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 articles with the same categories in common. My favorite example is the Big Bird Meets Santa Claus page on Muppet Wiki -- this page is categorized in Big Bird Books and Christmas Books, so Related pages offers you other books about Big Bird celebrating Christmas. This is officially a Very Clever Thing.
We've been testing Related pages on some wikis for a few months, and people love clicking on the related links -- they're getting more clicks than anything else on the skin, including search and random page!
Category galleries appear on the category page and pull photos from the eight most popular pages in the category. Check out the "Kaiju living on Monster Island" category from WikiZilla -- there are 55 monsters in that category, but the one you're looking for is probably in the top eight. If it's not, you can still browse through the list of 55 links -- but now you've got a good visual sense of what you'll find on those pages.
The top eight pages are based on what people have been reading in the last month, and they update automatically -- so when something new is happening in a topic area, you'll see the selections change to reflect what people are interested in reading about right now. That's a cool extra bonus for wiki contributors -- you get to see what people are reading about on your wiki!
These new features are going sitewide this week, and they're fully automatic -- they'll update based on the pages and activity on the wiki. All you need to do is build interesting pages and organize them in helpful categories. Related pages and Category galleries will do the rest!
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