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BEFORE YOU EDIT THE MAIN PAGE: Please refer to the Main Page guidelines before editing the Main Page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please take general discussions about Wikitravel to the travellers' pub. This talk page should be about the Main Page itself, not about Wikitravel in general. -- Evan 11:18, 3 Oct 2003 (PDT)

Archived discussions:

Change to use new Romanian layout?

So, I really like the new Romanian portal layout (ro:Portal). How do people feel about adapting it for en:?

I'd like to get in the habit of having a featured city or area on the site, just because it looks nice. Also, when a place has some kind of timeliness to it, we can both show that we have info about the place, and get more input.

For example: Portland (Oregon) is having its Festival of Roses in the next couple of weeks. Featuring Portland would be a great way to attract contributors and get the page really in shape.

Another good example would be Athens for the Olympic Games.

Any input? --Evan 16:14, 29 May 2004 (EDT)

Excellent idea! Guaka 09:44, 1 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Yeah! That 'is' a really good idea. -- Mark 10:11, 1 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I've been hoping we'd do this... Majnoona 11:54, 1 Jun 2004 (EDT)
I made a sample at User:Matthewmayer/Portal, please amend as you see fit Matthewmayer 13:32, 18 Jun 2004 (EDT)

(from User talk:Matthewmayer/Portal)

This looks great! I say, copy it to the Main Page ASAP. --Evan 13:50, 18 Jun 2004 (EDT)
This looks excellent! The only comments/suggestions I have are to limit the bottom left cell by length, not number of log entries so you can have 2 long ones or three short ones. That might get rid of the extra whitespace at the bottom right. Also, you might want to add a bit of cellpadding or something to give the text some space off the table borders. But this is all real nit-pickey. I'd say go ahead and copy it over! Majnoona 20:12, 18 Jun 2004 (EDT)
The layout looks great, I think too. It's great to see that the Romanian layout has been used! Just a note - why don't we the CSS scrollbar effect for the news, so that they can be packed in a smaller space. Other than that, it would be great. Ronline 04:35, 19 Jun 2004 (EDT)
Right, have copied to the Main Page! Matthewmayer 14:09, 19 Jun 2004 (EDT)

It would be nice if pictures on the main page linked to the article they belong to, and not to the picture page. Newcomers don't care about this page, they care about Geneva. Guaka 13:06, 22 Jun 2004 (EDT)

I agree. -- Mark 04:51, 23 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Middle East

So, I'm not terribly opposed to having the Middle East on the Main page. However, it is already listed in Asia. --Evan 18:23, 6 Jul 2004 (EDT)

My motivation in placing the Middle East on the Main Page as a separate destination category was two-fold (at least): 1. the Middle East is not adequately represented only in Asia, as several countries considered to be in the "Middle East" are located in North Africa (e.g. Egypt, Libya, Sudan, etc); 2. the Middle East is sufficiently culturally distinct from the rest of Asia to warrant its own category (compare Jordan with China, for example.....). Pjamescowie 16:52, 16 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Headline links

I changed all headlines into links, with the exceptions of Tools and Other Languages which do not have appropriate index pages. Looking at this comment page, that seems to have been the case in the past too. Anyway, my reasons: 1) I kept wanting to click on the headlines, 2) It's easier for blind people to find a link for, say, "Europe", if it's named Europe and not "more". -- Nils 07:26, 15 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Destination of the week ??

What would other contributors think about replacing Destination of the Month on the Main Page with Destination of the Week ? A weekly changeover might create more interest by showcasing more destinations and creating an appearance of greater vitality..... A month is a long, loooooong time on the web! Pjamescowie 16:52, 16 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Maybe first we need a place to discuss which articles might be worthy of being the featured destination. Then, if the queue of good articles is too long, we can switch to weekly. I personally don't have a feel for how many truly complete articles are available for featuring. -- Colin 17:02, 16 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I second the idea of an Article of the Week. I also propose that it be chosen democratically: we create a talk page for suggested Pages of the Week, put our user name next to the one that we choose, and have discussions there about why each page should become an article of the week. Chip 20:16, 16 Jul 2004 (EDT)
We'd run out of articles very quickly. We only have so many articles that are complete enough to showcase them. -- Nils 04:17, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I suggested that we move to a Weekly basis partly to emulate the success that Wikipedia has had with the weekly featured article..... The aim can be not only to showcase completed articles, but also to stimulate extra contributions. Wikipedia concentrates on taking a stub and improving it - we're probably not ready for that yet (or are we?) - whereas we could experiment with taking a reasonably good destination, showcasing it and urging improvements..... I also agree with the democratic choice option - it's easy enough to organise shows of support, as Wikipedia does with its featured article. Shall we go ahead and implement this? Opinions? Finally, what's with starting the month (if it must be monthly....) on the 19th? Couldn't we push it forward / back to the 1st for neatness? Pjamescowie 07:06, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Just leave Geneva up until July 31st, then put something new there. I like the idea of taking some stub to try and get people to improve on it, but I'd say our userbase isn't yet big enough. I'd suggest adding a second "Feature Box" called "Help Wanted". Change that weekly, and include a direct link to the stub list page. Keep Destination of the Month as it is now for the "readers". -- Nils 08:55, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Destination of the Month

I'm adding a link to an "archive" article to the mainpage. Who / how is Dest. of month decided? Is Geneva June or July 2004? -- Nils 04:08, 16 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Good question - there should be some indication as to which month we're talking about..... Also (and I riased this question in Talk:Main Page), mightn't it be a good idea to make it Destination of the Week? This would probably increase interest, showcase more articles, and create an impression of greater vitality (a month is such a long, loooooong time on the web.....). Any opinions? Pjamescowie 16:57, 16 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Geneva was on there in June, so I'm assuming that we need something new. I guess anyone can choose. Though I wonder if there is a script in the Mediawiki software that could be used to change it automatically? There must be, since Wikipedia has a daily featured article. --Dawnview 02:49, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)
We only have a handful articles long enough to be featured... Most is really very, very stubby still.- Destination of the Month works well, in my opinion. At least for now. I think what we should do is put nominations on the talk page of Main page and someone (Evan maybe?) arbitrarily choses one of them on every 1st. A nomination must have a picture too. Also, any given location should only ever be DoM once, unless there is a very special reason (say, it hosts olympic games or football championship; then it may make sense to feature it even for a second time) or we ever happen to run out of articles... -- Nils 04:27, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)~
I believe that the month in Dest. of the Month starts on the 19th of the month, so the changeover should happen two days from now, unless we seek to reset the clock, which would make it a very short month for whatever page goes up for July 19th - 31st. Or, perhaps to be fair we can roll it back two days at a time until we hit the 1st going backwards. -- Mark 05:40, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Oh, and, should we move this to Talk:Main Page? -- Nils 04:27, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Yeah, probably -- Mark 05:40, 17 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I plunged forward and created Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates, modeled on Wikipedia's Featured article candidates. Add candidates to the page itself, and discuss the selection logic in the Talk page. Jpatokal 10:08, 18 Jul 2004 (EDT)

New Orleans

Anyone else think New Orleans is in good enough condition now to be listed in the North America section on the main page? (And if not, perhaps give reccomendations for improvement on that page's talk.) -- Infrogmation 01:18, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Barring objections, I'm going to "forge ahead" and add a link to New Orleans to the Main page. -- Infrogmation 17:05, 8 Sep 2004 (EDT)
It's one of the best articles here. Make sense to have it on the main page. -- Colin 02:07, 9 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Rollback Athens, Cairo, Jordan

I rolled back changes to the Main Page that added Athens, Cairo, and Jordan. I really don't think any of those three articles meets the standards for the Wikitravel:Main Page guidelines. Neither Athens nor Cairo had anything near complete Sleep, Eat, or other info, and Jordan is more or less mostly a template. --Evan 10:15, 6 Aug 2004 (EDT)

lol. OK, point taken - just me getting carried away I guess..... It'd be nice to have a special Main Page focus for Athens, however, even if only for this week running up to the Opening Ceremony.... That might attract some extra attention, some good contributions and more expressly meet the needs of those Wikitravel users in Greece right now...... Whatya reckon?Pjamescowie 11:27, 6 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Well, it came up on Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates, and I think the feeling was that it was really timely but too incomplete to make our most featured article.
I wonder if we could add a parallel article of the month to the "project" section of the page. French-language Wikipedia has an article de la semaine, and I think some of the other Wikimedia projects have a similar thing. That is, it's not an article that we consider a showcase, but rather an article that we want to draw attention to to get more work on. --Evan 11:37, 6 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Guatemala in North America?

Does it bother anyone else that the first listing in North America is Guatamala City? I realize there isn't a seperate section for Central America, but maybe there should be, or South Am, should be changed to Central and South America, since culturally there's not as much of a division there. (Aside from Mexico, which is geographically part of N.A. but is closer culturally to C.A.)

Anyway, I don't want to make any big changes to the main page unless other people agree with me. Any thoughts.-Neil C 22:22, 11 Aug 2004 (EDT)

I like the idea of adding a Central America section and page. --Evan 14:26, 12 Aug 2004 (EDT)
That was easy...there was already a Central America page, but it was linked as a subsection of North America. I also took out the C.A. countries from the North American list, but left the Carribean in there, since it's location is more ambiguous, both culturally and geographically. Anyway, I'll poke around and see if there's more good articles in C.A. to put up on the front page.
--Neil C 23:33, 12 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Well, geographically, Guatemala is part of North America. If we prefer cultural rather than continental divisisions, perhaps "South America" could be changed to "Latin America" to add Mexico & Central America? -- Infrogmation 17:05, 8 Sep 2004 (EDT)


I added Winchester (United Kingdom), since it seems to be a real nice article. --Evan 18:14, 19 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Listings under continents

Reverting change by User:Professorbiscuit

I have reverted these changes for several reasons:

  • They do not follow the Wikitravel:Main Page guidelines in that they do not make any attempt to "try to keep Guide links in order from newest to oldest, with newest first". Following this guideline would have resulted in the list for European articles becoming "London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Winchester, Frankfurt" and dropping "Helsinki, Flanders, Darmstadt, Geneva".
  • They do not follow the Wikitravel:Main Page guidelines in that some of the nominated articles are insufficiently complete (eg. the list of districts for Berlin points almost exclusively to non-existent articles).
  • Perhaps more controversially, I do not think it serves Wikitravel's purpose well to have all 6 featured European articles being fairly well known capital cities. We should strive to have a more balanced mix of article subjects, including countries/regions/other destinations/smaller cities/etc.

Having said that, I don't necessarily disagree with Professorbiscuit's nominated articles. I propose to reinstate those I think merit, in line with the guidelines above.

More in two tics. -- Chris j wood 14:41, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Having looked at the articles that were added (London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris), I have re-added Amsterdam following the Wikitravel:Main Page guidelines as it seems a reasonably complete article. I'm concerned by the other three, as they are all constructed to the huge city template and have many districts which are either empty or sparse stubs.

  • Paris has made a great surge recently, and at least has a rational district structure based on arrondissement. I think at that rate it will merit inclusion soon but not quite yet.
  • London has lots of district information, but an anarchic structure that seems much too deep. I believe it needs a good edit before it gets there.
  • Berlin simply has too many empty districts.

I think all this really reflects the immense difficulty of using the huge city template well, and I'd welcome debate on whether I'm being reasonable here. -- Chris j wood 14:57, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Continent listings suggestions

My bad on the "try to keep Guide links in order from newest to oldest, with newest first" thing. I was trying to start more of a rotation of articles on the main page, but I should have probably have said something on the talk page first.

That said, I believe that the main page should highlight articles of famous places, as well as examples of excellent articles. Flanders is a page which demonstrates neither quality, and Darmstadt, added today, is stylistically poor and shouldn't be there either, especially if Frankfurt is on.

How about every continent on the main page having a similar range of topics listed underneath? For example; two countries (one famous and one obscure), two cities (again one famous and one obscure), one other destination (such as a park) and one travel topic. So Europe might be; Amsterdam, Winchester, Germany, Slovakia, Disneyland Paris and Discount airlines in Europe. It would add some consistency, at least. Professorbiscuit 15:45, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Actually Darmstadt was put in there today by an unregistered user coming from an IP address. Not that there's anything wrong with not logging in, but the user put it right at the bottom of the list. And as the Professor points out the article is no where close to MOS. That said it looks cool, and with a little work should maybe come back here, but at the top of the list, not the bottom. -- Mark 17:03, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I confess I didn't actually look at Darmstadt and Flanders as they were already on the main page. Thanks to Mark, Darmstadt has now gone. And I quite agree with Professorbiscuit on Flanders. I rather like his suggestion on the range of topics; although whether Discount airlines in Europe belongs under 'Europe' or 'Travel topics' I'm not sure. So how about we drop Flanders (not a great article) and Geneva (good article but it has had its turn in the barrel as Destination of the Month anyway) and add in Germany and Disneyland Paris (which both look good articles)?. -- Chris j wood 17:31, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Feel free to proceed with that plan, as far as I am concerned. I guess I would tend to prefer Frankfurt over Germany though, as I like the destination guides more than geographical area pages. -- Mark 17:46, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)


I am going to abbreviate "Angkor Archaeological Park" to "Angkor Wat", it's more common name, and make space for another listing under Asia. I will add Armenia for now, since that is my interest, and I think it is a decent article now, and a good "obscure" destination. I hope you all agree! RaffiKojian

Hi RaffiJojian, the article is much improved, and I hope you'll continue to work on it. I'm uncertain whether or not you have read Wikitravel:Main Page guidelines before adding Armenia, which is pretty important. To me it doesn't look quite done yet. But I'm open to the comments of others. Anyone else care to comment on whether they think Armenia is ready? -- Colin 02:22, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I had read the guidelines, but there is no clear line of what is ready for the big time. I'll look at it again, but feedback on what would make the difference could be helpful. A second photo? Just more info in general? RaffiKojian
It's not ready. Too many first-person pronouns, not enough details in any of the sub-sections, and there's still tons of CIA Factbook import stuff. I'm taking it off the Main Page. --Evan 13:13, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Display wikipedia Images on wikitravel

How can I display Image from wikipedia on wikitravel with out making another copy at wikitravel?
eg: Image:Mattancherry palace bhagvathy kshetram.JPG at WikiPedia ~Bijee

You cannot, Wikipedia and Wikitravel are different sites. Also note that most Wikipedia pictures are licensed under GFDL and cannot be used on Wikitravel at all. Jpatokal 11:50, 20 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Good Australasian pages?

Anyone got any suggestions? I wanted to highlight something new from my part of the world... unfortunately almost every good article is currently somewhere in Australia (c'mon kiwis...). These might be good, assuming they haven't been on the main page before:

Hypatia 08:48, 2 Nov 2004 (EST)

OK, I think Melbourne is pretty ready, unfortunately it's yet another Australian capital city so I won't put it there. I put Gunbarrel Highway there, I might try and get Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park going and poke the DoM discussion about it. -- Hypatia 05:41, 10 Nov 2004 (EST)

Diversity and Main Page links (or, North America is more than the USA)

Under the "North America" header, ALL the links are for American cities. Can we not try to keep the links under the header reflective of the fact that there is more than one country in North America? There are strong pages for other cities/regions/countries on the continent, outside of the USA.

The Main Page Guidelines mention: "Having four destinations in France under "Europe", even if those are the newest best articles, makes the Main Page look weird."

Perhaps the guidelines should we a litte more explicit, or create a separate bullet point address to the issue of national/geographic/cultural diversity.

Which cities outside the USA are really good now? If you point some out, that would help rectify the USA imbalance ;) -- Hypatia 08:55, 2 Nov 2004 (EST)
At last check Wikitravel's home town Montreal was still in the 51st state =) Jpatokal 09:49, 2 Nov 2004 (EST)
That got added to the main page between the initial comment and mine I think. -- Hypatia 09:55, 2 Nov 2004 (EST)
So, the best way to foster diversity is to make good articles for diverse subjects. It's best to have a good mix, but not at the expense of quality. If you'd like to look through North America and find some more diverse destinations to feature, that'd be superfantastic. Finally, please sign your posts. --Evan 11:30, 2 Nov 2004 (EST)


So a listing for Prague has been reverted a couple of times, added by in place of Winchester (United Kingdom).

Aside from Prague not deserving a place just because it's famous (policy) and needing to go at the top if it is added (policy), I've been working on Prague and I think it's not ready for the following reasons:

  • It only has about three 'Eat' listings across all the districts.
  • It only has about three 'Sleep' listings across all the districts., you'd be best off helping add more Eat, Sleep and Drink entries to the Prague districts, if you know it at all, so that it will start to be Main Page ready. -- Hypatia 05:49, 10 Nov 2004 (EST)

I agree with Hypatia on all counts. Prague is a great destination, and really deserves to have a good article, but what we have there now is way to spare to be featured. I would especially like to see more specific listings in the Sleep section. -- Mark 08:32, 10 Nov 2004 (EST)
Note that the districts do have a few specific listings... (not enough) -- Hypatia 06:17, 11 Nov 2004 (EST)

Page protection

I'd like to suggest that the Main Page be finally protected. By my quick count it's been vandalized no less than 13 times in the last week alone, and it's way too attractive a target for spammers and loonies like the THIS IS A VIRUS guy, as well as merely ordinarily misguided people editing it. It's a waste of time for editors to revert the junk, and it makes a very poor first impression if somebody comes to Wikitravel for the first time and is greeted with Chinese spam or incoherent ranting. Jpatokal 13:13, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)

If this is done, we need to make it easy for folks to contribute changes to the main page. For example, anyone wanting to add a city/place/whatever to one of the continent listings would need a place to submit requests for change (like here, maybe) and we would need to promptly implement their request. I have mixed feelings on protecting the main page. It's sad that people feel the need to be vandals, and also sad that the main page keeps being abused. Frankly, even well-meaning editors of the main page rarely bother to read the guidelines and add stuff at the beginning like they are asked to. So my inclination is yes, protect it. But let's make sure we have some real consensus before doing something as drastic as this. -- Colin 13:20, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
I think it makes a much poorer first impression when the first page most people see is uneditable. I think the very minor problem of reverting vandalism is offset by the advantages of putting Wiki principles to work. Don't forget: creative, patient people run this wiki -- not goof-offs and vandals. If we let a few scribblings change the way we work, we lose. I don't think we should let people who don't participate in our community define how we work together; I refuse to give them that power over us. --Evan 15:22, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
Evan, your continued starry-eyed optimism in the face of adversity continues to amaze me. But I'm more and more inclined to think that Wikimedia offers just a little too much freedom given the highly structured expectations Wikitravel places for its content. Is there really a point to giving everybody the freedom to do anything they want in theory, when in practice everything outside meticulously spelled out norms is rejected? I mean, about the only thing a normal user is really allowed to do to the Main Page is add new non-stub articles into the first position in the appropriate geographical area list. Jpatokal 16:30, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
Well if you're going to be that way about it, isn't a "wiki" a silly idea anyway ;-)? I mean a wiki is an inherently optimistic endevor. The fact that it works at all is almost more amazing than the fact that it also produces good content. I think this is really going to be one of those "it's the principle" things-- yes, we don't want users doing any old thing to the main page, yes we have to revert lame junk all the time (though 13 times in a week doesn't seem that much to me considering we have over 1,000 registered users), yes we have high expectations of contributors: BUT we also currently have no protected pages (ok, except the legal copyright) and no banned users. I like that about us. I would like us to hold on to that stuff as long as possible even if it means I have to stay up all night hitting reload on the main page. Like I said: principle not practical. Majnoona 16:42, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
I appreciate the high-falutin' principles and share the general amazement, but... you didn't actually answer my question. I'm a practical kinda guy and I see no practical point to maintaining the illusion of freedom for this particular case. Jpatokal 18:08, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
All righty: I would say that there is not "illusion of freedom." Any user can edit the main page. Any user can add content to the main page. If the edit does not follow the main page guidelines it will be reverted. I say that it is worth the 13 crapo edits a week that need to be reverted for the one unregistered user or non-admin user to make 1 valid edit. I think it is practical to keep admins the "janitors" of the site and not the gatekeepers. I think it is practical to keep the threshold for entry very very low and to assume good faith. If we get even one useful contribution from someone impressed by just how easy it is to break and fix this site then it is worth it. I think it is practical to let anyone make an edit and then argue for the usefulness of that edit. The main page is our banner of soft security, our offering to anyone to contribute and the responsibility of the community to maintain according to the goals we have agreed on. Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen and Goodnight Majnoona 22:45, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
Ladies and gentlemen, Maj has left the building. --Evan 22:47, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
On a matter of this level of importance to the project I feel obliged to chime in. To put it simply I'm in agreement with MAJ and Evan on the issue of page protection. 13 bad edits per week is nothing we can't deal with. In effect our vigilance protects this page, and I like it that way.
I would however like very much to receive email diffs of any edits on my watched pages, including the Main Page. There is absolutely nothing un-wiki about such notifications.
A possibility about which I think there might still be room for discussion would be automating rejection of blatantly unwanted edits. Evan has objected in the past that this sort of thing is technological solution to a social problem, and that it's therefore something we want to avoid. On a practical level, however we are all agreed that there's little point in accepting edits which are just going to be deleted in the very short term anyhow, hence the Wikitravel:Spam filter.
I don't think it would be that much different to reject changes to the main page which do not contain certain text. Others however might see this as a sort of slippery slope. -- Mark 03:19, 3 Dec 2004 (EST)

Unwanted edits from well-intentioned users

It seems to me that there are three types of unwanted edits to the main page

  1. Spammers Technical solutions may exist for this
  2. Vandals These have been extremely rare
  3. Well-intentioned folks that don't read the guidelines

I'd like to talk about the last group for a second. If you have a look at November, for example, maybe a dozen or so well-intentioned IP-users tried to add to the main page and were reverted. Exactly zero ip users added anything to the page. Of users who added to the page, only three were not either admin or gobetween.

While in theory this means that anyone can edit our main page, in practice it appears they can't. Since many of these folks are new users, they probably don't read the recent changes page and see our suggestions for improvements. So they may become discouraged.

Any suggestions on how to improve this? Frankly, protecting the main page and then creating a suggestion box for the community to come to consensus on changes would, realistically, be more useful to new users than the current situation. But I'm also interested in hearing other suggestions about how this problem could be solved. Should we try to improve the comment text at the top somehow to alert the editors to error? Or? -- Colin 03:42, 3 Dec 2004 (EST)

I think I could live with an "Are you sure you read and understand the main-page guildlines intermediate page for would-be editors of the main page. This doesn't seem any more heinous than the similar page for "You are about to copy over an exiting image."
Of course I can only speak for myself. -- Mark 04:21, 3 Dec 2004 (EST)
I would also like to add that I sometimes think that we are a little harsh with new users. I think it's important to communicate with users who make well-intentioned, but outside of guidelines edits before reverting those edits, and that's what I always try to do. Usually I mention that somebody else is likely to revert the edit, but that I'm going to leave it. Ideally I'd like to see the contributor in question take care of it themselves.
Meanwhile maybe we should consider this third class of unwanted edits to the main page a challenge to our guidelines. Maybe it's the guidelines which are wrong somehow, and not those users? It it really so important to rotate new stuff in at the top, and maintain an exact number of links per section? -- Mark 04:29, 3 Dec 2004 (EST)
My sense might be wrong, but it doesn't seem to me that that's the primary mistake that new users make. The primary point of the present guidelines is that we highlight well written articles with some secondary focus both on interesting places and unheard of interesting places (but they must have well written articles first). The mistakes new users on top of fairly minor ones like the two you mention are:
  1. adding their own articles, which are usually (but not always) not yet up to main page quality;
  2. adding links to unfinished (or unstarted) articles (two separate reasons: either because they wrote it or want to write it, or because they think it's important or famous -- see the repeated edits that added Prague for example)
  3. trying to make the main page hierachical (as one of the most recent edits tried) by changing the links for, say North America to Canada, United States of America etc etc.
So the problem is that this well written article premise we have escapes a lot of people: they think that the main page should be one of these things:
  1. A directory-style guide to our content, as in Yahoo! (these are the users who try and turn it into a listing of the top parts of the hierachy)
  2. A complete guide to our content (these are the users who add links to Nowheresville or whatever, some just want a way to bootstap their page's existence)
  3. A listing of famous travel spots
I think the well written article guideline actually is a bit obscure to anyone not coming from wikipedia. When I first arrived (although I didn't edit the main page), I thought the main page must be a list of famous travel spots that was only incomplete because wikitravel was: it didn't help that the Australasia links really were to countries and famous Australian cities (and haven't changed much). I like it and want to keep it but it's a bit obscure. Is it possible to actually explain this on the Main Page ("here is a selection of some of our better articles, all with soft chewy centers..."?)
Another change I'd really like made is the lifting of the soft ban on adding your own articles or at least making a place available where you can (informally or formally) 'nominate' articles you contributed to. I don't agree that the people watching recent changes are going to add worthy articles: one of the last substantive additions, Kruger National Park, was only added because JensANDMarian (the author) asked Jpatokal to add it via User talk:Jpatokal#KNP. No reflection on the actions of either user, but I think in general that seems to be a failure of the outlined process -- people were just meant to notice that KNP was good... -- Hypatia 21:56, 3 Dec 2004 (EST)


Does Bath seem ready to people? Sleep is nearly empty, but otherwise it's definitely 70-80% complete. -- Hypatia 21:58, 3 Dec 2004 (EST)

Looks ok to me. Are there really that many places to slep there? Most folks do it as a day trip I think. I say it's ready. Majnoona 08:52, 24 Dec 2004 (EST)


Rome just showed up on the Main page and I want to see if other people think it's OK. I listed it under Wikitravel:Articles needing attention a while ago and I havent seen a lot of changes to it (of course I also havent taken the time to do it myself ;-P). I didn't just want to yank it tho... Things like listing all Italian foods (ie Pizza) on this city page seem a little off to me... others? Majnoona 08:52, 24 Dec 2004 (EST)

Travel news

How about adding a logbook-style "Travel news" section to the Main Page? The tsunamis that just flattened large parts of Sri Lanka, Phuket and the Maldives would be one example of possible content... Jpatokal 05:04, 27 Dec 2004 (EST)

I think that this is a great idea.... Probably just a summary on the Main Page, leading to a more detailed page or pages.... Pjamescowie 09:30, 27 Dec 2004 (EST)

So, inspired by events in south-east and south Asia, I just kicked off the Travel news page(s), linking directly from the Main Page. I realise that this is quite an audacious move, given the lack of discussion, but I hope everyone will bear with me and get behind this.... I have created only one article so far, with the beginning of a headline and date(s) structure, but the formatting and organisation of the News page(s) are, of course, completely open to discussion and experiment..... Let's make it happen!Pjamescowie 15:13, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)

At first glance I thought this would be a pretty good idea, but as I thought more about it, I liked it less and less. It seems to fall outside our goals of creating a travel guide, and more than that, it seems like at most it would be almost entirely made up of compilation from other news sources. If there actually is someone on the ground who wants to play reporter, there are more appropriate outlets like blogs or the independant media.
Mention of recent disasters is appropriate in the context of the destination guide, especially as it relates to health and staying safe, as well as finding out what tourist services are still operational, but news stories in general aren't so much appropriate for a travel guide.
--Neil 15:46, 31 Dec 2004 (EST)
I quite like the idea, mainly because it could be used for linking. For example, Aceh, Sumatra, Ko Phi Phi, Phuket and many other destinations could use a warning box now suggesting that travellers confirm local conditions before visiting after the tsunami which links to a little bit more news from the travel news section. Hypatia 23:33, 1 Jan 2005 (EST)
Use Today's log for it maybe. -- 15:24, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)


How do people feel about the Houston article which was just added to North America by an anon user? It doesn't look quite ready for the Main Page to me, but maybe with a little brushing up it could be. -- Mark 06:32, 1 Jan 2005 (EST)

Actually it was new User:Texaswebscout. I agree that Houston isn't ready yet and suggested this to contributor. I have added it to Wikitravel:Articles needing attention. Remove it and await updates. -- Huttite 06:59, 1 Jan 2005 (EST)