Talk pages are a special type of namespace pages, used to discuss changes on the corresponding "main" article or page. All Grassroots.Wiki articles, personal user pages, policy pages, templates, etc. have an associated talk page (linked on the Grassroots Wiki as "discussion" in the top menu).

  • Article talk pages are used to discuss changes to the particular article.
  • User talk pages are used to leave messages for particular users. A message box stating "You have new messages" is automatically displayed to a user at the top of any Wikipedia page, until they view their user talk page.

The "discussion" link references a page in the same namespace as the article, userpage, or template with an additional "talk" before the colon separator, for example: Talk:Foo, User talk:Foo, or Template talk:Foo (where foo is a placeholder).

For basics on how to edit a wiki page go to Help:Editing.

Basic rules for all talk pages Edit

For some important guidelines on how to use a Talk Page, see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. See also Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page and Wikipedia:Refactoring talk pages.

Usage Edit

Note: Use of the Wikipedia talk pages is recommended as the first step in Wikipedia:Dispute resolution.

On Wikipedia, the purpose of a talk page is to help to improve the contents of the main page, from an encyclopedic point of view. Questions, challenges, excised text (due to truly egregious confusion or bias, for example), arguments relevant to changing the text, and commentary on the main page are all fair play.

Wikipedians generally oppose the use of talk pages just for the purpose of partisan talk about the main subject. Wikipedia is not a soapbox; it's an encyclopedia. In other words, talk about the article, not about the subject. It's only the habits we encourage that keep Wikipedia from turning into another h2g2 or Everything2. See also: Wikiquette

It's entirely natural that partisan disputes take place on talk pages. It is the purpose of talk pages that such disputes be resolved on the talk page rather than in the article itself.

Formatting Edit

Because the Wikipedia:wiki software platform provides for a wide range of formatting styles, proper or at least consistent formatting is essential to maintaining readable talk pages.

The depth of a message is determined by the number of colons (':') in front of the message:

message 1 --user 1
:reply 1.1 --user 2
:reply 1.2 --user 3
::reply 1.2.1 --user 1
message 2 --user 4
:reply 2.1 --user 5

User talk pagesEdit

Each user page also has a corresponding talk page. New additions to your own talk page will alert you with a "You have new messages" banner at the top of any Wikipedia page.

To leave a message for another user on their talk page, click the discuss this page link on your sidebar when you view the user page (which you can do by clicking on a user's nickname). On the list of recent changes and on your watchlist, you can directly access a user's talk page by following the (Talk) link behind the user's name / Wikipedia:IP address.

Etiquette Edit

Can I do whatever I want to my own user talk page?Edit

Most users treat their user talk pages like regular talk pages, and archive the contents periodically to a personal subpage -- either when the page gets too large, on a regular schedule, or when they take a wikivacation. Others delete comments after they have responded to them.

Actively erasing personal messages without replying (if a reply would be appropriate or polite) will probably be interpreted as hostile. In the past, this kind of behavior has been viewed as uncivil, and this can become an issue in arbitration or other formal proceedings. Redirecting your user talk page to another page (whether meant as a joke or intended to be offensive or to send a "go away" message) can also be considered a hostile act.

Feel free to decorate your personal pages as you see fit, but keep in mind that your user talk page has the important function of allowing other editors to communicate with you. People will get upset if they cannot use it for that purpose.

How to keep a two-way conversation readable Edit

If you are writing messages back and forth between user talk pages, the resulting text can be hard to follow. Here are two systems for making what would otherwise be disjointed comments easier to follow:

  • Copy the text you are replying to from your user talk page to the other person's user talk page. Put your reply right underneath it, but indent the reply section so it stands out. (Just like a regular talk page.)
  • Or: Put a notice on your user talk page that you will reply there unless they ask otherwise. Do this for conversations that other people start.
  • Watchlist the other person's user talk page and tell them they can reply there. Do this for conversations you start.

Other points Edit

  • Except for special pages, each Wikipedia:namespace has an associated talk namespace. The talk namespaces are designated by adding talk: to the normal prefix. For example, the talk namespace associated with the main article namespace has the prefix Talk:, while the talk namespace associated with the user namespace has the prefix User talk:.
  • When discussing the name of the page or discussing merging it with another page, always mention the current page name: after renaming (moving) a page with its talk page, references to "this page name" would not make sense.
  • The practice of "spamming" - posting similar messages to more than a few users' talk pages, often for the purpose of soliciting a certain action - is discouraged.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Talk page.

See alsoEdit