Difference between revisions of "Help:Starting a page"

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{{help}}
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Once you are comfortable editing pages, and changing other people's content, why not add some of your own? There are two main ways to go about creating new pages, and they both involve using [[red links]]. A red link is a link that doesn't exist... yet. It is words placed in the double brackets that indicate an internal link ( [[ ]] ), meant to encourage (or remind) people to follow up on that subject. To use them for writing new pages use one of these techniques:
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* Follow a red link with a topic that interests you
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Once you are comfortable editing existing pages, you may want to begin a new page. There are three methods for creating new pages: using [[#Red links|red links]], [[#Changing the URL|modifying the url]] or [[#Searching to create|searching for the page you hope to create]]. Information on how to use these methods is presented in the following sections.
** Example: you can see on the [[List of ballot measures by topic]] page that there is a red link for Smoking ban initiatives. You happen to know about an upcoming smoking ban initiative in your state, so you decide to write about it using that link.
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* Find a page that would lead naturally to the topic you want to post about, and edit it to create a red link
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==Red links==
** Example: you are on the [[Illinois]] page, and you notice that even though there is a new ballot drive in progress, nothing has been written about it. So you edit the [[Illinois]] page to make a link leading to the ballot drive you know about, then you follow the link you just created to write a new page.
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The first possible method to create a new page is to follow a [[red link]] you find or create on a pre-existing page. A red link is a link to a page that doesn't exist yet. It is a word or words placed in the double brackets that indicate an internal link ( [[ ]] ), meant to encourage people to follow up on that subject.
  
{|cellpadding="5" cellspacing="3" width="500px"
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If you find a red link in an existing page that you wish to create a page for, simply follow the red link and begin to type. Once you have added text to this new page, save your edit, and you will have created a new page. The red link that you originally followed to create the page will now be blue or purple, indicating that a page exists. Once you have saved your edit on your new page, don't forget to create a [[Help:Talk page|talk page]] for your new content.
|-
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| style="width:100%; background-color: #f5faff; height:1%; border: 1px solid #cfcfbf; padding: .5em 1em 1em; text-align: left; vertical-align: top"|
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<span style="font-size:100%;">Enter a headline below to start an article. From more information, see our [[Ballotpedia:Tutorial (Contribute)|introductory tutorial]].
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</span>
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<inputbox>
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type=create
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preload=Template:New_page
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editintro=Template:New_article_intro
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width=20
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bgcolor=#f5faff
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</inputbox>
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|}
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==Where to start==
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A slight variation on this method of page creation involves first creating a red link on an existing page, then following that link to create your new page. An example of when you might choose to do this would be browsing a congressperson's profile page on Ballotpedia. On that person's page, you may see references to the member of congress who preceded them in office, but we may not yet have a page for that person. If you wish to create that page, you could link one or more instances of the preceding member's name, save your edit, then follow one of those red links to create that page.
If you want to contribute new content but are having trouble deciding where to start, try the [[List of Ballotpedia Projects]] page, or expanding a [[:Category:Stub articles|stub article]].
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When using the red links method, as when using the [[#Changing the URL|URL]] method, you may first want to perform one or more searches to ensure that a similar or duplicate page for that content does not already exist. For example, you may see a red link to [[John Dingell, Jr.]] on a page, but if you performed a quick search, you would see that a page already exists for John D. Dingell, Jr. under the page name [[John Dingell]]. In that case, you should correct the red link, directing it to the proper page name instead of creating a new page with duplicate content.
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==Changing the URL==
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The second method to create a new page is to modify the URL in your browser to take you to the page that you wish to create. To do this, simply change the extension following the <code>/</code> in the Ballotpedia URL. For example, if I was on the Ballotpedia homepage, my URL would read as follows: <code>http://web1.ballotpedia.org/Main_Page</code>. To create the page [[Example page]], I would simply delete <code>Main_Page</code> from the URL and replace it with <code>Example_page</code>. The URL would then look like this: <code>http://web1.ballotpedia.org/Example_page ''([[dead link]])''</code>.
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Once you have modified the URL, hit enter to navigate to that page, and then click "Create" in the upper right hand corner. The edit box will then open, and you can add your content. Remember to [[Help:Editing a page|save your edits]] and [[Help:Talk page|create a talk page]] for your new content.
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When using the URL method, as when using the [[#Red links|red links]] method, you may first want to perform one or more searches to ensure that a similar or duplicate page for that content does not already exist. For example, you may change the URL to create a page for [[John Dingell, Jr.]], which would look like this in your URL bar: <code>http://web1.ballotpedia.org/John_Dingell,_Jr ''([[dead link]])''.</code>. However, if you performed a quick search, you would see that a page already exists for John D. Dingell, Jr. under the page name [[John Dingell]]. In that case, you should not create a new page, which would only have duplicate content to a pre-existing page.
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==Searching to create==
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The final, and most cautious, method of page creation is searching to create. By using this method, you run the least risk of creating duplicate pages with slightly different names.
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To use this method, simply type your desired page name into the search box at the upper right corner of any page. If a page with that name already exists, you will be taken to it upon hitting enter. If a page does not exist with that name, you will be taken to a search results page. Before all the results you will find a notice that reads: '''<nowiki>Create the page "PAGENAME" on this wiki!</nowiki>''' To create your new page, simply follow the link in that notice. However, before you follow the link you should scan any search results to see if a similar page with a slightly different name already exists. For pages that may have several different names, as with politicians that have suffixes or middle names that are sometimes (but not always) used, you may want to perform several searches before finally creating a page.
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==Naming conventions==
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Before creating any new page for Ballotpedia, make sure you are familiar with the established page [[Ballotpedia:Naming conventions|naming conventions]].
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==See also==
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* [[Help:Editing a page]]
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* [[Ballotpedia:Naming conventions|naming conventions]]
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* [[Help:Cheatsheet]]
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* [[Help:Links]]
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* [[Ballotpedia:Tutorial (Contribute)]]
  
 
[[Category:Intro editing help]]
 
[[Category:Intro editing help]]

Latest revision as of 22:16, 5 November 2014

Editing Help
1328101905 Help.png
Index
Editing guide
Cheatsheet
Policies
Copyright
Textual standards
Visual standards
Glossary of terms
Edit review process

Once you are comfortable editing existing pages, you may want to begin a new page. There are three methods for creating new pages: using red links, modifying the url or searching for the page you hope to create. Information on how to use these methods is presented in the following sections.

Red links

The first possible method to create a new page is to follow a red link you find or create on a pre-existing page. A red link is a link to a page that doesn't exist yet. It is a word or words placed in the double brackets that indicate an internal link ( [[ ]] ), meant to encourage people to follow up on that subject.

If you find a red link in an existing page that you wish to create a page for, simply follow the red link and begin to type. Once you have added text to this new page, save your edit, and you will have created a new page. The red link that you originally followed to create the page will now be blue or purple, indicating that a page exists. Once you have saved your edit on your new page, don't forget to create a talk page for your new content.

A slight variation on this method of page creation involves first creating a red link on an existing page, then following that link to create your new page. An example of when you might choose to do this would be browsing a congressperson's profile page on Ballotpedia. On that person's page, you may see references to the member of congress who preceded them in office, but we may not yet have a page for that person. If you wish to create that page, you could link one or more instances of the preceding member's name, save your edit, then follow one of those red links to create that page.

When using the red links method, as when using the URL method, you may first want to perform one or more searches to ensure that a similar or duplicate page for that content does not already exist. For example, you may see a red link to John Dingell, Jr. on a page, but if you performed a quick search, you would see that a page already exists for John D. Dingell, Jr. under the page name John Dingell. In that case, you should correct the red link, directing it to the proper page name instead of creating a new page with duplicate content.

Changing the URL

The second method to create a new page is to modify the URL in your browser to take you to the page that you wish to create. To do this, simply change the extension following the / in the Ballotpedia URL. For example, if I was on the Ballotpedia homepage, my URL would read as follows: http://web1.ballotpedia.org/Main_Page. To create the page Example page, I would simply delete Main_Page from the URL and replace it with Example_page. The URL would then look like this: http://web1.ballotpedia.org/Example_page (dead link).

Once you have modified the URL, hit enter to navigate to that page, and then click "Create" in the upper right hand corner. The edit box will then open, and you can add your content. Remember to save your edits and create a talk page for your new content.

When using the URL method, as when using the red links method, you may first want to perform one or more searches to ensure that a similar or duplicate page for that content does not already exist. For example, you may change the URL to create a page for John Dingell, Jr., which would look like this in your URL bar: http://web1.ballotpedia.org/John_Dingell,_Jr (dead link).. However, if you performed a quick search, you would see that a page already exists for John D. Dingell, Jr. under the page name John Dingell. In that case, you should not create a new page, which would only have duplicate content to a pre-existing page.

Searching to create

The final, and most cautious, method of page creation is searching to create. By using this method, you run the least risk of creating duplicate pages with slightly different names.

To use this method, simply type your desired page name into the search box at the upper right corner of any page. If a page with that name already exists, you will be taken to it upon hitting enter. If a page does not exist with that name, you will be taken to a search results page. Before all the results you will find a notice that reads: Create the page "PAGENAME" on this wiki! To create your new page, simply follow the link in that notice. However, before you follow the link you should scan any search results to see if a similar page with a slightly different name already exists. For pages that may have several different names, as with politicians that have suffixes or middle names that are sometimes (but not always) used, you may want to perform several searches before finally creating a page.

Naming conventions

Before creating any new page for Ballotpedia, make sure you are familiar with the established page naming conventions.

See also