Wikitravel:Using discussion pages
Every article on Wikitravel has an associated talk page for discussing that article. Talk pages are not chat boards or comment areas; they're for coordinating editorial decisions, suggesting new material that should be considered, and generally collaborating on making a great article. For questions, comments, or personal stories about a destination or topic, check out Wikitravel Extra.
If you have new information for an article, by all means plunge forward and edit that page. But if there are multiple people working on an article, it can help to use the talk page to divide up tasks and hammer out differences.
Talk page formatting
You can get to the talk page for an article by clicking on the discussion tab when reading an article.
You edit talk pages just like editing any other page in Wikitravel; see how to edit a page for instructions. When using talk pages, add new paragraphs at the bottom of the page.
If there are already conversations going on on that page, it can help to add a new heading. You can either click on the [ + ] button next to the "edit" tab if it's there, or create the heading manually like this:
==Names in Chinese==
...so that there's a visual distinction between topics of discussion.
You should sign your posts on talk pages, so people know who they're talking to. Just enter four tildes at the end of your comments ("~~~~"), and it will turn into a signature with your user name, time and date.
Responses to other people's talk should be indented. You can use a colon (":") at the beginning of a paragraph to indent that paragraph. Responses to responses should be indented twice (two colons); responses to responses to responses get indented three times. Hopefully we don't get that much farther in a discussion, but if so, well, continue in that pattern.
User talk pages
The discussion page for a user page is special; it's called a user talk page. You can use user talk pages to leave someone in particular a personal message. Don't forget that they're publicly accessible, and anyone can read them. Try to keep discussions about a particular article on that article's talk page, too.
If you have something to discuss about Wikitravel as a whole, the Wikitravel:Travellers' pub is a good place to put your comments. You can also add a talk-page style note to the Logbook by clicking on "Today's Log" in the left-hand nav bar.
Requests for comment
If you think an issue needs more attention, you can add it to the requests for comment page to get more attention on it.
There are some points of etiquette in using talk pages that have built up over the years. Here are a few:
- Unlike everything else in Wikitravel, it's considered bad form to change someone else's posts on a talk page — even to correct spelling or grammar.
- It's usually perfectly OK, though, to change something you wrote on a talk page, for any reason. If you made spelling or grammatical errors, feel free to change them.
- If, in the heat of the moment, you said something you regret, go ahead and change that, too.
- And, ForgiveAndForget when someone changes a nasty comment to something more civil and productive.
- As an exception, it's impolite to remove a comment if someone's responded to it. It makes them look ridiculous.
- In general, conversations aren't deleted from talk pages but are instead archived when they are old or no longer relevant. To archive discussions simply create a new page such as User talk:Mypage/Archive and copy the old discussions to it.
- It's best to wait until the page has grown quite long before archiving, and such archives should always be clearly linked from the principal talk page, so that everything is easy to find. Avoid archiving discussions on destination and policy article talk pages. Archives should not be edited.
If you must rant, there are endless venues to do so in the interwebs. While everyone is entitled to a good one now and then, off topic rants on talk pages will usually be reverted.
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