What's a Wiki?
A Wiki is a Website that is built collaboratively by its users. The term comes from the Hawaiian term wiki-wiki, meaning "quick".1 Wikipedia, the most famous of wikis, is an encyclopedia with 3.8 million articles, written entirely by volunteers over the last nine years.2 This wiki has more modest goals, but there's still plenty of work to do.
How to use your Wiki
What's great about wikis is that they are built a bit at a time— it is perfectly reasonable to start a wiki page with a single sentence (or even less), knowing that someone will come along and add to it later. This takes the pressure off— that big blank page waiting to be filled doesn't have to be filled all at once.3
Other users may choose to do no new writing at all, simply working at improving the writing of others— after all, an article written collaboratively by many people is bound to require some work on its writing style. Adding photographs to articles is always a worthwhile contribution. Adding links to other resources on the web for further information is also helpful. We're looking for short pieces on books that you have found especially enlightening about the history of our area.
So don't be shy— poke around the site, add to it, clean things up if you see something that seems to need it, or just leave a comment or ask a question in one of the comment boxes.
You may want to start an account so that your edits will be attributed to your user name. To do so, click on New User, above right, enter a username and a password, and keep record of your password so you can log in easily the next time.
- 1See Wiki" for more.
- 2Actually, Wikipedia exists in an astonishing 282 different language editions, with a total of more than ten million articles.
- 3To pick an example at random from Wikipedia, there is quite a good article on the California Gold Rush). It was started in 2002 by someone who wrote "The 49ers who traveled by sea or land to California after the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento, California in 1849". That article has been growing ever since.