Wiki FAQ

From Soft Cell Wiki

This page contains answers on so called Frequently Asked Questions, provided by me – Legroom, founder and main administrator of Soft Cell Wiki.

If you can't find an answer on your question here, feel free to ask on forum board or in this page's discussions.

The wiki

What is a wiki?

A wiki is a web site powered by software called MediaWiki. It helps create highly structured sites, with much simpler approach than of traditional web site, and lets people to contribute content regardless of their status – editors can register an account, or remain "anonymous" without any registration, and they don't have to be admins, like, again, in case of traditional old sites. Of course the most famous wiki is Wikipedia, the biggest free online encyclopedia with high content standards, available in hundreds of languages. But anyone can start a wiki site on their own and dedicate it to any subject – a hobby or profession, a celebrity or piece of media, etc, and host it independently or on so called wiki farms, which take the hosting part on themselves (and that's our case).

Why a Soft Cell wiki?

Back in 90s and early 00s, people would create sites and forums, sharing, structuring and discussing various content and knowledge. With the rise of social media this trend decreased, giving more freedom to people who aren't familiar with Internet and computers in general by creating dedicated groups and pages. Of course the discussion and sharing parts are still there, but these places are significantly more chaotic and don't work well for archiving content or structuring information. So fan made wikis, with the possibility of entire community to contribute, have become successors of old school fan sites, which were maintained by a small circle of tech savvy fans.

I saw that fan communities of Soft Cell, Marc Almond and Dave Ball are extremely chaotic AND very separated, even if you take English speaking fans, plus they are mostly closed. One of the possible reason is, of course, that these artists aren't as popular as other monsters of 80s pop I won't mention here, but the amount of work they have produced – and still produce, is very big and, on my opinion, is worth of proper exploration and documentation. And once in a while I'll see even oldest hardcore fans admitting they haven't heard that ultra rare song from an obscure compilation appearance, or misunderstood some line in the lyrics, and so on. I believe that a wiki will make such info more accessible for all sorts of fans, including those who just got there, and even non-fans, and will give more room for discoveries. I also believe that it might bring together these groups of fans that are usually scattered away from each other.

Why not Wikia/FANDOM?

My dive into wiki editing started on Wikia, not long before it was rebranded into FANDOM. I was an avid supporter of this platform, but slowly it has become less and less pleasant: advertisement, that worsen experience for unregistered readers and editors, unwanted media features forced upon with corporate thinking, painful process of software updates and merging with other platforms, limitations of functionality of MediaWiki itself, unfriendly policies toward users and even admins.

Miraheze, like Wikipedia, is a non-profit organization that relies on volunteers, very transparent community driven administration and donations. On top of that, users have much more control over how their wikis function and how customized they are, than on FANDOM.

Content

What is the scope of the wiki?

The main scope of Soft Cell Wiki are Marc Almond and Dave Ball and their musical works. This also includes other artists and bands or projects related to them. Aside from music and records other subjects are videos (films), writings (books), and performances.

Not currently realized but in plans are articles about media appearances, such as press interviews, radio and TV performances, etc, and events.

Are bootlegs allowed subject?

Yes, as long as they are unique and interesting, have rare content, had some significance or were later released officially. For example, Science Fiction Stories bootleg was the first to contain Soft Cell demo recordings, even was mentioned in Marc Almond's autobiography and part of its content was later released officially.

Information about such unauthorized records is presented here purely for their historical value.

Soft Cell Wiki doesn't support and encourage media piracy.

Are there limitations of media content?

Aside from content, prohibited by Code of Conduct and Content Policy from our provider, Miraheze – yes, and mainly due to copyrights, which are inevitable in case of musical works: they go for audio recordings, music writing, lyrics, visual artworks and photography, videos and films and brands.

For that reason the media content on Soft Cell Wiki is limited only to images, and only when they are necessary. For example, in article about album you, of course, need the front cover of that album, but you don't need to upload images of back cover or vinyl labels – they can be described in "Artwork" section of article, with a reference link to Discogs page. Furthermore, uploaded images must have detailed descriptions about authorship and licenses applied to them.

Thus audio and video uploads are not supported on Soft Cell Wiki. Instead, links to uploads on YouTube or streaming platforms must be used in corresponding sections of articles.

For more information see Soft Cell Wiki:Copyrights.

Does Soft Cell Wiki have a copyright as well?

Soft Cell Wiki operates under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. It means that anyone can copy, distribute and/or modify wiki's text, as long as the wiki is credited appropriately. When you edit on Soft Cell Wiki, your contributions are published under the same license. If you're making changes to wiki's material, while distributing it somewhere else, you must indicate that changes were applied, and with the same license.

To simplify: you can use Soft Cell Wiki's text materials freely, without limitations, but you have to credit the wiki as the source.

Contributing

Is there any requirements to be an editor?

Nope! Anyone can contribute to this wiki, you don't even need to register an account. If you see something is need to be fixed, expanded or added – go for it, or be bold, as they say on Wikipedia!

Why registering?

While per answer above registration is not necessary, it is recommended to make an account for better credibility on your edits, especially if you plan to contribute a lot. Anonymous users appear in wiki's feed and edit history of pages with their numerical IP addresses, while registered users have nicknames of their choice; it's the same way on Wikipedia.

Are there priority things to do?

Yes, you can check wiki's to-do list. Unfinished articles (aka stubs) and missing pages usually have highest priority to work on. But that doesn't mean you can't make something on your own, once again – be bold!

How can I see what's new on the wiki?

In left sidebar you can see "Recent changes" link – this page has a dashboard with all recent changes made to the wiki with a variety of related information such as which users have made them, how big they were, etc. There is also filter with a lot of features. Another function of this dashboard is patrolling new edits and detect the ones, that are unnecessary or outright bad.

What is page history?

Every change applied to any page on a wiki is documented in page's history. Like recent changes feed, it includes author info, the amount of changes and so on. But it also lets to see older versions of pages and compare them, or revert bad changes.

Editing

I've never edited on a wiki before

No worries! MediaWiki offers well written instructions on their help pages. For starter, these ones are especially notable:

  • Visual Editor – new users always start with this type of wiki editor, it is good for those who aren't well immersed in web formatting
  • For those, who prefer raw coding experience, or are more familiar with wikis – Formatting and Links

Soft Cell Wiki also uses a variety of templates which have usage instructions as well. Of course nobody expects you to be a pro on the day one, everyone get better with experience. If you have made a mistake, nobody will get mad at you (unless it's a clear case of vandalism) – other editors can fix that. If you feel like you are still don't understand wiki editing, nobody will force you into it, and you can address possible edits or issues on discussion pages or forum. As a last resort, wiki's Twitter page accepts feedback too.

Are there any standards?

Yes, they are listed in wiki's manual of style. In general, Soft Cell Wiki, as an encyclopedia, must present information in just-facts-style, accurately, in neutral and fair manner, with reliable sources and references. Otherwise the wiki would become a collection of biased opinions and rumors, which ultimately will kill its purpose.

Any examples of good articles?

Yes – good articles get to the featured articles page, to be shown on the main page of the wiki.

How to start new page?

There are 2 ways to create new page:

  • click on a red link – it's the awy the site indicates that there is no such page and it, most likely, should be made
  • go to "Create new article" page (link on sidebar), choose subject, type article's title and click the button – a new page with given title and blank templates will apear for editing

If you wish to start with completely blank page, choose simple creation box at the bottom.

Can I edit any page on the wiki?

No, there are limitations.

All users – anon or registered, can edit content pages:

  • articles – pages without special prefixes, in so-called Main namespace
  • categories – pages with Category prefix, which contain articles and other categories
  • disambiguations – pages with Disambiguation prefix, which indicate articles with identical or very similar titles and are expected to be up to date

These three types of pages make up the content of the wiki, the encyclopedia itself. The only exceptions here are:

  • Main Page, which is supervised by admins of the wiki, being "the face" of the site
  • certain categories containing pages used for organisation of the wiki and some "technical" ones (see bellow)
  • articles and categories that were protected by admins or moderators for a reason (for example, excessive vandalism)

Another type is user pages (with User prefix), and they are restricted – user can edit only their own page and can't edit page of another user.

Forum pages are free to be updated with new discussions by anyone, but things like title of the forum page and its description can be changed only by admins.

The rest types of wiki pages can be edited only by admins and moderators due to their technical and organisational nature. They are:

  • project pages, with Soft Cell Wiki prefix, like this FAQ, general disclaimer, code of conduct, etc
  • templates (pages with Template prefix) which are widely used on articles, categories and project pages
  • MediaWiki pages, protected on software level

Miscellaneous

Why links have different colors?

Link color shows you where it's going to take you: blue links mean you're going to a page on Soft Cell Wiki, while the pink ones are external – they will take you another wiki or any other web site.