Wiki Etiquette

  • The Open Guide, and wikis in general, are very relaxed online communities. The principle that operates is Just do it. If you have a London related topic you wish to write about, go ahead and write about it (if you are not confident in punctuation, grammar or spelling, others will correct the page afterwards). Similarly, if you have some material to add about an existing writeup, just add it. In this case, it is customary to sign the paragraph or section with your user ID.
  • It is important to understand the workings of the Comment about your changes text box and the Type of edit selector. When you make a change, this is publicised to the recent changes page, and also appears on the site's front page. If your change is trivial, select "Minor tidying" from the type of edit selector; this way, you won't clutter up the front page with little things like typo fixes.
  • Whatever you put in the comment box is the narrative for the change. If you are creating a new page, it is customary to put the text "New Page". When changing an existing page, give a brief synopsis of the change you have made. This gets announced on RecentChanges, and makes it easier for the rest of us to see what your change is about.
  • If you are adding some material you are not sure of the accuracy of, or is incomplete, say so and add the tag Fix Please. Someone else who knows more, or has time to research it, will confirm or correct the information. Don't be too worried about the professional look of writeups with requests to fix; it's much more useful to have these requests, than to have inaccuracies and false information. It's also much easier for others to spot that something needs correcting, if the page has been tagged that way. For those with spare time, going to Fix Please and "Show pages linking here" generates a to-do list of corrections.
  • If you are not sure how to classify the page in terms of categories or locales, have a good look before saving your page. Fire up another tab (or browser window) and bring up the list of all categories or list of all locales. Usually someone else has already written up something or somewhere similar, and the category or locale already exists.
  • Regarding missing links and blank pages, it's really better to leave a missing link as a missing link, without creating a blank page for it. All missing links show up in the Wanted Pages list, whereas blank pages will potentially remain forever unfilled. Please don't create empty pages just for the sake of it - this creates an administrative nightmare. If you have a small amount of content for the page, by all means create it; if appropriate, add fix please markers where additional content is required.
  • Regarding commercial sites and advertising, the site admins tend to value objectiveness and independence. This is viewed as a major selling point over commercial London tourist sites, which tend to publish what the paying clients want to see, rather than the truth. We have had several attempts by businesses creating their own pages praising themselves. These do get noticed and commented on pretty swiftly. The pages are often replaced by, or at least updated by reviews from our regular contributors. Blatant spam is not tolerated, and is removed from the site as soon as it is noticed. Also note that sabotaging links to a competitor's website will be noticed (including the IP address of the person doing this), and the edit removed.
  • It is important to distinguish fact from opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and others are entitled to disagree with it. If you are presenting your opinion, it is customary to sign this with your user ID (you should create one by clicking on preferences, rather than posting anonymously). But, please remember that the Guide is not Slashdot: we are aiming to provide a useful guide to London, not a soapbox for personal snipes, ego trips or flame wars.
  • When it comes to changing or deleting text from somebody else's writeup, use common sense. Put yourself in the other person's shoes: would they be upset with what you are intending to do, or would they be grateful? If you are in doubt about this, make your change anyway. Someone else can always put back the previous content. If the content is controversial, especially if it could land the guide into legal trouble, seek advice by posting to the mailing list: or asking on the IRC channel #openguides on
  • It is vital to acknowledge sources of information. Please be aware of our licensing policy. Cutting and pasting copyrighted material from elsewhere without permission is not allowed. If you wish to do this (it's quite hard to link from a page to text that is in a book :), please obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are waiting for this permission to be granted, include a footnote to that effect. Material which infringes others' copyright will be removed from the site. See also Wiki Discussion/quoting external content. For the legal background, please refer to the UK Copyright Service website. It's much better to link. The Guide allows and encourages links to outside websites - this greatly increases the usefulness of the site.
  • Photography is very much encouraged on this site, as it adds to the visual appeal. If you intend to use pictures lifted from other websites, please check the copyright status and/or ask for permission first. Include some text stating the copyright, and whether permission has been asked for or granted. If there is no text stating the source, it is likely that the image will be removed from the site, especially if the site that is hosting the image contains a copyright notice that we would be violating. Note that any pictures appearing on this site will get the Creative Commons Licence applied unless stated otherwise.
  • Presenting your own work is a much better idea; take a camera with you when exploring interesting parts of London. Reasonable quality pictures are most welcome! We don't currently have an image upload facility; if you can host the images yourself, this is excellent (just use <img> tags and add a note saying who took the picture), otherwise drop a mail to the list, and somebody should be able to put the pictures up for you. Two sites that offer free image file hosting, under different conditions, are Flickr, Photobucket and Imageshack. If you are hosting the images yourself, out of bandwidth considerations, and for those users on dialup connections, please use "web quality" images rather than raw 4 megapixel images directly from the camera. See also Using Images.
Last edited 2006-04-18 16:19:53 (version 29; diff). List all versions.