Wiki myths busted

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Revision as of 17:00, 30 July 2008 by Torley Linden (Talk | contribs)

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Some Residents fear the Second Life Wiki when, in fact, they could embrace and benefit from it! If mindjunk is cluttering your head and preventing you from using our wiki more, here are some facts to set you free!

Myth: The wiki is only for power users

Myth... busted! This is absolutely not true. While the roots of the Second Life Wiki are in technical areas such as Open Source and LSL (they were among the first portals), the same can be said for many other tools that started off adopted by a few, then spread to the masses. Nowadays, we can find all sorts of newcomer-friendly pages on the wiki, and our Volunteer Mentors — fellow Residents — have taken to expanding content and making it more accessible.

Also, ever thought to yourself: how does someone become a Second Life power user in the first place? They must learn, and since the wiki is an educational resource of many sorts, novices are encouraged to "ascend the steps", learn, and contribute their knowledge in turn.

The wiki is an open and welcome resource for any and every Second Life Resident, and that includes you.

Myth: You have to know how to edit the wiki to use it

Heck no. If you want to simply read pages, that's fine.

And learning how to edit wiki pages can happen in just a few minutes — it's up to you and your needs. Don't force yourself, but feel comfortable to explore.

While we'd benefit from having a more visual, WYSIWYG-eque way to edit pages, in the meantime, you can use some tools out there, like the MediaWiki+FCKEditor Sandbox, to compose and edit pages in a rich-text environment, then paste the wikicode results back here.

Myth: The wiki is hard to search

All right, all right. This isn't a total myth, since the built-in search does kinda suck. But you know what? You can search the wiki via Google. For example:

site:wiki.secondlife.com [YOUR QUERY HERE]

Like if you wanted to search for articles on linking prims:

site:wiki.secondlife.com linking prims

Easy, see?

What's more, you can search the wiki from within the viewer. Go to Search > All tab (the one on the far left) and select "Wiki" from the dropdown. Here's what it looks like:

[DUDE, TORLEY, PUT IN ME A PICTURE]

Then, you can browse wiki pages without having to exit Second Life!

Myth: No one visits the wiki

While it's true the wiki could stand to benefit from more exposure and publicity, it's received tens of millions of views. A quick sampling can be seen on the popular pages list. And the more Resis find it useful, the more hits it'll get. It builds on itself because of our communities that build it!

Myth: There's nothing useful on the wiki

See the above! At the very least, start at the front page and go link-surfing.

And if you can't find what you seek, consider contributing. It could take the form of a themed page that no one's thought to do before — for example, Torley started the Video Tutorials, Snapshots Guide, Texture Tools, Limits, and many others which've profoundly affected 1000s of Residents.

All it takes is one person to make a big positive difference which facilitates entry for many more people. Will you be that person? I hope so.