|This page is an essay, containing the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
With the vast scope of Wikipedia, inevitably people end up discussing the work of the encyclopedia off the wiki as well as on it. If Wikipedians gather somewhere, it's natural for them to talk about Wikipedia. Some of this provides valuable feedback for editors and guidance on improving articles.
A number of venues for external discussion of Wikipedia exist. Below is a sampling of some of those Wikipedians use most often. While gravitating to other electronic means of communication is common, given the nature of the project, Wikipedians do meet in person from time to time. So in reality, you could also include any Wikipedia meetup or conferences like Wikimania.
As a note of caution, using external forums to make decisions about Wikipedia content is frowned upon (see the guidance Consensus-building pitfalls and errors). This is particularly true if discussion fails to take place on the wiki as well, to allow people to participate equally even if they were unaware of the off-wiki discussion. In general, a consensus must be built on Wikipedia to indicate that the community supports an action. However, as a place to get questions answered or have a wide-ranging discussion that may not be specific to a particular encyclopedia article, an external forum can often be useful.
Quite a few Wikipedians have blogs, and some of these cover Wikipedia issues regularly or almost exclusively. A couple of blog aggregators on the topic include Planet Wikimedia and Open Wiki Blog Planet. You can also check out a list of Wikimedians who blog.
Other external discussion venues
- Wikipedia:Mailing lists - A large number of mailing lists have some relationship to Wikipedia. Some of these are hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, some aren't.
- Wikipedia:IRC channels - Wikipedia is the topic of various chat rooms, especially using Internet Relay Chat. Most of these are hosted by freenode, a popular IRC network.
- Less than active to dead