Wikivoyage talk:Welcome message

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The normal way that new users start off is to create a user account and edit a few pages, then (perhaps) edit their user page. If we leave things until the user page is edited, they may pick up some bad habits - especially if they come from Wikipedia. I would suggest that a new user be welcomed if they:

  1. edit at least a couple of live article pages, (so you can critique their work and point to particular articles that might help them - or just thank them for the contribution.), or
  2. create a new page, (other than their user page), or
  3. create their user page and make an edit to live pages, or
  4. make comments on talk pages or other discussion pages.

Does anyone have any comment about the threshold for welcoming new users? Simply creating a user account does not draw anyone's attention and new users are listed alphabetically, not in order of joining, so scanning the registered user list is impractical. -- (WT-en) Huttite 09:16, 10 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I would add "makes a change that followed comment from someone else on topic Talk page". Are we ready to place the above list on the content page? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 00:05, 20 November 2006 (EST)

I plunged forward and added the part that you proposed to the article. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:04, 29 November 2006 (EST)

Welcoming Anonymous contributors[edit]

Also, under what circumstances should Anonymous contributors be welcomed? How about:

  1. repeated vandalism, (or any vandalism?)
  2. repeated edits over a period of time with an assessment about their quality, (good, bad, indifferent or variable)
  3. contributing to discussions, especially if it is important that replies be seen by contributor. e.g. Strong POV or non-NPOV,
  4. copyright or other policy guideline issues.

Does anyone have any comment about the threshold for welcoming such anonymous contributors? Mind you I wouldn't want to welcome every IP address that edits a page. -- (WT-en) Huttite 09:16, 10 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I want to reopen this discussion and get a feel for adding a section to the Welcome message page specificly for welcoming anonymous contributors. I agree with the points above and I'd add a few guidelines that I try to follow:
  • Find something nice to say Even if someone is an obvious troll/vandal, be the bigger person and Assume Good Faith. Also keep in mind that 1 IP != 1 User and that other users may be on the other end of your message. First impressions and all that...
  • Invite the user to create an account But make it clear that it's in no way required. Pointing out the Project:Docent deal may also incourage folks to get involved, especially if they have been focusing on one or two destinations that they obviously know well.
  • Point out appropriate policy/guideline links Prolly not the whole welcome graph, but a subset that seems useful given their contributions.
Here's an example of my usual:

Howdy. I just wanted to let you know... By the way, great work on ... destinations-- have you considered [[Project:How to create a user account|creating a user account]] so you get credit for your contributions and maybe becoming a [[Project:Docent]]? Also, if you're new to the whole wiki software look at the [[Project:Wiki_markup|wiki markup]] to get an idea of how to use the wiki markup (we dont use html tages for formatting). If you need help, check out [[Project:Help]], and if you need some info not on there, post a message in the [[Project:travellers' pub|travellers' pub]]. I look forward to more contributions! ~~~~

Comments? (WT-en) Majnoona 00:26, 19 July 2006 (EDT)

I plunged forward and added the part that you proposed to the article. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:04, 29 November 2006 (EST)

Creating a template for this[edit]

Would you mind if I made this into a template, so all you would have to do is type {{welcome}} instead of copying and pasting the mesaage? --(WT-en) Admrboltz 02:30, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)

It's a good idea, but I had this happen to me when editing on another wiki, and I found it unpleasant. The welcome ritual is about showing that there are other, helpful, concerned people on the wiki who appreciate your contributions. If you get a welcome message full of interesting links and friendly language, and then go to respond and find that instead it's just {{welcome}}, it's kind of insulting. It feels like you've been tricked.
That said, I'd suggest using {{subst:welcome}} as a starter, and then personalizing the message. --(WT-en) Evan 08:23, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Can we also change the message on Project:Welcome message so it cites just the same message as the Template:Welcome does--and we don't deal with perpetually merging changes from one copy to another? I just don't know how to include the template body so its markup is displayed as is, not rendered. Any help? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 00:05, 20 November 2006 (EST)

New welcome message[edit]

I've redisgned the welcome message on my (WT-en) sandbox. I think the way I rewrote is much more useful to new users. Anyone object to making it the new welcome message? (WT-en) Andrew Haggard 01:23, 29 April 2006 (EDT)

Certainly no objection, especially because this message is fully optional. When I use this message, however, I normally add a thank-you note at the beginning (like "Thanks for your contributions to Wikivoyage so far") for extra warmth. I'd also place the user preferences bit at the end of the message, because I think the copyright and policy stuff is more relevant and should come first. What do you think? (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 14:42, 3 May 2006 (EDT)
In my belief, both starting with userprefs and copyright issues are non-practical, as this is far not the first things that may be most interesting for a newcomer. Maybe we have some lighter version of recommendations and policies that can be read easily by a newcomer on a single page? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 00:05, 20 November 2006 (EST)
Project:Tips for new contributors is an attempt to do that. It tries to cover some very basic stuff we take for granted as wiki people. What's your thoughts? --(WT-en) Evan 00:11, 20 November 2006 (EST)
I think it's great thing to start the welcome message with a link to this. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 05:53, 20 November 2006 (EST)
I added a link to Tips for new contributors to the text in article. Let me know what you think. --17:04, 29 November 2006 (EST)

New new welcome message[edit]

The text-density of the welcome message has been bugging me for a while-- it's a pretty imposing paragraph and the tops for new contributors page really makes a lot of it redundant. Here's my suggestion for a new, friendlier, welcome template:

Hello! Welcome to Wikivoyage.

To help get you started contributing, we've created a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page.

If you need help, check out Project:Help, or post a message in the travellers' pub.

My two questions are: any objections to the proposed text? and: how do folks feel about including a sentence about Extra to let folks know that now there's a place for personal travel stuff too. (WT-en) Maj 13:44, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

I like it! --(WT-en) Evan 13:54, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
Me too. There's been times that I've left out part of the welcome message, since new users usually have edited a page & obviously has some grasp on the wiki markup. I really like the idea of mentioning Extra. I feel bad when someone puts a lot of time & effort into an article and it gets deleted (or moved to the talk page) because it's a lengthy 1st person account. -- (WT-en) Fastestdogever 14:14, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
I think it's an improvement. I'm not sure how we'd work Extra into this text, since they first need to understand what does belong in Wikivoyage proper (which is explained only in the linked articles) to understand what doesn't. Maybe add it to Project:Tips for new contributors? - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 14:30, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

benefits of signing up[edit]

I would like to add "what benefits registration gives", but I'm bit stuck in defining the list myself.

Could someone help? Or maybe we already have the list somewhere? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:56, 19 November 2007 (EST)

The opening line at Project:How to create a user account does that already  :) – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 23:33, 19 November 2007 (EST)
Is this all that we have, or I have missed something?
  • give yourself some identity on the system
  • get a User page
  • their user name is used for page histories
  • have the ability to mark their changes as minor
  • can add pages to a watchlist
--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 11:44, 20 November 2007 (EST)
That sounds about right – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 01:11, 21 November 2007 (EST)
The list seems to be quite technical (what software features become available), but doesn't seriously promote registration to a novice user. Some ideas for now:
  • allow other users to leave comments to you (and to ask for clarifications to make your edits even better)
  • make sure you will receive comments other users write to you--even if your future visits are from other IP, you have a user talk page that is only yours
  • get credit for your contributions to the article--see footnote "Based on work by" in the bottom of any article
  • establish your reputation among Wikivoyagers and allow them to recognize you from other anonymous users
  • make sure your contribution is not removed or changed to opposite meaning--using your personal Watchlist
  • maybe even become a Project:Docent, if you know some destination(s) pretty well and would like to share your knowledge
  • (anything else like the above?)
--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:46, 21 November 2007 (EST)
Plunged forward adding it here: Project:Welcome message#Benefits for creating an account. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:50, 26 November 2007 (EST)

I tried to use that list directly for welcoming a new user, and I find it way too long for a first message user receives at Wikivoyage (see User talk: for my example). I would vote more for linking to a full list of benefits rather than making them 3x more concise--but where should we best stick that list? Or is it worth creating a separate page (I'm not sure). --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 03:43, 31 January 2010 (EST)

Any objections on creating a template for this piece alone? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:25, 16 February 2010 (EST)

I plunged forward creating a separate page, Project:Why register. Please help in polishing it; if it gain no objection, I think we should link to it from more places.

And isn't it time to create a welcome msg targeted exlusively to anonyms, inviting to register with this link?

Maybe as simple as the following, written just after a standard welcome template message:

BTW, have you considered creating an account here? It promises a bunch of benefits, and no obligations :-)

--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 09:21, 19 May 2010 (EDT)

Template:Welcomeplusanon. Ideally we should merge all three welcome templates into a parameterized one, but I'm not too MediaWiki-savvy for that. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:09, 2 June 2010 (EDT)

Welcome messages[edit]

moved from pub:

I just noticed how much we've been slacking off with giving new users the welcome message on their talk page. I think it is important-- I remember when I started here, (WT-en) Andrew gave me a welcome message almost immediately after I created my account, and it showed me that, yes, there are people out there paying attention, there is a community here. I think it's a good thing that can encourage new people to contribute more, so I want to ask everyone to pitch in to keep up with that. If you click on Recent changes and you see that a new account has been created, please just take a moment to create a welcome on their talk page. It doesn't take long at all. All you have to do is put:

{{subst:welcome}} -- ~~~~

If all the regular users here will just get in the habit of this, then no one will have to sit and do dozens and dozens of them in a row like I just did, plus new users may see the message during their first session and be inspired to come back for more sessions later. Thanks! (WT-en) Texugo 02:22, 8 November 2008 (EST)

What I usually do is let them edit a little-then I can make a comment that isnt totally uniform about their edits. Similar to my first message, thanks Jim. Keep smiling, (WT-en) ee talk 22:37, 8 November 2008 (EST).
The bigger problem is that most new users are not getting any message at all. (WT-en) Texugo 06:21, 9 November 2008 (EST)
I agree that people should be welcomed more, and I also agree with User:(WT-en) Edmontonenthusiast that we should probably wait until they actually make an edit. When I'm looking at Recentchanges I find the red or blue talk page link helpful to determine whether someone's new or not, and welcoming people before they make an edit confuses this. You all probably know this already, but you can go to Special:Contributions/(WT-en) Newbies to see all the newcomers who have made contributions lately. Looks like they've all been welcomed, so good work to User:(WT-en) Edmontonenthusiast and User:(WT-en) Sertmann. (WT-en) JYolkowski 20:30, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Whoa, I had not seen that special page before! Really useful, thanks! --(WT-en) Peter Talk 23:12, 11 November 2008 (EST)
I meant to get in here and offer the possibility that it might not be a very good use of time to welcome all new users, for a couple of reasons.
1) most newly registered users aren't actually editing, so they probably just thought they had to register to use the site;
2) a semi-custom message, that at best gives advice or guidance, and at least a thank you for particular work, is much better than what looks like an automated message—that sort of community contact is really helpful in getting good new contributors to stick around;
3) welcome messages to users that are violating Wikivoyage policy without letting them know that they are doing something wrong is potentially harmful, as they might take that as a cue to spread their policy violations further.
So, I'd actually question whether going through the new user log to hit everyone with a welcome message at once is useful. I'd argue that it would be far more useful to make sure everyone in the Special:Contributions/(WT-en) Newbies list gets a custom message. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:07, 11 December 2008 (EST)
I agree, I think it makes the most sense to wait until a user minimally makes an edit and hence shows up in Special:Contributions/(WT-en) Newbies, for both those reasons and the one I mentioned above. (WT-en) JYolkowski 18:01, 11 December 2008 (EST)
I agree. 1 personalised messages to a user starting to make constructive edits is worth 100 generic welcome messages to new registrations. --(WT-en) Inas 18:23, 11 December 2008 (EST)
A Bot could be welcoming users that simply create an account and nobody would be any the wiser. I would suggest that a new user is only welcomed after they make their first edit(s) to an article or comment on a talk page, as you can then assess the quality of their work or questions they have. (Editing their own user page does not count, unless it is clear they are asking to be welcomed, or need to be stopped from doing something stupid.) You can then add a personal comment that would provide the user with additional guidance. Leaving the talk page unpopulated until the new user makes an edit means it is immediately obvious you are dealing with a new user, who may misunderstand or be ignorant of the guidelines, as the talk page link is red. I don't think it hurts to wait a while before welcoming a new user. -- (WT-en) Huttite 05:22, 13 January 2009 (EST)
This has been nagging my hindbrain for a week, now. It seems to me that we need to formalise the welcoming process a bit more. Could this become part of an expedition?
How about the Check-in Expedition? Just as they check your ticket or booking (and baggage) when you arrive at the check-in counter at an airport, bus, or train terminal, car hire company, or your accommodation, when you are travelling, the Wikivoyage Check-in Expedition would promote the proper check-in formalities for all new users that edit their first page and all new articles. That is add a welcome message to guide the user (check the ticket/booking) and bring all new destination articles to at least an outline template status (luggage destination labels on the bags). -- (WT-en) Huttite 04:17, 21 January 2009 (EST)
No further comments? Perhaps I put my Check-in Expedition suggestion on the back-burner for a while? - (WT-en) Huttite 08:13, 31 January 2009 (EST)

An extension we need...[edit]

Swept from the pub:

I just found Extension:NewUserMessage and thought that it would be the perfect extension for Wikivoyage, it will add a welcome message to newly created user's talk pages. So I wanted to see what the community's opinion on getting the extension installed. --Saqib (talk) 21:37, 28 September 2012 (CEST)

I think the personal touch is nice... --Inas (talk) 22:09, 28 September 2012 (CEST)
The only downside is that it may feel less personal to receive a welcome message from a machine rather than a person - but I don't think this will be too much of an issue. I think this is great for nothing else than we know everyone will got the message about what Wikivoyage is, currently, we only welcoming people who make an initial non-vandal edit and this is better than contributors welcoming everyone. --Saqib (talk) 22:25, 28 September 2012 (CEST)
As we do it now, there is a human behind the welcoming message. That person could function as a mentor when a new user has questions. That's why the welcome message is structured like it is typed, instead of seeming automatically generated. So I'm not entirely sure if replacing it by a bot would be more effective. --Globe-trotter (talk) 22:33, 28 September 2012 (CEST)
I also would prefer to keep leaving personal messages. Both for the reason above (to try and keep our more social/friendly atmosphere alive) and for the reason that a blue talk page means something when automatons aren't busy welcoming people--it generally helps you distinguish between accounts that are contributing and those that have not. --Peter Talk 22:56, 28 September 2012 (CEST)
Wikia uses the auto-welcome too, mainly because nearly all their wikis are dead. Luckily, we have a thriving community here who can welcome new users. One of the things that is good about a personal message is that we can congratulate/thank new users for their recent edits, usually to a particular page. JamesA >talk 02:36, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
I think that the relatively small community and more personal communication we have on WV is one of the reasons there is less incivility than on Wikipedia. As long as it is conveniently possible to welcome new users personally, we should continue to do this. If it becomes too much at any stage, then an automated welcome could be added, but this is not likely to be a problem for the immediate future. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:23, 29 September 2012 (CEST)


After my holiday I will continue installing and adapting usefull extension. Don't hesitate to name them on my talk page. --Unger (talk) 22:12, 1 October 2012 (CEST)

Welcome Wikitravellers?[edit]

Swept from the pub:

Should we have a welcome message specifically for Wikitravellers, in which we can explain the similarities and differences to Wikitravel and inform the user about the cross-identification of accounts procedure? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 21:46, 30 September 2012 (CEST)

Yes. --W. Franke-mailtalk 21:56, 30 September 2012 (CEST)
Good idea but how can we know that the particular user is a Wikitraveller? --Saqib (talk) 22:02, 30 September 2012 (CEST)
In some cases we will recognise the username, but you have a good point, they may not be obvious unless they identify themselves. It will be fairly easy to check if there is the same user name with the WT-en prefix. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 22:56, 30 September 2012 (CEST)
But don't forget you can only recognize those user accounts as Wikitravellers, who had created their user pages or user talk pages on previous site WT. But because majority of users (with edits at WT) don't have user page or user talk page, you'll need to go to WT to check whether the user account was created there or not. --Saqib (talk) 23:31, 30 September 2012 (CEST)
I am not entirely sure of this, but as far as I know, when the last backup of WT was loaded into WV it included all user pages and user talk pages that existed on WT at the time. These were prefixed (WT-en), for example my old user page from WT is at User:(WT-en) Pbsouthwood, so anyone can look up a page with that format and if it exists, there was a user of that name on WT whose contributions are now on WV. People who never registered on WT (or only regstered after the last backup) do not need cross-identification of accounts as this is only possible for previously registered users on WT who create an account on WV. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 00:46, 1 October 2012 (CEST)
You didn't really understand what I meant. --Saqib (talk) 00:56, 1 October 2012 (CEST)
Very possible, I was unsure at the time and making a best guess. Maybe you could explain in more detail. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:54, 1 October 2012 (CEST)
Sorry for late reply. I didn't noticed this. So I was trying to say that we can only recognize those new user accounts here on WV as Wikitravellers, who had created their user pages or user talk pages on previous site WT. Because we don't have user list (of Wikitravellers here on WV), and only have backup of user pages and user talk pages that existed on WT. Majority of WT users (even those who even edited WT) didn't created their user page or even user talk page, so we'll probably need to go to WT to check whether the particular user account is existing there or not. Hope you understand now. --Saqib (talk) 23:31, 30 September 2012 (CEST)
I think so, if you are saying that empty userpages were not migrated. I agree that people who used Wikitravel without ever registering an account are unidentifiable, but there is not a specific message about cross-identification of accounts that is relevant to them. I guess that the problems of identifying the previously registered users at WT are more trouble than its worth if we go look for them, but we can still have a message for new users who identify themselves as previously registered at WT. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:23, 2 October 2012 (CEST)
Even for users without a userpage, you don't need to go to WT to check; you can check contributions here (for example Special:Contributions/(WT-en) Sumone10154). sumone10154(talk) 20:07, 2 October 2012 (CEST)


We can never be sure that user accounts are linked to Wikitravel account, unless they cross-verify their account first. So I think a welcome message should just be a general one. --Globe-trotter (talk) 12:37, 2 October 2012 (CEST)

I was thinking of a small note to add to the (generic) welcome if a user claims to be WT or ex WT to point them to the procedure for cross verification, possibly with a couple of other links to things that they might find different. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:24, 2 October 2012 (CEST)
I think if a user identifies his/herself as a WT-er, there is no reason not to assume good faith, even if having more strict requirements for actual attribution/verification. The link to the cross-verification policy would clearly be useful. --Peter Talk 15:06, 2 October 2012 (CEST)

Auto welcoming[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hello, I am one of the bot operators on this wiki and while always thinking of a way to help through bot work, I noticed that a lot of experienced users are welcoming new users. While this is great, it is also time consuming. What do you guys think about a bot that welcomes any user who has made 1 edit (can be anywhere from 0-50 edits). What do you guys think? -- Cheers, Riley 08:12, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikivoyage culture has frowned on auto-welcoming. Mostly because an at least slightly personalized note shows that a real human is out there, caring about your work and involvement in the project. But in part also because a blue talk link is pretty informative—it let's you know that any given user has had interactions with other contributors. --Peter Talk 08:20, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
While I don't really agree with your first note about personalization (mainly because it makes me wonder if a bot welcoming is an different that how users are being welcomed right now; semi-automatically), you are right that it is informational. I don't know how users are currently welcomed (well I do but I don't know if users are checking contributions), users manually welcoming allows new user contributions to be checked. :) -- Cheers, Riley 08:55, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
As a manual operator of a few welcomes in the last week or so, and patrolling recent changes, I agree with Peter that the human touch exists with the adding the welcome manually, and also the capacity on recent changes to see what other behaviour is occurring is useful. The prospect of a bot generated welcome has some merits, but I am very curious why I havent seen such an item at wp en or commons...
As for methods - I am aware of a large number of wp en users are responding to the banner that was up for a while - and they are having difficulty appreciating the differences between wp en and wikivoyage - so I have been welcoming totally red ie edit free new registrations, as well as user who have started editing... on the basis that better a welcome than a new editor not having had the opportunity to be forewarned... sats (talk) 09:02, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
When I notice a new user in the Recent Changes, I will usually let them edit an article a few times then welcome them, specifically thanking them for their edits to that article. I don't usually use the template either. JamesA >talk 11:59, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Neither do I. All things being equal, I like to direct them to mos and the links on it, as a good way to start, and of course to the pub. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:10, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Well from a sample of three we have different ways of approaching new users - I think it would be good to see the opinions of others - as so many other policies and practices are being worked out at the moment - it would be good to see whether there is a particular trend that is seen as better for wikivoyage in the long run - or not... Having been offered a bot welcome, we have not using the template editors offering comment. Having used the template I am interested to see if others have ideas on this. cheers sats (talk) 12:41, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I sort of like welcomes. One has no idea how things work when they first arrive and a bit of advice is nice. Especially since we can provide a link in the welcome to how WV is different from WP. Yes yes I know some people will say that not having this template welcome messages is one of the way WV is different but... Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:13, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I'd prefer not to automate this. Sometimes a new user will be on the right track from the very first edit. Sometimes a user will attempt to use encyclopaedia style (categories, secondary sources, footnotes, enough info about the history of one landmark to fill a page) in good faith, only to be told that duplicating Wikipedia here isn't what we need. Sometimes the first edits will be self-serving or promotional or be full of fluff about the "perfect family getaway" with "relaxing, beautiful sunsets" and "cool, refreshing breezes" that could be blindly applied by marketers to every destination on the globe. Sometimes an edit will be botspam or vandalism. Each needs a different response. Welcoming users manually is an opportunity to point out mistakes made in good faith by new users who might be familiar with Wikipedia but have no experience with Wikivoyage. K7L (talk) 16:27, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I always write personal welcomes to people who edit articles on my watchlist (who haven't been welcomed). I know that some just subst welcome across multiple users, and that's okay too. I'd be in favour of a bot that picked up the pieces, i.e. if you haven't been welcomed personally within 7 days of editing your first article? --Inas (talk) 00:12, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Great idea, Inas! If their talk page link is still red after 10 days, then even a robotic welcome with helpful links is probably better than no welcome at all. -- Alice 01:27, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
BUMP: Can we do this after 10 days if there is no other human welcome? Inas, would one of your bots volunteer? Or maybe you can shanghai this guy: ... -- Alice 01:06, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Welcoming new users[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hi, everyone!

I just wanted to say that I wish regulars (who watch Special:RecentChanges) would put the subst:welcome (or subst:welcomeanon or subst:tout) on newbie's talk pages more often. Occasionally there are people who make edits over several days without receiving the welcome message. It not only contains useful information, but it's also nice for the new user to see that their edits are acknowledged and welcome. And it's easy to add it too; except for the tout warning, when you're in edit mode you can add it just by clicking the appropriate link at the bottom of the page (on the line starting with Talk templates). Ps. I admit I've myself become a little lazy doing this :P. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:00, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the reminder... I thus far didn't know, how it is done... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:39, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Is there any reason why we shouldn't automate this? When an account is triggered (or via an anonymous IP) then the appropriate template can be applied to a newly created user page. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:04, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
An automated process can't tell a legitimate user from a tout from a spambot, for one reason. K7L (talk) 11:21, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Why would that be a problem? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:23, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
We've discussed it before but have always avoided it as being too impersonal -- if a bot posts the welcome, there's no one for them to thank, and no suggestion of a watchful, helpful user whose talk page they could post to if they have questions. Texugo (talk) 11:36, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Being impersonal makes sense. I just wonder if we are missing many potential longer term contributors in the effort to avoid that... --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:57, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Do we attract longer term contributors by posting an automatic welcome message? It would have to be fairly impressive to make me feel any cosier (if I were new here). And I just feel annoyed when I get a greeting after making a minor correction on some odd language version of Wikipedia. The bot could check for such, but does it? And it may of course be just me. --LPfi (talk) 13:26, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Mark me down as firmly opposed to automated welcome messages. If I were a new user, I would much rather get no welcome message at all than one that came from a bot. The latter strikes me as phony, and frankly begs the question of whether we are welcoming users because we truly want them to feel welcome or as an insincere, dashed-off procedural matter. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:19, 24 April 2015 (UTC)


I think a welcome message from a real user is far better than an automated welcome message, but an automated welcome message is probably better than no message at all. Ten years ago when I made my first edits here, getting a message from a real person gave me a point of contact and let me know that an actual person thought my contributions were helpful. However, the welcome message is also a useful tool for pointing users to helpful policy pages and guidelines, and an automated message does not prevent someone from adding a more personal welcome message, so if there is a way to configure a bot to automatically welcome users who meet certain criteria then I think that would be valuable. The criteria I'd suggest would give time for someone to add a personal welcome, but not let so much time go by that the we would risk having the new user lose interest in the site:

  1. User hasn't been welcomed
  2. User has made 10 or more (?) contributions OR the user's first contribution was made more than 24 hours ago

The above are merely suggestions off the top of my head, and would obviously need to be tweaked based on feedback from others, bot capabilities, etc. Is there anyone interested in figuring out the details of what it would take to get a bot like commons:User:Wikimedia Commons Welcome running here, and whether such a bot would allow criteria like the above to be implemented? Or is this discussion mainly theoretical at this point? -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:52, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

I think I could be persuaded to more or less support a bot with the criteria above. Not sure about the number 10, exactly though. Some people probably show up and make 10 edits in the first 3-4 minutes, just putting some stuff on their user page. Texugo (talk) 17:15, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I moderately often go on a welcoming spree; it is fairly easy, just go to the list of contribs from new editors, type the text {{subst:welcome}} ~~~~ once then copy it to all the other empty talk pages you see.
The only form of auto-welcome I'd favour would be adding something to the new user setup script so that the talk page is created non-empty. That seems much more sensible to me than running a bot later. Maybe just a one-liner linking to Information for new users? Pashley (talk) 18:26, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
I lean toward opposing any kind of automated welcome message of any kind, but if we decide to accept Pashley's proposal, the "sig" on the post should clearly indicate that it's automated. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:29, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
The problem with an automated message is that it cannot differentiate between the types of new users and what kind of welcome message they should get; some start off with almost perfect contributions, others might create a couple of stubs with some text without headings ("because that's the way we do it on WP"?), some are touts or vandals and they need to be notified that their edits aren't OK etc. And among all of those there are both edits by anons and registered users... ϒpsilon (talk) 20:54, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
We can differentiate between anonymous and new registered users. If we inadvertently welcome a tout or a vandal then what is the actual problem? Nothing to stop a subsequent message being placed on the tout's page to stop being touty.
Sometimes I feel that WV is rather behind the times. The largest companies have seriously no issue whatsoever with automated welcome messages and digital communications, and if we are not managing to welcome everyone today (I also accept blame for that btw) then how do we hope to scale in the future with (hopefully) many more users? Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:27, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
The largest companies don't necessarily have the best customer service. I'm not sure we should rush to pattern ourselves after them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Digital communications, when implemented correctly, do massively improve customer engagement. Sure there is plenty of hyperbole around this, but the reality is that both consumers and companies are both benefiting as this gains traction.
Perhaps some here are against losing the 'personal touch', which is a position I can understand. I just don't think the rest of the web is still hung up on this any more. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:45, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Of course an automated message is better than nothing (actually, don't they use it on WP?), though I think there should be a delay of an hour or so from the user's first edit, and it should be posted only in the case no one else has found time to post a message. ϒpsilon (talk) 07:42, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
An hour is nowhere near enough if we're going to do this. Supposing a user's first few edits include vandalism or touting that take more than an hour to discover? Any automated script should be made to wait at least 24 hours, in my opinion, if not more. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:49, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
If the user is indefinitely blocked (i.e. a spambot), they probably should not get a welcome message. As far as other wikis, some choose to leave automated messages, and some don't. I'm pretty sure that it's a MediaWiki extension being used to leave the notices, not a bot (though one could set up a bot too). --Rschen7754 20:46, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Some Wikipedias (and other projects) do automated welcoming. Others don't. Some welcome users upon first login and others upon first edit. (Or, at least, I'm often welcomed at projects where I have zero edits but recently visited, so I assume that's the connection.) Others might as well be welcoming by bot, because everyone gets welcomed.

I'm not aware of any good research on the question of whether it works. My suggestion is this: Figure out how to conduct a good experiment and see what the results are. Then we could make a decision based upon things like "It {does,doesn't} help retain users" instead of "I {do,don't} like it". WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:14, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

I've been welcomed in countless obscure Wikipedias in languages I don't even understand, just for making edits replacing WT link templates with {{wikivoyage}}. At least I think they were attempting to welcome me; I'm none too bright and never learned a foreign language, so they could be swearing at me for all I know. :) Nonetheless, we do need to look at the user's initial edits before posting a message to the user page. A user who arrives with a carefully-researched stack of inline citations to reliable secondary sources probably knows their way around MediaWiki and is here in good faith, but that's Wikipedia style and we may need to point out a few key differences. That's not the same message we'd use for a completely new user, which in turn is not the same message we'd use for a vandal. (A spambot isn't going to read a talk page, so is just silently blocked.) K7L (talk) 01:39, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Anonymous contributors and welcome messages[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Recently, I gave an anonymous contributor a welcome message. The user stopped contributing.

For some reason, this little incident gave me a feeling of déjà vu. All too often, it seems that new contributors — especially anonymous ones — stop contributing immediately when they receive the welcome message. Whether it scares them, or drives them away, I don't know, and it's of course not always true, but perhaps — just as a thought — we could consider not giving anonymous contributors a welcome message (with the exception of touting of course) in certain cases and see if the change results in more contributions from anonymous users of the website. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:45, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

How long ago did they stop contributing? They might come back. Besides, they might have a dynamic IP. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:55, 7 June 2020 (UTC)
True. I hope the user does stay. I'll keep the anonymous contributor in mind in case s/he contributes once again. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:09, 7 June 2020 (UTC)