How To Wiki

Getting Started

Wiki Thinking

Wikis work differently than other types of communicative/collaborative media!

  • No Mistakes - Nothing is a mistake in a wiki! You cannot break it! You should feel empowered to play around with the wiki, try anything you want to, because any change can always be reverted! There is never any notion of "completeness" or what a page "should be like" in a wiki -- everything is always in flux, can always be edited, reorganized, etc. The only metric by which you can evaluate the "correctness" of a wiki is whether it's working for the people that use it!
  • Incompleteness > Absence - Never feel like you need to sit down and make a substantial change to the wiki or else none at all. Making a quick stub page, taking a fast note, even if it leaves a dangling Stub page (which you can indicate like [[Has Completion Status::Stub]]) is better than having no page at all!
  • Pages are the basic organizational units of wikis, and pages are cheap. Rather than in a medium like Google Docs where documents are relatively precious and solitary, where you end up making few large documents, in a Wiki you should feel welcome to create many pages. As you write you should be wrapping the core [[Concepts]] in [[WikiLinks]] so that you can come back to them later. When a particular page gets too large and unwieldy, take some subsection of it and split it off to a new page!
  • Dense Linking - The power of the wiki comes from wikilinks! By organizing heterogeneous content in the same space, it becomes possible to, for example, reference a Project from within Meeting Minutes, which can in turn link to some Guide, Programming Language, Package, and so on. If you find you are frequently referring to some concept, make a page for it and start gathering links to it! You should be making liberal use of the Special:WhatLinksHere page (in the left bar) to see when a concept is referenced. You should also feel free to make Speculative Links to pages that don't exist yet but probably should, which then will show up on the Special:LonelyPages tool as indicative of what needs to be written.
  • Broad variation in tone and content - We're used to seeing wikis as being equivalent to wikipedia, and therefore as authoritative documents, but wikis at large can and should have a broad range of writing: conversational, professional, guiding, questioning, etc. Everything belongs on the wiki, and it can be written in any way.
  • Use Search! - Use the search bar in the top liberally, and make use of Special:Categories, Special:Properties and the like. Organization can be automatic (eg. with Semantic Mediawiki #ask queries), but it is also largely manual! Search for whatever you're looking for, and if it's not easy to find by the browsing path that you expected, then add a link where you think it should be!

Editing a Page

See Wiki Formatting for how to use wiki markup, or else use the visual editor!

Make a New Page

To make a new page, just make a Link To It, save the page, and click the link! You'll be taken to a new page

Reverting Page from History

  • Viewing History
  • Comparing History
  • Reverting

Using Semantic Annotations

Has Completion Status::TODO




Categories & Schema