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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Communicating via Email and IRC

Besides posting to a talk page, you have two other options—email and Internet Relay Chat (IRC)—to interact with other editors. In such cases, you’re taking the conversation outside Wikipedia and communicating with fellow editors just like your friends and coworkers. All the warnings about contacting strangers via the Internet apply.

Email

Wikipedia has no policy or guideline about when it’s appropriate to email another editor. In Wikipedia—like other wikis—the culture dictates that conversations about articles, behavior, policies and processes, selections of administrators and other functionaries, and so on, be done on wiki pages, so that everyone can see who said what. Still, email may be better sometimes: a friendly suggestion about behavior to a long-time contributor, an invitation to meet face to face, or perhaps a query as to whether an editor would be interested in being nominated to be an administrator.

To email another editor, both you and the other editor must have turned on email in Wikipedia. If you didn’t enter an email address and turn on email when you registered, (5), or want to change your email address, see the instructions on Email Address on how to change your preferences so that you can email other editors.

To find out if the other editor has also enabled email, you need to go to his user page or user talk page, and, in the “toolbox” set of links on the left side, find the “E-mail this user” link (Figure 8-5).

Figure 8-5. The toolbox ...

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