Clogged talk pages

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Crystal wordprocessing.png This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some wikimedians or Meta-Wiki users, but may not have wide support. This is not policy on the Meta-Wiki, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.
See also: Talk page noise and Refacroring talk pages
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Dry messages (100% templates)[edit]

At contributors' talk pages, bots and humans frequently leave template messages to notify contributor

  • to welcome him/her (most most common),
  • how to sign,
  • that their image was submitted for deletion,
  • that they're vandalizing,
  • that they forgot to categorize,
  • that they left a disambiguation link,
  • etc.

Such messages are distinguished by automated nature and lack of a human comment. Such phenomenon is known as clogging, or jamming, a talk page.

Such templates may occasionally cause user retention, with them asking to stop "harassing" them, and a negative impression of talking anywhere at Wikimedia projects in principle, that be user talk or article talk.

Examples
  • This talk page contains a welcome template, a template from syntax correction bot, and a template warning against vandalism. Nothing on the page appears to be remotely personal or human.
  • ...

As a consequence, you're encouraged to stop using templates at talk pages whenever possible. Talk to contributors. Be catalytic and attentive to detail.

Dry headlines[edit]

Such case involves people adding comments to a talk page which are OK, but the comment title (headline) is not specific enough. This makes talk page archives hard to navigate.

Did someone rename your headline and link you to this section? Please understand that some people may find that rewording such dry headlines with the aim of being more specific correct. You're probably welcome to edit it again to your liking, as long as you don't make it more dry again. :-) (This is not to be done for tweaking or changing a meaning — such as one you dislike or disagree with.)

Examples
  • Most anti-vandalism templates include "August 2014"-style headlines. This is dry.
  • Your recent edit” with a meaningful message inside.
  • ...