Here's a piece of information that while to many of us is obvious some people might find surprising - The DragonVale Wiki is not made by, run by or associated with Backflip Studios, it was made, is operated and gets updated by fans like us all for the sake of fans like us. The anonymous users, the registered users and the users who are members of the DragonVale wiki staff are all simply fans of the brilliant game that is DragonVale. Lots of people who use the wiki particularly those just starting out are uncertain of where they fit in and how they can participate so I thought I would create this blog in order to give people a hand.
Registered users are the main contributors on the wiki site. They are the ones who have individual user names and often individual user icons. I am not going to advocate one or the other, there are many legitimate reasons that people choose not to register ranging from being too young (under 13), having work/school/home restrictions on computer use that does not allow registration to sites like this and so on. However people should know that registering is a relatively easy process that does not require you to reveal too much private information and that does give you greater scope for participation in the wiki.
Commenting is the simplest of all ways to participate in the wiki and one that all users can enjoy. The easiest way to start commenting is to simply pick a relevant page and make a statement, reporting successfully managing to breed a new rare/limited dragon and giving people the combo you used is a pretty standard approach. You can also ask for advice or a specific question, things like "Is it worth it to buy the Epic Breeding Island?" for instance. If you feel like it you can also comment on what other people have said, congratulating their efforts or answering their questions. You can even participate in the many activities being run on the various user blogs (posting suggestions on the Dear Backflip blog, or joining in one of the many fan fiction projects).
Another thing that all wiki users can do (although sometimes pages are locked from edits in order to prevent vandalism) is to edit pages. Editing is not something users should be scared to do, if you have relevant information to add to a page then you should do so and if there is something wrong on a page you can fix it. That said while editing we need to remember a few things:
- The Wiki is devoted to factual information about DragonVale, advice, theories and opinions should be added as comments or in blogs.
- There is a format to how the wiki's pages are set up, keep your edits consistant with the way things are on other pages.
- There is a lot of information already on the wiki, if you have something new to add to a page you should first check that the information isn't already located somewhere else.
As long as you remember those few things you should not feel afraid to edit if it is necessary.
If you are wondering how to go about editing then this page on Contributing is a useful resource.
The Help with Editing blog written by Kululu12 is another good resource.
Making New Pages
Yet another thing that all wiki users can do is to add new pages to the wiki. Like with editing existing pages adding a new page is something that it is okay to do if and when it is necessary. However since we don't want the wiki to have masses of pages covering the same information in slightly different ways you should always make a thorough check that the information you want to add isn't already covered on another page. If your unsure whether a new page is a good idea or not you should ask a staff member. There aren't all that many opportunities to make new pages but if and when one is needed you are able to make one.
Sending Friend Requests
Since DragonVale is a game which allows for friending and since people like to make friends to exchange gems with the wiki of course caters for this. You can't just post friend requests anywhere you want since that would end up cluttering up the entire wiki so there is a Friend Request page devoted to it where anyone can post there game center username and ask for friends.
Messaging with Message Walls
Each user has a message wall (even anonymous users by their IP address although it isn't used), this is a place where other users (anonymous or registered) can leave messages. If you have a question, request or report that you want to direct at a specific user/staff member then just leave the message on their wall. Remember though that walls are still part of the wiki and that messages there are viewable in the wiki activity feed so you should refrain from spamming/trolling or getting into different topic conversations/arguments on your walls.
Using the Forum
Under the Community tab their is a link to the Forum from there anyone can go into one of the subforums and add a comment to one of the existing pages or make a new topic page. The forum is not a hugely used feature on the wiki but if you have a question that you want to put out to the wiki as a whole the Help Desk forum is a useful place to go. There is also an External Forum which has a small but dedicated membership including many of the main combo testers for the wiki.
Chatting in the Chat Room
The chat room is a feature only accessable to registered users but anyone who is old enough is free to register and join in on discussions in the chat room. Before entering the chat room it is useful to have a quick read through the Chat Policies if you do not follow the policies a chat moderator will warn you about it and possible kick ban you from the chat room. As long as we all follow the rules and keep things friendly the chat room is a fun way to meet and talk to others who also love DragonVale.
Another feature only accessable to registered users is the ability to upload images to the wiki. As long as the image is appropriate and is going to be useful for something DragonVale and/or wiki related anything goes. Common things to upload are snapshots of peoples parks to be put on their profiles, snapshots of announcements by Backflip and images of new dragons, decorations etc. It is also a place to upload fan created dragon designs to be added into blogs like Dear Backflip (Artistic Version).
There are many blogs on the wiki (including this one) and any registered user has the ability to make a blog. Blogs should be about a topic that is wiki and/or DragonVale related and be inoffensive but apart from that anything goes. Blogs are a great place to post ideas you have about future additions to DragonVale, advice that you've learnt while playing DragonVale, unproven opinions and theories about DragonVale and even DragonVale related fan ficition. Blogs are a great way to be involved in the wiki and a blog need not be considered inferior to a regular page on the wiki, blogs like Liberkhaos's two Dear Backflip blogs are more often visited and commented on than most regular wiki pages.
The DragonVale Wiki Staff
The DragonVale wiki staff are a group of registered users who have been given extra tools (such as the ability to ban people, edit other peoples comments, rollback bad edits and so on) in order to help manage the wiki. The staff group is broken into three different roles: the chat moderators who have extra abilities but only in regards to the chat room, the admins who have extra abilities including the ability to make chat mods and the bureaucrats who are basically admins but with the extra ability to give or remove admin powers. They are still one of us, they are not paid for their efforts and they should not be viewed as some sort of superior mysterious lifeform, they are people who are freely giving their time out of love of the wiki and DragonVale. If you have any questions about what you can and can't do, or want to point out scams etc. then going to a staff member is a good idea. Regular users can become members of the wiki staff, how this works varies from wiki to wiki and our wiki is currently undergoing a period of change but the best way to go about it would be to act in a helpful manner on the wiki, making good edits, answering questions, pointing out scams and so on. Then if the wiki needs new staff you can put your name forward, you never know. It should be remembered though that being a staff member is not about having power it's about helping the wiki, if you just want a title and the ability to mess around with things you are probably not right for the job and should reconsider things.
Thanks for reading, I hope that at least some of the information was useful to you and that you have a better understanding of how you can participate more in the wiki. Participation is a great thing, a wiki is much more than just an encyclopedia, it's a community of people who share a passion (in this case DragonVale) and you can have a lot of fun and make friends if you give it a chance.
12:13, July 14, 2012 (UTC)
A link back to my blogdex if you want to check out other blogs like this one.