NOTE: You probably came here looking for the Book Catalog page. There's not much else on this web-site anymore... I suggest you just click on that link and forget the rest... If you want to go ahead and waste your time on totally obsolete pages, well, it's your life - keep reading.
If you are coming here for the first time and looking for information you should look at the LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE and click either on "Resources for the Albanian Church" or "Foreigners in Albania". If you want to contribute your own information, read on...
What is a wiki? Well contrary to Judy P's initial observation, it has no relationship to the wookiees of Star Wars fame (Chewbacca & friends). It is simply a web page like any other except that ANYONE can make changes. It's called "mass collaborative authoring" (from the Wikipedia definition of Wiki) if you want a fancy name for it.
Dangerous?!? Yes, it leaves us a little open to the spammers and hackers of the world. But it is worth it because it allows so much more freedom in terms of editing and keeping it updated and getting more information and more helpful information out there. Besides, hackers are generally motivated by the challenge and where's the challenge of "hacking" a site that a 6-year-old could do? :-)
(NOTE: The 6-year-olds have struck once too often and so I've had to lock down this page. The password is available to anyone who is interested and can show me that they aren't in it for the spamming. Just contact Peter Bowers. Only main pages (like this one) are locked down -- you are still free to make changes anywhere else.) (My apologies to 6-year-olds the world over. Obviously I have a much higher opinion of you than I do of spammers...)
The biggest problem on a typical small web-site is that it doesn't get maintained. It looks really great the day after it is initially built, but then 2 years later it still has the same prayer requests and the same ... everything! With a wiki if someone surfing the page doesn't like it or if they want to add to it or fix something -- they just do it! So the visitors to the site become the builders and maintainers of the site. Since the web is all about information it obviously makes sense that having more people contributing to it makes it more valuable.
If you want to come and just look around, no problem - just look at the sidebar on the left and click on any entries that look interesting to you. Surf as long as you like and then if you want to come back again later and contribute something that's even better...
Want to contribute? No problem -- just go to the page you want to update and click on the "edit" button that is found in the upper right corner of each page and then go in and make your changes. Congratulations! You just became a webmaster contributing to the world wide web!!! :-)
Making simple changes is exactly that - simple! It will take about 3 minutes of experimenting to figure out your way around, but don't give up! After clicking on that "edit" button just look at the text around yours and make your changes by following that model. If you want to learn more and become more effective at it just check out this "basic editing" page which describes how to create pages and make simple changes (tables, lists, font, etc.). There are also other links in the sidebar to the left (further down) which will give further information and enable you to become better and better at making your changes. But you don't need any of this -- the best way to get started is just to, well, get started! After you've made your change jot down a couple words in the "summary" box telling what the change was and put your name in the "author" box and then click on "save".
If you want to create a whole new page it couldn't be simpler. Just start in the page that will link (point) to your new page and put
[[the name of your new page]] somewhere in the text (with the double square brackets before and after the name of your page). After you save your changes (with the summary & author) then you will see your new link with a little question mark next to it. Click on that link and you will be given the opportunity to edit your now newly created page. That's all there is to it!
(Oh, we can also change the sidebar if you want to add a major new section - you'll just need to so I can keep the basic structure within the overall plan.)
If you're nervous about making a change in a "real page" that has information people are using then you can always play in the Sandbox and see how it works. Those pages are for nothing else except playing and so there's no way you can mess anybody or anything up.
All recent changes for the entire wiki can be viewed via that link for the most up-to-date information. (That way you don't have to look at all the links to see what somebody might have changed.) If you know how to use an RSS feed ("live bookmark" in FireFox) you can set it up using this link text:
and it will automatically give you the last 10 changes or so...