It is some time since I wrote Using the Wiki Part 1 (29 Nov 09). By Wiki I am of course referring to wiki.familysearch.org. Part 1 provided helps and hints for reading articles on the Wiki.
Use of the wiki continues to increase. It is a great resource which we all should use. However, as it is a community tool, we all need to try to contribute to the site.
Part 2 deals with editing information we read on the wiki. This is very easy to do!
1. Sign in to the wiki – or register for an account.
2. The word “Edit” then appears next to every paragraph that you read.
3. Click on the word “Edit” and a window opens with a word processor like tool bar at the top. Make your changes and click Save at the bottom of the window.
What should I edit? The following article from the wiki makes some good suggestions:
Simple edits you can make
You don’t need to be an expert
Many wiki users think that only experts can add great value to a wiki. Not true! Most edits made to a wiki are simple ones that don’t require expertise, but only a little common sense!
Most edits are really short
Most new wiki users imagine the only thing worth contributing is a full-blown article. Since most people don’t have full articles in their heads just waiting to be born on a wiki page, they shy away from contributing. These users are surprised to learn that most edits are very, very simple, and can be done in only a couple minutes.
Simple improvements you can make
- Correct grammar or spelling. We find the writers on our wiki really appreciate when others correct the grammar or spelling mistakes they inadvertently leave behind.
- Add headings. Some articles are just a series of paragraphs. Improve readability by setting off paragraphs with headings.
- Add transitions to text. Some articles don’t flow very well because the ideas of each paragraphs are not linked very well. Add to an article’s readability by adding transitions between paragraphs.
- Add information to a page. Do you know the creation date of a county? Do you know the vital records office’s phone number? There are a lot of simple facts that the wiki needs!
- Add local news & events. Is a local genealogical society or family history center giving a class on a research topic? Add news or events to a place page!
- Add links. Is there an online database the article should link to? Add an external link! Is there a related wiki page that the article should link to? Add an internal link!
Where to find pages that need the most improvement
Having seen some great, well-organized articles on the site, you may wonder where to find articles that need your help. Here are some great places to find them:
- New Pages is a list of the most recently created pages on the wiki.
- Short Pages is a list of pages which have a low word count.
- Orphaned Pages is a list of pages which no other pages link to.
- Pages with the fewest revisions is, well, you get the idea.
(Source of article: on the wiki home page click on the Community Center link on the right, then click on the large button Contributor’s Corner then the link to “Simple edits you can make” under the heading Editing)