John Broughton

John Broughton

Windsor, California


John Broughton has been a registered editor at Wikipedia since August 2005, with almost 30,000 edits as of 2013. His biggest Wikipedia endeavor was to build the Editor's index to Wikipedia (to find, type that in the search box at the top of any Wikipedia page). This index lists every important reference page on Wikipedia, as well as hundreds of off-Wikipedia Web pages with useful information and tools for Wikipedia editors.

John's first experience with programming computers was in a 1969 National Science Foundation program. Since then, he's held various computer-related management positions in the headquarters of a U.S. Army Reserve division, worked in internal audit departments as a Certified Information Systems Auditor, and was the Campus Y2K Coordinator at U.C. Berkeley.

A Certified Management Accountant, John has B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Johns Hopkins University; an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University; an M.S. in Education from the University of Southern California; and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Wikipedia: Consulting
  • training
  • writing



“Overall, the book makes for a great read for those curious about the “behind the scenes” workings of Wikipedia, and wikis in general. ”
— Kumud Ajmani, GMUG June 2009 Newsletter
“For those not interested in editing and contributing to Wikipedia, the Wikipedia Reader's Guide is a quick and handy reference guide to basic usage,editing and buzz words you may need or run into while using the largest online encyclopedia. ”
— Sacramento Book Review, September 2008 Issue
Wikipedia: The Missing Manual is logically structured, includes lots of screen-shots, and is infinitely skimmable. A great introduction and a handy reference... ”
— Camille Cloutier, Cool Tools
“Broughton's book is exactly what the title says—an instruction manual designed to assist would-be Wikipedia editors in becoming valued contributors, emphasizing the need to cite outside sources of information whenever possible. ”
— Gwenda Bond, Publisher's Weekly
“A good many people think they know about Wikipedia, but fail to fully understand some of the necessary functions or policies that make it work. Indeed, many who would have much to contribute to the project may have been discouraged by failed attempts because of simple mistakes. For anyone who is interested in becoming part of the noble experiment, this book is an excellent introduction.”
— Robert M. Slade, The Internet Review Project
“... if you want to start editing articles and writing them yourself, John Broughton’s book is certain to make your experience a better one.”
— Ellyn Ritterskamp, About This Particular Macintosh
“...this is the definitive book on how to contribute and become a successful Wikipedia editor.”
— Scott Dorman, Geeks With Blogs
“John Broughton covers all the essentials a beginner will need to know - how to add or edit entries; how to create hyperlinks and footnotes; and how to add graphics. So if you would like to join the tens of thousands of (unpaid) volunteers adding to the six million articles in 250 languages - this is a great place to learn the rules of engagement.”
— Roy Johnson, Mantex
Wikipedia: the Missing Manual is an extremely thorough guide to creating and editing Wikipedia articles. The book is intended to help train new writers and editors and to improve the skills and knowledge of existing participants. ”
— John Suda,
“I'll admit I was tempted think "why do you need a manual for Wikipedia?" I mean, you go in, you edit an article, you save it, and you're done, right? Not so fast. Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton goes into great depth about how Wikipedia works, how to get the most out of it, and (in my opinion) how best to become part of the trusted Wikipedia contributors group. There's a lot more to Wikipedia than you might expect...If you are at all involved in the world of wikis, this book should be on your short list of titles to get.”
— Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings
“Unless the site makes some radical changes, Wikipedia: The Missing Manual is not likely to be one of those tomes that addresses content on the web and becomes irrelevant even before it is published. This book would be appropriate for both personal and shared libraries, and should be on your bookshelf if you do or ever plan to contribute to the Wikipedia project.”
— Anna Creech, Blogcritics Magazine
“This most excellent book provides structured guidance for people who want to learn the core curriculum, the information you absolutely need to avoid running afoul of the rules.. But, more importantly, the book will show you the structured process for learning all about editing, including all of the tips and tools that can make editing easier.”
— John Vacca,
“I hope Broughton’s book is not only massively successful, but that it inspires a host of measured, high-quality documentation of all the Wikimedia projects, and then some.”
— Brianna Laugher, All The Modern Things
“John Broughton's Wikipedia: The Missing Manual is the first of its kind, showing beginners the basics of editing Wikipedia, step-by-step...While most of the information within Wikipedia: The Missing Manual is already on Wikipedia, the book's tight-knit organization is what really makes it stand out from online help. The book can be used as a reference book for certain tasks, but can also be read as a step-by-step tutorial, walking through the various issues one might experience while editing Wikipedia. ”
— Ryan Lomonaco, Wikipedia Signpost
“...[If] you think you might like to pitch in with the Wikipedia project, you might still be feeling that a bit of a loss as to how to proceed. Enter John Broughton's Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, a new addition to Pogue Press/O'Reilly's formidable Missing Manuals series. In this book, Broughton, a registered editor at Wikipedia since 2005, with more than 15,000 edits under his belt, as it were, provides readers with straightforward, fun-to-read, and clear to follow instructions and tips about how to join the mosaic of authors, citizen journalists, and scholars from around the planet who have helped make Wikipedia the success that it is...Wikipedia: The Missing Manual contains a great deal of practical advice for creating articles and collaborating with fellow editors, improving existing articles, and working with the Wikipedia community to review new articles, mediate disputes, and maintain the site. It offers structured guidance for people who want to learn the "core curriculum" of what you need to know to avoid running afoul of the rules.”
— Charles Moore, AppleLinks
“The real value of this book isn't just that it tells you how to do stuff or even that it explains the extent of what Wikipedia really offers (which could have been completely transparent to you). The real value is the sense of encouragement you get from the book about becoming a part of Wikipedia. There's a feeling of community you get when you read these pages that you don't always sense as a casual consumer of Wikipedia content. Broughton really makes you want to get involved.”
— James Pyles, MCSE World
“...a great guide for the budding Wikipedia editor.”
— JR Peck, Geek Book
Wikipedia: The Missing Manual is a very good text for the aspring new Wikipedia editor that wants a more systematic introduction.”
— Martin Fenner, Gobbledygook: scientific publishing in the internet age