Using and editing the Freecycle wiki
The Freecycle wiki is being phased out. The mod manual and other public materials are now all onsite and Freecycle teams are moving their wikis to the Wiki section of their respective team discussion groups on Groups.io. This information only applies to those teams who have not yet moved off the wiki.
To access team wikis, you have to log in. There's a link towards the top right, and you can log in using your personal Freecycle username (not email address) and password.
How to search the wiki
The search box is in the left side of the wiki page. When you type in a search term it brings up search results for part of the wiki, which defaults to the basic member wiki. If you want to also search the Mod Manual, you need to check the box beside "Moderator Manual" and then click the blue Search button. At this point it's a good idea to check the box at the bottom that says "Remember selection for future searches" because you will almost always want to include the Mod Manual in your searches.
If you only want to search a specific part of the wiki, click the "None" button on the right side and then check the box beside what you do want to search, then click the blue Search button.
If you type in a search term that exactly matches the name of a page in the wiki, it opens that page instead of bringing up search results. "Glossary" is a good example of that. To bring up a list of pages that include the term "glossary," just add another word ("the" works beautifully).
How do I use the editor?
Editing requires special privileges. The Hub Coordinator will set you up with privileges if you need them.
When you click on Edit, you'll see the wikitext, which uses special characters to format the text. This is a bit cryptic to use, though you'll soon get the hang of it. The toolkit at the top of the page is helpful for most formatting situations. Click on Advanced to access list tools.
Here are some basic commands:
- Headings are designated with equal signs on each side of the heading. The more equal signs, the smaller the text.
= Title = looks like Title
== Title == looks like Title
=== Title === looks like Title
==== Title ==== looks like Title
- <br> inserts a line break
- Typing * before a line inserts a bullet point before a list item. If you prefer, you can type your list, highlight it and press the bullet list icon in the Advanced toolbar.
- Typing # before each line in a list produces a numbered list. If you prefer, you can type your list, highlight it and press the numbered list icon in the Advanced toolbar. Numbered lists only work correctly if you don't have extra line breaks.
- Three apostrophes on each side are used to ''' Bold ''' text. You can also use the B icon in the toolbar.
- Two apostrophes on each side are used to '' italicize '' text. You can also use the I icon in the toolbar.
For more information on wikitext, here's a good cheatsheet of basic wikitext codes.
Click below for additional information on:
Click the Preview tab to check your work. When you're done, click the Publish button to save your changes. Don't worry -- your edits won't be public until they're reviewed.
HTML code is what is written between the symbols < > . This is used for special formatting situations that wikitext can't handle. You probably won't need these, but here's a good HTML cheatsheet just in case.
Creating a new page
There are two ways to create a new wiki page.
- Create a link to an page that doesn't exist yet. This will create a red link, and if you click the red link it will take you to the edit page for the new article. Simply type your text, click save and the new page will be created.
- In your browser, type in https://wiki.freecycle.org/Newpagename to create a page called Newpagename. This brings up an error message: "There is currently no text in this page. You can search for this page title in other pages, search the related logs, or edit this page." The page is now ready to be edited.
Use consistent terminology
- Use Freecycle.org instead of MyFreecycle or any of its variations.
- Use "The Freecycle Network" instead of "the Freecycle Network"
What's the 'house style'?
A few things to bear in mind:
- Please don't use lots of capitals.
- Use bold text rarely, for emphasis.
- Use italics for terminology, or names of buttons/menu items.
- Use red text very rarely, for warnings about very important things.
Remember that this wiki is for members, who may not have strong IT skills, and may not have English as a first language.
- Use simple language.
- Keep sentences short. If they're long, people won't read them.
- Keep articles short. If they're more than a couple of screens, people won't read them. Often articles get cluttered because there's one specific, relatively unimportant, point which takes a long time to explain. Create another article instead, and link to it.
- Use screenshots. Although it's a bit of a pain capturing them and uploading them to the wiki, they're massively more useful than words. See here for how to capture them.
Keep a clear structure:
- Use lots of links, from one article to another. Think about where someone needs to go next, and add links to help them.
- Use bullets and section headings to provide clear, visible structure.
- Don't be afraid to change the structure of a page. If people just add text and sections to a page, it becomes too long; think about whether it needs splitting, editing or rewriting.
- The | character is located above the \ key, just under the Backspace key on a typical keyboard.
- Try to avoid editing section headings or page headings. If there's a link somewhere else in the Wiki to that heading, even the slightest change will break the link.
- Remember that the default setting in the wiki is that all pages are visible to the public unless permissions are set to restrict the page to specific users.
- When you're looking at the wiki and see an example of formatting you might like to emulate, click the Edit tab and copy the wikitext to a text document so you can refer to it later.
For more suggestions on layout and content, please click here
Are my edits reviewed?
Yes. The wiki shows the approved versions of changes. A separate team of Reviewers will verify your edits and approve them to make them visible to others.