What is User talk?
User talk pages are provided as way for users to leave messages for each other relating to Lostpedia. The most common use is for explaining why you have edited somebody's contributions, or asking for help with a particular project.
All comments on talk pages should be signed by typing ~~~~, or clicking the icon on the toolbar.
Where is User talk?
Taking the owner of the site, Admin as an example, his talk page is located at User talk:Admin. This can also be found by going to his userpage (User:Admin) and selecting the "discussion" tab at the top. Your own talk page can be found by clicking the "my talk" link at the very top of all pages. Most users include a link to their talk page in their signatures (see Help:Signatures), and links are always provided in Recent Changes and page histories.
Replying to a user
It should be briefly pointed out that users use their talk pages differently. For instance, after receiving a message, some users post replies on their own page, whilst others reply on the sender's talk page. Many aspects of user pages are subject to personal preference, and there isn't necessarily a "wrong" way. However, posting back on the other user's page can sometimes make conversation easier, as the sender of the original message will be informed of a reply via the "You have new messages" function.
Deleting talk history
You may not simply delete talk history. As with main article talk pages, a user's talk page is to record conversations that have occurred in the past, which can then be referenced for future discussions. Exceptions for editing material are only made in the case of:
- Typo and spelling errors
- Spam comments
- Blatantly offensive material (pornographic content, inappropriate personal information posted)
- Adding the unsigned template to a user who didn't sign their addition to the talk page.
Do not delete comments, even if you made them and changed your mind (you may add an addendum saying you've changed your mind). You can strike your own comments using the <strike></strike> (or <s></s>) tags.
This leaves the comment without disrupting the flow of conversation, but makes it clear you have changed you mind.
If you want to clear your talk page because it is too long or because its contents annoy you, archiving it is the only option. This is when you create a new page and store all the old content there. You must link to this archive page clearly from the top of of your User talk page.
Create a new page in your userspace such as [[User talk:USERNAME/archive1]].
For examples of this in actions, take a look at how the SysOps archive.
Welcoming new users
Welcome notes to new users are not encouraged. Unlike other websites using the wiki format, we do not support the idea of a welcome email or message listing links to "rule-book" pages for new users to read. We firmly believe in a philosophy of trial and error, in that users should feel comfortable when they first arrive and learn how to edit on here for themselves first and foremost. They should not feel pressurized into making edits or reading the rules straight away, and welcoming them in such a way, we believe adds pressure. New users should be approached with chat messages or comments on an edit they have made rather than the handbook as soon as they walk through the door. However, when making a different comment, it is perfectly fine to add a little "and welcome to Lostpedia" in your message if the user is new - messages listing reading lists or guides are problematic.
Furthermore, a message such as "Hi, if you need any guidance just ask", is also discouraged as it gives the user posting the message a false image of importance on the site in the eyes of new users.
Assume good faith
New users may often make mistakes and it is important to distinguish between innocent accidents and vandalism. We must work on the basic premise of innocent until proven guilty. To that end, users should feel free to leave messages of advice for other users, but in a way that will not discourage them from wanting to making constructive edits. A friendly note explaining the problem and referencing useful documents (e.g. Lostpedia:Manual of Style) will go a lot further than just complaining.
If you still feel that the user is being deliberately provocative and continues their disruptive behaviour, then stop any dialogue and notify a Sysop. Please do not feed the trolls!
Use of offensive language
Offensive language and bullying will not be tolerated on user talk pages. Whilst a friendly note giving reasons why an edit was reverted or giving advice for what to change is perfectly acceptable, outright rude and bullying behaviour will result in a warning from SysOps.
See LP:NPA for more information on this.