Here are some Fearfully Anticipated Questions that Wikivoyagers have heard, or think they may hear, or wonder about themselves.
If you don't see your question answered here, ask it at the travellers' pub.
What is Wikivoyage?
Wikivoyage is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. It is built in collaboration by Wikivoyagers from around the globe. You can read more about Wikivoyage on the About page.
(Phew! That was an easy one.)
Who are you people?
We're Wikivoyagers. People from all over the world who are dedicated to making Wikivoyage the best darn travel guide around. Most of us are people who stumbled across the site, just like you, and decided to share our knowledge.
Who edits and organizes all this, though?
We do. Wikivoyagers. We create articles and then edit them, and we organize the articles into hierarchies and make links between them and have navigational pages, and things like that.
So, anyone can just drift in off the Internet and start writing travel articles?
How is that supposed to ever work?
Doesn't seem like it ever could, does it? With anyone able to edit any page, things should just descend into terrible chaos, shouldn't they? Madness, mayhem, and a horrible bog of unusable drivel.
Strangely enough, it doesn't. People who care about having well-written travel articles on this site are the majority. People who just want to vandalize or delete things eventually get bored with it – and, you have to admit, it's not that much of a challenge – and the rest of us come in and clean up. Policy, and more specifically the Manual of Style, keeps the formatting of articles similar across all pages of the website.
The other great part is that wikis converge. One Wikivoyager adds as much as they know about a topic, and others start adding more information. Other people come through and condense it all so it reads well. As the topic changes – new hotels open in a city, new bus routes start between regions – more Wikivoyagers can add that in.
Do you have any proof that this works?
Well, we have the existence proof of other projects that create references collaboratively. Probably the most famous one is our own sister project, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Many of our policies and guidelines are borrowed from that project.
OK, so, there's all this hippy-dippy love stuff about working together, but who's really in charge?
You are. Any Wikivoyager can change articles, rewrite navigation areas, even overwrite information about the site itself. We try to make decisions about policy and guidelines collaboratively, but if you have a good idea for how we should work, plunge forward and let us know.
That all said, there are certain Wikivoyagers who've been working on the site for a while, and they can become Administrators. Administrators generally get some higher access – like really deleting pages instead of blanking them – but not much power. They just implement what has been decided, with some leeway. It's more of a burden than a privilege, and not all experienced editors are administrators.
Who owns the site? Who operates the servers?
The content of the site is owned by Wikivoyage contributors, who each own the copyright to their own contributions, and agree to license them according to the Creative Commons by-sa license. If you've found a photo or another work by a single contributor on Wikivoyage, and would like to use it under terms different from that license, please contact the creator of that work directly.
The domain names wikivoyage.org, wikivoyage.net and wikivoyage.com, and the equipment the site runs on is owned and operated by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Who pays for all this?
Wikivoyage does not directly accept money from any attraction, restaurant, hotel, tour operator or other travel-related company in exchange for favorable coverage. (They're welcome to contribute in other ways, though.)
The Wikimedia Foundation is funded by voluntary donations.
What is this software you're running?
How do I spell "Wikivoyage"?
Capital W, eye, kay, eye, vee, oh, why, ay, gee, ee. The "v" in the middle is not capitalized – try to avoid the temptation.
How do I pronounce "Wikivoyage"?
People vary on the "Wiki" part. It's either "WEE-kee", "WIH-kee" or "WIK-kee". Feel free to apply your best foreign accent to the "voyage" part.
Where's the contact information?
There isn't any. If you have a question about an article in particular, post it on the talk page for that article. If you have a question about Wikivoyage in general, try posting in the travellers' pub. If you're a new user and need some help, we've got the arrivals lounge, and if you've got a question about travel, please ask in the tourist office.
Contributors have their individual talk pages so you can use them to speak to other Wikivoyagers directly. Your talk page is where other users will contact you!
For legal matters you can contact the Wikimedia Foundation, if other means fail.
Is it true that Wikivoyage's content came from Wikitravel?
At one point it was true, more or less: when the English language Wikivoyage was founded in 2012, we brought over the travel guides from Wikitravel. (This is both legal and moral thanks to the free licence both sites share!) In fact, Wikivoyage was founded by a very large contingent of editors and administrators from Wikitravel—the very people who originally wrote much of the content we imported. Since then, the content of the two sites has diverged greatly.
If you're interested in the gory details of why we forked the project, we have a page that provides a recap. But we are our own project now, and we're moving forward with great new content. As time goes on, our content will continue to resemble Wikitravel's less and less—hopefully, by being more up-to-date, better organized, and more integrated with the other wikis of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Questions about content
This article is all wrong! You have to fix it!
I am trying to find Topic X, and there's no article about it!
I am trying to find Topic X, the page just has headings and an intro
I am trying to find Topic X, and all that's there is "asdfkjadflkjfd EAT MY BUTT"!
Make sure to check the article's history (there will be a "history" link at the top of the page) and look at the second or third revision listed (saved by another user) to see if that earlier version made more sense. You can edit, add to, and save that version to preserve the original content.
I have an idea for an article, but I don't know exactly how to get started.
Check out how to start a new page.
The article skeleton documentation explains the section headings, and how the articles are laid out. We also have a page that tells you where you can stick various types of venues and points of interest.
The article on my destination is great, but I still have some questions.
See if your destination has a "docent". That's what we call Wikivoyagers who have volunteered to answer questions about their favorite spots. Ask them your questions, but don't abuse their generosity! You can read more about docents.
I want to cross-post content from another site under a CC-By-SA license (like Wikipedia or Wikitravel). Can I do this?
Yes, that is one of the main features of the CC-by-SA license! Make sure that the particular license is compatible, though—we cannot accept any content that has a non-commercial (NC) or no-derivative-works (ND) clause. Like Wikipedia, we require that you include a reference to the original source in the edit summary to preserve attribution.
Text copied from (full URL or other appropriate reference)
We discourage wholesale copying from other Wikimedia projects, however, as we aim to provide original writing and to generally provide value-added, rather than "value-duplicated," content.
See Project:Wikivoyage and Wikitravel for information relevant to Wikitravel.
There aren't any references cited in articles! How do I know the info is accurate?
Requiring references for all edits doesn't work for a travel guide because much of the content is based on original research - the experiences of travelers and residents of places around the world. Many listings within articles include a link to the official web site for the business or attraction, and these links can be used similarly to how references are used on other sites. For other content, having lots of editors constantly reviewing and updating articles helps to keep articles accurate. If you find an inaccuracy simply remove it, and if you find something that seems dubious use the article's talk page to ask others to weigh in so that the questionable item can be either verified or removed.
Questions about editing
This all looks like gobbledygook! How do I edit these pages?
Pages on Wikivoyage are formatted using wiki markup. It looks funny at first, but after a while it seems like second nature. You should read about how to edit a page. For individual "listings" you can use the listing editor, giving you a form to fill in or correct.
How do I upload an image to use in an article?
You should follow the instructions on how to upload files.
How do I put an image I uploaded into an article?
You should follow the instructions on how to add an image.
Hey! I wrote this long nice article on Topic X, and it got changed! What gives?
Any Wikivoyager can edit any page. When you submit an article, it's subject to ruthless editing for style, subject matter, spelling, factual information, and just generally fitting into the Wikivoyage scheme of things. If you don't like that, you shouldn't work on Wikivoyage. But if the change was vandalism, just revert.
Hey! I changed my nice long article on Topic X back to the way it was before, and it got changed again! What gives?
How do I delete a whole page?
First, consider if the page really needs to be deleted. Perhaps it can be redirected to somewhere useful to the reader?
If the page does need to be deleted, then the procedure is somewhat more complicated: Go to Project:Votes for deletion and add a link to the page together with a reason for deletion. After fourteen days of discussion the page will be deleted unless there is a consensus to keep it.
Articles about places are typically best redirected to the nearest existing destination article.
How do I sign a posting?
When posting a message on a talk page it is customary to sign the posting with your user name and the posting date so that everyone knows who you are (for example: "User 15:35, 6 May 2005 (EDT)"). To get that text to appear automatically, simply type four tildes ("~~~~"), and they will be replaced with your user name and the current date when the edit is submitted.
Sorry, I don't speak English very well. Can I put articles in my own language in Wikivoyage?
Yes, if there is a separate Wikivoyage version for your language. If Wikivoyage in your language does not exist yet, you can start your own language version! To find out more, see our language version policy.
But my English sounds terrible. I'm embarrassed.
Don't worry too much about the level of your English, as long as it can be understood. Your spelling errors will be corrected by other people. We really want you to share your knowledge!
If you have an important point that you cannot explain in English, you could use the talk page. Write the point in your best English and clarify in your own language. Wikivoyage is a very international community, so there is likely to be somebody who understands your language.
Should I use US English spelling, or Commonwealth English spelling?
If the destination has a preferred variant of English, use that—use Commonwealth spelling for destinations in the United Kingdom, for example. For topics and destinations that don't have an established English language variant, we prefer US English spelling. In either case, though, don't worry too much about it; if you don't know the details of the different English spelling rules, just use what you know and someone will fix it later. See Project:Spelling for details.