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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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User Talk Page Postings

As noted above, Wikipedia has two types of user talk pages—standard talk pages, such as article talk pages, and user talk pages. The two have similar formatting, but very different purposes.

Why post a message on another editor’s user talk page? One common reason is to issue a warning for vandalism or spam (Issuing Warnings). But you can also use user talk pages to ask a question (“How did you do that?”), to thank someone, to ask someone for help with an article, to make a suggestion, to point out an interesting page or posting to someone you’ve worked with before, and so on. The more involved an editor is with Wikipedia, the more likely it is that her user talk page has a lot of different postings.

User Talk Page Basics

When you post to a user talk page, you have the same two basic options discussed earlier in this chapter: Post to an existing section, or start a new section. Almost always, unless you’ve posted very recently, you’ll post to a new section, using the “new section” tab. There’s often only one post per section, either because no reply is needed, or because of the way Wikipedia editors normally interact via user talk pages, as discussed in the next section.

Just as with article talk pages, you should use indentation to make it easier for other editors to see who said what, if the conversation goes beyond a single post. And while you can split sections or change headings for clarity, those types of thing are rare on user talk pages (as on article ...

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