The East Kingdom Wiki is an extremely useful tool. It is a site dedicated to the Populace of the East–every member of the Society for Creative Anachronisms on the east coast from New Jersey all the way to Newfoundland. The EKwiki is a place to tell your story, share your photo, display your Heraldry, and list any awards you have received. As a non-profit organization, the SCA runs on volunteer power. We grant Awards to acknowledge the time and energy members put in, since we can’t award bonuses or raises.
I can wax poetic about the EKwiki, but at the end of the day, it is mostly used as a reference page for awards, and as a reference for the people who will write and illustrate award scrolls. Any person can submit an award recommendation to the East Kingdom, and one of the submissions questions asks for a photo of the person you are nominating for an award. The East Kingdom maintains award database called the Order of Precedence, but it is far easier to look up an EKwiki.
You will need several things before you create your own EKwiki page. First, you will need to request an account . Accounts are usually approved in a day or so, and while they request your legal name, the site will never display it. The SCA does its best to use only the Scadian name you choose online and at events.
Once you have an account set up, you will need to create a Wiki page under your SCA name. If you don’t have a name yet, I have a post that explains the naming process called What’s in a (Heraldic) Name? If your name changes between when you create your wiki and when your name is registered with the College of Heralds, you can ask an administrator to change it.
The other things you will need are a photo of yourself in garb, and an image of your Heraldry. (If you don’t have heraldry, I have a post about Choosing Your Heraldry.) Finally, I encourage both Heavy List fighters and Fencers to take a photo of yourself in your kit, holding your helm. This is especially useful because you might not recognize a gentle from the other end of the kingdom, but you will remember that Viking Knight with the two longswords who hit you seven times before landing a killing blow.
To create a new page, you will need to log in to the EKwiki and then type your full SCA name into the Search box on the left side of the screen, and click “Go”. This is a screen capture of the box.
This example shows a Search for a page called “H”. To make an EKwiki page H, you would click on the red “H” in the Search Results. To make your page on the wiki, you will need to type your SCA first and last name into the box and click Search.
This is the only time when typing your name in Roman characters is advisable, because searching non-ASCII characters is problematic. (My registered name is Þórý Veðardóttir, but my wiki page is Thory Vedardottir.)
Once you have created a page, you will need to choose which sort of page it will be. This post focuses on creating an EKwiki page for your persona, which falls into the “Populace” category.
The option of selecting a boilerplate is another way to say that you are choosing the “Populace” template to be the base of your EKwiki page. Click the “Load” button to load this template and wait for the information to fill into the text box.
Once you have clicked the “Load” button, the text box will populate with some code. This code is specific to wiki spaces and doesn’t work exactly like HTML.
(You don’t need to know HTML or other programming skills to make an EKwiki page. If you’d like to learn the basics and understand how tags work, I have a post explaining Basic HTML Commands.)
After you have seen the boilerplate Populace text appear within the text box, you have finished the first steps to creating your EKwiki. The next step is to save this template by clicking the “Save Page” button at the bottom of the screen.
One of the interesting and useful features of wiki programs is that they will save every version of their edited pages. While users will only see the most up-to-date information, the wiki will save and record every change you make. (This is useful if the page is hacked, or your information is lost.)
A video game mantra is to “save early; save often” and this is also applicable to wikis. At this step, you want to save the boilerplate information by clicking Save Page. If you drop something on your keyboard, you can simply click on “Cancel” and any changes you made in the text box will be erased and your wiki page will revert to its last saved point.
Part 2 will cover uploading images and information to your EKwiki page.