In addition to providing a place for different Anabaptist-related groups to share encyclopedic information about themselves, the Global Anabaptist Wiki allows Anabaptist communities around the world to share personal stories.
Click on the following link to read Stories.
One reason that personalized stories are an important part of the Global Anabaptist Wiki is that resources like the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO) provide basic encyclopedic information about many Anabaptist-related groups around the world and are accessible for anyone with internet access. The Global Anabaptist Wiki includes encyclopedic articles so that Anabaptist-related groups around the world can edit and update basic information about themselves in a way that they are unable to on GAMEO, but the Global Anabaptist Wiki is also a forum for sharing personal stories so that it does not merely duplicate online encyclopedic resources like GAMEO.
Additionally, personal stories about a congregation or conference highlight what it means for individuals to be Anabaptists in those particular areas in a way that encyclopedic articles do not. While there are many places to deposit personal stories online (blogs, web-pages, etc.) the Global Anabaptist Wiki hopes to provide a centralized location where individuals can contribute stories about the life of their group, access other groups' stories, and link to specific groups' web pages. By providing a place to share these stories the Global Anabaptist Wiki hopes to help Anabaptists around the world process what it means to be part of the global Anabaptist church.
What Counts as a Story?
Any story that relates to your life in a specific Anabaptist-related group or congregation but does not fit in the basic encyclopedic article about your group or congregation should be included in the Global Anabaptist Wiki as a story. These stories might be interviews with church members, descriptions of church events, or commentary about issues relevant to the life of the conference or congregation, or a statement about what your Anabaptist faith means to you. These are just a few suggestions, however, and you should feel free to contribute any information that adds insight into the life of your community.
Since the stories you contribute will often have a distinct personal bias or perspective (this is GOOD), include your name as the author. Since stories are attributed to specific authors they should be protected so that the authors' words will not be distorted by future editing
How Do I Contribute Stories?
To create a story, follow these steps:
- Create your new story page. There are two techniques of accomplishing this.
- First, go to a page that you would like your story to be linked to. Go into edit mode and add a link to your (as of yet nonexistent) story in an appropriate area on the page. Notice that whatever text you type in the link will be the exact title of your story so watch out for spelling mistakes and capitalization and make sure you are keeping to the story style guide. Save the page. The link to your nonexistent story should be red. Clicking on this red link will bring you to an edit page for your new story.
- The second way of creating an article is to type the name of your story in the search bar and click "Go." Notice that whatever you type in the search bar will be the exact title of your story so watch out for spelling mistakes and capitalization and make sure you are keeping to the story style guide. Hitting "Go" should bring you to the search results page. Near the top of the page you should see the following "There is no page titled "Your Story Name". You can create this page." Clicking on "create this page" will bring you to a screen where you can write your story.
- Load the appropriate boilerplate. A boilerplate is a pre-formatted template for you to use which takes some of the work out of formatting and allows the site to be more consistent. Simply choose the language your story will be written in under the "Select Boilerplate" option and click load.
- Edit your page. To edit the story, simply add text to the editor window. If you are a bit more competent with Wikicode, you can experiment with tables, images etc. For help on editing, visit the Mediawiki how to edit page and formatting page.
- Add your new story to the appropriate category. All stories must be linked to the country stories category in which the story is set. For instance, if a story was written about a faith journey in India, it should be linked to the "India Stories" page. If your story could be linked to multiple countries, link them all. Here is the list of available country story categories. Simply click on the region of your choice to bring up the available country categories. If your country is not included on the list you can always add it yourself. We have added a feature on Anabaptistwiki that allows you to easily select categories for your article. Underneath the editor pane is a "Category Selection" pane. You can either choose appropriate categories from the list of popular categories below or type existing categories in the input box.
- Save your page. When you are done editing, formatting and selecting categories, click the "Save Page" button at the bottom of the page. Your story has now been created and people can start reading it!
- Link your story to other articles. Think about what other articles would be related to your story. If these articles have been created already, add a link to your article somewhere appropriate on that page. These would most likely include conference congregational pages. Each conference and congregational page has a section specifically for stories. The more links there are to your story, the easier it will be for people who are looking for your story to find it.
- When writing a story, you aren't required to cite anything and your narrative may be opinionated. This is your story so it should embody your voice.
- Stories cannot be edited by other users so your story is protected from tampering. Once your story is written, Anabaptistwiki administrators will come through and protect your page from editing. If this hasn't happened in awhile, maybe because the administrators are busy, feel free to send an email to one of them politely suggesting to protect your story. Remember these people are volunteers.
Where Can I Find Stories?
You can find personal stories in a variety of different places. To start, you should check out the stories category page to see a list of all the stories on the Global Anabaptist Wiki. From here you can browse through stories from each individual country. If you'd rather you can browse through stories under the "Stories" heading on Anabaptist-related groups' pages.