A wiki is a kind of website in which every single webpage on it is editable by anyone. Yes, anyone. You can edit this page, or any other page. However, please don't until you read though here and get the idea of what's supposed to be happening.
The WikiWikiWebsite is a kind of collaboration tool. You can feel free to make discussions here, just like you could on a message board. Or you can write articles, just like at a news site. Your personal page can be much like a blog. A wiki is, in the end, what the community decides it should be. If, after all is said and done, the community wants to ruin it, then it will be ruined. If the community wants it to be a forum site, it adapts and becomes that. Each page in a wiki links to another page, so a complex network of data naturally begins to come into being. When you feel that you hit on a subject that should have expansion, type it as WordsJammedTogether. This tells the wiki you want to make a link. If there is no page behind that word, the wiki gives you the option to be the first one to contribute.
So, I suggest you check out the TextFormattingRules and then play around in SandBox. Then you could make your home page or fill in some content somewhere. Try starting a discussion! (Note: it is a good idea to read BestPractices before you do this.) I should mention that in this wiki, pages can have a subcategory. These can be referenced explicitly like Discussion/SolarVsAbyssal or from a page implicitly like WhatIsAWiki/Example. Both these ways are valid. However, remember that you can only have one / per wiki link (otherwise, things could get really confusing).
~= FAQ =~ So here are some arbitrarily chosen FAQ things to help you wrap your head around the concept:
How do I edit a page?
- Check the bottom of the page, there is a "Edit this page". Click that.
How can I start a new page?
- There are a couple ways. The easiest is to go over to SandBox and do it there. Just type your link as WordsJammedTogether and the site does the rest. More adventurous people can edit their URL directly. Going to http://www.lensmen.net/wiki/exalted.pl?PageNameHere would make a page named PageNameHere. If a page doesn't exist, but is referenced, it will have a small ? mark next to the link. Clicking that ? will create the page.
I accidently put my page in the wrong place. Can I move it or delete it?
- No. Not yet. However you can just copy the text from one place to the next. Then make the original page blank (to save database space). If you are moving something you think you might want people to see, you can redirect the old, empty page. Do so by setting the top line (and the only line) of the old page to #REDIRECT NewPageName. If someone else needs to claim the space, they can edit that page.
My edits look really ugly compared to other peoples'; why?
- You probably just need a bit of practice writing in the wiki. Check out how other people style their text and mark it up. Wiki Code is intentionally very minimalistic and terse to ensure that nothing comes between your content and you.
You mention making a home page? What do you mean? Can I upload things?
- No, just make a wiki page dedicated to you. If your chosen name is two words (like I chose DaveFayram) then you can use that. Otherwise, make it just one word followed by "Homepage". In general, all your personal material should be hung off of directories in your homepage. Refer to BestPractices for the best way to structure your page. If you check the TextFormattingRules, you can see anchor creation stuff to help you make your pages easier to navigate.
- In general it's considered rude to edit someone else's homepage directly, unless they provide a space for it below their bio.
If anyone can change any page on a wiki, how do things stay sane?
- Everyone agrees to rules of conduct. These include, "Don't erase someone else's work without good cause." & "Don't deliberately enter false content." & "Keep to accepted style conventions."
- Actually, it's a lot easier than it sounds. Hundreds of wikis exist and a wiki is a very popular and powerful concept!
What if someone erases a page, or many pages?
- Well then, we change it back. Not by rote memory. Every page has a history, where you can see its edits. This is further assisted by the RecentChanges page. You can see exactly WHAT was changed on any edit using the diff function. I set the default history width big enough that no one people or even small group of people should be able to easily kill a page. And history reversions are treated just like page edits, so you don't have to worry about a history reversion to a bad edit clobbering a good one.
Can I link images into the pages?
- Yes. Just type their URL. Most images will work. If they don't, the url itself will be displayed. This works better in the case of many unsupported format types inline (like PDF).
Who can I contact with questions about the wiki?