Where to start
Although this website is all about ensuring our database is as up-to-date as possible, thanks to our great team of editors we are mostly on top of this task. Sure, if you've spotted something we've missed or you have photos to share then we'd really appreciate it, but where we really need help is with tasks which are sadly more administrative.
However big or small, your contributions are genuinely appreciated. Many of you want to make sure the most important work gets done first - and this is where it is.
The following links each list pages that have a problem. If possible, those lists should be empty:
- Pages which have no photo - if none of the ones available are suitable then they can be left
- Pages which have barely scratched the surface - if you have something to add then please do
- Services which don't use the new 'brief road' tag
- Services which don't list the local planning authority
- Services which don't have an opening date listed
- New galleries - these either need to be taken out the category or nominated for deletion (read on)
Some of the text on this website has been there for ten years. Other parts were written yesterday. We need to go back over everything we've written to check it's still correct, and that it all makes sense when read as one page. If you're bored, you can tap 'Community' and then 'Random Page' to jump right in.
While nobody is expected to learn the Style Guide off by heart, you may wish to learn one section of it and look for pages which breach it.
The bloating problem
The final issue we need to be aware of is that the site can become too bloated. This can manifest itself in too ways.
The first is when one page is being dominated by one particular sub-issue that really ought to be moved on to its own page. For example, a very interesting a-road service area that could do with its own listing. Long pages put a strain on the server and can be irritating for mobile users.
The second form of bloatedness is when we have pages which have been created despite us having nothing to say. If all we can write about something is one sentence, it's better to have that on one page than to create a special page which just looks silly.
The 'pointless page' problem can have many different forms:
- It could be a gallery which has no corresponding main page.
- It could be a service area which has no signs to it and nothing interesting to say but still somehow has its own page.
- It could be a brand with a few locations and nothing interesting to say about it.
- It could be a page being included in a category which doesn't exist. Unless it's one of the six mentioned above, either the category should be created or the reference to it should be removed.
- Photos are rarely pointless, but some aren't suitable to show on the homepage. These should be added to Miscellaneous Pictures.
If you spot an example of one of these, your best bet is to write on its talk page what the problem is. We will soon get a consensus going.
When this website first started, we all had huge gaps in our knowledge and would be willing to accept any old wives' tale about services. Having consulted a lot of historic documents and spoken to a lot of experts we've now weeded out a lot of the fiction, but we still have people coming up to us telling us that we're wrong and that their theory with no evidence is correct.
We don't need that. What we do need is people who are able to find concrete evidence to fill the gaps in our knowledge. Most councils have files containing the records we need, we just need volunteers with the time to sift through it all.
On that note, while we appreciate people have good intentions when they use information from other websites, they are not reliable enough - even the official company ones! What we need is volunteers with the time to visit services and physically verify our information.