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10 Ways to Engage Users on Your Wiki

Meighan June 8, 2011 User blog:Meighan
Crowd 2

Successful wikis know how to attract a crowd.

Over the past few months, we’ve been sharing tips, tricks, and best practices to help you create and build the community you crave on your wiki. We’ve asked you to share what works best on your wiki (lots of great comments on that post, thank you!), and some of you have written awesome blog posts about how to make a wiki thrive — check out BobNewbie's Make Your Wiki Great and Fandyllic's Ways to Promote Your Wiki. These posts are two great examples (among many) of users sharing their knowledge with others. It’s exciting to see what we can learn from being a member of the Wikia community.

Since I started at Wikia, I’ve noticed that some users create a wiki, but they're not sure what to do next. There are so many tips for growing a community; sometimes, the abundance of information makes it hard to decide where to start. My grandfather always told me to keep it simple, so let’s begin with the basics.

Below, you’ll find a list of suggestions on how to build your wiki and attract more users. I compiled the best tips from community blog posts, user comments, and staff recommendations:

  • Make your wiki inviting. Think of your wiki as a place where you’d want to hang out. Organize the main page with clear and cohesive content so it’s easy to navigate.
  • Make it visual and easy on the eyes. Build a main page slider and add images.
  • Give users a reason to keep coming back. Make it easy to get involved — set up weekly projects and create lists of things to do, like keeping track of pages to create.
  • Make your wiki a fun place to interact. Create polls and change them often.
  • Offer interesting content outside of pages. Write blog posts about your wiki’s topic. Ask questions in the blog post directed at your audience. Encourage them to leave comments.
  • Community, community, community. Visit talk pages and say hello — remember what it was like as a newbie? Always be friendly and helpful.
  • Create a dynamic wiki. Check out Wikia Labs. Use tools like article comments, achievements, gallery exhibition, and top ten lists. These are all great ways to make your wiki more dynamic and user-friendly.

Did I miss something? Do you want to add your suggestion? Please leave your feedback in the comments below.

We’ll be ramping up the Founders and Admins blog category, so be sure to follow that page to hear about more posts specifically for founders and admins. Do you have ideas for posts in this category? Leave a comment below or on my talk page.

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