An Introduction to Expanding MarioMarconipedia, by Dalinian

Thank you for showing-an-interest/volunteering-to-play-a-part in building our wonderful MarioMarconipedia wiki. I hope you'll find collaborating with fellow Mariopedians to be light-hearted, fun, enlightening and fulfilling.

This guide is designed to take the five folks who volunteered to be the initial wiki-building team through an easy page-creation-and-linking learning exercise. I am Dalinian on Wikia (dalinian61 on Digital Spy), MarioMarconipedia's founder and initial facilitator, and I hope that this Guide will also be useful to other folks who'd like to help build our wonderful Facts About Mario encyclopedia.

Since we've a couple of folks on the initial wiki-building volunteer team who've self-assessed their current wiki building skill around 1, I'll aim to target these Guide notes at first timers, and if you've more experience, you may be able to skip lightly from one HINT, NOTE or ACTION item to the next. Being as how it seems we're all familiar enough with the Digital Spy Big Brother (DS:BB) forums and their Private Messages (PMs), I'll be making assumptions about your general level of computer and web literacy – but if you don't get something, I'll be on hand online to answer queries, and guide you through a process in real time if that'll help (more on MarioMarconipedia communications below).

As you follow through this exercise, pay close attention to all the new items you see in the wiki development environment, like button bars, the Editing Tips box, links to Help, and so on – they're all there to aid you, and you'll benefit greatly from discovering all the possibilities they offer, either in the moment or later on.

In this first Guide, I'll take you through bookmarking our MarioMarconipedia wiki's Main Page, setting up a Wikia account, making your own My Top 10 Facts about Mario page in MarioMarconipedia, adding a link to it on our Main Page, and sharing your success via a Wikia talk page message posting and a group PM. There's also a Getting Help section and a Glossary at the end. Remember – it is NOT a race! We each have different skills, abilities and commitments, so if you take your time, and enjoy yourself, then when you've finished this exercise you'll have taken just as long as YOU needed to do it.

A quick word about onscreen windows – it'll be best to have at least three open at once: one web browser (WB) window displaying this Guide, another WB window for the actions you take inside MarioMarconipedia and at DS:BB in completing this Guide's exercise, and a text editor (TE, on which more below) window for drafting your My Top 10 Facts about Mario page.

Ready? Steady? Go Johnny Go Go Go Go!

Bookmarking our Main Page

(which you may have done already)

Always a good place to start with any wiki, the Main Page is like the front cover of a book, and if you get lost in the twists and turns of link after link after link like I do, it's a place of solid tranquility to return to to get your bearings. So...

ACTION 1: Bookmark our Main Page

  • Make sure you've got an easy-to-get-at Bookmark (aka Favorite in M$ Internet Explorer) for our MarioMarconipedia wiki's Main Page
  • For instance, in Firefox, I've put a button called 'Mario' on my Bookmarks Toolbar.

Setting Up a Wikia Account

The wiki development environment tracks all the changes that are made to a wiki and who made them, which is extremely useful when collaborating in building and maintaining a wiki – but especially so when we can see who did what, where, when and why. Example: Revision history of "MarioMarconipedia". You can see there that an anonymous user – denoted by her/his IP address number – added '53 Top Facts About Mario' to the 'The Legend Continues...' section of our MarioMarconipedia wiki's Main Page on 02 July 2008, and I moved them to their own page and added a link to take visitors straight there.

So setting up an account elegantly takes care of the who element of change tracking, and has advantages to you, like uploading an image or other file to the Wiki and maintaining a page watchlist (of which more later in Guide #2). More info: Help:Why create an account?.

ACTION 2: Set Up a Wikia Account

  • Fill in the Create account form – and please set up a username that's the same as your Digital Spy (DS) forums username, or very similar, so it'll be easy to know who's who.
  • When you are editing MarioMarconipedia, please make sure you're logged in to your Wikia account, so the change tracker will correctly indicate your contributions.

New Page Exercise: My Top 10 Facts about Mario

Rather than jump in at the deep end, let's do some doggy paddle in the toddlers' pool first! :-) We'll each set up our own 'Top 10 Facts about Mario' page, to help get familiar with wiki building, and to encourage others to do the same. I'll mention some issues briefly here, and flesh 'em out with more explanation in later Guides.

HINT: Using a Text Editor (TE)

  • I find using a text editing application program alongside my web browser (WB) absolutely invaluable.
  • I draft all I do – FAMs, PMs, and new wiki content – in the TE, then copy-n-paste (C&P) it to the appropriate input box on a web page, and I highly recommend you do the same.
  • I use Mac OS X's wonderful TextEdit, M$ Windoze has something similar called WordPad, and no doubt Linux has plenty of TE options to choose from.

You can create a new page from our Your Additions page using the 'Create' input box there. But before doing so, you'll draft your Top 10 list in your TE. Remember, this is initially and primarily a training exercise, so there's no need to trawl through over 5,000 odd posts to make ABSOLUTELY SURE that your list is 'accurate' – because you can pop back later and change it anytime you like, too.

ACTION 3.1: Draft your Top 10 List in your TE

First you'll need 10 FAMs – so browse our FAM thread or use 'Search this thread' to find 10 you like. When the first character of a line is # the wiki builds a numbered list for you, so you only need to C&P each FAM's text from WB to TE, and assemble a list like the one on My Top 10 Facts about Mario by dalinian61, which began in a TE file looking like this:

<!-- Page Title: My Top 10 Facts about Mario by dalinian61 -->

{{MarioMarconipedia menu box}}  <!-- leave this line at the top of your page (so the navigation menu box appears top right) and add page content below -->

# Mario had to stop washing his clothes in the ocean. The tsunamis were killing people.
# Mario speaks gibberish more fluently than The Right Dishonourable David Cameron MP.
# Mario tells air traffic control when he is ready to take off.
# Mario is the M in Primark.
# Mario tightens loose women.
# Sylvester Stallone gets the majority of his work as a 'Mario' lookalike.
# Mario can converse fluently in 68 different languages - including dolphin and orangutan.
# Mario ripped the heads off Phil and Grant Mitchell and used them as Lisas breast implants.
# In the wild, Mario will sleep or rest for up to twenty hours a day and hunt for the other four.
# When Mario crosses the street, the cars have to look both ways.

These are just 10 of the thousands of Facts About Mario posted by ordinary admirers at this wiki's source location – 
the Digital Spy Big Brother Forum's [ Facts About Mario] thread. 

They were contributed by different FAM posters, and only hand picked by [[dalinian61]].

[[Category: MarioMarconipedia]] <!-- leave this line at the bottom of your page to make it part of the MarioMarconipedia Wiki -->

C&P the text-n-code in the box above from WB to TB, then

  • replace the three instances of my username with your username
  • replace the 10 FAMs I picked with the 10 you've chosen

There's no guarantee that the way a FAM is formatted in out FAM thread is as good as it could be when presented in our MarioMarconipedia wiki. So...

NOTE: Tidying Up

  • I recommend we take the opportunity to tidy up FAMs as we go, my which I mean things like typos, punctuation and spelling, so that the little 'mistakes' that have crept in when we were fast typing a FAM into the DS:BB thread can be ironed out.
  • There'll be a few instances when the author may have deliberately 'misused' punctuation and/or spelling for comic effect, so if in doubt, I suggest we leave the 'mistakes' in.

OK, so having tidied up your top 10 FAMs, you're now ready to create your first new page.

ACTION 3.2: Create your Top 10 List page in your WB

  1. Now C&P your Page title – 'My Top 10 Facts about Mario by {YourUserName}' – into the 'Create' input box on the Your Additions page, and click on the [ Create ] button
  2. Delete everything in your new page's editing box
  3. C&P your page draft from TE to your new page's editing box
  4. Type 'new' in the 'Summary' field, click on 'Watch this page', and click on the [ Show preview ] button
  5. Take a look at the Preview – if all's well, click on the [ Save page ] button, else change the text in the editing box, click on the [ Show preview ] button again, and repeat until all's well

That's it – congrats on making your first MarioMarconipedia page! Easy, huh?

Linking It All Together

A new page isn't any good if nobody can get at it, so now you'll add a link to it on our MarioMarconipedia wiki's Main Page.

ACTION 4: Add a Main Page Link

  1. Use your MarioMarconipedia bookmark (exercise 1 above) to go to the Main Page (although other routes are also available :) )
  2. Click on the section '[edit]' link opposite the 'EXECUTIVE FAST-TRACK VIP 1ST CLASS CHECK-IN' heading
  3. You'll see the code 'dalinian61' which links to my Top 10 Facts page, and maybe those of other Mariopedians – C&P that code, then modify it to make a link to your Top 10 Facts page, which should show up as your user name, alongside mine (and the others, as and when)
  4. In the 'Summary' field, add text saying 'added My Top 10 Facts about Mario by {YourUserName} link', click on 'Watch this page', and click on the [ Show preview ] button
  5. Take a look at the Preview – if all's well, click on the [ Save page ] button, else change the text in the editing box, click on the [ Show preview ] button again, and repeat until all's well

And that's all there is to it – well done on making your first MarioMarconipedia page link! Simple-ish, right?

Share Your Success: Using Talk Pages

Wiki builders keep in touch with each other via our Wikia accounts' talk pages. It's similar to sending PMs on the DS:BB Forums, but you just use a wiki page and 'Post a new comment'. You can see what I mean by going to your talk page – when you're logged in to your Wikia account, all Wikia pages show a 'My talk' link top right, so click on it, then on 'Post a comment' top left. Fill in the 'Subject/headline:' field with say "Welcome to my talk page" or some such, and type something welcoming into the edit box. As you are reminded onscreen, "This is a talk page. Please remember to sign your posts using four tildes (~~~~)" – and these get automatically replaced with your Wikia username (linked to you User: page) plus the time and date you left your message, like this:

dalinian 13:02, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Below the edit box and after 'Sign your username:' is a 4-tilde link which will add same with a single click. Finally, click on the [ Save Page ] button, and there you have it – a talk page welcome message posted.

ACTION 5.1: Talk to me on my Wikia talk page

  • Tell me of your successfully completing this Getting Started Guide (or not, as the case may be) by clicking on 'Post a new comment' on my Wikia talk page at User talk:Dalinian and I'll reply as soon as I can (within minutes or hours) by posting to your talk page, where we can hold a conversation if necessary.

When I receive your message on my talk page, I'll know you know how to seek help from me, via the most appropriate channel, if you need a hand in the present or the future (only Mario can seek help from the past).

And we are a collaborative wiki building team, so it's time to spread your good news at DS:BB too.

ACTION 5.2: Tell your fellow Mariopedians by DS:BB group PM

  • Are you a member of the initial wiki building team?
  • YES? – then please send a quick invite to check out your new page along the lines of 'Hey Mariopedians – take a look at my first MarioMarconipedia page here: – what do you think?' via a DS:BB group PM, so we can all take a gander and congratulate you.
  • NO? – then why not post a similar invite to our FAM thread so all FAMsters can share in your achievement?

That's the end of the exercise – hope you found it smooth, easy and educational; if not, please tell me.

Getting Help

There's plenty of online and live help available when you're learning about wiki editing, and here's a list of help resources I recommend. Where appropriate, it's a good idea to bookmark them in your WB, so you can access them easily in future. If you come across a good help resource I haven't listed here, please do share its location via a group PM.

  • Editing tutorial – at the foot of the MarioMarconipedia menu box, top right of every MarioMarconipedia page, there's a link to Wikia's Help Tutorial, in six one screen chapters; the 'Editing help (opens in new window)' link you see when editing a wiki page links through to chapter '2. Editing'.
  • Editing Tips – a GREAT new feature: when you're editing, to the left of the edit box there's an 'Editing Tips' palette with five panels of reminders about the little text codes you need to format the content of your wiki page, and a sixth 'More Help' panel with a link to...
  • Wikia Help – scads of info from 'The basics' via 'Tips and tricks' and 'Extra features' to 'Admin stuff', and links to these three additional help resources:
  • Live Help – first stop I'd say is to ask me a question or seek some guidance by clicking on 'Post a comment' on my Wikia talk page at User talk:Dalinian and I'll reply as soon as I can (within minutes or hours) by posting to your talk page, where we can hold a conversation if necessary; if I don't respond as soon as you'd like, please forgive me, and feel free to send me a DS PM too. There's also a Wikia Forum:Help desk, though I've not needed to use it yet, so I can't judge its utility.


Here's common abbreviations I'm using in our MarioMarconipedia Guides – let me know if there's something you'd like including in future editions.

  • C&P – Copy and Paste, usually text from TE to WB or vice versa
  • DS – Digital Spy
  • DS:BB – Digital Spy: Big Brother
  • FAM – a Fact About Mario, or the Facts About Mario DS:BB forum thread (depending on context)
  • FAMster – a FAM poster at the DS:BB forum FAM thread
  • PM – Private Messages on the DS:BB forums
  • TE – your Text Editor application program, eg: Mac OS X's TextEdit, M$ Windoze's WordPad, or similar
  • WB – your Web Browser application program, eg: Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or similar

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