WikipediaPlus enabling a Website

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Wikipedia+ was designed for websites whose material complements the content on Wikipedia. This might be because it offers contrasting opinions, or simply because it contains more detail than is available on Wikipedia. Making such sites Wikipedia+ enabled will all your site to receive traffic from users of the software.

Requirements

Making a site Wikipedia+ capable is a simple task as it doesn't require changing any existing pages. The main work needed, if your site already has pages of sufficient quality is deciding which wikipedia page(s) you wish to associate with them.

Access URLs

The access URL is the URL pattern by which Wikipedia+ can query your site. This is like an ordinary URL, but will contain the text {PageName} somewhere in it, e.g. http://www.example.com/wiki/{PageName}. This is requested by the browser add-in, with {PageName} replaced by the name of whichever Wikipedia page the user is visiting. This is how the software checks whether a page is available.

Remember that the path part of the access URL is case-specific, so check you have used the correct case if your Access URL is not functioning correctly.

Multi-Language Sites

Wikipedia+, like Wikipedia, supports multiple languages, so if a user browsing Spanish wikipedia, can configure it to suggest only Spanish language sites. If your websites supports multiple-languages, your Access URL should include the text {LangCode}, which will be replaced by an ISO 639-1 language code, such as "en" for english. For example, http://www.example.com/{LangCode}/{PageName}.

Implementation

All the access URL has to do is to translate a request for a particular PageName either into a locally available page, or give a 404 error code if no such page exists. Your means of implementing this will depend on the technology which your site already uses.

404 (Page Not Found) Status Codes

The software will repeatedly query your site about the existance of pages as users browse Wikipedia. Your site must send an HTTP Error Code of 404 if it has no such page. Well-behaved software does this automatically, but this may be an issue if you are using IIS.[1][2]

General Method

One simple method is to have an access URL of the form http://www.example.com/WP.php?page={PageName}, so that all incoming requests are served by a single script. This could read from a database of local page URL to match with wikipedia PageNames. You may wish to use this simple site index script, which includes an editor if you wish to build it online.

Mediawiki

If you use mediawiki, you could use dedicated namespace (e.g. Wikipedia:) to maintain an easy correspondence between your site's pages and Wikipedia's pages. If you already have content, the fastest way to make your site Wikipedia+ enabled is to just add a redirect, so that /wiki/Wikipedia:Some_Wikipedia_URL contains #REDIRECT[[Your_Corresponding_Local_URL]].

Associating {PageName}s with Website Pages

With the technical implementation sorted, the last step to enable your site for Wikipedia+ is to add the content. i.e. To associate particular Wikipedia PageNames with particular pages on your site. The only golden rule on this matter is to do so in a way that improves the user experience. The better the users' experience at your site, the more likely they are to follow a suggestion to go there when one pops up, and the more likely they are to recommend your site to their friends. So an inclination to quality over quantity is good - a few really good pages result in a good user experience, many not so good pages results in a not so good user experience - one that could even lead to users remove your website from their list. Different styles of site may be well served by different approaches:

Page Replacement

Example: http://www.wikispooks.com/wiki/Wikipedia:Patrick_Haseldine
If your site has encyclopaedic content, page replacement is effective for well finished pages with a narrative structure, which can function as drop-in replacements for Wikipedia pages.

Example: http://UnwelcomeGuests.net/WP:Assassination_of_John_F._Kennedy
An alternative use is for sites which have content that is highly relevant to a Wikiedia page, but which for whatever reason cannot be linked in from Wikipedia.

Portal Style

Example: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Wikipedia:Conspiracy_theory
Portal pages are often effective if you have a bunch of documents or links on a subject, but no narrative structure to tie them together or to introduce them. Some wikipedia pages give a fairly reasonable treatment of a topic, but omit one or two crucial aspects, in which case, providing suitable links to these is an effective way to assist the reader. A single paragraph may be enough to explain what is missing from the Wikipedia account, and allow the reader to navigate to important material which they could otherwise not easily find.

Example: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Wikipedia:Gaza_War
Portal pages need not have (m)any links to external sites. They can be effective by providing a quick summary tailored especially for Wikipedia readers, to introduce a replacement page.

Another case in which a portal page is effective is if your website looks at material in a lot more depth that Wikipedia. In this case, your entry point may be a single Wikipedia PageName that is a superficial treatment of something your site looks at in more depth, over multiple pages. In this case, although a page replacement might work well, you may wish to make a single 'index' page that offers easy navigation to your several pages of more specialised content.

Informing your Audience

"Wikipedia+ Enabled" Logo

Once your site is Wikipedia+ enabled, you need to tell people of it so that they can add your site to their list of preferred sites. Announcing it over a mailing list will work for site members, but not random browsers, so adding a Wikipedia+ icon linking here is a good way to tell the world that your site is Wikipedia+ ready. You may also wish to add your access URL to the list below:

WebSite Access URL Description
Wikispooks favicon.pngWikispooks https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Wikipedia:{PageName} Encyclopedia of "the smoke-and-mirrors world of Deep Politics"
UnwelcomeGuests favicon.pngUnwelcome Guests http://UnwelcomeGuests.net/WP:{PageName} Weekly radio show of dissident thought, "made for love not money"
Dkosopedia favicon.pngDKosopedia http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/{PageName} Political encyclopedia from the DailyKos community

References

  1. https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=18270
  2. http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgSend404Code