So you want to help. Thank you, you are certainly welcome. We can use any help. This page is intended to help you along.
We do not require editors to be registered Wikia users (you can keep doing anonymous edits all you want, and they won't be summarily reversed). But we encourage you to do so. Being a registered Wikia user (and making sure you are logged on before editing) means that you build a reputation; as time goes on, the other editors will be able to learn to trust your edits and won't need to double-check everything (like we have to do for anonymous edits). It doesn't hurt that the Whateley Forums frequenters seem to like us, either.
Also, and more importantly, being a registered user allows you to customize your environment to some degree. You can choose to default to the source-code editor instead of the visual editor, for instance. You can choose to see edit links for article sections, instead of just for the whole article. And you can customize the blue bar at the bottom of the Wikia window, so you can have the tools you use the most readily available.
- (Note: we have reports that adblocking software will sometimes remove the blue bar entirely. If you can't see the blue toolbar at the bottom, try adjusting the settings on your adblocking software)
Rules, or rather, the lack of themEdit
You will notice that we never tell you that something must be done in such-and-such way (In fact, if you catch us doing this, please bring it to the attention of one of the wiki admins). We are rather relaxed about those things here, so don't be afraid of doing something that is not exactly the way the others do things. If one of the other editors changes what you did right after you finish, don't be discouraged and take it as criticism; rather, take it as a compliment -- your work was noticed and somebody wants to help you along.
The one rule, which is not specific to this wiki, but to life in general is... don't be a dick. Vandalism WILL be noticed and WILL be stomped upon HARD. It's a rare event in a small fandom like ours, but admins HAVE banned vandals in the past and WILL do so again in case of need.
How can I contribute?Edit
Really, any way you think is within your abilities and time availability. We are not proud.
If you have no idea of how MediaWiki syntax works and the only thing you know how to do is to write plain text into the window... that's fine. Just add whatever extra info you have in the text itself, and a later editor will format into Wiki syntax.
Really, researching what to write IS a big deal. It's likely more than half of the work. Even if your grammar sucks, if you have info that is not yet available in the Wiki, we want you to add it. Someone can always come later and improve it; but the difference between no info and ugly-looking info is light-years larger than the difference between ugly-looking info and prettily-formatted info.
Now, that's much better than rules, isn't it? For one thing, guidelines are not enforced. They are here only to give you a starting point without having to reinvent the wheel on your own. If you choose to deviate from a guideline, that's OK. And if you have just become aware of a guideline and finds out that you have been doing the exact opposite of it... that's OK too.
With that said, let's see some of those guidelines...
Concentrate on what's specific to the Whateley universeEdit
The general idea here is: if this information is available elsewhere, don't waste your time duplicating it. We have an article on the CIA, for instance, but we don't bother explaining the whole history of the CIA and what it does -- our article concentrates on what happened on canon stories and links to external sources (mostly the Wikipedia) for additional info.
It's important to have the info, but it's also important to know where it came from. Sometimes we are confronted with two contradictory claims, and we have to go to the sources to see the context and figure out how both of them can be true. If you don't know how to add reference links, just put the source between parentheses.
In a wiki like this one, one of the toughest problems is to figure out how much info to include -- and how much to leave out. Spoilers are unavoidable -- in a way, the whole wiki is an humongous spoiler, and visitors should expect it -- but we do try to not go overboard with them. This is supposed to enhance the fun for the readers, not ruin it.
Some things that were huge spoilers when the story was originally published, and the articles at the time reflected this and were somewhat cagey with the information. But later, the information became the status quo, and was mentioned openly in other articles.
So what to do? Use your common sense. Try to distinguish what is necessary to include (because it has consequences) from stuff that would only spoil the story. The what is probably relevant; the exact details of the how might not be.
Making new pagesEdit
A really, really basic stub can be *worse* than a redlink, because you remove the page from the "wanted" status without actually giving the visitor any useful info. And, because it's no longer in the "wanted" list or redlinked, the likelihood of someone deciding to add info to it can be somewhat lowered.
But it doesn't take much to make even a stub useful. Good categories, for instance, will make sure that the subject of the page at least appears in the appropriate lists. A couple lines of basic description can be very useful -- they can at least remind the visitor about who is that character, and in which story they can find out more.