Community Central


Community Central

FishTank FishTank 3 July 2019

Images that engage

Images, when they're available, should break up text on a page to make it more interesting. Thinking about how and why images are used is important, as all the imagery of your pages build reader impressions for your communities. Compelling images can also uniquely inspire and engage your readers to contribute useful information.

All pages have a purpose. Images should be applied carefully to support that purpose. Some pages are articles, but most that aren't should be for the purpose of linking or leading to articles.

  1. Identify and prioritize all the messages of the page. What is the intention of the page you're editing? Is the page primarily meant to navigate or describe your community? Or is the page meant as an informative article?
  2. Define ho…

Read Full Post
Mira Laime Mira Laime 26 June 2018

Those Weird Things on the Internet

It’s people!!! Yes, the internet consists of computers, servers, routers, modems and a gazillion bites - but in the end, that technology is only the infrastructure that connects billions of people across the globe.

The users are what makes the web so vast, so diverse, and often so mind-boggling. In this blog, we talk about why it is important to remind yourself that everything you encounter on a wiki and the web in general was created by someone, and for some purpose. You are always dealing with a person, not a script or robot, at the other end.

Have you ever been annoyed by someone refusing to follow the rules, ignoring your instructions, or being plain rude to you or others? Sometimes, they could very well do better, but don’t want to - we…

Read Full Post
FishTank FishTank 31 May 2018

Becoming a good wiki citizen

Last week we talked about the journey from reader to editor. The next step is building your skills, reputation, and relationships on your chosen wiki.

Our heavy contributors are the hearts and souls of our communities. They probably started as readers and have been sharpening their wiki skills for some time. Knowing the territory, rules, tools, and terrain of a community establish them as local guides. If you want to be an expert user, there are so many things you can do as a contributor that can improve the community!

The best way to get noticed and respected is to contribute quality edits. Making small improvements and "riffing" off someone else's contributions is good. You're building together, not replacing their work entirely with your …

Read Full Post
Sannse Sannse 22 May 2018

Taking Your First Steps on FANDOM

This blog is for all you readers out there. You've looked around some of the 300,000 wikis on FANDOM, looked at some News and Stories, found some great reads on the wikis, and maybe even visited Discussions. So what's next for you?

Well, one thing you've probably noticed is the rich community on FANDOM. Each fandom is its own community, and then there is the overall community on Community Central and the other language versions of this wiki.

  • 1 Building Your Identity
  • 2 Making Your First Contribution
  • 3 Discussions, Another Way to Join In.
  • 4 Let's Talk!

To join a community, the first thing I would always suggest is to make an account. You can do some things on FANDOM without being logged, including reading, editing, and commenting on articles. But logg…

Read Full Post
Sannse Sannse 1 May 2018

Some Guidelines on Guidelines

One of the first things some people do on their new wiki is to write some rules and guidelines for the site. After all, we all want things to be done right from the start.

My advice would be: don't. For a new wiki, it's much more essential to make it welcoming and inclusive than it is to be perfect. At this stage of your wiki, you are best concentrating on building content and attracting those elusive contributors.

But there comes a time when guidelines become essential. Often it's when someone starts pushing limits and taking advantage of their being no written rules. But ideally, you will begin to get some guidelines written before that point.

FANDOM has its own guidelines, which layout rules of behavior for the whole site. That means the bas…

Read Full Post
Sannse Sannse 14 March 2018

The Diversity of FANDOM

FANDOM is a diverse and complicated community. We all have different likes, dislikes, and ideas. We also come from many different places and cultures, and are varied in race, sexuality, gender identity and many other beautiful ways.

Most of our differences don't cause issues on wikis unless someone is involved who objects to our group. For example, age and religion don't generally have a strong influence on how someone edits on a wiki, but we have seen problems with people prejudiced against those groups. Be careful not to blame the target of attacks in such cases, and remember that a varied and interesting wiki comes from a varied and interesting community. You don't have to like everyone, or even approve of them. But that doesn't stop you…

Read Full Post
Sannse Sannse 27 February 2018

Your First 50 Pages

I mentioned recently that one of the first things to do on a new wiki is start writing pages. For design help we ask that you have at least 50 pages on the wiki, and that's a good number to aim for. But 50 is a big number! How are you going to get there when all you have is a blank wiki?

The key thing is to get started. Don't let the task overwhelm you, just pick a place to start and get that one thing done, followed by the next one thing, and then the next. It's much easier to write in bite-sized pieces rather than trying to take on too much too soon.

The main page of any wiki is a critical one. It's your doorway into your wiki and making it interesting, attractive, and easy to use is an important early task. Of course, you aren't going to ha…

Read Full Post
Sannse Sannse 17 January 2018

Calm Over Conflict

I've been thinking a lot about conflict on wikis recently. There's a wiki I've been watching (I won't name it) where it seems everyone is fighting with everyone else. There are groups on one side or the other of the argument, and no one is managing to calm things down. Obviously this is affecting the productivity of the community, as well as driving away those who can't stand the bickering. As I tried to think of ways to help them resolve their differences, I found a blog I wrote in 2011 that talked about how to resolve disputes. I'd like to share it with you now.

  • 1 Assume Good Faith
  • 2 Don't Feed the Trolls
  • 3 Keep Calm and Carry On
    • 3.1 Stay polite
    • 3.2 Don't make it personal
    • 3.3 Remember the audience
    • 3.4 Check your understanding
    • 3.5 Talk to others
    • 3.6 Be fle…

Read Full Post
Sannse Sannse 29 November 2017

How to Grow Your Wiki

One question I'm often asked is how to get more people to join a wiki. This is not an easy question to answer, recruiting people to your wiki can be a difficult and drawn out process, but it is possible! Here are some tips to help you on your way.

First, think about your topic. Is it one with a big fan-base? Or are there only a few people around who might be interested in editing? It's also good to search for existing wikis with the same topic (they appear on the right of the global search page) It can be hard to get contributors if there is already an established wiki on the topic, and hard to get high on search results too. If there is an existing wiki, think about joining that rather than making a new one on the same topic.

If you are rea…

Read Full Post
Sannse Sannse 15 November 2017

Navigating the Wilds of Adminship - Revisited

This is the sixth post in a series of six about admins on FANDOM, adapted from past posts written by Sannse.

There's some skill in being a good admin, and some pitfalls too. So how can you avoid those pitfalls, along with the crocodiles that are likely in the pit! Here's some thoughts on how to navigate around them, and find your way safely across the wiki landscape.

Wikis are accumulative. If things are working well, the smallest start can build into a beautiful article. All you need is for someone to make that first edit and then others to help build on that. Wikis are never finished, there's always something more to add, and even a little helps the wiki more forward. But sometimes admins insist that only complete articles are added to the…

Read Full Post