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Silicon Valley Commons

A beginner's guide

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This is a short introduction to editing wikis at Wikia. For more detail, please see the Wikipedia tutorial, on which this was based.
If you'd like to try out the editing information which is explained here, please use the sandbox to carry out any tests you may have.
For a simpler version of this introduction, try our simple tutorial.

Registration and logging inEdit

You can read and edit pages without creating an account or logging in. To create an account (which is free), just click the "create an account or log in" link at the top right corner of any page. You only need a single login for all Wikia.

Creating an account is the only way to clearly attribute your work. Without a username, edits you make on any Wikia will be attributed to the numerical IP address of your computer instead. Logging in therefore also increases your privacy, because your IP address will be hidden once you are logged in.

There are many other benefits to registration, such as user preferences, the ability to move pages, and a watchlist to keep an eye on selected pages.

PoliciesEdit

Do not submit copyrighted material without permission. The best content is usually written from either personal knowledge or through the synthesis of research from multiple sources.

Wikia encourages an atmosphere of friendliness and openness. Members of the community are expected to behave in a generally civil manner. You should always assume good faith on the part of other editors.

EditingEdit

Like all wikis, you can edit any non-protected page. Your changes will be visible immediately. Just click the "edit" link that appears at the top of every page.

Explain your edit in the "Summary" box between the edit window and the save and preview buttons. eg: "typo" or "added info on xyz".

Use the Show Preview button to check your edit and get the formatting right before saving. Remember to save your preview before moving on.

To try editing, open a new window and go to the sandbox (which is an editing test area), and then click the "edit" link. Add something and click save.

FormattingEdit

Most text formatting is usually done with wiki markup, so you don't have to learn HTML.

Bold and italicsEdit

Bold and italics are added by surrounding a word or phrase with multiple apostrophes ('):

  • ''italics'' is rendered as italics. (2 apostrophes on either side)
  • '''bold''' is rendered as bold. (3 apostrophes on either side)
  • '''''bolded italics''''' is rendered as bolded italics. (2 + 3 = 5 apostrophes on either side)

Headings and subheadingsEdit

Headings and subheadings are an easy way to improve the organization of an article. If you can see two or more distinct topics being discussed, you can break up your article by inserting a heading for each section.

Headings can be created like this:

  • ==Top level heading== (2 equals signs)
  • ===Subheading=== (3 equals signs)
  • ====Another level down==== (4 equals signs)
  • =====Another level down===== (5 equals signs)

If an article has at least three headings, a table of contents (TOC) will be automatically generated. Try creating some headings in the sandbox and see the effect on the TOC.

IndentingEdit

To indent text, place a colon (:) at the beginning of a line. The more colons you put, the further indented the text will be. A newline (pressing Enter or Return) marks the end of the indented paragraph.

For example:
This is aligned all the way to the left.

:This is indented slightly.
::This is indented more.

is shown as:
This is aligned all the way to the left.

This is indented slightly.
This is indented more.

Bullet pointsEdit

To insert a bullet, use an asterisk (*). Similar to rectal indentation, more asterisks in front of a paragraph means more indentation.

A brief example:

*First list item
*Second list item
**Sub-list item under second
*Isn't this fun?

Which is shown as:

  • First list item
  • Second list item
    • Sub-list item under second
  • Isn't this fun?

Numbered listsEdit

You can also create numbered lists. For this, use the number sign or hash symbol (#). Using more #s will affect the level of indenting.

Example:

#First item
#Second item
##Sub-item under second item
#Third item

Shows up as:

  1. First item
  2. Second item
    1. Sub-item under second item
  3. Third item

LinksEdit

Links are important on wikis to help readers navigate your site.

Internal linksEdit

You can extensively cross-reference wiki pages using internal links. You can add links to existing titles, and also to titles you think ought to exist in future.

To make a link to another page on the same wiki, just put the title in double square brackets.

For example, if you want to make a link to, say, the Silicon Valley Calendar page, it would be:

[[Silicon Valley Calendar]]

If you want to use words other than the article title as the text of the link, you can add an alternative name by adding after the pipe "|" divider (SHIFT + BACKSLASH on English-layout and other keyboards).

For example, if you wanted to make a link to Silicon Valley Calendar, but wanted it to say "Celendar" you would write it as such:

View the [[Silicon Valley Calendar|Calendar]]...

It would appear as:

View the Calendar...

Interwiki linksEdit

To link to another Wikia, type [[w:c:NameOfWikia]], instead of using the full URL.

For example, a link to the World Wikia is typed as

[[w:c:world|World Wikia]]
rather than as http://world.wikia.com/wiki/World_Wikia (which will be displayed like this: World Wikia)

This style of link works for any wiki in the wikia:interwiki map. See wikia:Help:Interwiki link.

External linksEdit

If you want to link to a site outside of Wikia, just type the full URL for the page you want to link to.

http://craigslistfoundation.org

It is often more useful to make the link display something other than the URL, so use one square bracket at each end, with the alternative title after the address separated by a space (not a pipe). So if you want the link to appear as Craigslist Foundation, just type:

[http://craigslistfoundation.org Craigslist Foundation]

Discussion pagesEdit

Discussion or "talk" pages are for communicating with other Wikians.

To discuss any page, go to that page and then click the "discussion" tab at the top of the page. Add a new comment at the end, or below the comment you are replying to.

Sign your comments by typing ~~~~ to insert your username and a timestamp.

Use indenting to format your discussion. Standard practice is to indent your reply one level deeper than the comment you are replying to.

Experiment by editing the talk page of the sandbox.

User talk pagesEdit

Everyone has a user talk page, on which other people can leave public messages. If someone has left you a message, you will see a note saying "You have new messages", with a link to your user talk page.

You can reply on the user talk page of the person you're replying to or on your own talk page beneath the original message. If you reply on their talk page, they will receive notification of it.

See alsoEdit

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