There are a number of 'communication methods available to users of this Wikia.
1. User Page Discussion Page: You may leave a message for someone in the 'Discussion' page associated with their user page. Normally, they would respond to you on YOUR discussion page (the link called "My talk"). This can make for a disjointed conversation, but seems to work well enough in practice. If other users might be interested, a better place could be a Forum. (see below for more)
2. Article Discussion Page: You may leave a comment on a particular article on the article's "discussion" page. (see below for more)
3. Email: If someone has enabled emailing in their preferences you may contact them privately through standard email without revealing your email address.
4. Genealogy Email: There is a genealogy email list that sends an email to everyone who has registered their email address on it. This is used when you want to communicate with all active members on the wiki. Those who have not registered do not get the email, of course. Getting these messages may be a good reason to register. See http://lists.wikia.com/mailman/listinfo/genealogy-l
5. Water Cooler: This is the traditional place on a wiki where people can exchange views in a public manner. This has recently been converted by Robin Patterson to a "Forum" system, taking advantage of the new capabilities under a recent release of the Mediawiki---the program underlying the wiki.
Talk pages are for communicating with other Wikians, especially about articles and improving this wiki. There is a talk page attached to every other page; just click the "discussion" link at the top or side of any page to find it.
Personal talk pages
Logged-in contributors have a personal talk page where other users can leave messages. This is found in the same way, by clicking the "discussion" link at the top or side of a user page. If you have a new message on your talk page, you will see a bright banner across the top of all other pages. Click the link there to go to your talk page.
There are talk pages for non-logged-in contributors too, but these may not always be useful. Because they are linked to IPs, and IPs can change between visits, the messages may not get to the right person. They are used to explain blocks of IPs and may identify where a user is, but may not be very useful for real communication. This is another good reason to create an account.
Using talk pages
Comments on talk pages can be picked up by Google and other search engines, and are available under the GFD License, so keep that in mind when you write.
It's possible to add a new section to a talk page without opening the whole edit page. Just click the "+" link next to the edit link. You will be given spaces to enter a title for your new section, and to enter your comment. You can then save, and the comment will be added as a new section at the bottom of the page. (If you have changed your "skin", you may see a "Post a comment" link instead of the "+" link.)
If any talk page gets too long, you can create an archive by typing [[/Archive]] (or any other name you like to use) onto the talk page. You can click the new link (preferably in a new window), and copy over the older comments then delete them from the current page when they are saved.
Some other hints for talk pages:
- Sign your comments by typing "~~~~" (four tildes). This will add your name and the date.
- Add comments to the end of the page.
- Keep your comments polite and friendly. It's always best to be civil, even if things get heated.