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Managing your wiki - review of tools & special pages

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Description

Aired June 8, 2012

This webinar provides an overview of the tools Admins and community members can you to help manage their wiki. In this webinar we will walk you through how to use recent changes, page history and logs as well as tour Special Pages. We will explain in detail all aspects of these pages and offer advice on best practices for using them to help manage your wiki.

Slides & Transcript

June Slide01
Welcome to the June Webinar on tools to manage your wiki. I’m Sarah Manley a community manager here at Wikia and today we have with us Trella Rath another Wikia community manager.



June Slide02
Agenda

In this webinar we will walk you through how to use recent changes, page history and logs as well as tour Special Pages. We will explain in detail all aspects of these pages and offer advice on best practices for using them to help manage your wiki.



June Slide03
New wikis

Let's start by reviewing some of the basics of what makes up a wiki. When you create a wiki it comes with a number of default namespaces. Namespaces are sections of the wiki, which help to divide up and group together similar page types. An example of this are user pages. All user pages are grouped into the user namespace. Each page belongs to exactly one namespace. By having different namespaces, the pages within it can be searched and listed separately from each other.



June Slide04
History & Recent Changes

Another basic concept within a wiki is that all changes are tracked. Any edit, big or small, as long as it’s published, is recorded. This means that you can see all additions and deletions to a page, through the entire life of the page. This is done for all pages, it doesn’t matter what type. This is super helpful is seeing what has been added and removed to a page.



June Slide05
Logs

For content that might not be on an actual page, but is rather an action, these are also recorded in what we call logs. Later we will walk you through how to use and follow logs, but for now it’s important to know that all actions on a wiki, from changing page names to user right adjustments, are also recorded.



June Slide06
Special Pages

Lastly, a series of pages called Special Pages exists which gives you access to a number of statistics, tools, popular content and much more. Special pages provide a place where you can find, along with the admin dashboard, important tools and links.



June Slide07
Page History

So lets start by talking about page history. As I mentioned, every addition or deletion to a page is recorded. To see the history of a page, click on the edit button dropdown and click on the history link.



June Slide08
Page History

Once on the history page, there are a couple of important areas to note. The top section lists the name of the page you are viewing, with a link back to the page itself and a link to any logs associated with that page.

Below that is the browse history box. Here you can define what date range you would like to see the history of. If you are interested in a certain time period, this is the place to adjust it. If your wiki uses special tags, you can also search for them in this area.

Below the browse history box is the main section of the page - the history of all edits. The newest changes are shown at the top. Lets break down what each item on each line there provides.



June Slide09
Diff Page

The first item shows parentheses and the text cur and prev. These stand for current and previous. If you click on Cur, it will take you to what is called a 'diff' page - a page showing the difference between that specific edit and another version of the page history.



June Slide10
Diff Page

In this case the diff page is comparing the selected version and the current version. The content that was changed in highlighted in green on the newer edit on the right and in yellow in the older version on the left. If text is shown as red, this means it was specifically adjusted. In the screenshot here, you can see that the word File was added.

From the history page, the link Prev also takes you to a diff page showing the changes between that edit and the previous version. The most recent version appears below the changes, so you can see how the page was rendered. Both cur and prev allow you to compare side by side one version of the page to another. If you would like to see what the next edit was, simply click on newer edit link at the top, and you will be brought to the next diff page. You can do the same to see the previous edit by click on the older link.



June Slide11
History Page

Back on the history page, the two columns of radio buttons can be used to select any two versions on the page. By selecting two different edits, then clicking on the Compare selected versions button, you will be taken to a diff page showing the changes between these two specific versions.

Next you will see time and date stamps. This gives the time and date of the edit, expressed in local time according to your preferences. The date and time link to the version of the page on that given day and time.



June Slide12

This is followed by the username or IP of the person who made the edit. You also are provided links to their talk page or message wall and their contributions.

After that is how many bytes of content they added.

If you see the letter m on the line, this denotes that it was marked as a minor edit. If you see the letter b, this means it was an edit made by a bot.



June Slide13

Last, unless you are an admin, is the the edit summary. It is the text the user wrote in the edit summary box next to the edit box when they saved their edit. This is meant to inform you of what kind of change they made.

If you are an admin, you also have a link here to undo an edit. This will remove the edit that was added. If a series of edits were made by the same person, you can in fact rollback, or undo multiple edits at once. This can be helpful if there has been vandalism on the page.



June Slide14

Now that you are familiar with page histories, lets move onto Recent Changes. Trella will walk us through Recent changes.



June Slide15
Recent Changes

Hi Everyone! Recent changes can be found by visiting Special:RecentChanges, and it looks similar and acts similar to a history page, but it is a history of all edits across the entire wiki.

When you visit recent changes, you will see a couple of quick links on the top that let you quickly filter to see All Pages, New Pages, New files or Logs. Below that is a box called Recent changes options. This allows you to adjust how much you see in recent changes. You can decide how many edits you want to see on the page from how many of the last given number of days. The numbers that are bold are the ones that you have chosen in your preferences. The default is to show to 50 edits for the last 7 days. You can adjust this there to show more or less.

Below that is an additional number of options for what types of edits you want to see. You have the ability to hide or show minor edits, edits from bots, anons or users, as well as patrolled edits, your edits, grouped recent changes and logs.

Below that you have the option to show all namespaces or just one in particular. As on the history page, you can also filter by tags.




June Slide16
Recent Changes

Now let's discuss the meat of Recent Changes, all the good stuff! Let's go over what you see here - much of what is similar to what you see on history pages. At the beginning you may also see some letters and symbols listed before the page title. The ones you may see include:

  • N: which implies that a new page or comment
  • m: means the editor has ticked the minor edit box
  • b: is an edit made by a bot
  • ! is an unpatrolled edit, which you will only see if your wiki has recent changes patrol enabled

If you see an arrow, this means there were multiple edits to the same page. You can condense or expand this to your liking.

After this part:

  • First you see a time stamp, which is listed in 24 hour intervals of the edit. You can adjust how this is displayed to your local time in your Preferences.
  • This is followed by name of the page that was edited
  • Next you will see a diff link, which if you click will take you to the diff for that edit on that page.
  • Next is a hist link, which will take you to the full history of the page
  • After that is the page name where the edit has taken place. This links to the current version of that page. If it’s bold, that means you follow that page.
  • Next you'll see positive numbers in green or negative numbers in red enclosed in parentheses. They are the amount of characters in bytes that were added or removed in that specific edit. If you see a zero in gray it means an edit has been made, but nothing has been added or removed -- such as a spelling error that was corrected but left the same number of letters
  • Next is the name of the editor with links out to their profile, talk page or message wall, contributions and if you are an admin and option to block that user. If only a number appears this is a logged out editor.
  • Last is the Edit Summary, which is a summary of the edit they made. It's good practice to get into the habit of leaving a summary so other editors and yourself can glance over Recent Changes to see what changes have taken place on the wiki.

As you can see Recent Changes is very similar to history pages, just with more information.



June Slide17

This is a lot of information. In my experience as an admin on the My Little Pony Wiki, we had people try and vandalize pages all the time. If we knew we were under attack, myself and other admins would often sit on recent changes and patrol edits to make sure nothing would get passed us. Recent Changes is also useful to look at the latest comments coming through on blog posts or pages. When a new episode has recently aired, people often use the comment section to respond to the show and give their own opinions and theories.




June Slide18
Logs

Now let’s chat about logs. As was mentioned, some logs can be shown on recent changes, but you also have the ability to access them on their own. To view them, visit Special:Log. Here you will see a dropdown in which you can view all recent logged events or you can filter by a specific log. In this slide you can see all of the log options.



June Slide19

Lets look at the log for wiki features. By choosing this, we can see who enabled which features and when. This can be a good way to know which admins are enabling which features. For the other logs you can see who recently received rights, got blocked or changed their avatar, and much more.



June Slide20

The logs I use most often are user rights log. This is because as staff I sometimes make users admins or have to remove them. When I was an admin, I most often checked the block log to see if there had been any issues while I was away. These logs are a great way to keep up with activity while you are not editing.




June Slide21

Now I will hand off the mic back to Sarah. If you have any questions, remember to send them in for the Q&A at the end.



June Slide22
Special Pages

Thanks Trella! And last but not least, another important place to become familiar with is Special pages. These can be found at Special:Specialpages, and has links to lots of important pages, information and tools on your wiki.

Special pages are broken up into 12 sections which you can see here. I am now going to focus on pages that we feel are the most important for you to visit from time to time on your wiki.



June Slide23

Let’s start at the top with Maintenance reports. This section includes a lot of useful links that group together specific types of pages, all aimed at helping you monitor and improve your wiki. As you can these include items that are uncategorized, unused or contain broken elements. It also contains wanted items, as well as listings for the longest, oldest and other interesting pages.



June Slide24

Let’s take a look at a few of these, starting with the old pages. By following this link, you are given a list of the oldest pages on the wiki, a link to the page, its history and told how long the page is. Here you can see the oldest pages on community central date back to 2006.



June Slide25

If you go to an uncategorized link, such as uncategorized photos, you are presented with all photos that have not been given a category. This can be helpful when you are working to clean up your wiki and make sure that everything is accounted for. By visiting uncategorized photos, you can work with the rest of your community to make sure that all photos are given the proper category.



June Slide26

Another interesting one to explore is the wanted section - this lists items folks have flagged as wanting but don’t exist. Lets take wanted pages as an example. This shows you a list of pages that people have created links for, but yet don’t exist. The list shows the name that was linked, and how many times it has been linked to.

Looking here, you can quickly find what might be a good next page to start, since someone has already marked it as being needed. I find these pages helpful when I visit a wiki and want to try and help out. They create a way for you to easily jump in and help.



June Slide27

The next section down is List of pages, and here you can find links to all pages, all categories and redirects.

Below that is a section dedicated to your user preferences and rights. Here you have quick access to your user preferences, password and the ability to review your user rights. Another, important link here is to the user lists, which shows you all users that have edited on your wiki. I use this list all the time to find out who has recently edited as well as who the admins are on a wiki.



June Slide28

Next comes Recent changes and logs - which you are all now familiar with. You can also find links to new pages and photos in this section. Right below that is media reports and uploads, which provides links to further details and tools on the media, meaning photos and videos, on your wiki. Below that is the redirecting special pages sections, which contains links to special pages such as random page and random wikia. These can be a fun way to discover new content and wikis.



June Slide29

The next section is called high use pages, and provides you details on what are the most highly used categories, photos and pages on your wiki. This can be an interesting way to figure out what is the most popular on your wiki.



June Slide30

The last couple of sections are tools sections, providing links to create and export pages, contact a Wikia staff member, as well as log in or out. There is also a link to Wiki features, where if you are an admin you can flip on and off optional or new features, or if not, see what features are there.



June Slide31

Wow that is a lot of tools but don’t get overwhelmed! These are pages that are meant to help you maintain as well as explore your wiki. You don’t need to visit each one each day, but can use them as inspiration for content drives, or as way to keep up with all the activity on your wiki. If you are an admin, maybe divide up the pages among the admins and check in once a week to see where you might want to focus or could use extra eyes.



June Slide32

This concludes our tour of pages you can use for helping to manage and maintain your wiki. We are now going to dive into questions.



June Slide33


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