Wiki tips for event planners

From YPPedia

Given the recent trend towards holding events on the wiki, and the error rate and common misconceptions people have about the abilities of the mediawiki software, here are a few quick tips for people who are thinking of holding events that involve wiki participation.

  • Things you can and should do are suggestions for things that are generally seen as absolutely vital for holding a wiki-based event.
  • Things you can do are options you can employ if you so choose, but are technically possible and have been used in past.
  • Things you shouldn't do are things that are discouraged, but these rules may be bent if the right event came along.
  • Things you cannot do are things that are forbidden or technically impossible.

Things you can and should do

  • You can and should organize your entries to show up on a specific page. Y!PPedia includes an in-depth categorization system. Categories are automatically created when one or more page refers to a category page, and list all pages in that category alphabetically. To add a page to a category, just add [[Category:(Category Name)]] to the bottom of that page.
  • You can also add text to the category page, if you'd like to provide explanation or context. Just navigate to the Category page, and click the Edit button at the top.
  • You can and should use the Show Preview button to view your changes before actually making them, and you should encourage your entrants to use it liberally. The administrators of the Y!PPedia rely on a Recent Edits list to keep track of, unsurprisingly recent edits. (New edits mean new content which means it needs moderation.) While you can still use the wiki for your event, it would be an enormous help to the administrators if your entrants don't clog up that list with 10 or 20 edits of the same page to fix minor typos and formatting errors.
  • You can and should somehow watermark all entries to your event. Ask an administrator or experienced Y!PPedian to help you set up a template; watermarking and categorizing all your entries might be as simple as adding {{event}} to your entries! This is absolutely vital, because the Administrators are not psychic. If you hold an event that produces content that is either not within the Y!PPedia mandate, or that duplicates existing content, it's likely that an administrator will accidentally delete it. (Deleted pages cannot be salvaged, so that would be quite disasterous.)
  • You can and should use the History feature to track edits to pages. The History of any page is viewable by clicking the History button at the top. It will show not only when and who edited a page, but also exactly what was changed, and you can still see the full content of previous revisions as it was originally written. You can also compare revisions using the compare feature. This is very useful to prevent malicious edits and cheating, as well as to make sure nobody changes their entries after the deadline.

Things you can do

  • You can hold events on the wiki. Don't be shy! You don't need permission, you don't need a consent form, you just need to set it up and let 'er rip. However, it will almost certainly be to your benefit to have a word with an experienced Y!PPedian about what you intend to do before you do it, just in case! Sure bets for this task are the Administrators (Speak to the Player Volunteers, not the OMs or Ringers.), but other denizens who know their stuff can be just as helpful.
  • You can use the Upload file feature to include visual content in your entries. However, any uploaded file that doesn't have an appropriate tag is likely to be deleted whether or not it's an entry. For a contest, you most likely want the {{contestentry}} tag. Simply paste it into the Summary box and it'll be tagged automatically.
  • You can use tables and (limited) HTML to format your pages. However, it is especially important that you use the preview button when working with tables and HTML, as they are the most often booched and likely to "break"! Unless you know what you're doing, ask for an administrator's help with creating tables, or study existing ones before creating your own.
  • You can use the Talk pages to provide feedback, to leave notes, and to communicate with entrants. Every single article on the Y!PPedia has an attached Talk page. To get to it, click the Discuss this page button at the top. You can edit this page like any other page, but general etiquette is that you sign your edits (You can do this automatically by clicking the Signature button [Second from the right] or by adding --~~~~ to the end of your message), and that you indent replies to a statement (Just add a colon before the text, and it'll be shifted across an inch or so.) to make it easier to navigate.

Things you should not do

  • You should not stage contests that encourage entrants to in any way vandalize, "humorify", or edit existing pages. There are some notable exceptions to this rule (Looseweed's user page contest, for example), but the wiki is not a playground. Unless you can be 100% sure that all edits your entrants will make will meet the rules and policies of the wiki (hint: you probably can't), please do not set them loose on it.
  • You should not include the wiki "just because". Helping with events can be a lot of work for both the server and the administrators. Unless the wiki is a boon to your event and will be a great help, please do not involve it. (As a general rule, unless you accept entries over the wiki, you probably don't need it.)

Things you cannot do

  • You cannot manually lock pages (and prevent edits) without being made an Administrator, and it's extremely unlikely that you'll be granted said access just for holding an event. While you can ask an administrator to lock pages on your behalf, it's not something they're obligated to help you with nor is it something you're entitled to.
  • You cannot stage contests requiring uploading of video or audio files on the wiki, unless participants host the files themselves. There just isn't enough bandwidth and server power to provide service for such files while still meeting the Y!PPedia mandate to serve information.
  • You cannot stage "adult" contests on the wiki under any circumstances. If you can't post it to the public Y!PP forums, you should not put it on the Y!PPedia, and you will be subject to the same consequences. (Suspension or termination of your wiki access privileges)
  • You cannot hold events that require anonymnity. Because of the nature of the History page, any edit made will be attributed to an author, no matter how large or small it is. There is no way to ensure author secrecy.