Wiki Editing Protocol

Revision as of 11:55, 8 August 2008 by Adam Franco (talk | contribs) (→‎Internal vs. public information: Adding link to the new 'hi' template.)

Information on the purpose of this wiki, what to put in it, how to organize it, how to edit it.

Purpose & Content

There are several reasons we might want to have a wiki.

  • A place to keep track of common computer problems and how to approach them.
  • A place to organize our growing collection of how-to articles, to make them more accessible to the public than our current knowledgebase system does.
  • A place to post news on changes to the Helpdesk system, to keep us (and maybe users) updated on policy / protocol / structural decisions, and to post reminders and tips so that we will all be able to see them. A flexible "Helpdesk newsletter" of sorts.
  • An internal reference which we Helpdesk staff could use to keep track of our duties and how to perform them effectively.
  • A "common room" for discussing frequent problems, structural problems, and aspects of our technology/ITS system which we could improve.

Due to security concerns when discussions may touch on (revolve around?) sensitive topics, in my opinion the last two points are not suitable content for a public wiki. However it is possible for us to create a second, closed-access wiki which we could use for internal purposes. I would strongly support this option of creating a private wiki, provided that other staff see its potential benefit to us. --Hunt, Christopher 14:37, 20 July 2008 (EDT)

Internal vs. public information

I won't go deeply into my concerns about the availability of information that should not be public - but I do have some. I believe that centering the Helpdesk's reference knowledgebase around a public wiki would force us to make a very clear distinction between what information is OK for public access and what information should be kept in our secure servers.

  • No passwords or private links should ever go here.
  • No contact info of individuals, whether part of the Helpdesk or not. I guess if you want to post your contact info on your wiki profile page, that's up to you.
  • We probably should not put up information that exactly describes the internal workings of the Helpdesk such that this could be studied and manipulated (such as information on account creation procedure).
  • Where necessary, we can reference and link to documents stored on our secure servers, such that confidential information is available to us.

--Hunt, Christopher 14:37, 20 July 2008 (EDT)

Grouping together hidden resources

In the process of supporting my above arguments I've spent a little time at Amy and Petar's respective community.middlebury.edu sites. I'm finding all sorts of really valuable information in there - information which I would never have found otherwise [1]. I'm sure I've only touched the tip of the iceberg in this respect. Given its flexible and easy-to-edit nature, I think this wiki would be a perfect chance for valuable information like that hidden in our community sites to be integrated into other knowledge sources so that we will be more likely to stumble across them.

--Hunt, Christopher 17:03, 9 July 2008 (EDT)

Rules of thumb

  • Sign your contributions! I'd suggest that when you contribute a major section to the wiki, you sign your name next to it. (Use the Signature button on the edit toolbar.) We can see info on all edits anyway in the History tab, but signing makes it more of a community effort.
  • If you make a new page, make sure there is a link from the main page to it. That way we don't "lose" pages, and everyone can reach the new page easily. Eventually, if this wiki gets big, we'll need a table of contents to index everything.
  • When you're not sure whether to contribute, contribute anyway. Err on the side of adding too much. It's easy to take out content or move it to a more relevant section. It's harder to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable jumping in to help. So if you might have something good to say, say it. Same goes if something isn't worded clearly and you can think of a better way to say it.
  • All helpdesk-specific pages should be added to the Helpdesk category. Do this by adding the [[Category:Helpdesk]] text to the top of the page.
  • "Minor edit" is for small corrections that other users don't need to know about. So if a page is on my watch-list (meaning I am notified of changes to that page), I won't be notified if you make the change as a "minor edit".

--Hunt, Christopher 18:18, 9 July 2008 (EDT)

  • If your are just adding a placeholder page that needs to be fleshed-out, add the {{stub}} text to the top of the page so that others can easily find it. --Franco, Adam 11:15, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

How to edit

To edit you'll need to log in using your Middlebury network credentials. Then, on any page you want to change, click the Edit tab (or Edit link to the right of the appropriate section, for long pages) and start editing.

  • Look for how-to edit links on the edit page that will explain useful formatting marks, for creating features such as bold / italic text, links, and section headers. Go to the Edit tab of any existing page to get a sense for how the formatting syntax works.
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