Quick Start Guide

From Chanticleer Society
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Hello. We're glad you made it. Welcome... To... The Future!

Ok, all kidding aside, if you are here, then that means you want to learn the ropes on how to best utilize this site, or at least some quick pointers. While we all have probably ended up on various pages on Wikipedia from time to time, we may not really understand "what" a wiki really is or how it is structured. I'm still figuring this out a bit myself as well.

What follows will be as quick and concise of information as I can manage about what you really need to know in order to use this site. This page will evolve over time as we all learn together.

First off... what exactly is this site, and how does it compare to Wikipedia.

What Is This Site All About

The members of the Chanticleer Society are devote cocktail enthusiasts, some are professional bartenders, some (like myself) are merely hobbyists. While Wikipedia has a lot of great cocktail and spirits related information, it often is too general, and may not really dig into the type of specific details that we want. So this site is going to be similar to Wikipedia, but tailored specifically to the type of geeky information that us cocktail enthusiasts cherish.

Also, unlike Wikipedia, this site (at the moment anyway) doesn't allow "just anybody" to maintain it's content. There will be two types of "users" to this site. The general public will be able to access all of the information here, but they won't be able to create or edit anything. Content management will be done by members of the Chanticleer Society. At the moment, that means that the general public won't be able to create accounts here, but if an individual feels that they qualify as a "cocktail enthusiast", then they can request an account and thereby become a member of the Chanticleer Society.

For the General Public

If you are just browsing through and wanting to read the information we have, here are some pointers on how to use this site.

Hopefully, search sites like Google and Bing will redirect your cocktail/spirits searches to pages we have here. In which case, you'll do a basic web search and end up on a page which (hopefully) answers your questions. If you instead come to this site to specifically try to research some information, then there are two basic approaches you should be using.

  1. Use the "Search Chanticleer Society" box at the top of the page to enter the topic you are trying to find.
  2. Since this site is going to be "sparsely populated" in its early days, use the All Pages Link to see a list of all of the pages on this site so you can select the one you are interested in.

For Members

Ok, here is where it might get a little tricky. If you are a member, then you have the capability of creating and editing content. Hopefully, this responsibility is not taken lightly.

There are essentially two things you can do as a member:

  1. Edit Content
  2. Create Content

Edit Content

If you are logged in, and viewing one of the pages on the site, and feel that there is something wrong, or missing, you can click the "Edit" button you will see at the top of the page to edit the information that is there.

Create Content

If there is information that you can't find on the site, that you wish it included, the steps you should follow are:

  1. Do a "search" for the information. What you type into the search box should be the "title" you think the page should have. Be sure to use the "case" you want the article to have, since "This is a test" and "This Is A Test" would be two different articles!
  2. Click on the "created [search context] on this wiki!" link.

You will end up at a page which will allow YOU to provide details about the information you were trying to find. If you have any details to share, simply enter it into the page provided. If you are scared about this responsibility, then click the back button and clear your conscious.

Formating Content

Once you are in the process of adding content to this site, the most important concept is "every blank line creates a new paragraph".

In other words, as you type in information, just make sure that there is a blank line before each break in the content.

One of the key features of a wiki, is how easy it is to create pages. One way to do this I outlined above, but just searching for information, and if you don't find it, the system will prompt you to create the page. The other way to do this is to create a link on the page you are editing to a non-existent page. Once you save your edits, and click the red link on your page, it will tell you that the page doesn't exist, and prompt you to create one.

Adding a link to another wiki page is very easy, for example, putting this: [[this is a link to a page]] on a page will create a link to a wiki page called "This is a link to a page". If the page exists, the link will be blue, and it will take you to that page. If the page doesn't exist, the link will be red, and clicking on it will allow you to create the page. Sometimes, you want the words of the link to be different from the page being linked to. In which case you put a bar "|" between the page name, and the text to display, for example: [[Page Link | this is a link to a page]], which will display "this is a link to a page", but the page it links to will be called "Page Link".

To add a link to an external web page is extremely easy, just type the link and the Wiki software will automatically linkify it. For example http://www.DrinkBoy.com. If you would like to have text on your page link to an external website, it is just a slight variation of how you do it for local wiki pages. For example [http://www.DrinkBoy.com DrinkBoy] will produce DrinkBoy. Notice that there is no "bar" character there, plus there are only single square brackets. This is because URLs can't have spaces in them, so the wiki software knows that when it encounters a space, the URL is finished, and what follows is the text that should be converted to a link.

Once you've made the edits you were wanting to make, click the "Show Preview" button at the bottom of the page. This will reload the editing page, with the rendering of your edits shown at the top, and the editing window below that so you can continue to make edits. Then after you are satisfied, just click "Save Changes" to... well... save your changes. Or you can click "Cancel" if you want to abandon your changes.

Frankly, if that is all that you do, then you are good-to-go. There are a variety of other formatting tricks that this software provides, but that, as they say, is content for another discussion.

A good way to exercise your editing, is to create and update your "user page". This is a page that is tied to your account, and gives you a place where you can tell others who you are. Just click your username in the upper right corner, and then in the dropdown that appears, click "User Page". Initially, that link will be RED, which is an indication that there isn't a page behind that link yet. Once you've created your page, the link will be blue.

Further Reading

For more information about formatting "WikiText" you can check the Wikitext examples article on http://www.MediaWiki.com.