Wiki myths busted

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The following was originally presented by Torley.

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, 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 volunteers — 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've been thinking about adding a more visual, WYSIWYG-esque way to edit pages, you can currently use some tools out there, like the MediaWiki+FCKEditor Sandbox (click Rich Editor on that page), to compose and edit pages in a rich-text environment, then paste the wikicode results back here.

Myth: The wiki is hard to search

This used to be true, until we added Google search.

Simply use the SEARCH box on the left of every wiki page. More help here.

Myth: No one visits the wiki

While it's true the wiki can always 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 help page on a specific topic that no one's done before — for example, Torley started these and many others which have profoundly affected thousands 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?