What is a Wiki? A wiki is an open, collaborative website whose content is built and maintained in large measure by its visitors. A complete definition is available at the Webopedia. The practical upshot, though, is that you -- the casual visitor -- are allowed and encouraged to correct, revise, and add to the content you see here.
Why in the world would you allow a casual visitor to change your content? Wiki projects such as this one are based on the premise that the group is smarter than the individual. Therefore the collective work of both experts and non-experts, given moderate controls, will produce a more accurate and complete work than that of an individual alone. You can read more about group wisdom in The Wisdom of Crowds ([ISBN 0385503865]). (A short review is available at Groklaw.)
Uh-huh. This sounds pretty dodgy to me. We understand your concerns, and they are not without foundation, yet the wiki software has been designed in a variety of clever ways to deal with malicious conduct. For example, every version of every page is saved, so changed content can always be referenced against its history. For more responses to common objections, click the link in this sentence.
How do I use this site? The Wiki is meant to be read just like any other online resource. In fact, you can think of it kind of like a magic book, full of links to more information on topics discussed within the site.
- Blue hyperlinks will take you to other pages in this site.
- Red hyperlinks are placeholders; clicking on those links will take you to pages that have yet to be developed. If you see a red link pointing to a topic you know something about, click it and start editing!
- Blue hyperlinks with an arrow graphic pointing up and right will take you to a web page outside of The Louverture Project.
Do I need to register? No. You do not need to register in order to access the information or edit or add pages. However, there are certain advantages to registering. For one thing, all contributions are associated with the IP address of the contributor. If you register, your username will be shown beside your contributions instead of your IP address. You'll also have access to features like My Watchlist, you'll be able to rename pages, and you'll get your own unique user page where you can write a bit of information about yourself.
How do I contribute? Read Help:Editing for instructions on how to edit an existing page or to begin a new one. Then, visit the TLP:Sandbox to try out your Wiki editing skills in a safe environment. Don't forget that each page has a "Discussion" tab, so you can add your thoughts and comments without changing the main article.
What needs to be done? See the Community Portal page for a list of current tasks.
Do I need to be a historian to contribute? We certainly need people with knowledge of history to help develop the site content, but there's lots for everyone to do, including editing for grammar and spelling, wikifying text, and providing feedback on what's working, what's unclear, and where we can improve the writing or site accessibility. Moreover, you don't need to write a full article in order to add to the project. Perhaps you have a small bit of information to throw into the mix, or maybe you'll decide to read one of the resources we list here and you'll discover something that we've missed. You don't need to be a historian; you simply need to be fair, curious, and willing to dig in and participate.