Monday, August 10, 2015

GSoW TAM13 Workshop flyer for editing class.

This is the worksheet I handed out at the "Learn to edit like a GSoW editor and change the world Mwahahahaahhaha! workshop.

It is possible that the directions will make little sense without context. If you have questions please contact us at


To edit a Wikipedia page...
1) Click on the Edit tab at the TOP right of the page.
2) Make your change
3) Click Preview at the bottom of the edit screen and review your changes. If correct then put a reason for the edit in the “Edit Summary” box.
4) Click Save
5) Congratulate yourself!

Adding a Hyperlink...

Add two brackets around the word/phrase/name like this...

[[James Randi]]

The words inside the brackets must match the Wikipedia page you want to hyperlink to exactly.

NOTE - I've come to realize that the following examples of verbiage may not be the best for non-native English speakers. So below these examples I offer other examples that use more common words than "evangelism" and "billet reading". 

Often an editor wants to hyperlink to a Wikipedia page but wants other words to appear.


You want the page to say... “One of his earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an evangelist using a version of the one-ahead.”

You want to explain what the “one-ahead” and “evangelist” is. So you want to make a hyperlink to those Wikipedia pages that will explain what those terms are. The Wikipedia page for “evangelist” is actually called “Evangelism” And the Wikipedia page for “one-ahead” is actually called “billet reading” But those words would not sound correct to the reader of your James Randi page.

One of his earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an [[Evangelism]] using a version of [[billet reading]].”

This is the correct way the edit will look once you are done.

One of his earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an [[Evangelism|evangelist]] using a version of the "[[billet reading|one-ahead]]"

Use the “bar symbol” in-between the words. The “bar symbol” is located below the backspace key. The left side is written exactly as the Wikipedia page you want to link to. The right side is what you want the reader to see.

Here are other examples of how this sentence could look...

According to [[James Randi|Randi]], one of [[Ray Hyman|Hyman]]'s earliest reported experiences is that of seeing an [[Evangelism|evangelist]] using a version of the "[[billet reading|one-ahead]]"

More examples....

This is from the Harry Houdini Wikipedia page...

" Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, [[straitjacket]]s under water, and having to escape from and [[apnea|hold his breath]] inside a sealed milk can."

Obviously if the sentence read... "and having to escape from and apnea inside a sealed milk can." it would make no sense.  The phrase "hold his breath" is NOT a Wikipedia page. So we can't link to a Wikipedia page called "hold his breath"  The editor wants to explain the phrase "hold his breath" for anyone who wants to know that it means "apnea".

From the Christopher Hitchens Wikipedia page...

"... describing himself as a socialist and a Marxist, Hitchens began his break from the established political left"

The word "socialist" should be defined with a hyperlink for anyone not familiar with the term.

The page you would use to get more information is called "Democratic socialism".  Obviously the sentence "... describing himself as a Democratic socialism and a Marxist..."

So the edit when written correctly would look like this ...
" describing himself as a [[Democratic socialism|socialist]] and a Marxist, Hitchens began his break from the established political left..."

Lesson 2 – Adding a authorlink to a citation...

  1. Randi, James. "Teleportation Magic Established By Science, At Last!”. Swift (Blog). JREF. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
    You want to make the name James Randi hyperlink to his Wikipedia page.
First click on the “Edit” tab on the TOP right of the Wikipedia page.

Find the reference/citation that needs to have the authorlink added to. It probably will look something like this.

<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Teleportation Magic Established By Science, At Last! |last=Randi |first=James | work=Swift |publisher=JREF |type=Blog |accessdate=January 19, 2011}}</ref>

You will add this |authorlink=James Randi|   (make sure it is a lower-case "a" in "authorlink")

You will add it right after the word “James” in the citation above. It will look like this when done correctly.

<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Teleportation Magic Established By Science, At Last! |last=Randi |first=James |authorlink=James Randi| work=Swift |publisher=JREF |type=Blog |accessdate=January 19, 2011}}</ref>

Remember that you must write the authorlink exactly as the Wikipedia page you are linking to appears.

Stat Tool -



  1. Have you considered teaching people to edit Wikipedia using VisualEditor, rather than the older wikitext editing interface?

    1. Good question John.

      Really I hadn't. I am self taught and figure if I can learn it, then most others can. :-)

      But really the answer is that we don't have a lot of problems with teaching people the code. What we come up against all the time is people not sure what to actually write once they have the citation. They find that organizing the project and sorting through all the citations are stumbling blocks.

    2. Good point. Looking more closely, I see that you're focused on a few, very specific things, rather than teaching a broad range of Wikipedia editing. And for that, I can see teaching the code to be fine.

      Which raises a different question: Why teach how to add authorlink parameters to a citation, rather than how to add a citation (with some related text)? I say that as someone who has never seen authorlinks as being particularly important (perhaps mistakenly), but absolutely believes that text supported by a good source, in a footnote, not only encourages readers to go to the original source, but helps protect the text from being removed.

  2. It took me over a year to come up with the training program, through trial and error I learned.

    Most people who join have never made a Wikipedia edit before. Some are very nervous about doing so.

    But I learned if I put off allowing them to make a edit they get frustrated.

    I learned somewhere about the authorlink and made it into a task that they can do without anyone helping them. Unless they need the help then I will skype or whatever helps them.

    In the workshop I did at TAM (see video) every authorlink was already pre-done for them. I had 100 cards with the exact change that needed to be made on it, every page was different so we didn't have a edit conflict.

    When I wrote out the cards I had to go to the Wikipedia page and many times change the citation code so it matched exactly |first=name|last=name|

    Many were with some older type of citation.

    Then I made the authorlink edit, checked preview and looked toake sure it worked, then levy the page without saving the edit. In other words a lot of prep work

    I had tested this on real people who were making their first edits and discovered that without the cards, they were really time consuming to do. Even when I told them what page to go to.

    Trust me I wanted to do a lot more, and something much more than authorlink but to most new people, this was overwhelming.

    Remember I'm dealing with a segment of the population that are not comfortable doing this kind of thing, but once they got it they are super excited. They authorlink task is enough.

    If I had time I would have moved to another task involving hyperlinking to unusual pages, getting a target page mentioned on a page that it would normally not be thought of being put on. I call this assignment 6, cause that is the sixth task in GSoW training.

    I want them to learn to think creatively. Small edits that make more potential views.

    But assignment six is very little editing and a lot of thinking and searching Wikipedia.

    I'm planning on recording this for and upcoming Skepticality segment, one of my favorite tasks.

    In a nutshell it is this.

    You find a Wikipedia page and read it over, usually a persons page. You look for a mention that they went to xyz high school. Then you go to the Wikipedia page for xyz and leave a hyperlink back to your targets page under the "alumni" area.

    There are many examples you can do including listing the target on a page that is for people of the same last name or where they were born or whatever.

    It's a blast and requires lots of creative thinking.

    For a good example look at the page for Emery Emery. On the left side click on "what links here" and check out some of the places we have hyperlinked him too

  3. Hope that was clear, typed it out on my phone while on a quick break at work. :-)

  4. Did hire children's book illustrator believe that you would teach people to edit Wikipedia, the wiki for older interfaces to eat?