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Things that make a successful Wiki

This has been a question that I see a lot as of late. What can make a wiki Successful? Why is the wiki's traffic so low? Why wont people edit when they visit the wiki? Well, truth be told it takes many things to have a successful wiki. Some things, however are out of your control. But even if so, there are many things that can even get over those short comings.


The first issue is the measure of Success
What are the goals of the wiki you are maintaining? Are you hoping for some more editors or are you only wanting more viewers? Why are you editing there?

The first Important step is to explain the Purpose of the Wiki
Would you believe that most wiki's don't even bother explaining what the wiki is about? You want more editors/viewers but your to good to explain what the topic of the wiki is about?! Start a [["Name of Wiki" Wiki:About]] and explain what the topic is. Put a link to the article on the Main page!


What is on the Front page of the wiki?
The Main/Front page is the most important page of the whole wiki. It needs links to either categories or pages that lead down the topics and sections of the wiki. It needs to be easy to read and understand. Also......Add pictures! What could be more boring than a wiki page of only text.

Make the page one scroll down or less in length. If its longer, then something has to go. Make the front page so its not overwhelming too. Too much content on the main turns people away. Like noted already, have a About page linked there, and also a Community Page as well.

What is expected from editors?
The Community Page is a good place to explain what is expected and what is wanted or not wanted.

Be friendly to new contributors
This may sound not too important, but it is. People want to be welcome at the wiki. They want to feel they contribution does mean something. Greeting them, and thanking them really opens up the doors for dialog.

Structure and hierarchies that are easy to Understand
Nothing worse than spending hours trying to find something. A wiki can't afford to be that hard to navigate through.

Seeding at a Wiki is a good thing
Too many times, a wiki chooses to leave pages as red links. If there is no information, make the page with what little is known and put the {{Stub}} tag at the bottom of the page. If a template would be used on the page, put it up too.

Templates are your friends, Use them!
Making infoboxes and tags such as {{Cleanup}} come in handing in formatting a wiki. Use them, and point other users to them also.

Be open to New Ideas and Change
There is nothing worse than coming to a wiki, editing five articles and then the admin undoes them all. Be open to new ideas, and if you disagree with the edit, explain why you don't like it, and give suggestions. If the articles are on subjects not yet covered at the wiki, build them a article/categories for the content, and a place on the front page for a link to that content. Remember it is a community project.


Anyways, hope this helps some out there.

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