FAQ

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Introduction

This page details common FAQ, frequently asked questions, about the basingstoke.wiki website.


About the website

Why was basingstoke.wiki Created

The administrator of basingstoke.wiki, Andrew Watten, explains in this quote:

"I moved to Basingstoke in December 2002, as my job had relocated here. Unfortunately, three months later, my department then relocated to London. I had just bought my first house and with no chance of affording London house prices, I had to endure the 4-hour daily commute. All this commuting left me little time to get to know Basingstoke and integrate into the community. From 2016 I managed to start working a few days a week in the Basingstoke office. This time coincided with my girlfriend moving in with me. In the few weeks that she was there, she managed to do several activities in the library and do some local history walks around the town. She had learnt more about the town in a few weeks than I did in almost 15 years. I was filled with regret at all the time I had missed. This was mostly down to long work hours and commuting, but I felt I could have made more of an effort.

In 2020, the Covid lockdown happened and I ended up working from home. This gave us substantially more time to explore our local area. We joined the 'Basingstoke History' Facebook group and soon ended up learning a lot more about the town. This group contained a lot more history than you would find in a book as it included peoples photographs, personal accounts and memories. Although this group was good, it did not seem the best method to store this information as you tend to only see the latest posts. This led to repeated postings or posts vanishing as we didn't know what to search for.

As we were now inspired by the local history, we manage to buy some old documents relating to the town. It turned out that, although rare, these were not unique and copies were held in the 'Hampshire Archives'. These archives were closed during Covid so we went to their website hoping to find more details. Personally I had hoped all the information had been scanned in, in high resolution, so all the records could be studied online, however this was not the case. With all this information sitting in archives, on Facebook, in peoples houses etc. there needed to be a way to bring it all together. Several books have tried to do this, but they could never contain all the information or keep up with the constant new information. A wiki would be an ideal method to join all this information together. I had been building wiki sites since 2015 so I knew their capabilities and how to approach creating the structure for one about Basingstoke.

Where books tend to just have one or two authors, a wiki could have thousands of authors. This leads to a much greater volume of work being produced and cross-checking capabilities. There are downsides such as site vandalism, but these can be reduced by vetting the contributers. In 2020 I bought the basingstoke.wiki domain but shortly after this, my second child was born and I ran out of time. There were also some technical hurdles to overcome, but as of today [August 2021] I have setup the site properly. Before users can start adding and amending pages, a set of site standards, help pages and templates etc. need to be put in place. The wiki needs a defined structure for people to operate in or it can become overwhelming and lead to the wiki becoming incoherent. I have set myself the goal of creating 1,000 pages by Christmas 2021. This should provide enough structure for people to be invited in to contribute.

The wiki concept was originally just about local history, but it expanded to be about anything relating to Basingstoke. It hopes to cover ancient history to modern history, all the establishments, shops, pub etc. Roads, areas, maps, photographs, current events. This list is endless. I think people appreciate the town they live in a lot more if they understand more about it. In my opinion, all this information should be free to view and easy to access and 'basingstoke.wiki' can be the place where this can happen.

-- Andrew Watten 2021


Why not just use Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a global wiki. It is pretty much the gold-standard of wiki sites. There are several articles about Basingstoke currently on the site like:

As of 2021-08-07, the article about Oakridge is neither detailed or of much particular use. It is only one paragraph long and contains some additional basic geographical placement. For basingstoke.wiki I would like to see this article greatly expanded and go into further details, such as the roads within it like Oakridge Road, which is not on Wikipedia at all.

Wikipedia has some very high standards and it can sometimes be a difficult and frustrating experience trying to create or modify pages. Facts require citations, which is admirable, but at the local level there may just be one persons memories to go on. Some things that may be useful locally, may be off no use to a global wiki. This can mean someone in a different continent rejecting your page as it is not relevant, for a global user base.

Another issue is similar pages. For example, there is a pub in Basingstoke called The Rising Sun. If this was a global wiki, this would have to be suffixed that it is the one in Basingstoke as there could be hundreds all over the world. Even with a local wiki, there is bound to be some duplication with a few similar road names and churches, but the effort of having to frame everything globally is removed.

The point of basingstoke.wiki is for it to be very detailed at the local level. It may be of little interest globally, but that is not the target user-base for this site. It also needs many local contributers and for these people to give up their spare time, the whole experience needs to be as easy as possible.


Who runs basingstoke.wiki

The basingstoke.wiki is run by Andrew Watten, who can be contacted via email on:

admin@basingstoke.wiki


Who created basingstoke.wiki

The basingstoke.wiki was created by Andrew Watten, who can be contacted via email on:

admin@basingstoke.wiki


When was basingstoke.wiki created

The basingstoke.wiki domain was first registered on 2020-06-18, by Andrew Watten.

The website was initially hosted on Andrew Watten's web hosting package, but on 2021-08-03, it was moved on to its own dedicated web hosting package, owned by Andrew Watten and supplied by UK2.


Running costs

How much does basingstoke.wiki cost to run

As of 2021-08-03, the basingstoke.wiki site costs £205.03 to run per year, which is £17.09 per month. Please see the breakdown in the table below:

basingstoke.wiki Running Costs Table
Expense Cost £ Notes
Month Year VAT Total
Hosting 3.99 47.88 9.58 57.46 -
Domain - 24.99 5.00 29.99 Could be reduced in 2022
SSL - 49.99 10.00 59.99 Could be reduced in 2022
Static IP - 48.00 9.60 57.60 -
- 17.09 - - 205.03 Month total is yearly average

As this site was an evolution of a previously hosted solution, there may be ways to reduce the site running costs in the future. For example, the domain and SSL certificate were purchased separately to the hosting, but with better planning they could have been included in the price.

The next major step up would be to host the site on a dedicated server. This would increase speed, function and reliability but it would come at a substantial cost increase in the order of £100.00 per month or above. For this to happen, the site would have needed to have expanded enough that users start demanding a speed increase and crucially would be willing to donate towards the running costs of the site. Note that if donations are put in place, they will always be voluntary.


Who pays for basingstoke.wiki

As of 2021-08-03, basingstoke.wiki is entirely funded by Andrew Watten. Note that this may change, in the future, if people are willing to donate to the site. Note that if donations are put in place, they will always be voluntary.


How do I make a donation

As of 2021-08-03, there is no means to make a donation. This is for several reasons:

  1. The site has already been paid for until August 2022
  2. The site has not expanded to its full potential yet
  3. The methods of making a donation have not been explored
  4. Involving other peoples money in a project, even as a donation, may:
    • Create a lot of extra work
    • Create conflicts of interests
    • Foster animosity between those who pay and those who do not
    • Give undue influence to those who pay
    • Cause tax or charity issues or a great deal of other unknowns

An idea was put forward that those who contribute could get an email account like john@basingstoke.wiki. This is technically possible and already paid for, so it could be an intensive to donate.


Website technical details

Why is basingstoke.wiki slow

The basingstoke.wiki site may seem a lot slower than other wiki sites like Wikipedia. This is because of cost, see running costs. Wikipedia can afford multiple dedicated servers all over the world where basingstoke.wiki is just hosted on a standard web hosting platform.

The speed can be increased by upgrading the hosting package to a dedicated server, but this will increase running costs substantially.


What is the IP address of basingstoke.wiki

The basingstoke.wiki domain has a static IP address of:

109.123.71.229


What provider hosts basingstoke.wiki

The basingstoke.wiki domain, SSL and web hosting is provided by UK2. Andrew Watten holds a hosting account with UK2 that runs basingstoke.wiki.


Contact

To contact the administrator of basingstoke.wiki, please email:

admin@basingstoke.wiki