When writing to talk pages it is important to respect a few guidelines to keep the talk page readable and to avoid conflicts.
Each article in E31Wiki has a discussion page – the so-called talk page. A talk page is linked to the article and it can be used by users to post comments regarding the article without making edits to the article itself. Open the talk page by clicking the discussion link in the top page controls.
Talk pages must not be confused with discussion boards or chats – they are not! Talk should always concern the article; its content or its layout. Use talk pages to propose changes to an article. Always be polite in talk pages, even when you do not agree with an article or parts from it, or even think it is all plain wrong. Perhaps it is just a misconception. Write constructive criticism and avoid personal attacks at all costs.
If the comment applies more to the author than the article, please use the author's personal talk page instead. Praise to the author of an article is often with the best intentions, but avoid classic +1 or me too forum threads. If you have nothing of value to add to other user's words, don't add anything at all.
If the question, comment or idea applies to E31Wiki as a whole, use the E31Wiki talk page.
For each new subject, start a new section by clicking new section in the top page controls. Always look through the list of talk subjects – perhaps the question was already asked and answered. When an apposite talk section exists, add your talk to this section instead of starting a new section.
Always provide a descriptive and neutral title for a new section.
Layout of talk pages
To maintain good readability always write new text below old text and respect the indentation. Good Indentation makes prolonged discussions easier to read and understand. Otherwise talk pages rapidly grow into an incomprehensible mess. Example:
|Good indentation is extremely helpful — User1 11:00, 01 Januari 2009 (UTC)|
The indentation is made with colons. The source of the example above would look like:
| Good indentation is extremely helpful — [[User:User1|'''User1''']] 11:00, 01 Januari 2009 (UTC)
:I agree, but signing is also important — [[User:User2|'''User2''']] 12:00, 02 Januari 2009 (UTC)
::Signing is at least as important as good indentation — [[User:User1|'''User1''']] 14:00, 04 Januari 2009 (UTC)
:True! No indentation makes talk threads unreadable — [[User:User3|'''User3''']] 13:00, 03 Januari 2009 (UTC)
It is not necessary to bring talk pages to publishing standards, so there is no need to correct typing/spelling errors, grammar,... It tends to irritate the users whose comments you are correcting. Do not delete the comments of other editors without their permission.
Never edit someone's words to change their meaning, even on your own personal talk page. It is even best to avoid changing your own comments. Other users may have already quoted you with a diff or have otherwise responded to your statement. Therefore, use "Show preview" and think about how your amended statement may look to others before you save it.
In a few cases it is permitted to change your own and even other user's talk:
- To fix the layout when you or another user accidentally caused havoc to it.
- To split a section when its talk has deviated too much from the original subject.
- To remove content that is in violation with this site's policy.
- On your own personal talk page you may remove any talk at will.
Signing and dating talk
Last but not least, always sign and date your posts in talk pages by typing four tildes ( ~~~~ ) at the end of your post or by clicking the signature button in the toolbar above the edit textbox. The four tildes are automatically replaced by a dated signature when saving. Signing is just like indentation of great importance to keep talk pages readable and to understand who said what to who. Signatures should never be omitted! Example:
|Always sign your posts! ~~~~|
|Always sign your posts! — Username 11:00, 01 Januari 2009 (UTC)|