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This guide will help you make great LocalWiki pages!

Before you get started, you may want to check out different examples of things people write about, and our Community Guidelines.

The basics

Be informal

Feel free to use a conversational, informal tone, as if you were telling something to a friend. If you browse around the Davis LocalWiki, you will see that it's okay--and in fact, encouraged! Overly-formal or "official-sounding" content is fine, too, but remember that LocalWiki is not Wikipedia.

Provide useful information

Use LocalWiki to share what you think people would find useful and interesting to know about something. Useful information can include where the entrance to a hiking trail is, the places to avoid if you don't want to have your bicycle stolen, places to get food after midnight, how to pay a parking ticket, and more.

Link to other information

Link to related entries or outside resources.  For example, if I'm interested in maps of the city, I might link to any urban planning or geography blogs focused on the area, link to sources of open data, or list places such as the library or government agencies that provide geographic data and maps. If there are any related LocalWiki articles, I would link to those so that other people can find them.

Add pictures

Show people what your neighborhood and town is like. These can be silly, like photos of the penguin statues you can find all around Tulsa, Oklahoma:

This one is called "Two-Faced Penguin".

Add maps

Show people where different things are and how to get there. Parks, local services, event locations--these should all be mapped!

Tell people what it's like in your community

If someone was visiting you and asked "what's your neighborhood like?" you might say "it's mostly residential, lots of trees, not much foot traffic, but it's great because it's really accessible by public transit and there are three parks within walking distance. Here are the major roads that go through this neighborhood."

Make it engaging!

Some of the best articles are the ones that are fun, interesting, and engaging.

Good entry theory

Provide information about things that are otherwise difficult to navigate

Are you a social worker with loads of important knowledge? Or are you someone who has gone through the system and has learned a lot along the way? If it's difficult to find out how to do certain things in your community (e.g. enrolling yourself for health insurance), being able to provide human-readable summaries of this kind of information will make you very popular! Even if you're no expert, add what you do know, and others will come in later and add their knowledge. If we all share our unique knowledge, we can provide good guidance for how to navigate these things.

Ask why something is the way it is

What used to be here before this was a city? Why is this neighborhood poor and that one wealthy? What's the story with that building? Start exploring the things you wonder about, and write what you learn on the wiki. You can call entries by the question your are exploring (for example, "What's wrong with my house?"). The reality is that many of us wonder about the same things, and you now have an opportunity to help other people explore these questions as well.

Add lots of internal links

Make it easier to explore related topics and jump from one entry to another. For example, if you write about your town's epic annual barbecue festival, folks reading your entry might also be interested in learning about the park it takes place in, other events and festivals, and where they can eat barbecue the rest of the year. Good entries have at least a few links to other pages. Think broadly about how things might be related--you might come up with unexpected connections!

Make it easy to find interesting and useful entries

What are the most interesting and useful entries on the wiki? Make these entries easy to find by adding links to them to the front page, tagging related entries, or creating topic guides (next topic).

Create topic guides

Interested in documenting murals? Local history? Natural spaces? Local politics? Create a topic guide page! Introduce the topic, add some photos, and link to or even list related pages. You can even start a "to-do" list of articles in your topic area that haven't been written yet.

Don't worry about covering everything

It's not necessary to have everything covered as long as there is some useful and interesting information on some number of topics. The wiki is always growing, so everything will eventually get filled in.