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Help:Joining a Wikia community

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For users who are just joining a Wikia community, this article presents helpful tips and netiquette.

Wikia has hundreds of thousands of individual fan communities, and thus community cohesion and practices vary greatly from site to site. New users are encouraged to browse the Wikia community they have just joined to identify policies for user behavior as well as the tone and position of the wikia's culture.

This article does not attempt to dictate how culture or practices should be on wikias, instead outlining some common and consistent points that most wikias have in common.

You're a part of the community!Edit

When you first see a wikia, it doesn't seem like it could possibly work. If anybody can come along and change things, then how can the information be trusted? Doesn't it just get vandalized, or fall into chaos?

Once you start participating, you see that this "weakness" is actually a wikia's greatest strength. Sure, anybody can add anything — and then everybody else gets to proofread it, and fix mistakes. Information that looks suspicious can be verified. Vandalism is almost always fixed within minutes. It's possible for someone to post errors, or nonsense — but over time, the best wins out.

If you're reading these words, then you're a wikia editor. If you see a problem on one of the pages, don't roll your eyes and complain about it. Just fix it!

Create a user nameEdit

Log in and create a user name — it'll help you (and everybody) keep track of your contributions. It's possible to post anonymously on many wikias, but be advised that anonymous posters can be treated more skeptically. If we can see the pages you've added to, then we'll be more impressed with you, and more likely to trust.

You're also invited to post your name on your user page — either your full name, or just a first name and an initial. It's not required, but it helps everyone get to know you and trust you.

Show your sourcesEdit

Other readers should be able to verify the information that you post. Cite episode numbers wherever possible, and give sources for quotes. If you find information in a book or on a website, tell us the title or the URL. If it's clumsy to put that information in the article, then add a "References" heading at the bottom of the page. Behind the scenes information is especially important to source; we don't want to spread unfounded rumors.

History/ActivityEdit

Nothing is ever lost on a wikia! You can see all of the changes that have been made to a page — and who made them — by clicking on the "History" tab on the page's "Edit" menu drop-down. For the most recent changes, you can simply click the "Wiki Activity" option on the top navigation menu.

Signing talk page postsEdit

When you post on a talk page, put an asterisk (*) at the front of your post to make a bullet. Sign talk posts with four tildes -- ~~~~ -- to automatically add your user name and a timestamp. If you'd like to sign your post without a timestamp (though we don't recommend doing so) you can use just three tildes: ~~~ to do so.

Uploading and formatting picturesEdit

To upload a picture, click on "Add a Photo" on the "Contribute" button at the top right of the page. You can add your image to any page using the editor's photo tool.

CategoriesEdit

You can put an article into a category by using the category tools at the bottom of an article, or within the editor.

Before you create a category, check the wikia's Category list (found at Special:Categories) to see if there's a similar category that already exists. If the category doesn't exist yet, then adding that code will create the category. Be sure to add some text to the new Category page, or the link from your new article won't work properly.

External linksEdit

You can add links to other websites by putting one bracket around the site's address, like this: [http://www.google.com]. That will look like this: [1]

You can add a description to the link by adding a space before the description, like this: [http://www.google.com Google website]. That comes out like this: Google website

The link tool within the editor can also be used to add internal and external links.

No shopping linksEdit

Please don't add links to Amazon or other commercial sites. It's nice to help other users of this wikia to find the cool products that are available, but Wikia does not permit the use of communities as commercial tools. If a related product is currently available for sale somewhere, you can note that in the article. If that inspires a reader to buy the product, then they can find it themselves.

Setting your preferencesEdit

There's lots of useful stuff on your Preferences page.

You can change your display so that links show up as blue or red words, without the underlining. You can also change your time zone, and the number of items you see on the Recent Changes page or the Category list.

Keyboard shortcutsEdit

Review some helpful shortcuts to navigate around within a page at Help:Keyboard shortcuts.

Dealing with vandalismEdit

See the Reverting help page for instructions on how to fix vandalized pages.

Also read the 'don't feed the trolls' article for more information about how to properly handle vandals when they strike and how to discourage them from continuing to vandalize.

Contact administratorsEdit

See Special:Listadmins for a list of admins on any wikia community.

If you have questions or comments about the wikia, you can leave a message on an admin's Message Wall or talk page.

CommunicateEdit

If you don't like something on your wikia, or you really like something, give your feedback to everyone else in the community. The forums (usually at Special:Forum or Forum:Index) are typically a great place to discuss how things are going. Stay in touch and communicate!

Nothing on a wikia has to be permanent, the community can always reanalyze any aspect of it. Share your feelings among your fellow editors to see if they feel the same way about something and what you should do about it! Talking never hurt anyone.

Develop policiesEdit

Many of the vastly popular communities have very in-depth, detailed policies and guidelines that declare what is OK to do, what isn't, and what to do if someone did something they weren't supposed to. Regardless of whether it's a blocking policy or a manual of style, policies and guidelines give everyone, especially the new people, a chance to understand what they should do. People can't read your mind to know what is OK and what isn't — document what your wiki thinks is best practice.

Stay visual!Edit

Readers love visual content relevant to the article they're reading. Always consider adding images or videos to your articles to help with the overall presentation of your article. A big wall of text can be scary, boring, and uninteresting! At the same time, a big wall of images looks unprofessional and messy. The key is to balance your visuals with your content to create the greatest experience you can share with your readers. Help:Galleries and slideshows are also a really neat way to connect with your audience.

Use everything you gotEdit

Being a part of the Wikia community means you get the benefits and features of Wikia, including lots of cool extensions from Help:Galleries and slideshows to add color to your articles, to blogs to announce news and other important things, and everything under the rainbow! If you're starting a new community of your own, browse Category:Extensions to see most of these features and their documentation so you can learn how to utilize them to better your wikia. Know about the tools you have, so you can better use them.

Start customizingEdit

The default Wikia skin is highly customizable. You can change the colors, add images or banners, change font colors, sizes, and font faces, and anything else under the moon. MediaWiki pages also allow for customization of the user interface, allowing you to modify the text items shown on the site.

By customizing the skin or messages you can truly give your wikia a unique design that's attractive and remembered by readers. Giving your wikia style will easily make it look more friendlier, professional, and well-developed. It's definitely worth trying out. Please refer to Wikia's customization policy to learn more about what's permitted in this area.

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