The main purpose of E31Wiki is to serve the community with a centralized resource of information regarding the BMW E31 8 Series. E31Wiki does not intend to replace already existing E31 resources but rather act as an extension. Over the years the E31 community built up a massive amount of valuable information to owners and potential buyers of the BMW 8 Series, but the information is scattered over various forums, older information is often incomplete because the accompanying images were hosted in different locations that are no longer available, and other information has been locked away requiring paid membership to view.
E31Wiki aims to provide a permanent and independent resource available to everyone. All information on E31Wiki is viewable without registration. Contributing to E31Wiki requires registration. This is not to create a small elite group, but to prevent abuse of anonymous posting. Registration is free of costs and only a few mouse clicks away.
Some E31 sites like the BMW 8 Series Registry already provide detailed and centralized information about a certain subject. It's not this site's purpose to copy that information. E31Wiki's areas of interest include, although not limited to, tips, tricks, repair instructions and modifications.
The copyright to contributions to E31Wiki remains with the authors. Copyright is never transferred to E31Wiki! Read the Copyrights page for more information.
Why a wiki?
Wiki software is built to provide a platform for open community-driven information resources. With the ever-growing popularity of wikis like Wikipedia many people are already familiar with the look and feel of wiki sites. What makes wiki sites different from traditional communities is the ability to modify and contribute to articles written by other members. Every registered member can correct errors or add additional information to existing articles.
Finding information on a forum can be time consuming. Messages on traditional forums get replies in which other members share their vision. Sometimes a forum discussion runs hundreds of messages long, making it difficult to follow the red line and extract the usable information. Repeating topics also frequently occur on forums. Even though several topics discuss the same item, they may not all contain the same information. Some may contain outdated or even incorrect information without indication or link to more up-to-date threads. On a wiki site members do not contribute to an item by posting replies to threads. Instead they contribute to a single article discussing the item, constantly increasing the quality of the article.
E31Wiki does not intend to draw away users from other E31 communities. Unlike a forum, E31Wiki is not meant for discussions. It's a parking place for knowledge. The discussions remain in the various E31 communities but the information gathered from those can be used for E31Wiki articles. The forums can benefit from this too: Instead of repeating the same discussions over and over again, forum posts may link to E31Wiki articles. Thanks to the wiki the discussions can set off from the most up-to-date information. If corrections or new information come up in the forum posts, the wiki articles can be updated accordingly. If someone stumbles upon an older forum thread containing a link to an E31Wiki article, there's a good chance the wiki article will be more comprehensive and up-to-date than the information in the thread.
Future of E31Wiki
At this moment E31Wiki is an experiment and it's unclear whether or not the website will gain appreciation in the E31 community. You can help E31Wiki grow by contributing articles. Even small changes like spelling and grammar corrections to existing articles are welcome and highly appreciated. If it turns out E31Wiki fails to attract enough contributors to give the site a real purpose, all information that is available on this site will remain available – either in the form of a read-only wiki or by donating the articles to other E31 sites or communities.
To keep the costs down the current site runs on revtor's test web server. To provide reliable and fail safe storage the site has both online and offline backups, but the server itself may sometimes be slow or even unavailable for a short while. If the site grows and the current server no longer suffices, it will be moved to professional hosting. This will increase the running costs, perhaps even up to a point where donations or sponsoring may be appropriate. But the information, membership and usage of the site will always remain free of costs. If donations or sponsoring are necessary to keep the site running, a transparent view on the actual costs and finances of E31Wiki will be made publicly available.
If E31Wiki grows into a success but for what-so-ever reason the E31Wiki webmaster decides to leave the project, a successor will be sought in the E31 community who will take over the website and run it with the same policy. If no successor is found other means to keep at least the information available will be sought. Regardless of what happens in the future, the information gathered on E31Wiki should remain freely available to everyone!