. It's more of a burden than a privilege.
In really extreme situations, the operators of the site, Internet Brands, Inc will set down some rules and precepts. But mostly we just decide for ourselves, and it kind of works out.
Who owns the site? Who operates the servers?
The content of the site is owned by Wikitravel contributors, who each own the copyright to their own contributions, and agree to license them according to the Creative Commons by-sa license. If you've found a photo or another work by a single contributor on Wikitravel, and would like to use it under different terms from that license, please contact the creator of that work directly.
The domain names wikitravel.org, wikitravel.net and wikitravel.com, and the equipment the site runs on is owned and operated by Internet Brands, Inc. Wikitravel™ is a trademark of Internet Brands.
Who pays for all this?
Wikitravel does not directly accept money from any attraction, restaurant, hotel, tour operator or other travel-related company in exchange for favorable coverage. (They're welcome to contribute in other ways, though.)
Can I disable the advertising?
What is this software you're running?
How do I spell "Wikitravel"?
Capital W, eye, kay, eye, tee, arr, ay, vee, ee, ell. The "t" in the middle is not capitalized -- try to avoid the temptation.
How do I pronounce "Wikitravel"?
People vary on the "Wiki" part. It's either "WEE-kee-TRAH-vuhl" or "WIH-kee-TRAH-vuhl." If you are pronouncing it "WHY-kee-TRAH-vuhl" you are welcome to continue doing it. Just realize you might be the only one.
Where's the contact information?
There isn't any. If you have a question about an article in particular, post it on the discussion page for that article. If you have a question about Wikitravel in general, try posting in the travellers' pub.
Questions about content
This article is all wrong! You have to fix it!
I am trying to find Topic X, and there's no article about it!
I am trying to find Topic X, and all that's on the page is one sentence!
Some topics only have stubs covering them, and there are huge parts of the globe we've only begun to work on. If you don't think there's enough information on a topic, feel free to plunge forward and add more.
I am trying to find Topic X, and all that's there is "asdfkjadflkjfd EAT MY BUTT"!
Make sure to check the article's history (there will be a "history" link at the top of the page) and look at the second or third revision listed to make sure there wasn't content that was blanked. You can edit, add to, and save that version to preserve the original content.
I have an idea for an article, but I don't know exactly how to get started.
Check out how to start a new page.
The article on my destination is great, but I still have some questions.
See if your destination has a "docent". That's what we call Wikitravellers who have volunteered to answer questions about their favorite spots. Ask them your questions, but don't abuse their generosity! You can read more about docents.
Questions about editing
This all looks like gobbledygook! How do I edit these pages?
How do I upload an image to use in an article?
You should follow the instructions on how to upload files.
How do I put an image I uploaded into an article?
You should follow the instructions on how to add an image.
Hey! I wrote this long nice article on Topic X, and it got changed! What gives?
Any Wikitraveller can edit any page. When you submit an article, it's subject to ruthless editing for style, subject matter, spelling, factual information, and just generally fitting into the Wikitravel scheme of things. If you don't like that, you shouldn't work on Wikitravel.
Hey! I changed my nice long article on Topic X back to the way it was before, and it got changed again! What gives?
How do I delete a whole page?
Firstly, consider if the page really needs to be deleted. Perhaps it can be redirected to somewhere useful to the reader?
If the page does need to be deleted, then the procedure is somewhat more complicated: Go to Wikitravel:Votes for deletion and add a link to the page together with a reason for deletion. After fourteen days of discussion the page will be deleted unless there is a consensus to keep it.
How do I sign a posting?
When posting a message on a discussion page it is customary to sign the posting with your user name and the posting date so that everyone knows who you are (for example: "User 15:35, 6 May 2005 (EDT)"). To get that text to appear automatically, simply type four tildes ("~~~~"), and they will be replaced with your user name and the current date when the edit is submitted.
Ash blash g'nash foosh manoosh?
Sorry, I don't speak English very well. Can I put articles in my own language in Wikitravel?
Yes, if there is a separate Wikitravel version for your language. See Language versions for the current list.
If Wikitravel in your language does not exist yet, you can start your own language version! To find out more, see our language version policy.
But my English sounds terrible. I'm embarrassed.
Don't worry too much about the level of your English. Your spelling errors will be corrected by other people. We really want you to share your knowledge! Really! If you don't speak English you probably live someplace that English speakers visit and you know more about it than the visitors. Please share your knowledge of your home area.
Should I use US English spelling, or Commonwealth English spelling?
If the destination has a preferred variant of English, use that—use Commonwealth spelling for destinations in the United Kingdom, for example. For topics and destinations that don't have an established English variant, we prefer US English spelling, please. In either case, though, don't worry too much about it; if you don't know the details of different English spelling rules, just use what you know, and someone will fix it later we hope. See Wikitravel:Spelling for details.