Here is our Chesterwiki FAQ:
- So what is this Wiki about?
It's about things you might pass every day and not notice, about the history of things you do notice and history seen from it's interaction with Chester. It isn't about making Chester any more important than it is, but rather using the familiar as a starting point. In some ways it is a "museum guide" for Chester itself, a "cabinet of curiousities", a scrapbook, and a list of links to other sources of information. If someone is trying to find information about the history of something associated with Chester one can always try a "Google" search for a personal name or a place, but nowadays that turns up endless pages of "chaff": properties for sale in-, businesses in-, etc.
- Are you a historian?
No, I'm a retired lawyer who is very curious about things people see every day in Chester. One reason I write about history is so that people can see what I found and what I thought about it, and, perhaps so they can disagree - I might have it wrong and am happy to be corrected.
- Why did you start a wiki and not write a book - you could have made money?
If I had written yet another book about Chester, it would have been, "yet another book about Chester", and that has been done before. Books like that seldom make money, and anything an author did make would probably get spent on more "Books about Chester" - some of which are good and some of which are utterly terrible, over-priced and full of errors. The point of this website is to create a place where information on the history and architecture of Chester can be shared and found, and from where you can click on links to start lots of other journeys - Books are just far too linear and single threaded to do justice to history. Much of that information is in people's heads, so I wanted to make it easy for people to contribute - and to correct mistakes. Moreover, a book is out of date as soon as it is published, but a wiki like this keeps going, possibly well after the original creator has moved on to other things. There are also advantages about being able to step outside of the sometime "straitjacket" of intellectual property, so that people pool their work in the "creative commons".
- Why don't you just contribute to Wikipedia instead?
Chesterwiki is meant to be "user friendly" for people having an association with Chester. That means we don't have quite the same "culture" as Wikipedia, especially as regards having sources for every fact - and I do applaud them for being strict about that. "Local" Wiki's like Chesterwiki are a useful "raw" source of information for people who want to write articles to the somewhat more exacting standards of Wikipedia, or even academics who might want to go a step further. Also, having an "independent" wiki means we can experiment with style and layout if we wish
- So everything on this site is true?
NO. "The Chester Mystery Novels" are a complete work of fiction. DI Dutton and Sergeant Balshaw bear no resemblance to any real police officers and their mate in the North Wales Police who rides a "Duke" is made up (honest! :))
- So what is with the advertising on the pages?
Webspace costs money. We use a free hosting service called "ShoutWiki" simply because they have a very good anti-spam firewall and we have had no luck in the past with paid-for hosting services. A condition of their free service is that they can put a small amount of advertising on the page in a side bar. We don't choose the advertising or even have any control over what appears. In the future, we hope to move back to a paid-for hosting service: that will still be paid for by advertising, but at least any excess can go to the Lifeboat Service or some other good cause. However the benefit of using this wiki is that the content does not get lost if you stop paying for webspace (or, worse still, die).
- How do I contribute content?
It is easy. Just sign-up and add stuff (there is a Chester Wiki Guide to help). You could just email stuff to me and ask for it to be added, but if you sign-up than people can see your username (which can be anything you wish) for both text and photos, and you get a "user page" where you can say something about yourself and any specific interests. That would be useful, for example, if you were looking for information on a specific family tree.
- So what if someone just copies my contribution onto their own (or some other website)?
Take it up with them, but note that this site operates under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 on an "OPT-IN" basis. Which means that if you opt-in people can reuse your content provided they give appropriate credit. Of course, that doesn't mean they will: there are many examples of people simply copying wholesale the parts of the content of this website into their own, or even publishing parts (especially images) in books, without any credit whatsoever. Unfortunately, that is the way the world is.
- I really would like to contribute, but I don't want to mess up a page..
Don't worry, it is generally easy to "roll-back" a page to an earlier version. If you have a problem then add a message on "The Chester Wall". Please note that a very few pages are "protected" so that they can only be edited by those people with "Admin" status. We have done that so that people do not, for example, edit the front page so that it advertises their "porn site", gushes about their political cause or slags-off the local fishmonger...
- Can I add a page about my pub (restaurant, etc.)?
The T&C's of ShoutWiki require that we do not carry adverts other than the ones they provide. If you post advertising on the site then YOU risk getting us shut down. If your pub happens to have an interesting history then you can write about that history and put a link to your own website, but if you start putting up information that is just marketing (one pound a pint! speed dating! big screen football! meals straight from the freezer!) that is against the rules.
- OK, so I would like to add something - what does the site need?
If it is about Chester and History, its OK. For example, I know nothing about football and have not the slightest interest, but if you want to add a page about the history of the football club (rowing club, chess and bridge club, Mad Bikers Club), feel free. See the Chester Wiki Guide for more help!
- How do I get in touch?
Use the discussion tab for each page if you have something to say about a particular page. I am not going to put an email address on here because some "bot" will find it and start sending unending streams of spam to it. There is a page called "The Chester Wall" where you can leave messages as well as a guestbook (use the icon on the right).