Help:Wiki etiquette

Here are the ABC's of Wiki etiquette.


be Active

When someone leaves a message on your talk page or asks a question on a page you have created, please respond! WeRelate is a shared space and shared approach to genealogy. There is an expectation that you will monitor the pages you have created, respond to others' comments on the pages, and help merge pages when duplicate pages are found.

be Bold

If you have something to add to a page, something that would enhance the quality of the page, be bold and add it! That's what a wiki is all about. Unlike most genealogy programs, WeRelate retains previous information in the History of every page. WeRelate also allows multiple opinions to be listed for events and relationships. Rather than deleting what's already there, consider adding your information as a second opinion, or adding your information in the primary opinion slot and moving what's already there to a second opinion.

be Courteous

If you change a page that others are watching, tell them why! Leave a message on the associated Talk page or at least enter a descriptive comment in the Summary box at the bottom of the page. Remember the golden rule, and be courteous and respectful of data that others have contributed. It's easy to add alternate events and opinions. Also note that profanity and lewd language is not tolerated on WeRelate.

If someone else changes a page you have contributed to, please don't just revert their changes! Leave a message on the associated Talk page to initiate a conversation (that's what Talk pages are there for :-).

be Documentation-Strong and Date-Accurate

If your information is based upon documented sources, be sure to add them either to the "source citation" or "personal history" sections. This will assist other researchers in helping to document information on their families. Remember that there are occasional mistakes in most (if not all) genealogical publications, and you may find that another researcher may revise your information with more precise information at a later date. Be sure to use the "talk" pages to discuss and resolve conflicting sources and information.

If you are not "sure" about certain dates (birth, death, marriage, etc.), either leave them blank, or try to "estimate" date ranges, such as "est. 1711-1718", "bet. 1711-1718", or "bef. 1718". Hopefully, other researchers who might have exact or more precise dates will be able to revise and share that information with the rest of the WeRelate community.

be Encouraging with newcomers

Wikispace is often a strange new land for newcomers. If you find a newcomer, encourage them. If they make mistake, gently guide them.

be Forgiving (or better, Fond) of volunteers and administrators

Unlike most websites, our administrators are volunteers. They try to help beginners get over the learning curve and patrol the wiki for spam. If you find an administrator changing your pages, they're trying to help you! Some guidelines may not be intuitive, so please find out why your pages are being changed, and try to follow those guidelines in the future.

be Generous concerning conflicting opinions

The talk pages are intended as places to discuss conflicting opinions and their underlying basis. If the issue can be resolved to contributors' reasonable satisfaction, the resolution should be added to the person or family page. If it turns out that both opinions could be possible, enter both opinions on the person or family page and briefly explain the justification for each opinion (the longer discussion should remain on the talk page).

Remember that records, especially records compiled significantly after the fact, can be in error. We need to be humble enough to accept that sometimes we may not be the one who's right!

be Helpful

The wiki needs volunteers of all sorts-- project-specific, large projects, small, periodic checks. If you see something that needs fixing and you know how to fix it, go ahead and edit the page. If a user asks a question and you know the answer, please add a comment on the relevant talk page.

take Initiative

Have an idea about a new page or set of pages? Go ahead and start them-- although you might check around and see if there's something similar that you could contribute to first. Find an existing page that you know you have great information for? Go ahead! Add it. (Copyright free, of course!)