Note: This is just a starter FAQ. Add more as you learn about AHWiki.org and LocalWikis in general!
AHWiki.org is a community-managed and edited site about Arlington Heights, IL. You can add a listing for a local business/organization, or create a page about something that interests you in Arlington Heights (history, recreation, arts, a calendar listing, etc.). Because the site is a wiki, others can add to your contributions as well. The site is part of the national LocalWiki project, which features such sites as ArborWiki (Ann Arbor, MI) and DavisWiki (Davis, CA).
My organization's already listed here. Why?
The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is participating in AHWiki (although it does not "own" the project). The Library has hosted a community information site for a number of years, but local organizations and businesses could never edit the information there directly, and the database software used to manage the site was limited in the types of information that could be added. Most of the listings from the old directory have been added to AHWiki and can now be managed directly by community members. Odds are, if you were listed in the directory, you'll see your listing on this site--and you can now add information yourself.
A NOTE ABOUT ADDING A MAP TO AN EXISTING LISTING: When the old community information records were copied over, they were placed in a two-column table format, with the idea that the second column might be a nice location for images, logos, etc. It's turning out that, if you add a map, the table forces it into a weird location. You can fix this by right-clicking inside the table and selecting "Table Properties." Once that's open, delete the "90" in the width field. This will let the table re-size itself to accommodate a map. Another option is to cut/paste the text outside the table and then just delete the remaining empty table cells. The map will just go to its natural page location, as set by the LocalWiki software.
How do I participate?
- Sign up! Be a team player and create an account at the upper right (otherwise, your edits will be marked by your IP address).
- Search-to-create. Then, just "search" for a page you'd like to create. If a page with that name doesn't exist, you'll be offered a chance to create it.
- Template or free=form? Once you choose to create a page, you'll see another button that says "Create this Page." Click that to start from a completely blank page. Once there, you'll get a simple editing tool, very much like a word processor. You can also use one of the available templates (business, directory, etc.).
- Start typing! You'll then have a simple word processor-like interface that lets you type in your information and add links, pictures, etc. Use the "Save Changes" button at the bottom of the page to create it.
- Edit an existing page. You can add/improve information on any existing page simply by clicking the "Edit" link at the top of the page.
- Add links. If you've created a new page, make sure you also create links to it from other appropriate pages on the site, such as the Front Page (do this sparingly!), one of the community directory subject pages, etc. Links to new pages are NOT automatically created--you have to decide where they belong and add them there.
If you find an existing page you'd like to add to, just click on the "Edit" button at the top of the page.
You can get more of an overview from the LocalWiki Usage Guide. Also see:
- Printable, quick "How to Edit" guide.
- Printable guide to editing + using maps & tags. (a little more detailed)
What should I post?
Anything that interests you about Arlington Heights. This should not become a repository for ads, spam, etc. Nor is it a replacement for a web page for your own business.
Is it just directory listings?
No! There was a lot of directory content available to "jump start" AHWiki, but you can also create "feature" pages, where you discuss history, local activities, famous locals, etc.
Can others edit my information?
Yes, just as you can edit theirs, reverse their changes, etc. Try to make sure that the information you post is factually verifiable. If you want to post an opposing viewpoint, consider creating a separate page, so that readers can see both sides of the story. Above all, respect others!