YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Wikitravel:Welcome, Memory Alphans

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to Wikitravel! This article is specifically for people familiar with Memory Alpha, the free Star Trek encyclopedia. Wikitravel's format was inspired by Wikipedia, and we use the MediaWiki software to run the site. If you're used to Memory Alpha, you should feel right at home -- although you should still probably check out the Welcome, newcomers page.

There are some differences between Wikitravel and Memory Alpha that are very important to know. Please read this page thoroughly. Also note: Wikitravel is not a project of the Wikimedia Foundation; we're not legally or technically associated with Wikipedia.


Memory Alpha uses another variant of the Creative Commons licensing, the Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 license, as where Wikitravel uses Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. Basically the big difference is the Non Commercal clause on the Memory Alpha license to comply with Paramount copyright status.

Since articles from Memory Alpha aren't travel related, there shouldn't be an issue regarding copying content, but before you do, please read both licenses carefully.


If you review our goals and non-goals, there are a couple of things that stick out:

  • Wikitravel is not an encyclopedia. We don't need to have immense, detailed articles about everything and anything. Articles in Wikitravel are references for travellers; subjects not directly or indirectly related to travel should be avoided.
  • Unlike Wikipedia, Wikitravel is targeted towards print versions. We want travelers on the road to be able to print out a copy of an article -- say, a map and list of hotels in the town they're in -- copy it, give it to friends, etc. Please keep this in mind when authoring articles -- the print version matters!

Fair Use[edit]

No, no, no, a thousand times no! Please do not drop copyrighted pictures, text, or other media into Wikitravel under some fuzzy notion of "fair use". Fair use is specific for the user, and we really, really, really want to keep Wikitravel free for everybody.

Style differences[edit]

Here are some things you should look out for stylistically:

  • It's a common thing on [[Wikipedia]] to [[Wikify]] practically every [[noun]] or [[date]] or [[other term]] you write. Because Wikitravel articles are aimed at providing a practical travel guide rather than a large general knowledge collection, there are many words that you will write that will not become Wikitravel articles. Think twice before Wikifying a term -- is it a destination, an itinerary, or a travel topic? If not, it probably shouldn't be Wikified. Most common mistaken Wiki word? Why, [[Wikipedia]], of course!
  • For English Wikitravel, we use American spelling. See Wikitravel:spelling for details and rationale.

What is an article?[edit]

If you read What is an article?, you'll see that individual articles in Wikitravel tend to be bigger and more comprehensive than articles in Wikipedia. Because one of our goals is to have printable guides that someone can take with them to use at a destination, we tend to try to write articles about a particular city, region or country all in one place. We try to balance this with the need to not duplicate a ton of information all over the place.

Article templates[edit]

Wikitravel articles are a lot less free-form than Wikipedia articles are.

The great majority of Wikitravel articles tend to be about cities, countries, and regions. (That's not all, of course -- see other ways of seeing travel for some more ideas.) We think having these articles organized somewhat the same makes it easier for readers to use the guides.

If a reader wants to find restaurants, they look in the Eat section of the article, whether it's about New York City or Bombay. The hotels and hostels go in Sleep, the museums and monuments go under See.

In our manual of style we have a set of article templates that show the preferred format for each kind of article. These are guidelines, of course -- people can add information to an article however they want. That's the Wiki way. But editors come through later and try to shape the articles to look more and more like the templates.

Links to and from Wikipedia[edit]

We use WikiPedia:InterWiki links to link to Wikipedia. You can see how to make these work on our links to Wikipedia page.

You can use templates or Interwiki links to link from Wikipedia; You can see how on links from Wikipedia.

Note also that interlanguage links ([[ro:France]] and the like) link between language versions of Wikitravel. There's no shorthand for linking to different-language versions of Wikipedia; if you think about it, most such links aren't appropriate for English-language Wikitravel.

Behavioral norms[edit]

Perhaps because of our relatively small size, Wikitravel does not have the same problems with vandalism, edit wars, and other unwanted edits that Wikipedia does. For this reason, we tend to use SoftSecurity as a tool to handle unwanted edits much, much, much more often than technological means.

We have two protected pages (for license text that must remain verbatim), very few page deletions, and zero (so far) user bans. We'd like to keep it this way.


So far, we've been lucky to avoid much conflict that couldn't be resolved through discussion.

For this reason, we don't have a lot of intercommunication overhead -- committees, votes, arbitration, mediation. We try to keep our processes for making decisions very informal and casual.


Some terms you may be used to in Memory Alpha have analogs in Wikitravel. Some things you might be looking for:

  • "Ten Forward" -> travellers' pub
  • "be bold" -> plunge forward
  • "sandbox" -> graffiti wall

Real names and credit[edit]

When you sign up, you can set your "real name" in the login page. If you don't fill it in, or you want to change it, you can set it in the user preferences page. This option is turned off on Wikimedia sites.

Your "real name" is used by the MediaWiki software to give you credit for your contributions on each page in an on-page credit block, usually at the bottom of the page. If you don't give a real name, you'll be credited as "Wikitravel User user name", and if you don't log in at all, you'll be credited as "an anonymous user of Wikitravel." This option is also turned off on Wikimedia sites.

What your "real name" is is up to you, but it's nice if you can put the legal name that you would receive postal mail with. If you're going to use a pseudonym, it's probably better to make that your user name, and just leave your real name blank.