Wikianswers is Wikia's main answers-based wiki, with a format where pages are created as questions that other users can then answer. This page will outline everything you need to know about maintaining and using an answers wiki.
Adopting an answers wiki
Ever since Wikia has removed the option to create an answers wiki, adoptions has been a famous tool. Adoptions are fairly easy and fast to do. Firstly, you will need to do some cleanup about questions (tagging, renaming, answering). Secondly, you should read the criteria for filing in an adoption request (seen at the top of this page). When you are ready (minimum of 1 week of editing, more suggested), file it in by using the form and wait for the response.
Extending an answers wiki
As with a standard wiki, be sure to promote it. There are plenty of ways you can attract some new contributors to the wiki, including means such as Facebook, Twitter, other social media sites, or on Wikia itself.
Keeping your wiki neat and tidy is always a good thing too. Make sure questions are a full sentence and use words like who, what, where, when, why, how, etc... to start. Editing and modifying answers will help the wiki neat, and look more professional.
Editing your home page
You may have noticed the absence of an edit button on your answers wiki's main page. Not to worry! If you want to edit the home page of an answers site, you need to add ?action=edit to the end of the URL. For example, http://MYSITE.answers.wikia.com/wiki/MYSITE_Answers?action=edit
Another way you can easily edit pages where the edit link is not visible is to enable double click editing in your preferences. This allows you to edit the home page and other pages just by double clicking your mouse within the content area.
Lastly, you can add an edit button to your toolbar.
Asking a question
Now that you are ready to dive into your newly adopted answers wiki, you can begin by answering some more questions (or asking in some cases). Just type the questions into the big "Ask a question" box at the top of any page and press the ask (depending of the wiki) button or hit enter. Submitting the question automatically creates a new page, while the text you entered is your question.
The question will then be labeled "Un-answered" until someone answers it. An un-answered question is automatically listed under the "New Questions" section on the wiki's main page. Once it is answered, it is moved over to the "New Answers" section.
This question will then be added to your watchlist, and you can be notified when an answer is given. If you want to watch another question, simply add it to your watchlist by clicking on the "watch" text.
Rephrasing a question
To rephrase a question, simply click on the "rephrase question" text to the right of the question.
You will then be brought to a new page, where you can rephrase the question. The new question will create a new page on the wiki, so make sure to check the box that says, "Leave a redirect behind ". This is redirect the old question, to the newly rephrased question. Then click on move page button (which may say save or rephrase depending on if it has been modified) to save.
You are encouraged to rephrase badly written questions. This can include spelling or grammar errors, as well as statements that are not in a question format. For example, if someone asks "dog food", you could turn it into "where can I buy dog food" or "what is the healthiest type of food for dogs".
Getting your question answered more quickly
- Add categories so that people can find it more easily when browsing.
- Post your question to Facebook, Twitter or other sites so your friends can help answer it.
- Have a clear, specific, well-worded question that people can understand. If your question is bad, reword it.
- Make sure your question is not vague. A question like, "What type of government does our country have?" may sound clear, but remember people from many countries may read questions and answer them. Specify as much as you can. Change the question to: "What type of government does the United States of America have?"—or the name of whatever country you may live in.
- Have a question that other people can answer. Questions like "how old am I" are not suitable and probably won't be answered (at least not correctly).
Answering a question
To answer a question, all you need to do is fill in the "Answer this question" box below the question. Once you've completed your answer, just click save.
You do not need to change the answered and un-answered categories as these change automatically when you add or remove an answer.
Anyone can ask questions and anyone can answer. You don't even need to make an account. If you're logged in, you can be notified when your question was answered or your answer was improved.
What is a good answer?
Try to give a good objective answer. Don't worry if your answer is not complete - anyone can edit the page again and add to or improve your answer. If the question has already been answered, you can edit the answer to make it better.
You can also help by rewording questions and adding categories to questions.
Edit an answer
If an answer does not correctly answers a question, then it should be reworded or edited. Short answers that provide little description, such as "yes" or "sometimes", can have additional information added to it. You can also make spelling and grammatical changes if necessary.
If you find an answer that needs to be reworded, simply click on the "edit" button to the right of the answer.
You will then be brought to an edit page, where you can make the necessary changes. Once you are done, click publish, and the new answer will appear.
On answers wikis, there are also categories. They are used in order to help find questions that have already been asked and, therefore, answers to those questions. By default, the categories that show whether a question is answered or un-answered are automatically added when you ask or answer a question. You do not need to make any changes to this.
You can add categories that are specific to your wiki's topic. For example is you have a wiki on cooking, you may want to add categories for different food types, such as "Italian" or "Mexican."
Adding categories to an un-answered question does not change its state from un-answered to answered. If you can not answer a question, you can still help by adding categories it. That way, someone who can answer it is more likely to find it.
You can create new categories just by typing it into the tag section below the question. With this, it is also recommended to create the category page by clicking on it, and adding some text (a main category, for example).
Pages can have more than 1 category at once.
You can view all questions that have a certain category by following the link in the category section at the bottom of the page.
- Learn how to create a new Wikia wiki