U of I Wiki:About
The U of I Wiki is a free, encyclopedic reference website on everything about the University of Illinois. The wiki's articles generally focus on the Urbana-Champaign campus but might also include information about the Chicago campus, the Springfield campus and the University of Illinois system as a whole.
So, what's this "wiki" thing about?
A wiki, which comes from the Hawaiian word for "quick," is a website that allows collaborative editing of its content and structure by its community. Yes, that community means you. Yes, you, sitting on your couch right now reading this! After the success of wikis, most notably Wikipedia, a wiki about the University of Illinois seemed like a good idea. So, in early May 2007, this website was slapped together with Illini love and the crumbling drywall from Lincoln Hall.
The U of I wiki was created in the spirit of open collaboration with university students, staff, faculty and all of the people in Urbana and Champaign who have accumulated a wealth of collective knowledge. The wiki's motivation is that people are hungry for information and hungry to share that information with others.
We thrive only when people like you get excited about sharing what you've learned on campus.
Gah, I can't write worth crap!
If you've never edited a wiki before, you're probably thinking, "Me? Edit something? I don't know anything." That's not true. You know plenty. What are the Illinois Loyalty song lyrics? What does Campus Property Management (not) do? What is served at Fat Don's? What drink specials are at Murphy's Pub? What is the Delta Delta Delta sorority rush process? What does jingling your keys or "I-L-L I-N-I" mean? Which coffee shop offers what atmosphere? What is taught in the wine tasting and flower arranging courses? Where have you seen Combover Guy?
Maybe you're a grammar freak. Or maybe you post your photos of campus on Flickr. Or maybe you have a video on YouTube of yourself streaking across the Quad. Whatever it is, you have something to share, however little or great. Maybe just one contribution of one sentence might motivate someone enough to write one paragraph, which in turn might motivate another to share links, and another to post an image or video.
Now you're probably thinking, "Won't somebody edit or delete what I just wrote?" Maybe. But for every one person who contributes a little is looking over another's shoulder and vice versa to make sure the wiki's articles can get better. All article edits are saved as previous versions, which means nothing is truly lost. Yes, even the crappy edits are saved. The more, the merrier.
You've sold me. What now?
Awesome! Check out the Main Page and read a few of the existing articles. Catch a grammatical error? Could something be phrased better? Does the formatting look shoddy? Click "edit" at the top of the page and edit to your heart's content. Help on formatting text, embedding images and video is available in the Help section.
If you find yourself making more than a few edits, consider creating an account. If you're doing a bang-up job, you might make system operator status, and you'll get to play a bigger role in making the wiki something special.
Up, up, and...?
When all is said and done, it's entirely possible that the U of I wiki could suck badly. But for some reason, we're confident that not only will the wiki work, but that it will become a go-to resource for collective and collaborative knowledge that you can't find anywhere else.
So, come on in. Join the party.