Yay, editing is fun! You can make an article and share it with your friends on Facebook or whatever you like, and you'll also know that future generations of IV residents will find your article when googling that thing. Not sure if you should make an edit? Like Wikipedia says, Be bold! Other editors are happy to fix things if you make a weird mistake, since LocalWiki saves the previous revisions of each page.
(Everything contributed to LocalWiki Isla Vista is licensed Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) unless otherwise noted. This is the same license that Wikipedia uses, and it means that people can take the text here and modify it and republish it elsewhere [such as copying it to Wikipedia or putting it in a magazine] if they comply with the license terms. This is great! But it's good to take a second to check that this sounds good to you before contributing here.)
Discuss ideas for the wiki and ask questions
A friendly way to start is to join the IV LocalWiki Help Facebook group and comment on questions and ideas for the wiki, or post your own questions and ideas there. Giving suggestions is an important way to contribute, especially since this is a new project in early experimental stages.
Write a new article about a thing you like here
Does your favorite park, business, organization, church, house, or other place have an article yet? Try searching for it here. If it doesn't have an article, feel free to start one and talk about it. You can also write on any other topic related to IV. You can include web links and research, or just write what you know. For some ideas, there's a list of Articles People Want.
Fix a problem in an existing article
All of the current articles need more details and corrections - click Explore and you'll find something that needs work, or check out the "needs more info" tag. It's also helpful to copyedit and improve spelling/grammar.
Add a tag to an article
Tags are helpful to connect related articles, like liquor and haircuts. Feel free to add more tags to any article - scroll to the bottom of the article, click "Edit tags", and add some keywords that might be useful.
Take a photo and add it to an article
A lot of the current photos aren't beautiful photos, just placeholders. If you have better photos, such as with better lighting or better angles, you can upload them and replace the not-so-great photos. You can find an article that needs a new photo, click "Edit" at the top, and click the little image button on the toolbar to upload one. See LocalWiki's image help page for more instructions. Check out the "needs photo" tag and "needs better photo" tag for inspiration.
(Some advice: When uploading photos, try to stick to uploading photos you've taken yourself, or use photos where the authors explicitly permit redistribution, usually a Creative Commons license of some kind. In photo captions on articles, it's helpful to indicate the approximate date the photo was taken, the name of the author (with a link to the source web page if there is one), and the type of license the photo is under (with a link). If it's your own photo, you can put it under whatever license you want; it's common and helpful to choose CC BY-SA or another Creative Commons license.)
To find existing photos of IV that permit redistribution, you can look at the Isla Vista category on Wikimedia Commons or search Flickr for "Isla Vista" with the Creative Commons option. You can also use the search shortcuts provided by Creative Commons.
Add a thing to the map to help people find it
- Check out the "needs map" tag and pick an article from the list. If you don't already know where that building is, you can look up the location on Google Maps.
- Click "Edit" at the top of the article, scroll down, and click "Edit map" at bottom right.
- Pick a marker option, add a dot or box to the map, and save.
- If the article had the "needs map" tag, you can scroll to the bottom of the article and click "Edit tags" to remove that tag.
See LocalWiki's mapping help page for screenshots of how to do this.
Fix the map itself
Does something look wrong in the map that LocalWiki uses, such as a missing street or pond? It uses OpenStreetMap data, and you can log into OpenStreetMap and fix the problem yourself. OpenStreetMap is a collaborative mapping project that works like a wiki - check out the Wikipedia article about it. There's a web-based point-and-click editing interface you can use to fix mistakes or add more information, including aerial imagery that you can trace from; here's a beginner's guide.
Help maintain and publicize the wiki
It's very helpful to occasionally check the Activity page and keep an eye out for both bad additions (noticing and removing spam and vandalism) and good things (noticing and welcoming/encouraging new contributors!).
It's also great to share this project with your friends who might be interested in reading or contributing! If you're interested in helping figure out how to share the wiki with more people and generally how to make it more successful, joining the IV LocalWiki Help Facebook group is the best way right now to collaborate and share ideas with other contributors.
One way we're sharing articles is by posting to the IV LocalWiki Facebook page and encouraging people to subscribe to it so they get occasional interesting articles in their news feeds. If you're interested in having an article you wrote featured there, or if you're interested in helping post articles to the page, write that in the help group on Facebook or otherwise contact Britta. :)
As the wiki grows more popular, it may eventually have problems with persistent spam/vandalism, and wiki admins can lock pages and ban users to help deal with that. Right now the wiki admins are Britta and Jay. It's generally good to have multiple people as admins who are interested in maintaining the wiki in a long term sense, so that if one person loses interest then other people can continue the project, and we can add other people as admins who we trust to maintain it too. It probably makes sense for new wiki admins to also be added as admins on the Facebook group and Facebook page as well.