The short short story is that you really can add whatever you'd like to share about Oakland, no matter how small or personal, and that it's actually very fast and easy to edit. This site is for us to make what we want of it and you are a part of that "us." If you're not sure about whether something belongs or whether it's done correctly, just assume that it belongs and that there is no " correctly."
I don't have a lot of time, can I help?
YES! Of course! While some editors suffer from an Oakland Wiki Addiction, Oakland Wiki is for everyone. If you see something in Oakland that you think is worth mention or photographing and documenting, then it's worth putting on Oakland Wiki. Conversely, if you see something on Oakland Wiki that isn't quite right, or you have something to add, go for it! Spend a minute or an hour.
I've never edited a Wiki before, can I help? ( Additionally, I'm a little scared of editing Wikipedia (it seems so official!).)
YES! The "edit" button is big and can seem kind of intimidating, but trust us, you can do it! If you have facebook or twitter or instagram or flickr or have ever edited any kind of website, you can do this! This is a visual editor and there aren't a lot of complicated editing mechanisms like the "Big W." Check out the documentation, or just press that edit button! If you do something "wrong" you can fix it by hitting the edit button again. But you won't.
Is it hard to edit?
No. This is what it looks like when you hit edit:
You can just start typing as you would in a word processor.
Here are some help documents if you have specific questions.
I am not sure that what I have to say is important or correct, should I add it?
YES! Did you know that you can get free coffee at Ikea? Well, you can. Ikea isn't even in Oakland, it's in Emeryville, but you can find that information on Oakland Wiki. Basically, share what you know, someone might care. If you're not 100% sure about something, tag the page you are working on "question!" and watch- someone might even know! That said, don't be offended if someone comes after you and edits something that might be out of date or inaccurate with more up to date or better sourced.
I'm not a very good speller and I'm not confident in my writing skills. Should I still contribute?
YES! Oakland Wiki is about Oakland, it's not a Pulitzer Prize winning scholastic achievement. It's our voices, for us. That said, don't be offended if someone comes after you and "cleans up" your spelling and punctuation. If they do, and you feel like your voice or message has been overwritten, make a note in the page or in the comment box at the bottom when you go to save.
Notice a pattern?
YES! All of the answers are YES! OW is for you, by you. Jump in! Unless something is slanderous, rude or totally TOTALLY wrong, you can't break it, you can only fix it. Try it!
There's nothing on the wiki about _____.
Consider writing something about it!
There's hardly anything on the wiki about ______.
Consider adding something about it!
The stuff you have about _______ is soooooo one-sided/wrong/incomplete.
Help make it better by providing another perspective or the other side of the issue or more information.
I don't want to mess up what someone's working on and get them angry at me.
Oh , honey , no. Most of the stuff on here is just the accumulated buildup of lots of people who thought "yea , I bet that if someone wanted to know something about _____ , they might find this interesting." There's very little here that gets removed because it's not what someone things belongs on a particular topic. The only things we remove are the abusive, spammy, mean kinds of things. People get HAPPY when you add more things! And if you want to see who some of the people are and what they are working on, check the Recent Changes.
I'm not sure what I would add.
One way to think about it is if a friend came and asked you something like "hey , what's your neighborhood like?" what would you tell them? 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." That's perfect! If you need more evidence that this is supposed to be informal, personaland "the inside scoop," check out the kinds of things that people share on Davis Wiki or the Berkeley Parents Network (both really good examples).
I have something that I'd like to add, but I'm not sure where to put it.
If it's not immediately obvious (like, a picture of Lake Merritt would go well on the Lake Merritt entry), then the easiest thing is to just create a new entry for the thing like... "How to get to downtown Berkeley for free." It's ok if it's a long title or a strange title. You can change it later, or someone else can change it.
As for where to put content on an entry, anywhere is fine, even at the bottom. I wouldn't worry about putting it in the "wrong place." No one will get upset. And people in the future might come by and rearrange things.
If you saw something in Oakland that you'd like help identifying, you can add it to What is it? Where is it? and someone will help you identify it. Or you can just create an entry like "mystery building on Park Blvd."
What if I make a mistake?
You can always click "Edit" again and fix the mistake. You can also click the "Info" button on any entry to see the edit history, compare previous versions, and revert to a previous version if you don't like a change you made.
Are there any formatting rules or a style guide?
It's a common misconception to think that you have to use an "official" tone or cite references in a certain way. While Wikipedia does have rules about how you should write content and how things should be cited, we don't have those kinds of rules. We welcome all kinds of voices and perspectives. You can even write "well I think that..."
There is an unofficial style guide, but you don't have to follow it. Plus, if you make a mistake, no one will jump down your throat. Someone will come along and probably just fix it up later.