Help:How to Contribute

From Pindula

This page provides a quick tutorial on how to use Pindula.

Although it may seem complicated at first, users soon realise that it's much simpler than it looks! It is, actually, only a matter of getting accustomed with the Wiki environment.

By becoming a contributor, you can:

  • Create a new page
  • Add information to an existing page

However, before you can start doing these things, you have to create an account here.

How do you start a new article?

You can start a new page by entering the title of the page into the box below:

This text box above is also available at the bottom of the home page www.pindula.co.zw.

Other ways to start a new article

  • Use the Search box: Just go to any page, locate the search box and enter the name of this new article. We do this to ensure that it's not been written about already. If nothing has been written about it on Pindula, you will get a message that says this and you will be invited to create the article. Go ahead and start the article.
  • Use the website address - You can use the Pindula's address for creating a new page. The address to an article on Pindula looks like: https://www.pindula.co.zw/ARTICLE_NAME. If you replace ARTICLE_NAME the name of the page you wish to create, you will be taken to a blank page which indicates that no article of that name exists yet.
  • Use the red links - If you (or anyone else) create a link to an article that doesn't exist yet on Pindula, the link will be colored red, like this. Clicking the red link will take you to the new article page. Simply type your text, click save and the new page will be created. Once the page has been created, the link will change red to blue.

What should you write about?

Is there anything of any significance in Zimbabwe that you wish was documented and easily searchable? Go ahead and create the article. It can be a political figure, a celebrity, place, event, phenomenon, a Zimbabwean fruit, or anything.

Copying how to do stuff from existing articles

There are over 3,000 articles on Pindula already, that you can use to learn from. If you see any formatting or style that you would like to use in a new article, just click edit on that existing page and see how it was done. You can even copy all the text and delete all article specific content to just be left with a sekeletal article of subheadings and formatting.

Get more help

To get more help on anything here, or to suggest new content, just tweet us here @WeArepindula.

Talk to us on WhatsApp here:

  • +263 775 964 835
  • +263 735 909 071
  • +263 732 464 000

Article links

One of the most useful features of online Wikis (which Pindula.com is) is that the content is useful because it links to other content on the site, and other content off the site. Without the content linking to each other, the articles will be harder to find for readers. In short, every article should have links to other articles.

Information sources

To place a link to another Pindula article while you edit, just place the name of the page in double square brackets, e.g. to link to the “Happyson Muchechetere” article, insert [[Happyson Muchechetere]] in the edit box. Once you’re done, if an article on Happyson Muchechetere doesn't exist yet, the link will show in red. Make sure that all such links are put on the priority list in terms of adding new articles.

Sources of information

To contribute to Pindula, it's important to learn how we source and reference content. Pindula must not contain your opinion, just facts as they are retrieved from a source (a news website, a video, an audio file). The one requirement is this should be information that is already published and therefore in the public domain. The information doesn't have to be "correct" it just needs to have been told as so, which is why we don't create new information ourselves; we collate existing information into one repository. Of-course the sources of information have to be "good sources" and this generally means, reasonably legitimate news sources. The intention is to have information that has no bias i.e. as objective as possible and from a neutral point of view. The information also has to be verifiable and this is why all information should have links to sources.

Summary

  • Subjects require significant coverage in independent reliable sources
  • As contributor your role is to inform and reference
  • Write without bias, as if you neither like nor dislike the subject
  • State facts and statistics; don't be vague or general

Writing high-quality articles

  • Neutrality: Write from a neutral point of view. All articles should be balanced to convey an impression of the various points of view on a subject. Some views may get more attention than others, depending on the attention they receive in reliable sources. Pindula has no "opinion" of its own; it just accurately summarizes reliable sources.
  • Verifiability: Articles should contain only material that has been published by reliable sources. These are sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, like newspapers, academic journals, and books. Because some information has not been published locally, articles that are sourced from unpublished sources will be published on Pindula only by Pindula's own editors. This places enormous responsibility on our in-house editors but we trust this is the fairest solution so far.
  • Be not afraid to contribute: Go right ahead and contribute even if you have just a bit of information to share. Let's have fun collating Zimbabwe's information a bit at a time. No one is the know it all expert here. We all have a bit to add to the information sop let's do it!

How to do stuff

Formatting

  • Edit: Nearly every page on Pindula has an edit button on it, either in the page itself or at the top left of the screen. Click [edit] and you'll see a place where you can type and make changes. It will look a little different since Pindula uses a language called 'markup'. Don't worry if it looks intimidating. Just try a few small changes and copy what has been done already that gets the result you want.
  • Basic markup: Markup language is a very simple way to add formatting with symbols. These can be inserted using the editing tool bar or manually. We find the manual option is much quicker and more flexible but use what you prefer. If you want, you can also just type in your text and an Editor will come along and do the styling:
    • Looks
      • For italics, type two apostrophes ( ' ) around the word like this ''italics''.
      • For bold use three apostrophes: '''bold''' .
      • For bold and italics use five: '''''italics and bold''''' .
    • Sections and Lists
      • Section headers are made with the equals sign (=) on each side. ==This is a level 2 header==. More equals signs make smaller sub-sections. ===This is a level 3 header===, and so on. You won't use a level 1 header, since that is the title of the page itself.
      • Bulleted lists are made by putting * at the beginning of each line.
      • Numbered lists are made by putting # at the beginning of each line.
    • Links
      • Links from one Pindula page to another are made with two brackets on each side of the word like [[wikilink]]. To make a link go to a different page than the word it shows, use a pipe: [[PAGE|WORD]]
      • Links to external websites are made with one bracket on each side like [external link]. But these are only used in the External links section of an article.
      • Images are added with [[File: IMAGENAME|thumb|IMAGECAPTION]]. 'Thumb' is just a size and should be left in.
    • Paragraphs and references
      • Line breaks and paragraphs require hitting [return] or [enter] twice (showing an empty line in between), or using <br> or <p>
      • References go between ref tags: <ref>references here</ref>. Place these after the punctuation in the sentence they are used.
  • Preview and Save. If you want to see a draft of your changes, click [show preview]; otherwise click [save] and your edit will go live.
  • Page structure: Articles follow a common format. Start with the introduction, a few paragraphs summarizing the page. Make the first mention of the page's subject bold. Place the article's content in level 2 headers like ==Section title here==, only capitalizing the first word unless it's a proper noun. The last sections can add information such as See also, References, and External links, in that order. Place those sections in level 2 headers as well.

Adding references

  • Good sources: Newspapers, books, journals, magazines, industry publications, and expert websites; independent of the subject, with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy; somewhere or someone you would trust if you read it, knowing that they did their homework and don't want to get the information wrong.
  • Manual references: Use reference tags after the period: ...end of sentence.'<ref>Reference info here: author, publication, date, title, place, web address, etc.</ref> Place at the end of the sentence after the punctuation.
  • Better references with templates: These are thorough and easy to use. Click [edit], and place the cursor at the end of the sentence you want to reference. Using the editing toolbar, click [cite] or {{ }} and choose the source type (web, book, TV...). Fill out the fields you know, click [enter], and [save] when ready.
  • Reference section: References should show up at the bottom of the page. Make a level 2 header: ==References==. Then place {{reflist}} below the header. You don't have to type out the references there; instead, place them inside the article after the sentence they support. They'll appear automatically.

Adding images

To use a picture on Pindula, you need permission from the owner/photographer:

  • If it is your own picture, then you can just upload it yourself, from Special:Upload, saying "It is entirely my own work". This link will take you to Commons, where free files are hosted.
  • If it is not yours, then you need permission from the owner. Contact them, get permission and ensure you credit them for the image.
  • After uploading, put the file in a Pindula page by adding [[File:FILENAME|thumb|FILEDESCRIPTION]] to any Pindula page.

Navigating Pindula

  • Article: Where content happens. These contain encyclopedic material which must be backed up by sources.
  • Discussion: Where discussion happens. Every article page has one, linked at the top of the page. Use them for collaboration and dispute resolution by clicking [Discussion] at the top of the page.
  • History: Where prior versions of an article are stored (talk pages have them too). Click [View history] at the top and you'll see all prior edits to the page.
  • User: Your personal page (or someone else's). Linked at the top right of every page, with a blue link and your name. Put stuff here to explain what you're about and why you're here.
  • User talk: Your personal discussion page. Use this to facilitate discussions and collaboration. Also used for notices and warnings.
  • File: Where images are. These store all of the details about photographs and other media. The name of the file page is also the name of the file.
  • Special pages: Specific functions such as Recent Changes, and Page logs. You can spot them because they don't have discussion pages.
  • Search: The easiest way to get around. Type your query in the box at the top and pick from the results.

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