Warning. If you click on the link above you will move out into Wikispace proper. Here, you are in what, in Wikispeak, is called an orphan page: nothing else in Wikispace links to this page (intentionally). Beyond here are plenty of links back to my conventional web pages but I have to keep them discrete. So be prepared to use your Back button.
RWH on Wikispace
I have decided, as an experiment to convert my page-under-development about Charge Groups into a Wiki article.
Wikipedia is amazing: it is totally open. Anyone can edit it. You could follow this link and wipe out my carefully prepared article. But please don't! Wiki keeps a total edit trail of every page and has a superb program to compare different versions of a page. But it still takes time to revert a page.
If you wish to make constructive changes, please sign up and get yourself a User Id - it is free and you can still be totally anonymous. People who contribute without an Id - they are identified just by the IP address they had at the time - are considered a lower form of life in Wikispace.
Despite this openness Wikipedia is a vast, authoritative and generally accurate repository of knowledge.
True, there are lots of malevolent creatures that lurk in Wikispace such as trolls, sock puppets and straightforward vandals. But clearly the benevolent creatures outnumber the malevolent ones many times over.
In fact, in moving my Charge Groups article here, I am less worried about trolls and vandals than I am about the high-minded administrators who patrol Wikispace to keep it in order and who might take exception to my treating Wikipedia as an extension to my own web site. As far as keeping Wikispace clean goes, given the openness, administrators do not have much more power than ordinary mortals.
Wikispace is perhaps somewhat introspective: internal links are always preferred over external ones. But internal links have one tremendous advantage when contributing: all pages are generated in real time and all internal links are checked! Internal links are shown in different colours: thus if active and thus if broken.
I have always steered clear of Bulletin Boards, Chat Rooms, Blogs and the like: their content tends to be colloquial, ungrammatical, monosyllabic, etc - for example see this page on fazed.net or a random blog (click the 'Next Blog' link at top-right for more). As Gwendolen Fairfax might have said: 'I am glad to say that I have never seen a chat room. It is obvious that our surfing spheres have been widely different'.
But Wikipedians understand the value of using good English even in the discussion pages - see for example what others have written on my talk page.
'Do not enter if offended by ...'
While writing my Warning above I was reminded of porn sites some of which start with a plain page and a message like: Do not enter this site if you are offended by images of naked people. That reminded me of the contrast between two Irish sites:
- this site of Republican Songs opens boldly with a long list of titles including Give Ireland Back to the Irish by Paul and Linda McCartney (¡ I ain't ever heard Macca sing that one!). But …
- this site of Loyalist Music starts with a plain page and a message like: Do not enter this site if you are offended by images of portly men wearing the sashes their fathers wore. And after that build up, you wonder why - the site is heavily sanitised - I could not find any sashes, apprentice boys or mention of the Boyne.