DCCWiki:Why create an account?
You do not have to log in to read DCCWiki. You do not have to log in even to edit articles on DCCWiki — anyone can edit almost any article at any given time, even without logging in, and many long-time contributors do not log in. Nevertheless, creating an account is quick, free and non-intrusive, and it's generally considered a good idea to do so for a variety of reasons.
Summary of benefits
Abilities given to users with account
- The ability to start new pages.
- To be able to edit semi-protected pages (your account must be at least four days old to do this, but these pages can never be edited by unregistered users).
- The ability to rename pages.
- The ability to upload images.
- The use of a username of your choice, provided that it is appropriate and available.
- The ability to easily review all your contributions via a "My contributions" link.
- Your user page that is never shared with others.
- Your own talk page which allows other users to send you messages without having to know your e-mail address.
- The use of your own personal DCCWiki page watchlist to which you can add articles that interest you.
- The ability to customize the appearance and behavior of the website.
- Become eligible for potentially taking on the role of a DCCWiki administrator.
- The right to be heard in elections and have your vote count.
- Your IP address will no longer be visible to other users meaning you will have greater privacy.
If you create an account, you can pick a username. Edits you make while logged in will be assigned to that name. That means you will get full credit for your contributions in the page history (when not logged in, the edits are just assigned to your IP address). You can also view all your contributions by clicking the "My contributions" link, which is visible only when you are logged in.
You will have your own permanent user page where you can write a bit about yourself. While DCCWiki is not a homepage provider, you can use this to display a few pictures, write about your hobbies, etc. Many users use their user page to maintain a list of the articles they are most proud of, or to collect other valuable information from DCCWiki.
You will have a permanent user talk page you can use to communicate with other users. You will be notified whenever someone writes a message on your talk page. If you choose to give an e-mail address, other users will be able to contact you by e-mail. This feature is anonymous; the user who emails you will not know your e-mail address.
Reputation and privacy
You do not need to reveal your offline identity, but having an account gives you a fixed DCCWiki identity that other users will recognize. While we welcome anonymous contributions, logging in lets you build trust and respect through a history of good edits. It is also easier to communicate and collaborate with an editor if we know who you are (at least, who you are on DCCWiki). It is also easier for veteran users to assume good faith from new users who take the effort to create an account. You may well be afforded a great deal less leeway if you do not go to the trouble of making up a username.
Please understand that DCCWiki gets vandalized, spammed, and information gets uploaded by people who just want to advertise. Information sources need to be verified and DCCWiki needs a way to distinguish reliable contributors and sources.
You are actually more anonymous (though more pseudonymous) logged in than you are as an "anonymous" editor, due to the hiding of your IP. You might want to consider various factors, including privacy and the possibility of offline harassment, when selecting a username.
The privacy implications of this vary, depending on the nature of your Internet Service Provider, local laws and regulations, and the nature and quantity of your edits to DCCWiki. Be aware that DCCWiki technologies and policies may change.
New editing options
The MediaWiki software, (which powers DCCWiki), provides several features only for use by registered users. Registered users may mark edits as "minor." Editors can choose to filter minor edits from the list of recent changes. Anonymous members don't have the privilege to mark edits as minor because the persons behind the IP Address can be multiple users, so a basis of trust cannot be built.
One very important feature which active contributors will likely use a lot are watchlists. You will get a new link "Watch this page" (or a new tab "watch") on every page you view. If you click that link, a page will be added to your watchlist. This list is basically a filtered view of the "Recent changes" page which shows only changes that were recently made to items in your watchlist. This way you can keep track of pages you work on without having to follow all changes.
Also, you must be logged in if you want to upload images.
Many user preferences
- Under skin: choose between various options as to the appearance of the website.
- Under math: how mathematical formulae are displayed.
- Under files: how large image thumbnails are displayed
And various editing preferences:
- How to sign your name
- How large the editing box should be
- How pages should be displayed in recent changes
- ... and many others (they're pretty self-explanatory),
Administrators (sometimes known as sysops, short for System Operator) can delete and restore pages, protect them from being edited, edit protected pages, and block users for violation of our policies. They generally carry out the will of the Wiki community on pages such as DCCWiki:Articles for deletion.
Only signed-in users can become administrators. Although individual standards vary, any user who has contributed regularly for several months in a positive way will be seriously considered for the role; although any user may apply at any point, very new users will find promotion impossible. For a rough guide to the standards some users expect of administration candidates see this page.
If you are a signed-in user and want to be an administrator, see DCCWiki:Requests for adminship for more information.