File talk:Editing basics - Talk pages.webm

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This screencast is about communicating with other Wikipedia editors using talk pages. It covers what talk pages are for, how to use them effectively, and some of the conventions and etiquette to follow when using them.

Talk pages are the main way editors communicate with each other on Wikipedia. Every page on Wikipedia, whether

an article or

a WikiProject or

a userpage or something else, has a corresponding talk page, which you can get to by clicking

the Talk tab.

The talk page for an article is where editors discuss proposed changes, editing disagreements, and other topics related to improving the article.

Other kinds of talk pages are for discussing Wikipedia's policies and processes and the like.

User talk pages are for communicating with individual editors. When you

leave a message on someone's user talk page, they will get

a notification about the message the next time they are on Wikipedia.

To post a new message on a talk page, you can

click the "New section" tab,

and then add your message and a headline for the new section. At the end of your message, you should sign it. Adding

Four tildes in the edit window will add a signature

when you save it, with

your username and

a timestamp showing when you left the message. You can

respond to someone else's comments by

posting beneath them within the same section. Wikipedia discussions use

indentation to created threaded discussions:

each subsequent reply has a different level of indentation.

The wiki markup for indentation is to

start a line with one or more colons.

Each colon creates another level of indentation, so

replies should begin with one more colon than the previous comment.

The keys to effective talk page discussions on Wikipedia are to

be civil and address the article or topic at hand rather than making it personal, and to

assume good faith on the part of other editors. Even if you think someone is doing something wrong or silly, they almost always have the same goal you do: to make Wikipedia better. And don't forget to sign your posts and leave an edit summary each time you add to a discussion. The easiest way to keep up with discussion you want to watch is to put the page on

your watchlist. There are several other ways of following talk page activity;

check out "Wikipedia:Syndication" for details.

Happy editing!