Talk Page Etiquette

How to respond to messages on your talk page

If somebody sends a note to you via your talk page, you will see a yellow alert in your user box to the right the next time you log in or refresh a page. While in your own talk page (user talk:your login), you'll see the other person’s name in blue text which you can click to go to their talk page. There are two ways of replying to messages: in your own talk section, or by clicking on the blue link and replying in the other person's talk section. If you reply to them on your own talk page, the advantage is that the conversation will all be in one place. If you reply to them on their talk page, the advantage is that they will be alerted to a new message the next time they log in. However, if the other person has set up their watchlist and email preferences, they may get an email when you answer in either place.


About the note, I don't have emails on my watchlist because I look at a lot of pages and don't really want to see them all just to make sure that I see all the comments about me. I don't think a lot of people will set-up watchlist and email preferences once AboutUs gets bigger and your talking to more and more people and having a lot more changes on major pages that you have on your watchlist --Simon | talk 16:15, 14 March 2007 (PDT)

So you're saying the only way you'll see a note is if I answer you on your talk page, yes? TedErnst
Correct. --Simon | talk 18:45, 14 March 2007 (PDT)
Agree with that, I will only see on my talk page or if I see it in Recent Changes. MarkDilley
  • I try to leave notes that say "click on my name to leave me a message" (since my name redirects to my talk page) when I'm dealing with people the first time, because it's easier for me to see notes there than anywhere else. Email alerts require 1) you remember to "watch" that page and 2) you check your email. Placing a message on my talk page shows up as soon as I go to AboutUs (and users can be notified via email with their talk page as well). -- TakKendrick

How will a new person visiting aboutus for the first time easily find this "talk page etiquette" page - should this be part of the basic tour or navigation instructions? MartinPfahler

  • Good point Martin. We're working on some sort of an "anatomy of a wiki" and some other revamped help/tour/navigation pages, but this is a potential problem. Since we're trying to welcome all new users, there's a good chance that new users though wouldn't have gotten a chance to see those by the time they're welcomed. So, I don't know if there is an elegant solution, but we should have this is part of the discussion. -- TakKendrick

I believe it was RayKing at recent changes camp that mentioned people have some basic differences in how their brains work, relative to how they like to learn new things (some want an overview first, some details first, some want to get to the meat right away, etc.)The the point is these basic learning differences are not many, but few. If these few differences can be weeded out when a new user first enters aboutus, then the remainder of their new learning experiences becomes less frustrating and more efficient – because one has in effect customized the process for how their brain works. “The trick” is figuring out how to do this weeding process without having the new user go through a lengthy and boring introductory “test”. Figuring this out is likely to take a few iterations. Hopefully Ray will share more about this, and it become a major focus for “user friendly” aboutus interface and design. I think too many web sites assume people all learn the same way, and they don’t. One can have different tour experiences but unless one first figures out the “brain type” – it is likely a new person could be sent down the wrong tour (not a match for their best learning mode). Also I don’t think you can ask a user what type of learning experience they prefer – many won't know, others will say one thing, yet act in anther way. In short, this is not an easy problem to figure out - but worth solving.MartinPfahler

Yes, I think it is best to simply offer different ways to learn the material and people will naturally gravitate to the way that suits their learning style best. i.e. Some folks might love a short video on any given subject and others may find that slow and prefer just to glance at text. It'd be so awesome to have all of the learning styles for all of the help covered! - RayKing

I agree, everyone has their own style of how they'd like to talk to and respond to others. In some cases, I assume the person is watching my talk page when they leave a message so I respond there (most staff are probably likely to), otherwise if I think they'd see their talk page first, I message them there. I guess it depends from person to person; like Ray said, everyone's wired differently. Nathan (talk) / 02:04, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I've read this with interest, but I still don't know what I'm doing! Presumably this edit will get somebody's attention, anyway. You all seem to be something to do with this, I am a user(?) member(?) who is here to edit my profile and website profile and just got sidetracked onto this page. I read somewhere recently that we are either "hunters" or "farmers". I think I'm a hunter, I just go where I see something interesting. Farmers make lists and like operators manuals and so forth. If I could only remember where I've read this, it would help in your discussions about how to do the help pages. Edit - I just realised this is a discussion from 2007! Ruth Billheimer

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