This tutorial is designed to help members & potential members of the site get the most out of it.
There are few ways of finding information on the site, you can either;
- Use the search window at the top right of the screen.
- Use the side menu to the left of the screen
- Click on one of the randomly generated links on the Home Page & navigate from there
- Select a subject from the Tag Cloud
- Browse the Glossary
- If you are a member of the site you can also type a term into the new page window. (It is located at the bottom of the LHS side menu.) If the page already exists, the screen will grey out and you will get the following error message.
Don't panic, just click on "Jump to it" and you will be transported to the page you were looking for.
Despite the error message this is my favorite way of finding information. If the page exists you are transported there immediately, and if it doesn't you have the opportunity to create the page you were looking for. If you write a few words about the subject, with a bit of luck someone else will notice the edit and add a bit more information to the page and before you know it the site will have the information you were looking for originally.
Joining the site
You don't have to join the site to use it, but if you want to be able to edit pages you will have to at least sign up to Wikidot, and even if you don't want to edit pages it gives the people who do edit pages some encouragement when a few new members join. It is usually pretty easy to do so, although a few Councils have set up their firewalls or permissions in a way that cause problems.
Adding & Editing Information
There is a separate page that explains How to Edit Pages, but there are a couple of common questions you might like answered before you start adding & editing information.
Why should I bother contributing information to the wiki?
I believe there are a few good reasons to contribute to this wiki.
- Councils aren't in competition with each other and it is in every Councils best interest to freely share information with each other. Why reinvent the wheel or even worse pay a consultant to reinvent it for you? All Councils face many of the same issues & problems, if your Council has found a solution to a problem, why not post an article about it here, and help out another Council.
- Any information you post here is viewable from anywhere in the world. If you are at home or at a conference or if you move to another Council any information you have posted here will be available to you with out having to ring someone up and getting them to e-mail it to you.
What if I accidentally delete something important?
It is impossible to permanently delete information from the wiki unless you have special administrator permissions. If you click on the history button at the bottom of this page you will see that every version of this page that ever existed is listed there. If you accidentally delete something you shouldn't, it is very easy to go to a previous version and restore it. So edit away.
A tutorial wouldn't be a tutorial unless it included a few exercises, so here are you're tasks should you choose to accept them
Exercise 1 - Post a comment to the Forum
Posting to the Forum is very easy. Just click on Forum or Recent Posts in side menu and post away.
- Leave a comment in the Tutorial Page thread, so that I know that the tutorial is being used!
- Check the Recent Posts page to make sure your comments have been registered
Exercise 2 - Edit the page about your Council.
- Click on Australian Councils in the side menu.
- If you are in a state other than NSW click on the appropriate state at the top of the page.
- Click on the link to your Council in the LHS column of the table.
- Click on the edit button at the bottom of the page.
- Edit away. You can either.
- Add a brief description about your Council at the top of the page.
- Add your contact details in the contacts section.
- Add some information about what software packages your Council uses.
Exercise 3 - Add a link to a page.
Adding a link to a page is also very easy. All you need to do is to put triple square brackets around the name of the page you want to link to (while in edit mode). The code below would create a link to this page for example.
- Highlight the above text and hit "Control C" or just remember it!
- Go to the Test Page
- Click on the grey "edit" button at the bottom the page.
- Paste the copied text into the page (press "Control V") or type it in if you have just remembered it.
- Click the grey "save" button at the bottom of the page.
- The link - the word "Tutorial" in blue should appear on the page.
- Click on the link and if you have done everything properly you should end back here.
- If you like you can go back to the Test Page and delete the link so that the next person to do the tutorial has something to do.
Exercise 4 - Tags.
Tags are a very useful way of finding and listing pages. Most of the lists on this site are produced using tags.
If a page has any tags they will be listed at the bottom left hand side of the page.
This page (unless someone has removed it) has been tagged with the word "tutorial".
If you click on the word tutorial you will go to a list of all pages with the tutorial tag & a list of all the tags used on the site. If you then click on the large "Councils" tag you will go to a list of all the pages with the "Council" tag.
To add or remove a tag from a page click on the grey "tags" at the bottom of the page. A tags window will open up and you can add a tag to or delete a tag from the list.
Try first deleting and then adding the "tutorial" tag to this page.
If you check the Pages tagged with "tutorial" page, before and after doing so you will see how tags can be used to generate lists.
Exercise 5 - Upload an image
Uploading an image to a page is also quite easy.
- Click the grey files button at the bottom of a page.
- Click on the "upload new file" link that appears at the bottom of the page.
- Click on the "select files" button that appears below that.
- Browse and select the files you want to upload from your computer.
- Click on the "upload files" button.
- Wheb the upload is complete refresh your browser & the image should appear in the gallery below.
Exercise 6 - Invite a co-worker or contact to join the site.
The more people that know about the site and contribute to it, the more useful it becomes.
If you know someone who might be interested in joining the site sending them an invitation simplifies the process.
To invite an acquaintance to join the site, use this form.
Exercise 7 - Create a new page
Users creating pages about subjects they know about, is what makes the site grow, so I'd encourage everyone to create at least one new page.
There are two ways of creating a new page:
- By entering the name of a page into the new page window at the bottom of the side menu.
- By following a red link, and clicking on "create page".
In both cases the edit window will open up and you can start typing in text.
Have a look at the Wanted Pages list to see if there is a page on the list that you know something about.
Even if you can only think of a sentence or two to say about a subject it is worthwhile creating the page, and letting other users add to it.