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How Wikipedia Works--New from No Starch Press: The Complete Guide to Wikipedia for Readers and Contributors

September 17, 2008

How Wikipedia Works San Francisco, CA, September 17, 2008—Since Wikipedia's creation in 2001, volunteer editors have written over two million articles, making it one of the largest collaborations in human history. The beauty of Wikipedia is that anyone can put their stamp on it.

How Wikipedia Works (No Starch Press, September 2008, 536 pp, ISBN 9781593271763) takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Wikipedia community; shows how to use the MediaWiki software that drives Wikipedia; and teaches readers how to become a part of this landmark endeavor.

Early response to the book has been tremendous. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, said, "I have never read a better summary of how Wikipedia works." Benjamin Mako Hill, a free software activist and hacker, described the book as "the thoughtful, comprehensive, and freely licensed manual that I've been waiting years for."

"As book publishers and information seekers, we use Wikipedia all the time," said No Starch Press founder William Pollock. "And, as editors, we like to know where our information comes from and how to be a part of it. That's why we're so excited about How Wikipedia Works. This book is written by core Wikipedia community members for both geeks and non-geeks in the Wikipedia community. This is the book for everyone."

With insight and anecdotes from three Wikipedia veterans, readers of How Wikipedia Works learn how to:

  • Search and browse the site and evaluate article quality
  • Start a new article; edit pages; and write, research, and collaborate with others
  • Create a user account, communicate with other editors, follow the site's policies, and settle disputes
  • Contribute to existing articles by editing, adding new material, and fact-checking

How Wikipedia Works promises to become the go-to resource for anyone who loves to read and contribute to the ever-growing achievement that is Wikipedia. "You already have the invitation. This book tells you what to wear, how to talk, and what to bring to the most intellectually stimulating party on the Internet," said Ward Cunningham, the creator of the wiki.

For more information, to schedule an interview with one of the book's authors, or for a review copy of How Wikipedia Works, please contact Travis Peterson at No Starch Press (nostarchpr@oreilly.com, +1.415.863.9900, x300), or visit www.nostarch.com.

About the Authors
Phoebe Ayers (user:phoebe) is a science and engineering reference librarian at UC Davis. She has been editing Wikipedia since 2003 and is an organizer of the Wikimania conferences.

Charles Matthews (user:Charles Matthews) holds a PhD in mathematics from Cambridge and has taught at Cambridge and Harvard. Matthews has been a Wikipedian since 2003 and is an arbitrator and administrator of the English-language Wikipedia.

Ben Yates (user:Tlogmer) is a technical editor who writes a popular blog about Wikipedia (http://www.enotes.com/blogs/wikipedia/). He has been contributing to Wikipedia since late 2003.

Additional Resources
Chapter 12: "Community and Communication" (PDF)
Table of contents overview
Detailed table of contents (PDF)
Index (PDF)
Large cover image

How Wikipedia Works How Wikipedia Works
by Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, and Ben Yates
September 2008, 536 pp
ISBN 9781593271763, $29.95 USD

Available in fine bookstores everywhere, from www.oreilly.com/nostarch, or directly from No Starch Press (www.nostarch.com, orders@nostarch.com, +1.415.863.9900).

About No Starch Press
Founded in 1994, No Starch Press is one of the few remaining independent computer book publishers. We publish the finest in geek entertainment—unique books on technology, with a focus on Open Source, security, hacking, programming, alternative operating systems, and LEGO. Our titles have personality, our authors are passionate, and our books tackle topics that people care about. See www.nostarch.com/ for more information and our complete online catalog. (And most No Starch Press books use RepKover, a lay-flat binding that won't snap shut.)

About O’Reilly

O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O’Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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