Welcome to Standard Editing Procedure - Wiki 103. Here, we're going to discuss Talk pages and their use in the collaborative editing environment found in wikis, and how it affects your article editing.
Intro to Talk pages
Talk pages are a valuable asset to any wiki. Whenever you and a few other people are working on somethings, you may typically find yourself in the situation where you need to ask the other person what they may be doing with this (article) and how they plan on using it or continuing it's editing process. With that in mind, talk pages come into play as they provide that level of communication on a wiki that can be found on bulletin boards/forums, instant messaging clients, or other such internet communications.
Why do we use them?
So, why a talk page and not just a normal editing page? Well, in the case of a wiki, discussions about articles and/or anything else included on or in a wiki should be kept off of the main namespace. Think of it this way, if you had to deliver a report to either your boss or teacher, you wouldn't exactly want all your chicken scratch notes or discussions with friends and family written all over it. You would want that in a place where you and others working on the project can read it without affecting the others that are only interested in the final product, the report.
In the case of wiki, every article we write, whether it be about a competitor or an obstacle here on Sasukepedia, or a car, video game, animal, or flower on Wikipedia; we are writing reports of some kind. We are writing a clear cut, concise, and for the most part, to the point, neutral perspective on the article in question. We compile the information, and we present it to the world. We don't want our notes, discussions, and arguments all over that final product we present to the world.
What can we do with them?
Talk pages can be used for a variety of topics. For one, they are most commonly used simply for collaboration on article content, the use of certain source material, and other various topics ranging from simple discrepancies between sources to minor details regarding point of view of fact vs fiction. No matter what the case may be, using a talk page is the best way to collaborate with other editors on the wiki in regards to discussing the article in question.
Other talk pages however, may or may not be used for this commonly used practice. For example, some of the pages regarding wiki policy and guidelines state that the talk pages can be used for the discussion, proposition, approval, or opposition for new and old policies or guidelines. With that in mind, the discussion changes from collaborative editing to political discussion amongst members in regards to the rules and regulations of the wiki with specific regard to each individual policy or guideline in question.
In short, depending what the article is about, the talk page may vary from discussion to politics. Keep that in mind when looking for answers, help, or looking to contribute.
Always sign your comments
Talk pages are in essence, a bulletin board for editors to leave messages for other members. As such, it is best to leave your signature so other editors know who it is they are directing their answer to, especially in the case of multiple comments by multiple editors. The underlying foundation upon this general idea is that the talk pages serve as our messaging system amongst fellow editors, and it is only right that you identify yourself as you would on a forum.
To add your signature, you simply need to post four tilde ("~") characters at the end of your message.
By doing this, you will sign your comment like so,
- Anshinritsumai 00:37, February 17, 2011 (UTC)