Wikivoyage:Welcome, locals

Local knowledge is one of the most valuable resources a travel guide can have. We're all local to somewhere, and we all know our own town, city, region, or country in a way that most visitors can only dream of. So if you know your local patch inside and out, you're warmly invited to plunge forward and help Wikivoyage grow.

How you can help edit

You are free to help out anywhere on Wikivoyage, but if you decide to contribute to articles related to your local area, there are certain ways you can make the most of your expertise:

  • Nobody understands a place quite like someone who lives there, so if you can share your wisdom in the Understand section of the article, then please do. Interesting titbits of local history, strange expressions that only "folks from 'round these parts" seem to say, jokes about your city's inhabitants - any insights and observations you think travellers will like.
  • Keep See, Do, Eat, Drink, and Sleep listings up-to-date, perhaps by paying them a visit. Relevant, current, and accurate listings are the bread and butter of any travel guide, and as a long-term resident, rather than a one-time visitor, you're in the perfect position to make sure lines like "Due to reopen Christmas 2008" are a thing of the past. A big plus: Wikivoyage research is a perfect excuse to try all your local pizzerias and go out for those drinks you've been meaning to have! Don't forget to add any listings for places you feel ought to be mentioned.
  • Unearth those hidden gems, and blab to the world all about your town's "best kept secret". We want our readers to know about them. Play to your strengths. Shopaholic? Then tell us where to get a bargain, beyond the usual chains. If you're a budding gastronome, tell us about your region's culinary heritage, especially unusual dishes that travellers may not have heard of. Or if you're the artsy type, let our readers know about your favourite local theatre, where to catch great music gigs, and which venues put on exhibitions.
  • Fancy yourself a dab hand with a camera? Putting your photos in our articles is a wonderful way to contribute. It is normally better to upload your snaps to our sister project, Wikimedia Commons, rather than to Wikivoyage directly. Also, please read our image policy.
  • If your first language isn't English, check to see if Wikivoyage already has a phrasebook for your language, and see if you can expand it. If we don't yet host a phrasebook, feel free to plunge forward and create one from scratch.
  • Lastly, consider becoming a Docent for one or more articles on your local patch. Docents are Wikivoyagers who are willing to answer other Wikivoyagers' questions about a destination, which can't be answered by our ordinary guides. In order to become an article's docent, all you have to do is add the template {{hasDocent|Your username}} to the end of that article.

Dos and don'ts edit

  • Do remember that the traveller comes first. Think about the kinds of listings you're adding to an article: gyms, libraries, and transport passes may be useful to many kinds of travellers, but if a specific gym is members-only, a specific library only allows access with a library card and a specific transport pass is only available to local residents, the traveller doesn't need to know about them.
  • Do write enthusiastically about your favourite restaurant or bar, but if you go over the top, then it may sound like you're trying to tout on that business's behalf, which is a real no-no around these parts.
  • Do remember it is your duty as a Wikivoyager to avoid negative reviews and to be fair.
  • Do have a sense of humour and a thick skin. Wikivoyage articles are primarily edited by travellers, and travellers can be pretty forthright about their impressions of a town, its people, and their weird local traditions. As long as they're fair, these outsider observations help to make Wikivoyage fun to read, which is an important way of growing the site.
  • Don't make Wikivoyage into the yellow pages. Long lists of schools, dental clinics, big box stores and the like may be handy for your neighbours, but they don't help travellers.
  • Don't forget that the Get in section is supposed to tell travellers how to arrive at the destination you're writing about, not leave it. If you find yourself focusing on how to get from town to the airport, or discussing how said airport has lots of great options for flying out to catch some winter sun, something's gone wrong.
  • Don't go over the top in the Stay safe section. Non-obvious safety tips and indications of dodgy neighbourhoods are very useful, but be careful not to exaggerate. There's also no need to remind travellers of obvious advice that's true anywhere, like wearing a seatbelt and avoiding bar fights.
  • Don't come in with a chip on your shoulder. If you're here to paint your home country as though it were a second Eden, or if you want to expose the dirt on your awful neighbouring city, we don't want you. You'll be shown the door pretty quickly...

See also edit