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Welcome to the Occupy Boston wiki Help page. This page is dedicated to helping users understand their 'wiki rights' and use of the basic wiki tools.

To become a user, create an account with the link in the upper right corner. Once logged in, please go to your user-page (click the link at the very top of the page) and add your contact information so that others will be able to collaborate with you. You can also verify your email to get updates. Explore your preferences for more options.

Don't just watch - all users have the rights to read, discuss, edit, move (rename), and create new pages. Use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate 'within' pages. The Page and Discussion tabs distinguish collaborative spaces. Edit, View history, Move, and Watch are the basic functions with which every user should be familiar. This page covers only the most basic tools provided in the wiki software.

User:OneKarma welcomes all wiki- and communication-related inquiries. Email:
Read Renjender's 5 Second Wiki Lesson.
For precise formatting help, view MediaWiki's help page


The most difficult part of contributing is writing something that is agreeable to an open group. This wiki has nearly 130 active contributors (as of 29 Nov 2011). There have been various 'message statement' groups that have failed because a strong statement is hard to agree upon in diverse groups. The best way to work is to just write. After you write/create something (whether a personal statement or an encyclopedic page), you can post your work in the appropriate place(s) on the wiki. If the appropriate topic page for your work doesn't seem to exist, create it! Place links on existing pages to your new page. (Use the 'Page' tab for solid facts/agreements, and try to keep the 'Discussion' on its own tab - see editing instructions below for details.)

Learn by Observing and Doing

The best way to learn how to contribute to the wiki is to see what is already here and to determine the similar aspects you would like to see. Use the 'Edit' function on any page to see the formatting for that page. (It is recommended to use the 'WikiText' instead of the 'RichText' Editor, as this offers more precise control.) To switch editors, click the link above the top left of the editing box, to 'Show (other) Editor'.

Every page on the wiki should clearly represent a specific idea. You can clarify the intent of a page (and thereby direct its future use) by adding a precise description of its function, which will strongly promote the healthy growth of the wiki.

Page titles should be short and sweet, and should contain relevant hierarchies if possible. For example, a draft proposal from the Safety WG should be entitled Safety/Proposal X. This creates navigable sub-spaces for our mass of information by automating 'return' links, but only when both the sub-page and the host page exist. For example, if both pages WG and WG/Proposal X exist, a link to WG will automatically appear at the top of the WG/Proposal X page.

  • Etiquette should require no more mention than this.
  • Leave a signature to help people collaborate with you. The wiki will automatically change four tildes (~~~~) into a link to your user-page and a time-stamp when you 'Save' the page. Add solid contact information to your user-page for best results.
  • Internal links are like nerve endings - they pick up and direct information within the whole. Consider the many paths by which collaborators and visitors might want to explore the wiki, and try to create a network with many 'nerve endings'. Information should be linked on any and all relevant pages.


There is a search bar at the top right of every page. It works!

Mailing List Help

For admins of working group mailing lists, OBIT has designed a List Help page (with images) to guide you through the mailing list configuration.

Methodology and Content Rights

Anyone can become a content creator, but no one is ever a content 'owner.' See the cautionary note on every Editing page:

If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here.

Wikipedia is standing proof that crowd-sourced content creation and management can be effective on a global web-space.


Before you modify a page, please consider the intent of the existing text. There are many authors, and everyone is making their best contributions.

  • You can 'check-in' with prior editors by using the Discussion and History tabs at the top of every page.
  • If you want others to collaborate regarding your notes, don't forget to sign your comments by inserting four tildes (like this: ~~~~). The wiki will automatically insert a link to your user-page next to a time-stamp for the comment.
  • You can email other users by going to their user-page and clicking the link that appears in the bottom of the side-bar. This will send an email to the address registered with that username.

Public vs Personal Space

As a general guideline, please consider the main structure to be a public face of Occupy Boston. It should have the appearance of professionalism, inviting readers with clarity, brevity, and relevancy.

Every user has their own dedicated userpage. Edit your userpage to add contact information, personal statements, and to organize projects you may be working on. See User:OneKarma for a well-developed example. It is suggested that users keep their contact information, personal statements, projects, and reference collections in their own user web-space. You can also create sub-pages in your user-space with the following naming convention: User:YourName/Page Name.


Navigating the wiki should be intuitive. If it is not, please let us know! User:OneKarma welcomes all wiki-related inquiries.

The side-bar contains the main navigation links, and you should be able to reach every page on the wiki by following links on various pages. Most of the wiki is contained on the Working Groups pages. Working Groups are ever-growing, as is the list of working groups itself! Don't be shy; add your voice to any and all conversations that interest you.

Page, Discussion, and History

The 'Page' tab (top left) is meant to be a public face regarding the topic/title of the page. Please try to keep these pages organized with the most important information, because many people will see only this part of the page.

The 'Discussion' tab (top left) is meant to be 'conversational' in a way.

There is a 'history' of every page that is automatically archived by the wiki software, so there is never a need to worry about 'losing' information. Use the 'View history' tab on the top right to compare versions of a page.


Please leave a signature when you add comments to discussions. Insert four tildes, like this: ~~~~, for the wiki to automatically insert this: OneKarma 15:14, 21 November 2011 (EST). Other users may want to collaborate regarding the notes you have added, so your signature will let them know how to find you.

New Pages

All users have the right to create new pages. Creating a new page is as easy as visiting the page you want with your web browser, and clicking 'Create' in the top right. This page was created by typing "" into the url bar, and then clicking 'Create' (note that all pages begin with "" by default). The title of the page is exactly the same as what follows """, so remember to Capitalize where appropriate.

You can also create a new page by adding a link to an existing page, then saving that page, and then clicking on the link you created. Use [[Double Brackets]] to add a link to a wiki page (whether or not it already exists). The text within the double brackets denotes the page title (and should not include """). I can place a link the the homepage by writing "[[Occupy Boston|link text]]", which looks like this: "link text".

Rename (Move) and REDIRECT

'Moving' a page is really just creating a new page with the same information while simultaneously redirecting the old page. Everyone has the right to Move pages as they wish. Click the down-arrow to the right of the 'Edit' tab to rename a page.

Use #REDIRECT [[Page Name]] to manually re-direct pages. This works with or with-out deleting the rest of a page's content.


Special:Categories automatically updates based upon the category tags of other pages. If you click the edit function of this help page and view with WikiText Editor (not RichText), you can scroll to the bottom of this page and see the Help category tag, which looks like this: [[Category:Help]]. Adding pages to categories is as simple as that. The wiki will do the work of adding a category list at the bottom of your pages. For more specific category help, see WikiMedia's Help:Category page.


Every page can be used as a 'sub-space'. The title of the page denotes the sub-space it falls into (such as User:OneKarma/Forum falls into User:OneKarma), and the wiki will automatically place a link at the top of those pages going 'back' to the sub-space.

Use of sub-space can increase the wiki's level of organization, which can allow new users to become more productive, while increasing the depth of user communication.


The 'Edit' tab (top right) allows you to edit anything and everything on a page.

  • Practice editing a page in the Sandbox.
  • Nothing can ever be truly un-done - every edit is archived within the History of each page.

'Rich' vs. 'Wiki' Text Editors

In your Preferences (link in very top right, when signed-in) you can change the default settings for editing, otherwise you can choose which editor to use by clicking the link over the top left of the editing box. You will see either [Show RichTextEditor] or [Show WikiTextEditor]. It is recommended that everyone become familiar with the WikiText Editor in order to keep our Formatting very simple. In 'Rich' mode, you will see the page almost exactly as it will appear when saved, and in 'Wiki' mode you will see all the formatting notation. Observe a few 'Edit' pages in WikiText mode to get a handle on things.


Use <br> for a new line where you don't want a larger space to appear. Otherwise, just skip an extra line.
Use <nowiki>this command</nowiki> to disable automatic formatting, such as '''bold''', ''italic'' (using 3 or 2 apostrophes, respectively), and <u>underline</u> commands.

Lists, Headings, and the Table of Contents

Use a semicolon (;) at the beginning of a line to create a bold list heading (like this)
Use a colon (:) at the beginning of a line for an internal heading (like this)
Add layers of internal headings with multiple colons (this line begins with two colons)
  • Use an asterisk (*) or a number sign (#) at the beginning of each line to create a list (this line begins with *)
    1. You can embed numbers, bullets, colons, and semicolons within each other (this line begins with *#)
Use page-defining headings (with 'equals' signs) to create sections and sub-sections on a page.
It is recommended to always skip the =First Heading= (which is generally reserved for the Title of the page), and
Use only the ==Second==, ===Third===, and ====Fourth====, headings, etc.
The presence of at least 4 headings on a page will automatically create a table of contents above the first heading.
To disable the table of contents, place __NOTOC__ anywhere on the page.
Place the table of contents elsewhere by using __TOC__


  • Internal links are made with double brackets, such as [[Page Name]] (note that Capitalization is important)
    • Use a 'pipe' character (| - appears on my keyboard as 'shift+backslash', above 'enter') to separate display text for internal links, like this: [[Page Name|Link Text]]
  • External links are made with single brackets, such as [ Link Text]
  • Inter-wiki links can be made to some other mediawiki sites. For example, use [[wikipedia:Page Name|link text]] for Wikipedia and [[wikt:Page Name|link text]] for Wiktionary pages.


  • Upload files (texts, images, videos, etc) from your computer via the link on the bottom of the left side-bar.

Adding Notes

Notes about format, language, or missing information often belong right on the page. These are apart from the general Discussion, which can be accessed via the tab at the top left of the page. Notes should mark issues that can be completed by a single individual who happens to know the solution to the noted issue.

  • Notes should be in single brackets and announced as a note. [Note: This is an example of a note.]
  • Don't forget your signature (using ~~~~), otherwise no one will know how to collaborate with you!

Additional Resources

Please contact WG/OBIT to address any other concerns. They can often be found in the IRC channel '#OccupyBostonIT'