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Hi folks: I'm Danny, one of the Product Managers at Wikia, and my team has been working this summer on a new Forum feature. We've got an early demo version up for you to try out today, and we'd love to know what you think!
As I'm sure you know, wiki-wide discussions are really important. There are many decisions that are made by the community at large, from design to content structure, and drives to engage new users. MediaWiki's standard Forum namespace is basically just blank pages that you can put templates on -- they don't offer a lot of the features that a Forum usually does.
The Forum we're working on offers a more efficient way to have wiki-wide conversations:
- Discussions are threaded, so you can follow individual conversations rather th…
This week, we're launching two new features to help you use categories to navigate around a wiki and find interesting pages to read. Wiki communities organize pages into categories, to structure the wiki and help you find other pages that are similar to the one you're reading. But category pages are just boring lists of links, and they make interesting topics look dull. Related pages and Category galleries will make browsing around the wiki easier, more visual and more fun.
Related pages appear at the bottom of article pages and offer readers three suggestions for what to read next. Each suggestion is selected from the current article's categories.
Here's the cool part: If an article is tagged in multiple categories, Related pages finds other…
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Last year, I was redesigning the main page for new wikis, and I noticed a weird thing. There was a line on the main page that said "This wiki was founded in (Month) (Year)." I looked at what people were doing on that page, and I found that a number of people were filling in the month and year, but keeping the parentheses, like this: "This wiki was founded in (March) (2008)." Seriously. That happened a lot.
People did the same thing in the Featured article section. There was a message in italics -- Add your featured article in this box! People added their featured article... and they wrote it all in italics.
What I learned was: If you're going to give people a format, don't give them the wrong idea about how to fill it out. It might seem obvious…Read more >
We're updating a feature on Wikia next week, making the "Create a new article" process a little easier for new contributors.
The hardest thing about writing is staring at a blank page -- anyone who uses wikis knows that it's a lot easier to revise an existing page than to start one from scratch! That's especially true for new contributors, who aren't quite sure how to put their first wiki pages together.
When the update launches next week, clicking on the "Create a new article" link in the sidebar will open a dialog box that asks for the title of the new article. The box also offers a "standard layout" for new pages, which includes an image placeholder and two section headings. If a contributor wants to start with a blank page instead, then …
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We're launching a new feature on My Home today called WikiStickies.
The idea originated from a common experience we hear from readers and new editors. A reader finds a wiki, gets really excited, wants to help out --- but isn't sure where to start. WikiStickies helps to answer that question. The feature uses the familiar metaphor of a "sticky note" to point contributors toward pages that need their help!
Right now, WikiStickies shows off three kinds of pages:
- Articles that don't have any pictures
- Brand new articles, which often need to be expanded
- Article titles that are linked to, but don't exist yet
You can browse through a selection of questions right on the My Home page, by peeling up a sticky note to see the next one. If the WikiStickies on M…Read more >