Sunday, February 26, 2012

3 Tips for Wikitravel Writers

1.    As a Wikitravel writer, it’s important to be conscious of your tone. Unlike Wikipedia articles, Wikitravel articles may be written in a conversational and informal tone. A lively tone is welcomed since Wikitravel encourages writers to share the excitement and fun of travel; however, avoid using clichés. If you have a good sense of humor, don’t be afraid to use it in your articles, so long as they aren’t making fun of a person, involve any sarcasm, and you should avoid inside jokes. Finally, when you write an article, your tone should definitely not assume that the reader is an idiot. This means, you don’t need to offer advice that’s clearly common sense, since it comes of as disrespectful to the travelers that read your article.

2.   Follow the writing style rules according to the Wikitravel manual of style. Writers are allowed to address the reader, using “you;” however, writers should never use “I”, “we”, “our”, “my”, etc. After all, you are not the only writer contributing to the article. It’s important to be concise in your articles, which doesn’t mean you can’t include detailed descriptions of sights, but rather, avoid lengthy detailed explanations when offering advice. If you decide to make generalizations, be careful; meaning, avoid exaggeration and being too extreme.

3.   Wikitravelers check this site to find out places worth going to, not the places they shouldn’t go to; therefore, avoid negative reviews. According to the Wikitravel’s style manual, there are exceptions to this rule, since travelers may be led to the attraction from other information sources. Some of the exceptions include the following. 1) It is widely advertised. 2) It is commonly featured in other guidebooks. 3) It is prominently located, such as near popular tourist areas, across from a train station, etc. It is suggested that in these cases, you should create a listing of attractions you recommend, but in the description make note of why the place is not worth going to and explain why. Writers are encouraged to note in general unsavory aspects of a destination, so long as they are honest and fair comments for the traveler’s benefit. By general unsavory aspects that means unsafe areas that are high in crime, like drug-use and prostitution, unsafe climate, police corruption, etc. 

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