How Do I Get Started?

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Overview

A wiki (for those unfamiliar with it perhaps beyond Wikipedia) is a space where information can be created, updated, and linked "easily," with shortcuts that provide a lot of the infrastructure that would otherwise take a lot of detailed HTML formatting to accomplish.

For those unfamiliar with editing Wiki pages, the steps can be a little daunting (particularly when no visual editor is available. This will be fixed Real Soon Now...)

This guide should help you to get a login to be able to edit the information on the wiki and then create a page for your persona to reflect your history and your interest and accomplishments in the SCA.

If you are experienced with using and editing a wiki then skip all this fol-de-rol and go straight to the main help pages:

Making An Account

Send an email midrealm.wiki@gmail.com to request to have an account created

Normally the wiki administrators will respond to your request within 2 business days, please don't re-send if it's been less time than that. (Or if it's during Pennsic and we're all away from our computers for a week!)

Include in your email request:

  • your SCA name
  • Name of your local group
  • Log-on name requested (if it is different than your SCA name.) Note: Account names should be short, usually a first name.

I Have My Account. Now What?

Your account will be set up with two pages - a "user" page, which is for you as a user and contains some account management hints and links, and a "persona" page.

NOTE: On most browsers, right-clicking on a link and selection "Open link in new window" (or similar option) will allow you to open the link and keep this page of instructions available for reference.

Getting to your user and persona pages

To reach your pages:

  1. Log in to the wiki by clicking the "Log in" entry at the top right corner of the page display.
  2. Go to your user page by clicking on your user name that now should show up in the same spot.
  3. On your user page, you will see a sentence ending with "his/her persona page is here:" and your persona name. The first time, this will be in red because it has not yet been edited. Click it to take you to your page.

What if I don't see this on my user page? That's OK - it's a manual thing not part of the automatic creation of accounts. If this is the case, you can make a change to your user page by following the "Editing a page" instructions (below) and adding

[[YOUR SCA NAME GOES HERE]]

at the bottom.

The double square brackets tell the wiki that everything inside is the name of a page on this wiki. This will create the page with your name if it does not already exist. Note that if you have the same name as someone else, this will at first link to their page - you'll need to come back and change your link to something unique.

Once you have saved it, you can execute step (3) above by clicking on your name.

Editing a page

To edit an entire page, you can click on the "edit" tab at the top of the page display. Existing pages will also have an "edit" link next to major headings, in case you want to just work with that part of the page. Hint: if you don't have to edit the entire page, use one of the header edit links. It makes it less likely that you will make an overall change that will end the world as we know it mess up your whole page.

Once you have clicked "edit", you'll be presented with a screen that is a very simple text-editor-in-a-box. You can type your information and choose to use "markup tags" to present it in a certain form. For now, we'll just concentrate on some very basic template editing.

The most important things on the screen for simple editing are as follows:

  • There is a "Cancel" link next to the three action buttons below the data entry area. Use it when you are finished looking at the edit screen of a page without making changes OR if you are afraid a change you made could cause a problem.
  • One of the action buttons at the bottom of the screen is "Show preview". This button is your best friend - it will show you what your changes will look like without saving them. Use it often while you are learning - don't forget to hit "Save page" if you like what you see.
  • "Save Page" will take you to a "captcha" screen to type in a phrase to prove you are a real person. That is also your last chance to cancel. If you continue, it will immediately replace the current version of the page with what you have entered. You will lose what was there before. A good practice is to do a "copy" of all the text in your data entry area before making any changes (you can paste it in a notepad screen or another editor for safekeeping). This means you are always able to revert to a previous version.

Working with your persona page

When you go to your page, it may have a very basic framework or it may be blank. If you have a basic framework and are somewhat comfortable with editing in MediaWiki, you can work with it directly. If your page is blank or you would prefer a more detailed framework and step-by-step instructions, try using Persona Page Framework to give you a good start.

Some notes:

  • To upload a file (specifically pictures of yourself and/or your device) you can see How to - Upload Images for detailed help
  • Feel free to browse the pages of other members of the Category:Populace to get ideas. You can copy their code by going to Edit and using "copy" and "paste". Don't forget to hit "cancel" when you are done!
  • There are some shortcut buttons for often-used tags at the top of the edit box. Experiment with them to see what they do!
  • Link to outside sources rather than copying the data to the wiki. In this way you give proper credit and drive traffic to sites with useful information.
  • If all else fails you can replace your page by doing another copy/paste from the Persona Page Framework.
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