LocalWiki and the Wikimedia Foundation (the nonprofit that helps run Wikipedia) are friends and we love each other, but we are completely different organizations and completely different projects. :]

Differences between the projects

While a lot of information is appropriate on both Wikipedia and LocalWiki, there are a few differences between the scopes of the projects:

  • LocalWiki does not have an encyclopedic mission. We are not trying to build an encyclopedia. We're focused on helping people share any kind of local information that they consider worthwhile to share with fellow residents and with the wider world. Something like "how to get rental assistance" would be appropriate on LocalWiki but not appropriate on Wikipedia (because it's not encyclopedic information, even though it could be incredibly useful to residents in that community).
  • LocalWiki is for local knowledge. Things like a neat list of rice varieties, or a general timeline of the far future would find a better home on Wikipedia. (That said, it'd probably be pretty interesting to use LocalWiki to think about what your community could have been like had some of those old development projects come to life.)
  • LocalWiki does not have a Neutral Point of View standard. Since we're not necessarily trying to provide objective information, we allow multiple perspectives, personal perspectives, silly things, opinions, etc., so long as they respect our Code of Conduct and Community Guidelines.
  • LocalWiki does not have a verifiability standard. We encourage citation in order to provide high quality content, but because a great deal of local knowledge is informal, colloquial, and sometimes even unverifiable, we don't have a verifiability standard.
  • Different licenses. Wikipedia uses a CC-BY-SA license and LocalWiki uses a CC-BY license.
  • LocalWiki does not have a notability standard. No piece of local information is too small.
  • Original content is okay. You can post original research and primary documents to LocalWiki. You cannot post original research to Wikipedia.
  • Informal, personal tone is okay (and encourged!) on LocalWiki. Wikipedia articles usually have a fairly formal tone. On LocalWiki an informal, personal tone that gives the "inside scoop" on a topic is welcome and encouraged. On LocalWiki, write as if you were writing to a friend.
  • LocalWiki is not translated into as many languages! You can help! :]


Examples of how a LocalWiki entry might be different from a Wikipedia entry

Example topic Wikipedia LocalWiki
a building Wikipedia might have the architect, architecture info, history of the building, etc. LocalWiki could have all that information, plus the current tenants, whether there's a neat painting inside, information about whether the building sticks out in the neighborhood, whether it's the kind of building where you might see tourists, what other buildings you might like if you like this one, etc. You can write whatever you think someone else might think would be interesting about this building, what else someone might be interested in, or what would be useful to know about this topic (for example, "There's a cool courtyard inside that you don't need to go through security to access. Just go in the side door. We used to sneak in there all the time when I was a kid.")

See also