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Communication Projects Group/Projects/Volunteer Manual

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Assigned: Cbrown1023 talk and Symode09 talk

Task: Create a manual for volunteer newbies that describe: common software community uses, (skype, IRC, etc.), a synopsis of community, places of interest, and any information that a newbie may find useful.

Methods of Communication[edit]

Because volunteers virtually volunteer, there are many places online where they meet to chat, and brainstorm. The following are some of the most popular methods and softwares we use.

Internet Relay Chat or IRC is a form of real-time Internet chat or synchronous conferencing. It is mainly designed for group (many-to-many) communication in discussion forums called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication and data transfers via private message. An account is not needed. A client is needed however, a web client can be used. Chatzilla is recommended to users who already have the Firefox browser. The plugin can be downloaded at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/16

  • We are connected to irc.freenode.net and room #wikimedia-cpg (link).
  • This is by far the most popular method/software.

Skype is a peer-to-peer internet phone network using VOIP technologies. It is free to call PC to PC and can be used in a conference. You can also call landlines extremely cheaply. Software and an account is needed. Both are free. Visit http://www.skype.com/ for more information, the software and to create an account. Again, this is also a very popular software/method among wikimedians.

Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger are similar to IRC however they are a lot simpler to use, and have easier graphics. A free download for the software is avalailable at http://www.get.live.com/messenger/ A free Windows Live Passport is needed

Name Definitions[edit]

This section will give you all the names and definitions of everything you will need to know.


Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

MediaWiki MediaWiki is the software that all of the Wikimedia Foundations sites use.

Optional first steps[edit]

Create an account[edit]

The first step is to create an account. But, this step is can actually be skipped if you want to, because the Wikimedia sites are "wikis" meaning that anyone can edit them. To create an account, click on the "Log in / create account" button in the top right hand-corner of the page. This button is on all of the pages on the site. Follow the instructions on that page and you should be able to create an account!

Create your userpage[edit]

You do not need a userpage to edit, but if you create a username, it's best to let people know a little bit about you. Your userpage can contain as much information or as little information as you wish to share. Your userpage can describe what you do IRL (In Real Life), what subjects interest you, where you often edit, how you got your username, anything you want to put on it. You can also decorate your userpage with Userboxes that are used to link users with common interests or lifestyles.


To edit or simply read articles on your favorite subjects, you must first find them. On all of the Wikimedia websites, there is a search field on the left-hand sidebar. You could also search for an article by visiting the page "Special:Search" on any wiki. Type in a subject that interests you and click "Go". If we have an article on the subject, you will be automatically sent there. If not, you'll receive a list of articles that contains that word or phrase from which you can click and visit an individual article.

After you find an article, you're ready to start editting.


A Cheatsheet for the syntax

Wikimedia sites use something we like to call "wiki-syntax" to add content to its pages. This syntax is a lot less complicated than HTML, but many of the HTML components can be used on-wiki.

For added help, please visit our editing help page.

Other sources of help[edit]

If you are ever in need of help, here are some pages that can be of assistance:

  • The local "Help desk", the English Wikipedia's can be found here.
  • The project's "Village pump", found here on the English Wikipedia.
  • Ask an admin: Administrators are normally some of the most experienced users on a project. They can all be found on the local "Special:Listadmins" page. The one on en.wikipedia is here.
  • On IRC: every project has a channel, Wikipedia's channel is #wikipedia, Wikinews' is #wikinews, etc. All of these channels are hosted on irc.freenode.net. and its absolutly free