Help:Messages

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Messages appear on the discussion page linked to your user page (or on the user page for your IP address if you have not yet registered. They are sent by other users, and usually contain advice, questions or comments about recent edits - possibly your own.

You will be notified by a banner across the top of new pages when a new edit has been made to your user page. When MediaWiki 1.5 is released, you will probably be able to get email when someone edits your user talk page too.

[edit] How to send and reply to messages

To send a message, go to the user page of the person concerned (e.g. User:GreenReaper) and click the discussion tab at the top. You could also go directly to User talk:GreenReaper.

To start a new conversation, click the + tab at the top of the page next to edit. To continue an existing conversation, click the edit button next to the section header (or edit the entire page if you are continuing a conversation from your page).

There are three common ways of replying to a talk message:

  1. You post your reply on their talk page
  2. You edit your own talk page to include your reply
  3. Do 2. and then copy their message and your reply to their talk page

The third style is recommended, as it is easier to read (especially for those not involved in the conversation).

As on all talk pages, it is a good idea to use increasing numbers of : marks before your reply to indent it - this makes the thread of conversation clearer. It is also a good idea to ensure that all conversations are under separate headers to avoid messages getting mixed up or missed. Don't forget to sign your posts with ~~~ or ~~~~!

[edit] Cleaning your user talk page

Over time, your user talk page will probably get filled with old conversations. It is generally considered a good idea to keep these conversations around, but it may be appropriate to archive these old conversations to another page to make future editing easier. To do so, create a link to a subpage of the main talk page like this - [[/Archive 1|Archive 1]] - and move the old conversations to that page. You should leave the link on your user page so people can view the old conversations.

An example can be found at User talk:GreenReaper/Header, which also demonstrates a method for placing a section at the top of your user page that is not intended to be edited.

My archives are also sorted by topic due to volume - don't feel you have to do this as well! :-) --GreenReaper(talk)
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