Wiki Editing Protocol

Revision as of 08:12, 11 July 2008 by Christopher Hunt (talk | contribs) (Rules of thumb)

I don't think that "protocol" for this wiki needs to be very strictly defined. However we should probably establish some guidelines for editing pages. --Hunt, Christopher 21:52, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

Anyone with ideas re: how the wiki should be organized, please contribute them here.

Purpose & Content

This wiki will be accessible to the outside world, and at some point we may even encourage others to refer to this site as a "self-help" alternative to emailing or calling us. Given that, the purpose of this wiki may be to some extent as an internal reference akin to the existing knowledgebase; more generally, it will probably serve as a catalogue of the problems we come across and the solutions available.

A complement to our end-user article repository

The Helpdesk wiki would by no means reduce or remove the need for our end-user PDF articles and how-to guides, although it may provide an alternate means of organizing and accessing these.

Our knowledgebase could be improved upon

Currently, the knowledgebase serves the purpose of internal reference for problems and solutions, which would be one of the functions of the wiki. Features such as Heat’s “Send to KB” checkbox and the distinction between internal references and end-user articles are useful, but my belief is that a wiki system would be still better. The knowledgebase is not as “flexible” as a wiki is in that the effort and time required to change, update, or reorganize information is greater.

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 names or 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.

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 edits! For now at least, I'd suggest that everyone who adds sections or makes meaningful changes to the wiki's content, sign your name below or after the edit so that we can easily see who is contributing what. (Use the Signature button on the edit toolbar.) We can see info on all edits anyway in the History tab, but I feel like 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.