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Page history last edited by Andrew Hill 12 years, 8 months ago

Using PBwiki 


Some people who use this will be experts and just drift around and contribute merrily, occasionally wondering why everyone doesn't just use some VLE or smarter software of some description. There will, however, be some who, like me, found the whole wiki thing pretty odd at first and who might appreciate a few simple notes and ideas to make it work well.


Get help from the boss


The guy behind all this is a nice chap called Ramit. If you contact him and say you're using the product and would like some help then there are some seriously valuable upgrades available for free for educational people like us. He and his team see people like us as great adverts so we can make the most of it.  This page has lots of links to guidance and contact info.


Editing pages or adding new ones


If you've logged in then each page will have some buttons or tabs at the top with Edit Page, New Page etc. They do what they say. Faced with a blank space, life will be much easier if you use the new point and click editing tool. If you haven't got a Word-like pair of toolbars at the top of the editing page then in the top right corner there should be an option to switch to it. Well worth the switch.



Adding images can make things look a bit more interesting. Just beware of uploading some huge original digital photos which will take over the whole page!!


Use the defaults


In the Format box on the toolbar are preset text styles and sizes: heading1, 2 etc. It's a good idea to use these if you can. It's possible to change the look and feel of a whole wiki at a click of a button and different 'skins' include their own styles. If you use default styles then your text will be changed automatically to suit the new skin. If you've set specific fonts and sizes then they won't change. In shared wikis like this you never know who will switch skins or when.


Don't hide your talents


Some of us will get an automatic notification to say that you've changed or added a page. In overflowing mailboxes, though, we may decide to look at it another day and forget and there will also be people who don't get the notification at all. So there needs to be a link somewhere to your new page. Even if it's not finished, put a link to it either on theLinks to MorePages page (always part of the menu that is featured on the side panel of wiki pages) or make a link from another existing page. This will also help you find it again!!


Don't worry about losing work


One of the great things about PBwiki is that everything is backed up over in San Francisco and previous versions of pages are stored. This enables anything except a completely deleted page (which is difficult to do!) to be restored easily.


Who said that?


Do remember to add your name to comments on shared pages - if you're the main author of a page it'll be fairly obvious usually but several chunks of text or amendments can be confusing if you can't see who's saying what.


Quick web pages


Something I found by accident but which is great for quick material production is the way PBwiki just takes and displays some web pages. Try selecting chunks of a web site, even the whole page, copying and then pasting into a PBwiki page. Amazing results! It amy not work with some types of site and backgrounds and things can go missing but you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much time this can save and how quickly a very smart wiki page can be created. If it doesn't work (and there will be problems with some page widths) then just undo or delete and no harm's done. Here's an example.



I'll add more things if I get time. Others may also have some bright ideas.





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