Frequently Asked Questions
What is this website all about
This website started as a means to keep people informed about John Otway's attempts to storm the UK charts in 2002. It now serves as a general source of Otway information, news and reviews. See our About Otnews page for more details.
Do I need to register to use this site?
You can register with this site for free. Doing so will allow you to edit pages on this site, as well as create new pages. See the rest of this FAQ for more details.
However you do not need to register or log in if you simply want to read the material on this site, and don't intend to edit anything. We do hope that in time you'll decide to register and contribute to the site - even just tidying up typos here and there - in order to improve the site for everyone, but if you never register and never edit the site at all, that's fine too.
I have some interesting and topical Otway news, can I add it to the site?
Anyone can add news or reviews to this site, once you've created an account and our grace period has passed - see the rest of this FAQ for more information. We do cast an eye over any changes or additions to ensure that they're relevant to the site. If your additions aren't suitable, for whatever reason, we may edit, move or even delete them. The admins' decision in this is final.
- If you specifically want to create a news item, then please see our page on Creating A News Item for some more specific details.
- If you specifically want to create a review, then please see our page on Creating A Review for some more specific details.
What happened to the old site?
The software was old, and we were unable to successfully upgrade it. Our ISP made some changes which stopped it working completely, so we took the opportunity to switch to this wiki-based site. See the About Otnews page for more details.
What about my user account on the old site?
We made a decision not to convert old accounts into new accounts on the new site. If you wish to contribute or help out with Otnews you will need to create a new account using the link at the top-right of the page.
The old site had over 1500 user accounts, but only a small number of active users. Most of the inactive accounts were from users who joined during The Hit campaign in 2002. In addition there were some accounts being used by spammers (though we deleted these whenever we found them). We decided to make a fresh start with this site - but it does mean that you may need to get in quick if you want to be certain of re-using your old username before someone else grabs it!
What about all the content on the old site?
All of the reviews have been migrated over to the new site. The admins also went through the news articles one-by-one and migrated those that were still of interest or relevance: announcements of gigs that have long since passed were omitted, as were articles with dead links.
So what's a wiki anyway?
A wiki is essentially a community-maintained website - one that anyone can edit or contribute to. The most famous example is probably Wikipedia; the new Otnews site is based on the same software that drives Wikipedia, so any wiki editing skills you learn here (or there) should be directly transferable.
So anyone can edit the site? Even me?
Yes, anyone. To keep the spammers at bay we don't allow anonymous users to edit the site, so you'll need to create an account using the link at the top-right of the page. Once you've created an account you will have to wait for a grace period (currently 60 minutes) before you are allowed to edit anything - again this is to prevent spammers who would otherwise create an account and immediately start abusing the site.
Once your account passes our grace period you are free to edit existing pages or add new ones. There's a Help Page to get you started. We do have a few pages (such as this FAQ and the Main Page) which are protected so that only the admins can edit them.
Every page also has an associated discussion area, accessible using the tabs at the top of the page. If you're not sure about the edit you want to make, or just have a comment to make about the content of a page, please add an entry to the discussion area.
It all sounds a bit technical
It's really not. The majority of content on the site is plain text with a few simple codes for adding links, or styling the text (bold, italics). Every edit page has an "Editing Help" link near the bottom which covers the few codes you might want to use. In a lot of cases you won't need even that much - just plain text will do.
If you want to edit an existing page (once you're logged in), just click on the Edit button at the top of the page and make your changes. Preview your work, add a comment, flag it as a minor edit if you've just been correcting typos or similar, then save. Job done.
Creating a new page isn't much harder. First find a suitable place for a link (for example, if you want to create a review, then adding a link to the Reviews page would be a good idea). Next, edit the page and add the new page name in two sets of square brakets - [[Like This]]. When you save the page you should have a red link. Click on that link to be taken to the edit screen for your new page, and proceed as above.
- If you wish to create a news item, please have a look at our separate page, Creating A News Item, for more help.
- If you wish to create a review, please have a look at our separate page, Creating A Review, for more help.
It still sounds confusing. Can I practice somewhere?
Every registered user has their own personal page. You can get to it by clicking on your username at the top of the screen once you're logged in. Feel free to play around and practice on that page (but note that other people can see your page as well).
Once you've finished playing around, why not personalise your page to make it your own. Put a little information about yourself on there, if you want, and perhaps links to your favourite pages on the site (or those that you've created or edited). It's your own little bit of Otnews, so have fun with it.
Are there any guidelines I should follow when editing the site?
Yes. Most importantly we will not accept anything that is racist, sexist, most-other-things-ist or which contains excessive swear words. Anything that we think might offend someone somewhere is likely to be edited or dropped entirely - we don't really want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit because of something you wrote.
For minor infractions, we do reserve the right to edit your words in order to replace them with something less offensive (such as a few stars). If the result would be more edited text than original, we're just as likely to drop the article entirely. We will not normally enter into a discussion on this matter. You can try if you like, but generally we don't have the time or inclination to bother.
Note also that anything you create on this site can - and probably will - be edited by other users at some point. If you feel particularly precious about your writings then this is probably not the place to post them. Conversely we do ask that pages which are written from a personal perspective (such as Reviews) are left alone, with the possible exception of fixing typos, broken links, and so on.
Remember, whether we have edited your text or dropped your submission, the admins decision is final. If you don't like the criteria by which we run this site, you are welcome to set up one of your own. You can even add a link to it on this site if you want.
What if someone abuses the site?
Despite our precautions it's possible that we will still get spammers and vandals abusing the site. If you are a registered user you can help us out in this regard, by using the History tab at the top of each page to revert the page to the state it was in before the spammer struck. Most spammers and vandals will quickly get bored and move on to easier sites if they find that their hard work is being undone.
Can I add some comments about the site, or about a particular page
Every page on the site has an associated Discussion page, accessed via the discussion button at the top of the page (only visible when you're logged in). Feel free to add your comments to the relevant discussion page, remembering to "sign" your addition using four tildes (~~~~) - that will automatically insert your username and a timestamp.
If you want to comment about the site as a whole, then please add your words - plus four tildes - to the bottom of the User Comments page.
How do I get in touch with the administrators?
Well first you need to be certain that you want to. If all you are trying to do is to create a news item or a review, then you can do that without having to send anything to the admins.
Assuming that you really want to contact the admins, then the best method is by putting a message onto their discussion pages, by clicking on one of the links below. If you do leave a message, please insert four tildes ( ~~~~ ) after it, which will automatically insert your username and a timestamp:-
- Xav - The uber-admin. If Xav can't fix the problem, then none of us can. Xav is the person responsible for setting up otnews.net and for some of the additional programming and graphical work. He is, however, often quite busy, so for minor matters you might like to try one of the other admins first
- Duncan - Duncan has got access to more of the system than any of the admins except Xav, so he should also be able to help out with most problems
- Patsy - Probably the admin that's online most, so if your problem or question is one she can deal with, you'll probably get the quickest response from her
- Chris - Chris Nuza. Well worth getting in touch with if you need accomodation in Harrogate