This is just a draft, (extremely rough as yet), to help with redesign of Help:Contents. It will be partly or wholly reproduced there, but some of it may be a page on its own prominently linked from there: Help:Getting started.

< Help contents

This page gives you a quick overview of some things you might want to know to get started using this wiki.

How do I get around?Edit

It's a good idea to first have a good look round. Get a feel for the many possibilities a wiki such as this offers. For example explore some of the links on our Community Portal

This is just a brief starter about getting around. For more information see the full article at Help:Getting around. In particular you might want to learn also about categories and how this much more flexible system of organising articles works.

Left hand columnEdit

The left hand column ("sidebar") appears on most SCA wiki pages, and provides links to some of the main pages on the wiki, for example the Main Page and the Community Portal.

Main sections of the wikiEdit

A broad general structure is provided by half a dozen main kinds of information; these are listed in the What's here part of the Main Page and under get around in the Community portal. This latter listing also points to some of the main sub-sections or main articles or start points within the main sections.


To search for an article on a given subject within Sustainable Community Action use the Wikia box on the left. (Use the Google box to search the wider internet.)

Some general tips Edit

  • Blue and red links

In general if you see a blue link in the wiki, for example in an article's text like this Village Green, it means there is some content there -- or if it's a link to the external internet, it's flagged up by a little symbol like so or is just a number, such as "[1]". Red links take you to pages which don't have any content as yet, but are begun as soon as anyone edits them. If a link is more mauve than blue, you have probably been there before. (If you log in and set a non-standard "skin" or other setting in your "preferences", some of the above may look different.)

  • Evolving content

Unlike web sites in which the content is more static, a wiki is constantly changing and evolving, so it's inevitable and perfectly OK that there will always be some pages that look less developed than others.

Can I really create and change pages? Edit

Yes. You can get actively involved in shaping the site without needing permission from anyone.

Of course you need to use the same courtesy and common sense that you would in any other project working together with other people. Don't offend or insult; listen to other viewpoints; stay within the goal of the project - see About Sustainable Community Action).

The biggest adjustment for most of us is the idea of group ownership. Don't submit anything unless you're happy for others to come along and change it. Conversely, only change others' work to make genuine improvements like correcting errors, adding new information or making it clearer to the reader. Don't make changes just because you don't like the way they've done it or you want to put your own stamp on it. All pages have discussion areas if you want to float ideas.

If you'd like to dip your toes in before creating an actual page, the Sandbox page is specifically set up to let you play around with wiki editing and formatting. Whenever you bring up the page editing window there's a link to a quick help guide.

Creating a new page Edit

Simple information on page creation and editing is at Help:Editing; detailed information over at Metawiki (an information source for all wikis).

First use search (the Wikia box on the left) to make sure your topic isn't already covered somewhere. If it isn't, the search results page gives you the option of creating a new page. Click the red link on the purple bar to bring up the edit window. You can just type your text in here. Use preview lots of times to check it looks right, then save it when you're happy. Or, to create a new page you can just start by putting a link in an existing page, as explained in the next paragraph.

What's wiki markup, and how do I use it? Edit

The wiki software uses its own set of simple formatting commands, 'wiki markup'. For a non-technical user these should be more digestible than HTML (the basic language used to write web pages). As an example, the thing you're most likely to want to do: add a link to another page within the wiki. You simply put the page's name in double square brackets. So [[Main Page]] gives Main Page. You can do this for any key term in your page - if it doesn't have its own page to link to yet it'll show up red and someone else can come along later and create the first edit for it.

For lots more help on learning about editing see Help:Editing. This is the page that there is a link to towards the end of each edit 'form' for each wiki page. In particular its a good idea to learn a little about guidelines for page names.

Tracking changes Edit

See Special:Recentchanges and each page's History (via tab at top of page).

What's the deal with these Google adverts? Edit

Sustainable Community Action is part of a much larger project called Wikia, which provides hosting for wikis free of charge. The ads generate revenue that enables Wikia to do this. So don't begrudge them being there because they're paying for this site, and they're kept fairly unobtrusive. There are many advantages to belonging to the supportive wider Wikia community.

Should I register as a user? Edit

You can read and edit pages without creating an account (registering as a user) 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 Wikicity 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, such as user preferences, the ability to move pages, and a watchlist to keep an eye on selected pages. See also wikicities:Help:Create an account.

Related topics Edit

< Help contents

SCA Wiki - Places, projects & networks - Ideas Bank - News - Diary - Resources - Community / Avoid adverts

(to category Help once out of draft stage)

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