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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual--New from O'Reilly Media: Learning to Write and Edit the Wikipedia Way

January 23, 2008

Sebastopol, CA--Want to be part of the largest multilingual, free content, everyone-can-chip-in encyclopedia project in human history? O'Reilly Media's new release--Wikipedia: The Missing Manual ($29.99) by John Broughton--can show you how.

In his timely new book, Broughton offers straightforward, fun-to-read instructions about how to join the diverse cadre of volunteers, citizen journalists, and scholars from around the planet who regularly edit articles and contribute to the online encyclopedia.

"Wikipedia is immensely popular as a source of information," says Broughton, a registered editor at Wikipedia since 2005 with more than 15,000 edits under his belt. "But it needs many more active editors than it has now, because it is so incomplete. Wikipedia also needs many more editors who are experts in a particular subject matter."

In addition, Broughton says, "My book can also help those who have done some editing in Wikipedia, but want to expand or improve what they're doing."

Indeed Broughton's deep knowledge of Wikipedia combined with his appealing writing style made him a perfect addition to the Missing Manual roster of authors. Founded by New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, O'Reilly's Missing Manual series specializes in producing beautifully written manuals for popular consumer software and hardware products--the book that should have been in the box.

Between the covers of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, you'll find easy-to-follow, practical advice for creating articles and collaborating with fellow editors, improving existing articles, and working with the Wikipedia community to review new articles, mediate disputes, and maintain the site.

The book covers:

  • Basic editing techniques, including the right and wrong ways to edit
  • How to pinpoint advice about which types of articles do and do not belong on Wikipedia
  • Tips on using Wikipedia page histories and reversing inaccurate edits
  • Ways to learn from other editors and communicate with them via the site's talk pages
  • How to find specific articles in Wikipedia that you're particularly interested in editing as well as other editors with the same interests
  • Recommended procedures for fighting spam and vandalism
  • Guidance on adding citations, links, and images to your articles

"I find the sheer volume of transactions at Wikipedia to be astonishing. There's 100 million article views per day and more than a quarter of a million edits per day. And several thousand new articles added every day," says Broughton. "There are also more than a thousand articles deleted every day, more than 7,000 new registered user accounts every day. And that?s just for the English language Wikipedia. The other 250 plus non-English language versions combined are more than three times the size of the English Wikipedia."

So if you're ready to jump on board, Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, is your first-class ticket. With the tips in this book, you'll quickly learn how to get more out of--and put more into--this valuable online resource.

John Broughton has been a registered editor at Wikipedia since August 2005, with more than 15,000 edits by the time he wrote this book. John has B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Johns Hopkins University; an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University; an M.S. in Education from the University of Southern California; and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

More information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bio, and samples

Wikipedia: The Missing Manual
John Broughton
ISBN: 0-596-51516-2, $29.99

About the Missing Manual series
The book that should have been in the box. Warm, witty, and jargon-free, Missing Manuals have enough clarity for the novice, and enough depth and detail for the power user.

About O’Reilly

O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O’Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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