How To Get Started

In many of the more relaxed cultures of London's inhabitants, the Open Guide has already supplanted the great wealth of guidebooks as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom on the city, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian works in two important respects.

First, it is free; and secondly it has the words Don't Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

(with apologies to Douglas Adams)

You can use this website just like any other one. (Perhaps not just like any other.)

This website has extra features not found on most other sites. For example, all internal links are bi-directional... follow the title link above to see all pages which link to this page. Also check out Recent Changes to see what pages have been created or edited recently.

Every page on this site is editable by you, the user. A page has several parts; there's the main text area, for your comments on whatever you're writing about, and several metadata boxes; these are optional for you to fill out, and you can use them to enter things like a place's postcode or telephone number or give the URL of a map of it. Most of them will only apply if you're writing about a place like a pub or restaurant; articles won't have a telephone number or opening hours, for example.

Every page also has a box for locales and categories. The whole site is categorised; have a look at Category Category for our list of categories. For example: a page about a pub would go in Category Pubs; you'd do this by writing "pubs" in the categories box. We also have pages about places filed by geographical location. Have a look at Category Locales for the list of places we have so far. For example, a page about a pub in Leicester Square could go in Locale Leicester Square and Locale West End. If the category or locale you need doesn't exist, just enter it into the box and it'll be created as necessary.

If you see some words on a page surrounded by brackets, with a question mark link next to them, that's a link to a page that doesn't exist yet. If you follow the link, that will allow you to edit the page and make it exist! For example, at the time of writing, there were a couple of links like that on this page; if you don't see them, that means somebody made them into real pages.

To edit a page you're looking at, use the Edit this page link in the toolbar, edit the text (check out the text formatting examples for help on styling), and then press the save changes button that appears at the bottom of the page when editing.

To get used to page editing, visit the Sandbox and have a play around.

You might want to use the Preferences to set up a user name which will then show up in Recent Changes (as opposed to "Anonymous").

Make a page.
Read Adding New Pages and you can then start contributing new writeups to the site.

Last edited 2005-02-02 21:59:00 (version 13; diff). List all versions.