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Here are some tips for introducing people to LocalWiki for the first time.


Eddie is an eight year old contributor to ToledoWiki. He created a wiki page for his school. :]

Do it one-on-one or in a small group

One of the best ways to get other people on board is by showing LocalWiki to them in an intimate, non-intimidating setting. This way, you can answer everyone's questions, and tailor the introduction to their interests.

Explain the project

[New /about language] We're a grassroots effort to collect, share, and open the world's local knowledge. We want every community to have a community-created local knowledge commons that answers the question "where would I go if I wanted to learn everything there is to know about my community?"

Show general examples

Show off the Best of LocalWiki, what people can write about, and good, rich content from your own region, or other regions like the Davis, Ann Arbor, Santa Cruz, and Oakland.

Tailor you examples

Meeting with librarians? The civic-minded? See:

Think about what's missing from LocalWiki

What topics could your audience plug in and start contributing to? If your region has a list of pages that should exist, show the list (and if it doesn't, create a wishlist!). You might even pose the same question to your audience--group brainstorming can help get people thinking creatively!

Tell them how it's different from Wikipedia

Often, people get intimidated when they hear "wiki" because they associate it with the "official" knowledge of Wikipedia. But if you emphasize how it's different from Wikipedia, - that it's informal, personal, and that fun and silly content is welcome - you can help dismantle some of these limiting beliefs. Read more about the difference between LocalWiki and Wikipedia.

Show them it's fun!

Show fun entries that you've created or fun entries from other LocalWikis.

Encourage informality

Emphasize that not only can you write with an informal and personal tone, but that's it's encouraged. The Davis Wiki is full of informal language.

Demonstrate editing

LocalWiki was designed to be accessible to folks with basic knowledge of wordprocessing programs, like Microsoft Word. If your audience feels comfortable, ask them to try editing themselves. Here are editing instructions, and here's a handout you can print out.

Show them the Activity feed

See this by clicking the "Activity" button next to the title of the city. If there's not a whole lot going on in your region, show the global activity feed. The activity feed helps you see what other people are working on and what's new on the site. It helps you learn neat new things and collaborate on new content


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