I have up until now used an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my articles. This has had a few disadvantages, in that it's not as flexible as I wanted, and the more articles being kept track of this way the more complex and cluttered it gets. I decided to switch to a MediaWiki setup, installed on my desktop PC, instead.
Another option is to install MediaWiki on a server you already control, which has the benefit that it can then be accessed from multiple computers over the internet. It's likely that at some point I will upload the existing database to a server.
Overkill? Well, possibly. It does mean that I can keep very close track of articles and subjects written about.
MediaWiki - MediaWiki is the wiki software used to run Wikipedia.
XAMPP - MediaWiki is designed to run on what is called a LAMP setup: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP. To run it on my desktop PC which uses Windows, I need to install those on it. The easiest way is using programs such as XAMPP (there are others) which, when installed, add the required software to your computer without having to download and install them individually.
Once XAMPP is downloaded and installed onto the computer in its' own folder (it's recommended not to install it in the Program Files folder as permissions can cause problems), the MediaWiki software is also downloaded and extracted. The wiki software folder is added to the htdocs sub-folder in the XAMPP folder.
The wiki is setup by opening a browser then navigating to the page http://localhost/[NAME OF WIKI FOLDER]/index.php to start the installation. Full installation instructions are available on the MediaWiki site.
Site Submitted To
This is divided into several sub-sections. Currently, I'm not keeping track of signature links, only those from the article itself. If an article has no contextual links, whether to the same site or to other sites, it's a bit of a dead end article and should be linked to other articles, or have articles written that it can link to.
InfoBarrel Links and Seekyt Links
This shows if there are any links to my blog from the article. These are external links from the wiki, and link to the relevant blog page. Should more blogs, such as niche blogs, be added in the future, links to them will also appear here.
This is any links to any other content or sites of mine. Again, these are external to the wiki, linking to the relevant content or page. This is for links to other content and sites that aren't articles covered by the wiki.
This shows what content belonging to other people the article links to, if any. Again, these are external links, linking to the content in question.
Linked FromBarlRol and RedGage. Again, these are links external to the wiki and link to the relevant place on each site.
There are also multiple Topics sub-categories per article. The number varies from article to article and each is related to a topic, subject or item mentioned in the article or which the article is about. By clicking a Topic I can then see all articles mentioning the same topic, making it easier to select appropriate articles for cross linking.
MediaWiki also has a number of Special pages, one of which will list all the orphaned pages on the wiki and another all the dead-end pages, which can help provide ideas for articles to link to or from them. Orphaned pages are pages lacking any incoming links; dead end pages are those lacking any outgoing ones.
By clicking on the internal links in the My Links section I can view the other articles that are linked to from each article.
The Topics allow me to see what articles mention any topic so, if a new article is written that also mentions a topic, I can see if there are potential links between the articles.
There is a lot of scope for improving and adding to the data stored on each article. Probably the most important to look into is adding the entire finished article to the wiki, including details of any images added.
Adding articles for any signatures used, then linking each article to the relevant signature's page could also be quite useful, as many of the signatures are currently under utilised and are often just placeholders added to multiple articles and this would help improve them.
I could also add a new category, Unfinished, for articles that currently exist in a draft form on a submission site but have not as yet been submitted.