In addition to wiki gatherings where users get the chance to meet face to face there are many things that can be done to continue to foster a sense of community on DavisWiki.

Welcoming users

Take the time to welcome new users to the wiki. If they have created a personal page a simple "Welcome to the wiki!" might be appropriate. If not, create one for them. You can point them toward resource pages that may be appropriate given their edit history.

Notice Macro

Some new editors miss the yellow "messages" notice in the upper right hand corner. If there were a [[Notice()]] macro it would be possible to reach out to those editors and let them know that they need to read and respond to the comments on their userpage. The macro could be used to send a clear, unmissable message to another editor without having to blank out a page to get their attention. [[Notice(username)]] would show the following message the next time they visited the page: "Other editors have been trying to give you information or ask you questions. Please check your ["Users/username"] page and respond to their comments". Other people viewing the page wouldn't see it, just the person it was addressed to.

Encouraging Single Topic Editors to Branch Out

Single topic editors are those who edit only a single entry, or a small group of entries that all share one common topic. Often these are business owners and edit only the page with information about their business and pages that have links to it. Encouraging these editors to branch out and edit elsewhere on the wiki has two benefits:

  • It reduces the a feeling of persecution for that editor. If they are only editing one page they may interpret other editors actions as hostile, rather than just part of the normal course of engaging in collaborative editing. If they edit a variety of pages they will learn more about the wiki and see that not every edit they make is later "improved" by another editor
  • It makes the wiki more robust.

Encouraging experimentation

If the processes by which pages and content are vetted are open and articulated new users who create inappropriate content are less likely to feel personally driven off when the page is deleted. Using the comment box when deleting pages or content is very important for this reason. When possible try to salvage the contribution.

Social Norms

There are some very good social norms (Wiki Ethics) that have emerged. By living within them it is easier to "socialize" new users to follow them as well.