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Questions?

  • If you are new to WikiSCUM, you may want to read the Welcome and Help pages, which provide information and links to get you started.
  • Or, you can just try things out. be bold. We invite you to participate. Someone will correct your errors (if you have any) and teach you!

Overview FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

What is Wiki? Edit

A wiki is a collaborative collection of interlinked web pages, all of which can be visited and edited by anyone at any time (collaborative software). Ward Cunningham invented the concept and software. You could even edit this page by clicking the "edit" link on the third tab above, or edit only a section by clicking on "[edit]" to its right! If you don't have anything to add or correct on this page and you just want to see how it works, try out the Sandbox.

What is WikiSCUM? Edit

WikiSCUM is a project to develop a Web-based encyclopedia of historic and contemporary underground music in Santa Cruz County, California. SCUM stands for Santa Cruz Underground Music. See About and the WikiSCUM article for more information.

What is Wikicities? Edit

Wikicities are wiki communities creating free content with the MediaWiki software. These are hosted for free by Wikia, the company which runs the project. Anyone is free to start a new Wikia in accordance with the Wikia creation policy and terms of use.

What was Wikipedia? Edit

Wikipedia is a Web-based, free-content encyclopedia that is written collaboratively by volunteers. It consists of 195 independent language editions sponsored by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its purpose is to create and distribute, worldwide, a free encyclopedia in as many languages as possible. Wikipedia is one of the most popular reference sites on the Web, receiving around 60 million hits per day.

What do the different colored links mean?Edit

Blue links will take you to other articles written in WikiSCUM. Green links will take you to articles written in Wikipedia. Red links will take you to articles waiting to be written in WikiSCUM. Maybe you can start that article! If you're unsure into which WikiProject you've stumbled, just read the logo in the upper left-hand corner.

What is the goal of WikiSCUM?Edit

WikiSCUM's goal is to create a comprehensive, fair encyclopedia of Santa Cruz County bands, venues, shows, etc. This is an ambitious goal, and will probably take many years to achieve! We hope you join us in this pursuit.

Who owns WikiSCUM?Edit

The WikiSCUM is owned by the community that creates it. No one user owns any Wikia. Wikicities:Founders are those who requested a wiki be created, but ownership of that wiki resides with the community as a whole, not only with the founder. The site itself, and the Wikicities trademarks, are owned by Wikia. The copyright of a particular edit is owned by the person who made that edit. See Ownership for more information.

Who is responsible for the articles on WikiSCUM?Edit

Wikicitizens. This is a collaborative endeavor. Anyone can contribute, including you. All you need is to know how to edit a page, and have some Santa Cruz music knowledge you want to share. The encyclopedia provides users with a certain amount of freedom.
You can learn who is responsible for the most recent versions of any given page by clicking on the "Page history" link. But if you spot an error in the latest revision of an article, you are highly encouraged to be bold and correct it. This practice is one of the basic review mechanisms that maintains the reliability of the encyclopedia.
If you are uncertain or find the wording confusing, quote the material on the associated talk page and leave a question for the next person. This helps eliminate errors, inaccuracies or misleading wording more quickly and is highly appreciated by the community.

How can I contact WikiSCUM?Edit

There's no single point of contact. For general questions and discussions, visit The Hub and post there. If you want to communicate with a specific user, leave a message on his or her personal talk page; you can find a list of personal pages (and link to your own) at the Wikicitizens list. Some Wikicitizens have also registered their email addresses, which you can use by clicking the "Email this user" link from the personal pages. Also, each article has a talk page. This gives you the opportunity to make comments about a particular article.

Should I create an account? Can't I just edit articles anonymously?Edit

See Accountability. Editors with account names enjoy several benefits, among them is the positive reputation that goes with quality work. Wikicitizens with an established history are respected especially with regard to neutralising article disputes. Also, Wikicitizens sometimes find collaborating with anonymous users frustrating, because it is more difficult to contact them with questions, concerns, or suggestions.
Wikicitizens with user names are in a sense more anonymous than contributors that are not logged in: while anyone can see the IP address of a user who did not log in when he/she edited, only server administrators can find the IP of a logged-in user. So if you're concerned about privacy and anonymity, you may prefer to create a username for yourself in order to hide your IP.
However, if you'd like to stay in the dark, it's fine to edit without a login. Many valuable contributors have made this choice.

How do you know if the information is correct?Edit

As anyone can edit any article, it is of course possible for biased, out of date or incorrect information to be posted. However, because there are other people reading the articles and monitoring contributions using the Recent Changes page, incorrect information is usually corrected quickly. Thus, the overall accuracy of the encyclopedia is improving all the time as it attracts more and more contributors. You are encouraged to help by correcting articles and passing on your own knowledge.
See Replies to common objections for a longer discussion of this point.

How do I search WikiSCUM?Edit

There should be a small search box at the side of the screen, marked search, followed by Go and Search. Just type what you're looking for into the search box and press the Enter key. Or, click Go / Search. See Searching for more details.

What is the license agreement on the contents of WikiSCUM?Edit

WikiSCUM articles are all open content and are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. See Copyrights.

What is open-source media?Edit

Open-source media is a kind of information produced by open groups of developers in which anybody who wants to can use the information. Open-source production emerged among software engineers with the production of GNU/Linux, an open-source computer operating system. MediaWiki is an open source software that supports an open source encyclopedia.
Open-source production relies on qualified users to maintain a constantly improving collection, whether it is an open collection of computer code or of encyclopedic information. Open source collections typically maintain back-up resources, so if a developer accidentally damages the code or the content, it can easily be reverted to an earlier, stable version. The same backup system provides protection against malicious damage to an open-source project.

Why do people contribute to open source?Edit

Few surveys have developed reliable answers to why people contribute to open source works like Wikipedia or WikiSCUM. Some sort of public interest or community spirit is often part of the motive. Open source projects offer an opportunity to contribute to something that has lasting value and that will continue to grow. Open source publishing allows writers and software developers to apply their skills outside of a strictly business environment. Casual writers and editors sometimes participate as a hobby or as a learning experience.


Terminology Edit

On talk pages and in the edit summaries of a page history, you will often see editors using terminology and abbreviations which are unique to WikiSCUM. The terms most likely to be unfamiliar to a new user are:
rv or revert, usually in an edit summary, indicates that the page has been reverted to a previous version, often because of vandalism.
NPOV means working towards a Neutral point of view, whilst its opposite, POV, is used to suggest that an edit was biased.
To Wikify means to add internal links and other formatting to an article which was mostly plain text.
For a more comprehensive list see Glossary.

What's the difference between a page and an article?Edit

The term "page" encompasses all the material on WikiSCUM, including encyclopedia topics, talk pages, documentation, and special pages such as Recent Changes. "Article" is a narrower term referring to a page containing an encyclopedia entry. Thus, all articles are pages, but not all pages are articles. See What is an article for more.

What is an orphan?Edit

An orphan is an article that no other article links to. These can still be found by searching the WikiSCUM, but it is preferable to find another article where a link can be added.

What is a stub?Edit

A stub on WikiSCUM is a very short article, generally of one paragraph or less. Some editors dislike stubs, even though they are probably a necessary evil. Many excellent articles started out as short stubs. Existing stubs should be expanded into proper articles. If you want to write a stub article, there are some helpful suggestions on The perfect stub article.

What is disambiguation?Edit

See Disambiguation.

What is a minor edit? When should I use it?Edit

When editing a page, a logged-in user has the option to flag an edit as "minor". Use of this flag is largely a matter of personal taste. A general rule of thumb is that an edit that corrects spelling or formatting, performs minor rearrangements of text, or tweaks only a few words, should generally be flagged as a "minor edit". A major edit, in contrast, generally performs a change that close watchers of the page are likely to want to review. Of course, if an edit performs a major semantic revision, but is limited to only a few words (for instance changing "freedom fighter" to "terrorist" or vice versa (see NPOV)), then the edit should not be flagged as minor.
This feature is important because users can choose to hide minor edits in their view of the Recent Changes page, to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.
The reason for not allowing a user who is not logged in to mark an edit as minor is that vandalism may be marked as such, and, as a result, may remain unnoticed for longer than is desirable. This limitation is yet another reason to create an account and log in.
See also: Minor edit.

General Edit

Where do I find more information beyond this FAQ?Edit

You can start by reading the introduction at Welcome, newcomers. The Help page is also useful.

Are there any rules or guidelines I should be aware of?Edit

See WikiSCUM:Policies and guidelines.

What is "Recent Changes", and what do the abbreviations used there mean?Edit

Recent Changes lists all the edits that have been made over a given time period. See Recent Changes for info.

Are there any standard formats, for things like dates for example?Edit

See the Manual of Style.

What do I do if I find two articles on the same subjects?Edit

Well, you could merge them yourself if you are feeling bold. Pick the most suitable page name (which may not necessarily be one of the existing ones!). If you're not sure which name to use, or whether the two articles should really be merged, mention it on the talk page of one of them (and put a quick note with a link on the talk page of the other), and see what other Wikicitizens think. You can also make a mention of the problem on the list of Duplicate articles.

What is the ideal/maximum length of an article? When should an article be split into smaller pieces?Edit

See Wikipedia:Article size.

Can we debate or talk about the subjects here?Edit

This is an encyclopedia that strives to present subjects from the neutral point of view. Discussion intended to improve articles is welcome here; such conversations should take place in the article's talk page.

I've found vandalism, or I've damaged a page by mistake! How can I restore it?Edit

See How to revert a page to an earlier version.

How do I spell check a page?Edit

A spell checker has been requested for Wikipedia and its sister projects, but has not been implemented yet. When editing a larger article, it may be more convenient to paste the text into your favorite text editor or word processor first, edit and spell check there, and then paste back into your browser to preview. You can also use an online spell checker such as Spellonline.
There is a list of common misspellings, which you can use to check if a listed misspelling is on any page in the database. Google also doubles as a spell checker. Type the word into the search input window and Google will return with possible corrections if it is misspelled.

Why are some links red?Edit

Red links indicate that a page with that name has not yet been started. You can click on that link and start a page with that name. But be careful -- there may already be articles on similar topics, or an article on the same topic under a different name. It's pretty important to hunt around for similar topics first. See Naming conventions for information on naming pages.

OK, what about the pale blue links?Edit

Those are inter-wiki links; i.e. those that link to pages not in WikiSCUM but in Wikipedia, for example Wikipedia:The Temptations (which is written [[Wikipedia:The Temptations]])
WikiSCUM is devoted solely to Santa Cruz County and to undeground music. Articles about other topics will not be written about, but if such topics have articles in Wikipedia, WikiSCUM will link to them.

What happens when two users edit a page at the same time?Edit

This is called an "edit conflict". You'll get a conflict screen that displays both versions in separate windows, along with a summary highlighting the differences (typically showing the edits of both users, except those which both have made exactly the same), and instructions on how you should proceed. It's virtually impossible to lose any data.

What happens if my computer or browser crashes mid-edit, or if the server does not respond?Edit

In case of a crash in the middle of your edit, you'll lose your edit. To some extent, you can guard against this by editing in a text editor, for major work (but note that with regard to a system crash this does not help, unless you save frequently to disk).
When you get a time-out when you try to save, you might or might not lose your edit depending on your web browser. Some browsers (e.g. Mozilla Firefox) will recover the text you have tried to save if you use the back-button. In other browsers you will lose your edit. You can protect against this by copying the text (at least to the clipboard of your system). If you did not do this, you can at least recover the latest reviewed version by using the back-button and refreshing the page.

How do I learn about changes to certain topics without having to go there from time to time?Edit

If you are a logged-in user, on every page you will see a link that says "Watch this article". If you click on it, the article will be added to your personal watchlist. You watchlist will show you the latest changes on your watched articles.

What are redirects and how do I make them?Edit

See Wikipedia:Redirect.

What file formats should I use for pictures/videos?Edit

For images, use JPEG for photographs, and PNG for drawings, logos and the like. GIF can be used instead of PNG, but it is discouraged because of patent reasons. As for video, good question; it hasn't come up yet. See Image use policy for more.

One of the contributors is being unreasonable. Help!Edit

See Staying cool when the editing gets hot and Dispute resolution.

Can I change the default number of contributions displayed in the "My contributions" list?Edit

Currently, no. You can, however, change the setting on the page and bookmark the resulting page.

Why was the article I created deleted?Edit

New articles are deleted for not following WikiSCUM policies and guidelines. If your article was deleted, future contributions from you are still welcome.
The reasons that may lead to the quick deletion of an article are:
  1. An article about a non-Santa Cruz County band, venue, show, store, etc.
  2. A very short page with little or no definition or context (eg "He is a funny man that has created Factory and the Hacienda. And, by the way, his wife is great.").
  3. No meaningful content or history (eg "sdhgdf"). See patent nonsense.
  4. A test page (eg "Can I really create a page here?").
  5. Pure vandalism (see dealing with vandalism). Note that if you're not being malicious, then your article probably didn't fall under this category.
  6. A page created and edited solely by a banned user, after they were banned (see bans and blocks). This is slightly controversial!

Why was the edit I made removed?Edit

There are a variety of reasons (some common reasons). The first thing you should do is look at the history page for the article you edited. This will tell you who changed it, when they changed it, and hopefully a short reason why they changed it. If it says something like see talk, then you should look at the talk page for the article. Also, you should look at your own talk page to see if you have a message there. If you don't find a reason that is satisfactory, politely ask in the article's talk page about your proposed change, and maybe you will get suggestions about changes that you can make so that your change will go in, or you may get reasons why your change should not happen.

Is it OK to link to other sites, as long as the material is not copied onto WikiSCUM?Edit

External links are certainly allowed. Properly used, they increase the usability of WikiSCUM. Keep in mind, however, that WikiSCUM is not a web directory; external links should support the content of the article, not replace it. An article should be more than a container for external links, and the content should not require the reader to leave the site to understand the subject.
The current convention is to place external links in a separate "External links" section at the bottom of the article.
External links to official band/venue/store sites are okay, as are external links to fan sites (if useful) and to articles written by local media, such as the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Please do not place advertising links in WikiSCUM. Please do not spam links into WikiSCUM.

What syntax do I use for Inter-wiki links?Edit

If you want text in WikiSCUM to point to an article in Wikipedia, use this syntax: [[Wikipedia:Maximum RocknRoll|Maximum RocknRoll]]

If you want text in Wikipedia to point to an article in WikiSCUM, use this syntax: [[Wikicities:c:scum:Hate Mail Express]]

Copyrights Edit

I have, or can get, special permission to copy an image or article to WikiSCUM. Is it OK to do that?Edit

The text and images of WikiSCUM are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. Unless an item is covered by the same or a similar license, or is in the public domain, it cannot be used on WikiSCUM. So you have to ask the copyright holder of the material to license it under GFDL.

Does using a GIF image in WikiSCUM violate the GFDL because of its patent?Edit

No. The patent of the LZW compression algorithm used with the GIF format has expired.


How do I edit a page?Edit

It's quite simple. Simply click the "Edit this page" tab located at the top of the page or the other edit link across from headings on the right hand side of the page, and type away. Along the top of the edit screen you will see buttons to create bold, italics, internal links, etc. Once you get the hang of the syntax, you won't need the buttons anymore.

How do I make links?Edit

A link is just the name of the page surrounded by double square brackets. It's also possible to make the link display text that is different from that of the link itself:
[[page name]]
[[page name]]s -- suffix text will display as part of the link
[[page name|display name]] -- the piped link: hide the page name and display something else (but use this sparingly, and never "click here"!)
[[page name (disambiguation)|]] -- the "pipe trick": the part in parentheses will not be displayed.

How do I rename a page?Edit

Registered users with a little bit of editing history under their belt can move a page; this moves the page content and edit history to a new title, and creates a redirecting page at the old title. This method is better than just copying and pasting the content by hand, as it preserves the article's history, as required by our license. Use the "Move this page" link. Once you have moved a page, please click the "What links here" and fix the links to the old page (which will be labeled as a redirect in the "What links here" list). See How to rename (move) a page for more details.
Images and other media files cannot be renamed. You may save a copy of the file to your computer, rename it there, and then upload it with the new name. Fix any links to the old file to point to the new one, then tag the old file with an "images for speedy deletion" tag: copy the template {{isd|New image name}} into the image's description page (filling in the new image name). This will add it to the Images for Deletion category, and an admin will delete it for you.

How do I delete a page?Edit

First off, please don't blank articles. Such changes will most likely get reverted soon afterwards, so they are pointless, too.
The procedure for deletions is explained at WikiSCUM:Deletion policy.

How do I determine what other users have changed in an article?Edit

Wikicities' software can produce a list of all the changes between two versions of an article (either between two consecutive versions, or between an old and the current version), laid out in two-columns side by side with changes highlighted (here's an example. From the Recent Changes page you can click the "diff" link; from an article page itself click "Page history", then "cur" or "last" to see changes.

See alsoEdit

SourcesEdit

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