About WikiConnections

WikiConnections provides concise instructions for connecting consumer electronic devices together and educates owners about new possibilities and capabilities of their gadgets.

From how to charge an eBook reader abroad to streaming music from a mobile phone to Bluetooth speakers, the WikiConnections site contains a constantly growing collection of over 12,000 unique instructions showing how to connect one electronic device to another.

We love tech, solving problems and helping people - with years of consumer electronics experience the WikiConnections team strives to provide the best user experience to ensure that visitors receive the most relevant solution to their problem.

History

The site was started in 2013 by a guy you'd probably label as a 'tech expert' - everyone has one in their family or workplace and chances are you probably know one. They're the ones who show you how to magically beam movies wirelessly from your iPad to your parents outdated TV set or persuade the office laptop to connect to that stubborn printer simply by waggling a cable. They love to help and always make it look so simple, but what if they're not around when you need them leaving you to go online for answers?

Although the internet is jam-packed full with useful advice this tends to be scattered across multiple manufacturers support sites, blogs, instruction manuals and forums - often unanswered, open to interpretation or indecipherable unless you're a rocket scientist.

This prompted the development of WikiConnections, a site specifically built by one such tech expert to answer the types of common questions likely to come up when attempting to connect electronic devices together. The site contains a growing library of consumer electronics, if we can get our hands on a device then chances are we've put together instructions and a diagram to help our visitors out.

A dedicated content management platform was developed to deal with the staggering number of combinations of handling multiple devices and their relationship with one-another. WikiConnections was born and rapidly grew to become a comprehensive site providing various solutions on how to connect unique combinations of devices together by providing step by step instructions, diagrams and links to useful resources.

What size is the WikiConnections team?

At present you can count members of the WikiConnections team on one hand. This is a bootstrapped project, we don't class ourselves as a start-up because we're not a business, we're just passionate about making useful websites.

Who's behind WikiConnections?

Me.

Where are you based?

We're based in the UK and the site itself is developed on a laptop during a daily commute to London providing there is a train seat and a mobile data signal available (and usually there isn't).

What makes WikiConnections special?

In the same way that satellite navigation tells you directions between one location and another, WikiConnections tells you the best way to connect one device to another.

Our goal is to become the biggest collection of useful connectivity instructions on the internet. We want to help answer questions from owners wanting to know if a future electronics purchase is compatible with their existing device. We also hope that visitors will discover new uses for their devices that they might not be aware of, such as the ability to connect an electric guitar to their smartphone to act as a multitrack audio recorder (which it can).

What are WikiConnections core values?

When writing articles, we always imagine how we'd provide simple, honest and cost-effective advice to a member of our family who might be struggling to perform a specific task. By providing knowledgeable and trustworthy help we aim to add genuine value to the internet by creating clear understandable instructions. Ultimately we want to make the web a better place and leave it better than we found it.

Why so many unique articles about different devices?

We want to give our users an accurate and precise set of instructions instead of having to interpret vague and ambiguous guidelines which rely on a certain level of technical knowhow. We've found that unless both devices come from the same manufacturer you'll have to visit at least two manufacturers support websites in order to find instructions to figure out how to connect the pair.

The average user of our site might not necessarily know how to determine a number of different factors involved in a self-service how-to article which can lead to more questions than answers. As long as you know the names of both devices we aim to provide an appropriate and relevant article detailing how to connect them both together.

No two devices are exactly alike and connecting different combinations of them involves writing a totally unique set of instructions. Even devices from the same product range have nuances relating to different specifications which affect if and how they connect to other devices. Rather than provide non-specific general instructions for entire product ranges we want to give exact instructions for each device. For example, the iPhone 4 has a different sized charging port and operating system to the iPhone 5 which changes every options for a number of compatible devices, cables and adapters.

What about discovery?

Another goal of WikiConnections is to show owners of an electronic device what their product is capable of. We love studying instruction manuals to discover everything there is to know about a product because it adds way more value to our devices. Often the owner of a gadget might not be aware that they can connect it to a certain device perform a specific task, WikiConnections will highlight a list of compatible devices and provide instructions on how to connect them. For example, a musician might arrive on the site after searching for a solution on how to recharge their mobile phone abroad then go on to discover that their phone is capable of connecting to their synthesizer and smart TV.

How to I add my device?

At present we're looking to work alongside manufacturers to provide accurate instructions on connecting their products. With the arduous task of cataloguing a vast library of consumer electronics in an organised fashion the process of adding articles manually will be slow, especially as this is a project being conducted in our spare time outside of day jobs. Whilst WikiConnections is still in early development stages we're adding each device manually to the site, however feel free to contact the WikiConnections editorial team if you'd like to add your products.

It's a Wiki, why can't I edit it?

Believe us, we need your help. Whilst the WikiConnections platform and taxonomy is being developed the project remains a closed platform. In the future we aim to open the platform up so that anyone can become an editor and contribute to the site.

Is there a timeline for that?

Please see this page on Wiktionary for a more detailed explanation. Because of the additional resources involved in implementing this please contact the WikiConnections editorial team so we can gauge demand for opening up the platform.

Why so many power supplies?

One goal of the WikiConnections project is to provide comprehensive instructions for safely charging devices when you visit another country. Although instructions do appear in various places on the internet we felt these didn't relate to charging any single specific device, the information was either too technical or too vague for the casual traveller to follow confidently.

Instructions relating to safely powering a mobile phone abroad are very different to powering a hair dryer due to different voltages and frequencies, our product-specific instructions take the uncertainty and guess work out of recharging your device and reduce the chances of accidently setting fire to hotels.

We set about organising this information in a relevant and useful way with the goal being for a traveller to have exactly what they need to bring with visiting another country. Being huge travel enthusiasts ourselves we know only too well the problems associated with bringing electronic devices to an unknown country. Attempting to charge them with a myriad of power adapters often involves packing lots of backup chargers just in case you bring the wrong ones, we've attempted to take away any surprises by informing you exactly which charger to bring thereby saving you valuable space in your suitcases for souvenirs.

Aiming to catalogue the world's collection of consumer electronic devices will be a never ending challenge to the editorial team, however there are a fixed number of power outlets globally so cataloguing every power supply in the world was a straightforward project where the goalposts didn't move.

To contact one of the travel team please contact the WikiConnections travel team if you have any corrections or suggestions relating to travel content on WikiConnections, or just tell us if we've improved your trip.

Do you have anything to do with Wikipedia?

No, but we really dig their design and how they organise knowledge. To the team Wikipedia represents the pinnacle in how to store and present the worlds knowledge to a global audience, having evolved their design over many years they've figured out the best way to do this. By replicating a user experience that people are familiar with and not re-inventing the wheel our visitors can concentrate on the information itself rather than how it's presented.

How is this site funded?

It isn't. In the spirit of Wikipedia we aim to keep the site ad-free and in the spirit of WikiLeaks we'll lock ourselves in a small room until things work out. All writing, research and development is driven by our passion and ambition to create a useful resource that helps people solve problems.

For full disclosure we receive a referral fee from Amazon should any visitor decide to purchase a product that we've recommended to help them achieve their goal (the official disclosure statement is "WikiConnections is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com"). This fee contributes towards the charges involved in calling GoDaddy telephone support, at some point we're hoping we'll break even on server hosting fees and continue to grow the site. For now we are a truly non-profit .org site, what we get out of developing WikiConnections is the satisfaction of helping people out whilst at the same time it being a tremendous learning experience.

How can I help WikiConnections?

Getting good quality content onto the site is the most important task. We haven't got access to every electronic device on the planet, so instead of going out to buy each one to test we're looking for a number of editors who already own these products to write for us. Please email and let us know how you can assist.

How can I contact WikiConnections?

Any feedback relating to the site or an article would be appreciated by contacting WikiConnections as we need encouragement to continue the project in our spare time. As this is a tiny non-profit site any contributions to server hosting would be appreciated by donating via PayPal to whatever small amount you see fit.

Contact WikiConnections