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Fortean Wiki


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 25, 2005
I've just created a Fortean Wiki called Forteana. Early days, but it's envisaged that the site will become a bit like Wikipedia without the non-fortean bits, and with less chance of the pages being edited by disinterested parties. It should be possible to make it a lot more detailed than the fortean pages on Wikipedia, and because it will be wholly dedicated to forteana it should be a lot easier to find what you want there.

This will only work if people join and contribute. Administrators and moderators would be needed. I have created the bare bones but don't really have any interest in dictating how it should be; I think that's best left up to the users. At the moment it is only possible for members to add and edit but once there are enough members and moderators to keep an eye on things this might change.

The site can be found at http://fortean.wikidot.com

There is a facility for joining by using a secret password and this password is Yowie. You will need to open a Wikidot account before joining but this is fairly straightforward. Just go to http://fortean.wikidot.com/system:join and there's a link there for opening a Wikidot account.
We've been discussing the establishment of a Fortean wiki (or Fortopedia) on and off for ages : there's a thread about it here. Bravo for finally getting one off the ground!

I'm sure many users on here will be glad to help.
I've signed up and will contribute a scan of the 'Escargot Letter' ;) which we still have lying around. :D
I've tried to set up the bare bones but, as you can imagine, with thousands of pages needed it will take some time. The cryptozoology section is starting to take shape, though most of the individual pages are still empty. It may be necessary initially to lift some of the material from Wikipedia so that it has some content. This could then be edited, corrected, improved and added to. The feeds section is handy; good to have them all in one place.

Hopefully, when the number of members increases it will start to look a lot better. The sites are very customisable for anyone who knows CSS so the possibilities are there for a really good looking and useful site.
Now that the basic structure of the site is in place and enough pages have been created to give an idea of how they are created and edited, I have opened the site up to anonymous editing. So this means that anyone can contribute whether or not they are a member of the site. This is also partly due to a lack of interest in the site, which is a shame, as I'm sure that the wiki could turn into a valuable resource. If, in a couple of months' time, there is still no interest, then the site will be deleted.

If you would like to contribute to the site I would ask you first to read How to Edit Pages at http://fortean.wikidot.com/how-to-edit-pages and then to take a look at some of the pages already created. A list of existing pages can be found on the Site Map at http://fortean.wikidot.com/site-map though there are a few pages even here which are still blank. A reasonable example page can be found at http://fortean.wikidot.com/con-rit.

There are now pages for a Fortean Timeline; so fortean events for any particular year can be added, and also pages for individual days, so, eventually, visitors will be able to see "What happened on this day in history?"

For anyone who would like to add their own complete articles to the site, but do wish to relinquish copyright and do not want anyone else to edit these pages, I have created a mechanism whereby copyright pages can be created; these are blocked from being edited by others. Contact me if you would like further details on this, or any other matters.
I'd really quite like to be involved in the wiki, but I don't really know how I could contribute. I don't feel like I know enough about anything to write articles, so is there anything else I might do that could help in some way?
Hi Lauren.

Any help would be good at the moment. I guess you could cut and paste some of the smaller articles to be found on Wikipedia into the relevant pages on the Fortean Wiki. The cryptozoology section would probably be a good place to start as the links for new pages are all already set up. This should be fairly easy to do, but if you need any help just give me a shout.

If you don't know how to do the formatting etc then I can always do that afterwards and you can just cut and paste the text in. Wikis are fairly easy to edit though with just a few basic rules.

I'm not particularly happy with having clones of Wikipedia pages on the site but at least they will give the site some much needed content, and I'm hoping that those more knowledgeable than I will amend and expand the pages, so that eventually they bear little resemblance to the Wikipedia pages.

If you don't fancy this then you could always add events to the Fortean Timeline. If you have any books or magazines etc and find any notable fortean events which happened on a certain day then go to the timeline, find the relevant year, and put a brief summary of what happened. This is very easy to do. A single entry can be done in less than a minute so its easy to do as much or as little as you want. Take a look at the ones already done to get an idea of how it works.
Having managed to learn the basics of CSS I have given the site a makeover, though would still like to improve the banner.

I have also added a blog at http://fortean.wikidot.com/blog:_start

Only members of the site can add blog entries, but for anyone not comfortable with actually adding or editing the other pages on the wiki, the blog is a great way of getting used to adding stuff, as you can just basically type your text in.

The site has just been made site of the week by Wikidot, and Wikidot were recently bought by Google, so I guess that's quite good. What's not so good is that the site has only five members so far, especially considering how much has been said in this forum about members here wanting a dedicated fortean wiki. Am even more disappointed that I am the only one who is adding anything.

Anyways, ideas for a banner would be greatly appreciated.
Vibracobra said:
If, in a couple of months' time, there is still no interest, then the site will be deleted.

As the site has, other than my own, had no input whatsoever since I wrote the above I have decided to delete the site. Unfortunately, I can't really do this whilst it's still wiki of the week, but I would imagine that this will no longer be the case next weekend, at which time I will hit the delete button.

It is quite heartbreaking to read the hundreds of comments left on this message board over the years about the need for a fortean wiki (the Fortopedia thread at http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11033 was started in 2003) and then to witness such a lack of interest in making the dream a reality. It could have been whatever you wanted it to be, but it is merely becoming what I want it to be (or rather what it needs to be if I, alone, am to create the whole thing), and that is not what I envisaged.

"One measures a circle, beginning anywhere."
Don't be so hasty. I myself told you I had stuff to contribute, but it would a couple of weeks until I had the time to do so (and indeed, will be able to contribute next week.)

Things like this are usually slow to take off - we've come this far, so hold off a while.
Only just come across this: looks great, notably visually, I haven't had the time to read much yet.
I signed up for it, all keen, but can't work it. :(

Was hoping to post our own Charles Fort newspaper letter too.
Likewise, I tried to sign up, but it won't let me in.
If anyone has any problems signing up please contact me as it should be fairly easy. That said, the site can be edited by anyone, though obviously anything you add in this way will be done anonymously.

To join you simply need to sign up first with Wikidot. If you are on the Forteana site then there is a link top right which says create account. Click on this and enter the details for your new account. Wikidot will then send you an email with a link in it which, when clicked on, will activate your account.

Once this is done you can go to http://fortean.wikidot.com/system:join and just type 'Yowie' into the secret password box and you will automatically be added as a member.

Alternatively if you send me an email to [email protected] then I can send you an email invite, which might be slightly easier.

As I say though, you don't actually have to be a member to edit and add material, though you do if you want to create a blog entry.
There is a nice new shiny blog on the site now at http://fortean.wikidot.com/blog:_start. Only members can post to the blog but for those like Lauren who may not feel comfortable editing the encyclopedia pages, it means that you can still contribute to the site, and as far as the blog is concerned, anything goes. So long as it's fortean!

I've also added feed aggregators at http://fortean.wikidot.com/feeds (the pages called 'Aggregator' under each relevant heading) which should pull the latest posts from twitter, technorati, del.icio.us etc for any of the selected categories there. There are also feeds for many other sites and this should be a handy place where users can check all the latest news and blog posts from any number of fortean sites, keeping 'clippers' bang up to date and saving loads of time for anyone who is used to trawling the urls. Notice of any feeds that I've so far missed would be greatly appreciated.
Apologies. Tried to make the site available once more several months ago but, for some reason, every time I logged in in order to go to the Site Manager the pages would get stuck in an endless loop of refreshment (I can't say I blame them in this heat). The site would only work properly when not logged in and, of course, I had to log in to make the site available again. This was very frustrating. The problem is now fixed and the site is now as was, though all members have disappeared. So any former members will need to re-join, if they wish to. I have changed the settings such that those with wikidot accounts now have enough permissions to be able to edit the site. This means that those former members (who should still have wikidot accounts) should be able to edit straight away. It will also mean that those who register a wikidot account but have problems getting full site membership will still be able to edit. Anonymous editing was tried for a while but this proved very problematic. The secret password for those wanting full membership is still "Yowie".
Thanks WhistlingJack. That should make it easier to attract new members. Very much appreciated.
I have signed up and am happy to contribute. I have a good knowledge of local paranormal phenomenon, but do not know what type of material is required. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Just about anything will do. Lots of material is needed on all subjects and every little helps. So little has been added by anyone other than myself so far (barely a dozen or so edits), but it might just take one person to get the ball rolling. If you need any help with anything there just PM me on the site as I don't visit this forum too often these days, or send me an email at [email protected]. Apologies for the delay in replying but I've been really busy on my other websites.
I came across this site the other day and was really impressed. So I signed up as soon as I came across this. Well done so far will try to contribute what I can.

Only one thing I would say is that people who want to support may not, like me, necessarily read the announcement section very often.
oldrover said:
Only one thing I would say is that people who want to support may not, like me, necessarily read the announcement section very often.

True! But I don't really want to start a spamfest. I tried that a year or two back when I first created the wiki, and it got me nowhere. If it starts turning into something good and worthwhile, then word of mouth should do the rest, and it's easy to invite friends to join the site. I guess when people start adding more content then the site will get discussed here and there.

If anyone would like to contribute something to the site, but would rather start with nimble footprints, then the Fortean Timeline is a good introduction. All it needs is snippets of info, ordered by date. Just add the details for some Fortean event which happened on a particular day in history. Add the info to the page for that date, then copy the same information to the page for the relevant year. That way we get two timelines: one chronological, from prehistory to the present day; and the other being a "on this day in history". See the page for http://fortean.wikidot.com/june-15 for an example, then click on 1857 to see how the both interact.

If the pages for the year and/or date you want to add don't yet exist there are templates for creating the code for both date and year pages at http://fortean.wikidot.com/templates.
That's a great idea - lets those of us who don't feel up to writing authoritative entries contribute in our own small way.
I've just joined up, look forward to seeing you all there, and wasting time and having fun!