A Qwiki Guide to Wikipedia

wikipedia readers guide

Book Review
Wikipedia Reader’s Guide
By John Broughton
Pogue Press/O’Reilly. 2008. 56 pages.

Why do people contribute to Wikipedia?
It’s a way to help other people understand the world
It’s a way to give back to the online resource by contributing to it.
Working with others on improving Wikipedia articles can be intrinsically rewarding.

This little guidebook contains two chapters. The first, The Reader’s Guide to Wikipedia, discusses navigating within Wikipedia, reading Wikipedia articles from a mobile device, what Wikipedia is not, and Wikipedia in other languages.

Chapter two discusses editing for the first time: practicing in the sandbox; using templates, previewing and saving your edit, wiki markup, and editing article sections, for example.

The author, John Broughton, has been a registered editor at Wikipedia since 2005. He is responsible for the Editor’s Index to Wikipedia and many off-Wikipedia web pages with useful information and tools for Wikipedia editors.

The text in this booklet is largely adapted from the book Wikipedia: The Missing Manual. That book is a how-to manual for people who want to edit Wikipedia articles and become more active in the Wikipedia community. This pocket guide is mostly about understanding and making the most of Wikipedia as a reader.


2 Responses to A Qwiki Guide to Wikipedia

  1. Andrew says:

    Chapter 2 sounds really useful. Like most people, I often use Wikipedia to look up things, but I’ve never edited or created a new page. I have no idea how! I might have to check out this book. Thanks, Paul.

    • paul says:

      I have created and edited some faculty bios for Wikipedia with mixed success. I jumped right in, without using the ‘sandbox’ for practice, and without becoming sufficiently familiar with all the guidelines. So I would offer those two things as advice for new editors.

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