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Wikitravel talk:Welcome message

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The normal way that new users start off is to create a user account and edit a few pages, then (perhaps) edit their user page. If we leave things until the user page is edited, they may pick up some bad habits - especially if they come from Wikipedia. I would suggest that a new user be welcomed if they:

  1. edit at least a couple of live article pages, (so you can critique their work and point to particular articles that might help them - or just thank them for the contribution.), or
  2. create a new page, (other than their user page), or
  3. create their user page and make an edit to live pages, or
  4. make comments on talk pages or other discussion pages.

Does anyone have any comment about the threshold for welcoming new users? Simply creating a user account does not draw anyone's attention and new users are listed alphabetically, not in order of joining, so scanning the registered user list is impractical. -- Huttite 09:16, 10 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I would add "makes a change that followed comment from someone else on topic Talk page". Are we ready to place the above list on the content page? --DenisYurkin 00:05, 20 November 2006 (EST)

I plunged forward and added the part that you proposed to the article. --DenisYurkin 17:04, 29 November 2006 (EST)


Welcoming Anonymous contributors[edit]

Also, under what circumstances should Anonymous contributors be welcomed? How about:

  1. repeated vandalism, (or any vandalism?)
  2. repeated edits over a period of time with an assessment about their quality, (good, bad, indifferent or variable)
  3. contributing to discussions, especially if it is important that replies be seen by contributor. e.g. Strong POV or non-NPOV,
  4. copyright or other policy guideline issues.

Does anyone have any comment about the threshold for welcoming such anonymous contributors? Mind you I wouldn't want to welcome every IP address that edits a page. -- Huttite 09:16, 10 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I want to reopen this discussion and get a feel for adding a section to the Welcome message page specificly for welcoming anonymous contributors. I agree with the points above and I'd add a few guidelines that I try to follow:
  • Find something nice to say Even if someone is an obvious troll/vandal, be the bigger person and Assume Good Faith. Also keep in mind that 1 IP != 1 User and that other users may be on the other end of your message. First impressions and all that...
  • Invite the user to create an account But make it clear that it's in no way required. Pointing out the Wikitravel:Docent deal may also incourage folks to get involved, especially if they have been focusing on one or two destinations that they obviously know well.
  • Point out appropriate policy/guideline links Prolly not the whole welcome graph, but a subset that seems useful given their contributions.
Here's an example of my usual:

Howdy. I just wanted to let you know... By the way, great work on ... destinations-- have you considered [[Wikitravel:How to create a user account|creating a user account]] so you get credit for your contributions and maybe becoming a [[Wikitravel:Docent]]? Also, if you're new to the whole wiki software look at the [[Wikitravel:Wiki_markup|wiki markup]] to get an idea of how to use the wiki markup (we dont use html tages for formatting). If you need help, check out [[Wikitravel:Help]], and if you need some info not on there, post a message in the [[Wikitravel:travellers' pub|travellers' pub]]. I look forward to more contributions! ~~~~

Comments? Majnoona 00:26, 19 July 2006 (EDT)

I plunged forward and added the part that you proposed to the article. --DenisYurkin 17:04, 29 November 2006 (EST)


Creating a template for this[edit]

Would you mind if I made this into a template, so all you would have to do is type {{welcome}} instead of copying and pasting the mesaage? --Admrboltz 02:30, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)

It's a good idea, but I had this happen to me when editing on another wiki, and I found it unpleasant. The welcome ritual is about showing that there are other, helpful, concerned people on the wiki who appreciate your contributions. If you get a welcome message full of interesting links and friendly language, and then go to respond and find that instead it's just {{welcome}}, it's kind of insulting. It feels like you've been tricked.
That said, I'd suggest using {{subst:welcome}} as a starter, and then personalizing the message. --Evan 08:23, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Can we also change the message on Wikitravel:Welcome message so it cites just the same message as the Template:Welcome does--and we don't deal with perpetually merging changes from one copy to another? I just don't know how to include the template body so its markup is displayed as is, not rendered. Any help? --DenisYurkin 00:05, 20 November 2006 (EST)


New welcome message[edit]

I've redisgned the welcome message on my sandbox. I think the way I rewrote is much more useful to new users. Anyone object to making it the new welcome message? Andrew Haggard 01:23, 29 April 2006 (EDT)

Certainly no objection, especially because this message is fully optional. When I use this message, however, I normally add a thank-you note at the beginning (like "Thanks for your contributions to Wikitravel so far") for extra warmth. I'd also place the user preferences bit at the end of the message, because I think the copyright and policy stuff is more relevant and should come first. What do you think? Ricardo (Rmx) 14:42, 3 May 2006 (EDT)
In my belief, both starting with userprefs and copyright issues are non-practical, as this is far not the first things that may be most interesting for a newcomer. Maybe we have some lighter version of recommendations and policies that can be read easily by a newcomer on a single page? --DenisYurkin 00:05, 20 November 2006 (EST)
Wikitravel:Tips for new contributors is an attempt to do that. It tries to cover some very basic stuff we take for granted as wiki people. What's your thoughts? --Evan 00:11, 20 November 2006 (EST)
I think it's great thing to start the welcome message with a link to this. --DenisYurkin 05:53, 20 November 2006 (EST)
I added a link to Tips for new contributors to the text in article. Let me know what you think. --17:04, 29 November 2006 (EST)

New new welcome message[edit]

The text-density of the welcome message has been bugging me for a while-- it's a pretty imposing paragraph and the tops for new contributors page really makes a lot of it redundant. Here's my suggestion for a new, friendlier, welcome template:

Hello! Welcome to Wikitravel.

To help get you started contributing, we've created a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page.

If you need help, check out Wikitravel:Help, or post a message in the travellers' pub.

My two questions are: any objections to the proposed text? and: how do folks feel about including a sentence about Extra to let folks know that now there's a place for personal travel stuff too. Maj 13:44, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

I like it! --Evan 13:54, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
Me too. There's been times that I've left out part of the welcome message, since new users usually have edited a page & obviously has some grasp on the wiki markup. I really like the idea of mentioning Extra. I feel bad when someone puts a lot of time & effort into an article and it gets deleted (or moved to the talk page) because it's a lengthy 1st person account. -- Fastestdogever 14:14, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
I think it's an improvement. I'm not sure how we'd work Extra into this text, since they first need to understand what does belong in Wikitravel proper (which is explained only in the linked articles) to understand what doesn't. Maybe add it to Wikitravel:Tips for new contributors? - Todd VerBeek 14:30, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

benefits of signing up[edit]

I would like to add "what benefits registration gives", but I'm bit stuck in defining the list myself.

Could someone help? Or maybe we already have the list somewhere? --DenisYurkin 16:56, 19 November 2007 (EST)

The opening line at Wikitravel:How to create a user account does that already  :) – cacahuate talk 23:33, 19 November 2007 (EST)
Is this all that we have, or I have missed something?
  • give yourself some identity on the system
  • get a User page
  • their user name is used for page histories
  • have the ability to mark their changes as minor
  • can add pages to a watchlist
--DenisYurkin 11:44, 20 November 2007 (EST)
That sounds about right – cacahuate talk 01:11, 21 November 2007 (EST)
The list seems to be quite technical (what software features become available), but doesn't seriously promote registration to a novice user. Some ideas for now:
  • allow other users to leave comments to you (and to ask for clarifications to make your edits even better)
  • make sure you will receive comments other users write to you--even if your future visits are from other IP, you have a user talk page that is only yours
  • get credit for your contributions to the article--see footnote "Based on work by" in the bottom of any article
  • establish your reputation among Wikitravellers and allow them to recognize you from other anonymous users
  • make sure your contribution is not removed or changed to opposite meaning--using your personal Watchlist
  • maybe even become a Wikitravel:Docent, if you know some destination(s) pretty well and would like to share your knowledge
  • (anything else like the above?)
--DenisYurkin 16:46, 21 November 2007 (EST)
Plunged forward adding it here: Wikitravel:Welcome message#Benefits for creating an account. --DenisYurkin 16:50, 26 November 2007 (EST)

I tried to use that list directly for welcoming a new user, and I find it way too long for a first message user receives at Wikitravel (see User_talk:188.23.176.71 for my example). I would vote more for linking to a full list of benefits rather than making them 3x more concise--but where should we best stick that list? Or is it worth creating a separate page (I'm not sure). --DenisYurkin 03:43, 31 January 2010 (EST)

Any objections on creating a template for this piece alone? --DenisYurkin 16:25, 16 February 2010 (EST)

I plunged forward creating a separate page, Wikitravel:Why register. Please help in polishing it; if it gain no objection, I think we should link to it from more places.

And isn't it time to create a welcome msg targeted exlusively to anonyms, inviting to register with this link?

Maybe as simple as the following, written just after a standard welcome template message:

BTW, have you considered creating an account here? It promises a bunch of benefits, and no obligations :-)

--DenisYurkin 09:21, 19 May 2010 (EDT)

Template:Welcomeplusanon. Ideally we should merge all three welcome templates into a parameterized one, but I'm not too MediaWiki-savvy for that. --DenisYurkin 17:09, 2 June 2010 (EDT)

Welcome messages[edit]

moved from pub:

I just noticed how much we've been slacking off with giving new users the welcome message on their talk page. I think it is important-- I remember when I started here, Andrew gave me a welcome message almost immediately after I created my account, and it showed me that, yes, there are people out there paying attention, there is a community here. I think it's a good thing that can encourage new people to contribute more, so I want to ask everyone to pitch in to keep up with that. If you click on Recent changes and you see that a new account has been created, please just take a moment to create a welcome on their talk page. It doesn't take long at all. All you have to do is put:

{{subst:welcome}} -- ~~~~

If all the regular users here will just get in the habit of this, then no one will have to sit and do dozens and dozens of them in a row like I just did, plus new users may see the message during their first session and be inspired to come back for more sessions later. Thanks! Texugo 02:22, 8 November 2008 (EST)

What I usually do is let them edit a little-then I can make a comment that isnt totally uniform about their edits. Similar to my first message, thanks Jim. Keep smiling, ee talk 22:37, 8 November 2008 (EST).
The bigger problem is that most new users are not getting any message at all. Texugo 06:21, 9 November 2008 (EST)
I agree that people should be welcomed more, and I also agree with User:Edmontonenthusiast that we should probably wait until they actually make an edit. When I'm looking at Recentchanges I find the red or blue talk page link helpful to determine whether someone's new or not, and welcoming people before they make an edit confuses this. You all probably know this already, but you can go to Special:Contributions/newbies to see all the newcomers who have made contributions lately. Looks like they've all been welcomed, so good work to User:Edmontonenthusiast and User:Sertmann. JYolkowski 20:30, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Whoa, I had not seen that special page before! Really useful, thanks! --Peter Talk 23:12, 11 November 2008 (EST)
I meant to get in here and offer the possibility that it might not be a very good use of time to welcome all new users, for a couple of reasons.
1) most newly registered users aren't actually editing, so they probably just thought they had to register to use the site;
2) a semi-custom message, that at best gives advice or guidance, and at least a thank you for particular work, is much better than what looks like an automated message—that sort of community contact is really helpful in getting good new contributors to stick around;
3) welcome messages to users that are violating Wikitravel policy without letting them know that they are doing something wrong is potentially harmful, as they might take that as a cue to spread their policy violations further.
So, I'd actually question whether going through the new user log to hit everyone with a welcome message at once is useful. I'd argue that it would be far more useful to make sure everyone in the Special:Contributions/newbies list gets a custom message. --Peter Talk 17:07, 11 December 2008 (EST)
I agree, I think it makes the most sense to wait until a user minimally makes an edit and hence shows up in Special:Contributions/newbies, for both those reasons and the one I mentioned above. JYolkowski 18:01, 11 December 2008 (EST)
I agree. 1 personalised messages to a user starting to make constructive edits is worth 100 generic welcome messages to new registrations. --Inas 18:23, 11 December 2008 (EST)
A Bot could be welcoming users that simply create an account and nobody would be any the wiser. I would suggest that a new user is only welcomed after they make their first edit(s) to an article or comment on a talk page, as you can then assess the quality of their work or questions they have. (Editing their own user page does not count, unless it is clear they are asking to be welcomed, or need to be stopped from doing something stupid.) You can then add a personal comment that would provide the user with additional guidance. Leaving the talk page unpopulated until the new user makes an edit means it is immediately obvious you are dealing with a new user, who may misunderstand or be ignorant of the guidelines, as the talk page link is red. I don't think it hurts to wait a while before welcoming a new user. -- Huttite 05:22, 13 January 2009 (EST)
This has been nagging my hindbrain for a week, now. It seems to me that we need to formalise the welcoming process a bit more. Could this become part of an expedition?
How about the Check-in Expedition? Just as they check your ticket or booking (and baggage) when you arrive at the check-in counter at an airport, bus, or train terminal, car hire company, or your accommodation, when you are travelling, the Wikitravel Check-in Expedition would promote the proper check-in formalities for all new users that edit their first page and all new articles. That is add a welcome message to guide the user (check the ticket/booking) and bring all new destination articles to at least an outline template status (luggage destination labels on the bags). -- Huttite 04:17, 21 January 2009 (EST)
No further comments? Perhaps I put my Check-in Expedition suggestion on the back-burner for a while? - Huttite 08:13, 31 January 2009 (EST)

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