|Policies and guidelines by section|
BoyWiki is a free, open content Free Spirits resource for boylovers and others who are interested in the collective knowledge and culture that has formed over the years. It is a place where boylovers can work together to record and preserve our online and offline history and culture, share knowledge and information, and effectively donate this knowledge to the boylove community as well as the entire world. BoyWiki is not primary an encyclopedia, it is the archive of our experience.
BoyWiki is overseen by the Keeper of the Wiki and a administrative team of Curators, together referred to as the BoyWiki Council. This team sets administrative policy and performs other essential duties to keep BoyWiki operating smoothly.
What makes BoyWiki unique from other Free Spirits resources (as well as most other online boylove resources) is that all original content on BoyWiki is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, which gives permission for all readers to copy, reproduce, and add on to articles with the sole provision that they pass the same permission along to others.
BoyWiki is also interested in the preservation of historical documents and sites that hold or have held great significance or value to the boylove community. BoyWiki actively encourages the submission via email of old documents and sites which are no longer updated and are in danger of going offline. At its own discretion, BoyWiki will preserve such information with the permission of the original copyright holder, outside of the GNU Free Documentation License.
The first stirrings of BoyWiki began in December 2004, when TPKA Hínandil thought there should be an online resource that retold some of the history of great events in the online boylove community in the same spirit as A History of BoyChat by Alexis. He put these ideas to rest over the holidays, but at the beginning of January 2005, a friend urged him to volunteer to help Free Spirits. He mentioned the idea of a wiki, which had been mulled over by others on Freedom Board the year before. Suddenly, the pieces slid together like the last piece in a jigsaw puzzle. The reason Hínandil felt a history resource would be unwieldy was the logistics of the research needed to paint an accurate picture of events in the boylove community and the difficulty in contacting other users. But a wiki offered the ability for the entire community to contribute to the subjects they were most knowledgeable about.
Hínandil brainstormed for a couple days, and on 3 January 2005, he began to write a formal specification of what BoyWiki was to be, how it would be run, and how it might fit in alongside the existing resources that Free Spirits offered. The questions of software, security, and administration needed to be answered. Three and a half weeks passed while he studied wiki engines and tested them on his personal Web server. Finally, early on 30 January 2005, he submitted his proposal to the Free Spirits Committee. After reviewing the proposal, it was accepted and Hínandil was appointed Free Spirits WikiMaster by the FSC.
After his appointment, a message board along with MediaWiki 1.3.9 were set up and a temporary address of boywiki.ivan.net was assigned. After a bit of configuration, he began to request volunteers to server as "Curators" for BoyWiki. A small but favorable response came in and several Curators were accepted.
After expanding policy from the outlines in the proposal and a ratification vote among the admin team, content and categories were created, and slowly the site grew closer to completion. As it began to look like the 2005 Free Spirits fundraiser would be held earlier than usual because of increasing server problems, it was decided to launch BoyWiki to coincide with the event to help boost excitement for both the resource and the fundraiser. Efforts were redoubled to meet this new deadline. A fundraising plan was created and a target goal set, with Go/NoGo decision scheduled for 9 August 2005. When this date passed, all active Curators unanimously voted Go for resource launch with the fundraiser. A banner was added to BoyLinks and a teaser site was created.
By the beginning of September, MediaWiki 1.5rc4 was running with modifications on boywiki.org. On the weekend before the fundraiser, the last remaining resources were moved to the final domain and boywiki.ivan.net was disabled for good on 5 September 2005. Two days later, BoyWiki opened to new user registration, offering an advance preview of the starting content on the resource to help generate excitement and offer ideas of what was possible. On 9 September 2005, BoyWiki opened completely, offering all articles freely without registration, and giving users with accounts the ability to create new content at will.
Closure and long absence
In September 2006 when Epifora's contract with MCI-Worldcom was canceled, BoyWiki survived several moves and short outages and by February 2007 had settled into a period of inactivity likely caused by the moves. About May of 2007 an upgrade to the MediaWiki software was implemented but poor technical skills resulted in the BoyWiki database being permanently damaged beyond repair and editing was disabled. A mistaken line of communication resulted in BoyWiki being opened again to editing however, that person had been unaware of the database damage. Editing resumed again but vandals began to edit at will taking advantage of the sudden disappearance of the BoyWiki curator team along with the Keeper of the Wiki. Editing was disabled by Free Spirits in order for the site to comply with their rules of hosting however, the damage had multiplied.
On 26 June 2007, Wikipedian Will Beback remarked, "The folks at BoyChat are welcome to edit BoyWiki without any interference from us. But they are not welcome to come here and push their fringe viewpoints in this wiki."
BoyWiki remained online in read only mode for several months until September of 2007 when it had to move again due to the decision of Free Spirits to cancel their hosting contract with Epifora. Due to the availability of servers and the requirements to make the transition, BoyWiki was taken offline with the idea that it would be restored in the near future but a lack of technical help and interest in doing so kept it offline throughout 2008. In September, restoration began with a fresh database but restoration required that all of the articles be restored by hand entering them as new articles again. BoyWiki remained offline but under construction until May of 2009 when it returned to the present public but closed to editing status.
The reopening of BoyWiki had some slight variations and new URL's. The original boywiki.org is now en.boywiki.org and resources in French fr.boywiki.org/wiki/Accueil and German de.boywiki.org/wiki/Hauptseite have been added. Articles are still being restored on a daily basis but a team of curators and a Keeper are still needed. Bigham was temporarily acting as Keeper and restoring articles.
In 2011, a proposal to blacklist Wikipedia links to BoyWiki was shot down, which was an astounding victory for the boylove movement, considering that BoyChat and NAMBLA are blacklisted.
New team 2012
Early in August, 2012, Bron the New Keeper of the Wiki recruited Connor to be the new team leader for the English language BoyWiki. Connor subsequently recruited Etenne, who has taken over the day to day operations. BoyWiki was once again open for new registrations early in October, 2012.
From March 27th to March 31st 2014, BoyWiki was offline and underwent the first major upgrade of it's software since 2008 and is now using MediaWiki 1.22. Some of the changes included that BoyWiki can now be upgraded more easily and efficiently, BoyWiki changed from monobook to the vector skin, the https certificate is the same for all the of BoyWiki's language wikis and was valid. The registration process was streamlined and new users could now register with or with out including an email address and the old system where users had to have scribe status to be able to edit was removed. There was a small change in the URL scheme and the current urls are now:
On March 20, 2015, BoyWiki upgraded to MediaWik Version 1.24.1.
On December 4, 2015, BoyWiki upgraded to MediaWik Version 1.26.0