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About:Guide to Style

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The Travellerspoint Style Guide

Note: This is not an article about being cool. This is an article about how to write and edit articles for the Travellerspoint wiki. So unless geekiness/nerdiness is cool in your social circles, reading this article probably won't get you any closer to being cool. Sorry.

This is an article about style. It outlines what the wiki is and what it isn't. If you think you grasp the wiki-concept pretty well, you can start contributing now.

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The wiki is not:

Let's work out what the wiki is not:

  • a magazine
  • an encyclopaedia (Wikipedia fanatics take note)
  • a forum
  • a blog (ie. it's not a place to talk about your personal experiences in a personal way)

Instead, the wiki takes bits and pieces from each of these media.

a magazine

An article might bear some semblance to a magazine article, simply because it has the same topic. But while a good magazine article might introduce characters and focus on very specific details, the wiki article has a broader focus: that is, it seeks to be more resourceful.

an encyclopaedia

On the other hand, a wiki article does not need to be encyclopaedic. Why not? Because we're writing a travel guide, not an encyclopaedia! When writing an article about Australia from a travel perspective, you don't need to inform people who the first Aussie prime minister was. If you really want to (and you think it's important for them to know), go for it. But as a rule of thumb, try to keep background information in the, well, background.

a forum

Wiki articles are not forums. Seems pretty obvious doesn't it? But what we're implying by that is that wiki articles should avoid being driven by subjective options. When it comes to articles about contentious topics (you know, Palestine, Cyprus, etc.), people with different views can (and will) try to use the wiki article as a platform to express their own views. Once someone else comes along with a contrasting opinion, you can picture what happens next... That's why we like to keep things objective. If you find that another user has changed what you wrote, don't just change it back. Go to the article's discussion page and ask for an explanation. Discuss it there. Try to resolve your differences there and then edit the article if it needs it.

a blog

Finally, the wiki is not a blog. That is, it's not the place to talk about your personal experiences. It's not the place to say: "Australia is a big country. When I visited Australia, I went to Sydney, which I liked. Then I went to Melbourne, which I liked more." That's bad wiki. Remember that wiki articles are supposed to be objective, not subjective. Avoid personal pronouns: With the exception of guide articles such as this one, words like we, I, me, us, etc. should start alarm bells ringing in your head.

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What the wiki is and what it should be

Basically, the wiki is an objective guide to destinations and attractions around the world (continents, countries, cities, towns, villages, temples, mosques, events, parks, churches, wacky boulders, etc.). It's a travel guide written by dozens/hundreds/thousands of individuals.

As such, it needs to be written as a travel guide. It should be informed as well as informative. It should offer something to the reader that is useful, something that answers their questions about their next holiday. It should be easy and enjoyable to read. It should be poetry to the travellers' ears.

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Contributors

as well as Sam I Am (2%)

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This is version 5. Last edited at 5:12 on Jun 4, 07 by dr.pepper. 1 article links to this page.

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