The mission of Wikitravel is this:
- Wikitravel est un project pour créer un guide de voyage libre, complet, à jour, et fiable.
Les articles Wikitravel devraient être utiles pour au moins les propos suivants:
- Pour des voyageurs en route qui l'utilisent en ligne, huddled in a late-night Internet café in some dark jungle, qui ont besoin d'information à minute sur logement, transportation, aliment, nightlife, et d'autres nécessités;
- Pour des voyageurs en préparant en ligne to review destinations, plan itineraries, make reservations, and get excited about their trip;
- Pour des articles individuellement imprimés, c'est à dire, pour imprimer une liste de musées ou bars karaoke qu'on peut mettre en poche pour l'occasion de besoin -- ou en faire une photocopie quand un autre en a besoin;
- For ad-hoc travel guides, small fit-to-purpose travel books that match a particular itinerary;
- For inclusion in other travel books, giving up-to-date information for travel guide publishers.
There are probably hundreds of other uses for Wikitravel articles; these are ones we try to keep in mind while authoring and editing pages.
These are some specific non-goals; things people might think we want to do with Wikitravel, but we don't:
- Create a travel essay anthology. Wikitravel is not a travel magazine. Articles should be directed toward practical information about travelling.
- Create a collection of personal travel journals. Wikitravellers usually have interesting stories about their personal adventures which, sadly, need to be put somewhere else on the Web.
- Provide a vacation photo gallery service. Photographs and illustrations should be targeted towards illustrating destinations and sights, not toward showing Grandma how big the mai-tai was that you drank at the luau.
- Provide a personal homepage service. Each registered user on Wikitravel has a User page; these should be used to support the development of the travel guide, and not as an All About Me and My Cat Web site. One or two photographs on your User page is reasonable; more than 5 is really pushing it.
- Create a travel chat board. There are plenty of Web-based and email discussion groups on the Internet, where people can talk about their experiences, ask questions, complain, make friends and joke around. Wikitravel has talk pages for each article, but these should be used to develop the article itself, and not as a "comments" area. Anyone can edit a Wikitravel article; if you have useful information about a topic, put it in the article itself.
- Make an advertising brochure. Wikitravel of course has listings and information about travel-related businesses around the world. We would be thrilled to have representatives of these businesses keep those records up-to-date. However, blatant advertising is not welcome, and overcompetitive acts (like deleting information about rival businesses) is gravely deprecated.
- Produce a Yellow Pages of restaurants, hotels, or bars for a city. City guides should certainly include information for travel-related companies, but these should be kept at a useful number. Think of a friend from out of town asking you where they should go -- you wouldn't list all 200 possibilities, but 2-5 options for a particular type, budget, or part of town.
- Build a Web directory. Wikitravel articles can and should have links to external resources about destinations, itineraries, travel-oriented companies, and other travel-related Web sites. However, it's not a goal to collect all links about any destination. External links should support and complement the content of articles; they're not a goal in and of themselves.
- Make a travel guide supplement. The WikiWiki technique we use for Wikitravel makes it possible for us to include information that's not in other travel guides. This doesn't mean that we only include information not found in other guides. Wikitravel aims to be a complete travel guide -- not just an additional resource on the side of traditional guides.
There are probably lots of other near-miss goals that people might think we have; if needed, we'll list those here, too.
See also: Slippery slopes