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Wikipedia:User page design center/About you

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Introduction About you Navigation aids Metadata Your scripts Hall of Fame Style Menus & subpages Art, Decor, etc. General tips


Note: Do not edit this page with your about you details. Go to Special:MyPage/About you, which redirects to your own "About you" page, to add this information.

One of the most important functions of your user page is to enable you to introduce yourself to the Wikipedia community. As people get to know each other better, it (usually) becomes easier for them to work with each other, and this helps create a sense of community. As with every aspect of user pages, users' coverage of themselves is highly unique and may span many different areas. These subjects may be presented in sections or as separate subpages.

Your userpage is a great way to introduce yourself to other Wikipedians. Your userpage should not be used as a blog or to present your comprehensive autobiography. However, according to the user page guideline, limited autobiographical and personal content is fine.

So, what do other users want to know about you anyways? Maybe...

  • Where you live
  • What you do in meatspace (so-called "real life")
  • What your interests are
  • Your contributions to Wikipedia
  • Your wikiphilosophy
  • Your dreams for Wikipedia

Look around other people's userpages, and you'll also find a lot of pictures of people's cats and dogs, charts of which countries the editors have visited, and other 'unencyclopaedic' miscellanea. While not strictly encouraged, this generally falls under the part of Wikipedia:Userpage which states "Wikipedia offers wide latitude to users to manage their user space as they see fit". Generally, the question is proportionality. If you spend a lot of time helping build the encyclopaedia, then no-one will mind if you spend some time on your userpage as well. If your userpage contains lots of information about how you can be of help (see Expertise), then a picture of your stick insects could set it off nicely.

The issue of how much personal information is tolerable and how much is "Myspacing" (a derogatory term for using a userpage as a social networking tool instead of as a means to help write Wikipedia) can be controversial, particularly since userboxes allow editors to display a massive amount of personal information with little time or effort, encouraging the presentation of personal information that users simply wouldn't bother to write an actual paragraph about. Keep a balance, and there should be no problem. A rule of thumb to consider is that if you have a column of biographical userboxes that stretches a long way past any actual text in your userpage, it may be excessive. Others may prefer to have a very simple layout and design, WikiProject Keep It Simple is a project that can help you create a more simple userpage.

If someone criticises your use of your userpage, keep cool, and consider whether they have a point - removing it may be the best option. If not, don't reply with "It's my userpage, and I'll use it how I want" - this isn't true. Editors can and do remove material from your userpage if there is a consensus that it hinders the writing of the encyclopaedia (see Wikipedia:User page's section on this).

Privacy issues

Wikipedia is generally regarded as a safer place than most of the chatrooms and forums on the Internet. Many Wikipedians feel comfortable revealing their real name, or making a picture of themselves publicly available, something that is strongly discouraged in chatrooms and the like.

Note, however, that it is inadvisable to go into too much detail on your userpage. It is, sadly, not unknown for bad editors or vandals to track down a Wikipedian in real life and harass them. This is especially important for those who use their real name on Wikipedia, whether as their screen name, in their signature or even just on their userpage. While it is probably safe to tell someone what area you work in (accountancy, medical, lion taming) or the subject you study, revealing where you work or go to school or university is a bad idea, as malicious users have been known to contact employers and academics with frivolous complaints in an attempt to get editors into trouble.

Here are some of the things which users have included about themselves on their user pages:


WikiHopes/WikiDreams

Share your vision of the Wikipedia of the future and your place in it.

WikiMgt

User pages are intended as tools not just to help you communicate with other users, but also to help you organize your own Wikipedia-based efforts. User pages are often used to keep track of:

  • WikiGoals - what ends you are striving for
  • WikiPlans - how you plan to do it
  • WikiSchedule - when you plan to do it
  • WikiTasks - to do lists, task lists, etc.
  • Wish list - if only... (fill in the blank)
  • WikiLog - see also contributions

Your expertise

One of the most important uses of the userpage—if not the most important—is to let editors know of your skills and areas of expertise.

Languages

What languages do you speak? What languages do you sort of speak if people speak slowly? What languages do you want to speak but don't know anything more than "Sprechen Sie Englisch"?

Displaying your linguistic capabilities is one of the most popular uses of userpages. An obvious benefit is that other editors will know if you can translate something for them, but this isn't just limited to interwiki translation. Sometimes sources for English-language articles are written in a foreign language, and Wikipedians may need someone to help them work out what they say. Sometimes articles about foreign subjects are nominated for deletion, and those skilled in a foreign language can help find out if the subject isn't Googling well because they're searching in Roman instead of Cyrillic.

Telling someone that you can't speak a language can also be helpful. If your English is poor, letting editors know that will help them understand. Also, if you're interested in a subject that is associated with a non-English language - for example anime (Japanese), Islam (Arabic) or Bollywood (Hindi), letting editors know that you rely on translations or subtitles will be of help.

Display

en This user is a native speaker of English.
it-4 Questo traduttore italian e' a un livello paragonabile a una lingua materna.

One of the most common ways to display languages is the user language templates available at Wikipedia:Babel. These consist of a box with the language's code, a number indicating the level of proficiency, and some accompanying text. Each template has the format {{user en-4}}, where 'en' is the code for the language (here English), and '-4' is the level of proficiency (here near-native). Native templates usually omit the number, e.g. {{user en}}. A full list of languages and levels is at Wikipedia:Babel. The Babel page also contains an extremely easy-to-use template for displaying all your languages in a neat box on the right, an example of which is on this page. The box on the right was generated using {{userboxtop}} and {{userboxbottom}}, in order to keep this help page out of the user language categories (see below), but it could have been generated simply by adding {{Babel-X|en|fr-4|de-1|ja-0}} to the top of this section.

If this format looks familiar, this is because it has grown to encompass all sorts of abilities, viewpoints and trivia - see Wikipedia:Userboxes - but languages were the original usage.

Each language template will also add you to a category of users who speak that language, as well as a subcategory for your proficiency level. For example, {{user en-4}} will add you to Category:User en-4 and Category:User en. If you don't wish to use the language templates, you can still add yourself to those categories by writing [[Category:User en-4|{{PAGENAME}}]] somewhere in your page (by convention, usually the bottom). The {{PAGENAME}} part is there to put you in the correct place in the category - if omitted, your page will be placed under 'U' for 'User'.

Dialects, grammar and other language templates

au-3 This user's a tops speaker a' 'Straylyaan, mate.

Some users display languages not recognised by ISO, commonly regional dialects such as American English, but also including constructed languages, ciphers, writing systems and simple jokes. The grammar userboxes are also worth mentioning here. All these templates can be displayed in the same way as the normal language templates.

Other areas

The other areas of experiences you could display on your userpage are as diverse as the subjects of this encyclopedia, but apart from areas you're generally interested in, you could list your educational and professional qualifications, ability in programming languages and skill with musical instruments.

Many userboxes exist to show off your talents, and you can display them with the methods on Wikipedia:Babel and on Wikipedia:Userboxes. You don't have to use userboxes, however – often a well-written paragraph may look better than a carbon copy of what someone else has.

But userboxes are many and varied, and you can even customize them. For more about userboxes, see the userboxes section below…

Userboxes

Userboxes are small stylized boxes with a graphic and some text which users use to describe themselves. Some users use userboxes exclusively to tell about themselves, while most use them to supplement the material about themselves on their userpages. Userboxes typically make statements about a user's skills, attributes, personality, interests, views, and affiliations.

Crystal kthememgr.svg This little tag you are reading is a userbox.


Userboxes are of further use because many of them automatically place a user in a Wikipedia category (these categories serve as a directory of Wikipedians). The primary purpose of userboxes and user categories is to inform other Wikipedians to ways you might be able to aid them in editing. For instance, if you speak a language besides English, or have expertise in a particular field, other users will know they can contact you for assistance.

Here's a userbox directory to help you find userboxes for your user page:

See also:

Complete instructions for how to design new userboxes and how to display userboxes on your userpage can be found at: Wikipedia:Userboxes. Here's a quick example on how to display userboxes, using the Babel template:

{{Babel|wikipedia/Administrator|en|es-2|de-1|piano-4|violin-4|viola-3|:The Raven's Apprentice/Userboxes/User Firefox|sfri|osx}}

After each " | " (pipe separator) is the name of a userbox. Just put in the ones that apply to you (from the userbox directory), as many as there are. This will place a column of userboxes down the right-hand side of your page.

Categories

As mentioned above, there is a directory of Wikipedians included in Wikipedia's category system. Many userboxes automatically enter you into one of these categories, but if you'd rather not display userboxes for this purpose, you could add the category tags manually to your user page. Category tags are placed at the end of the page, and look like this:

[[Category:Music]]
[[Category:Radio]]
[[Category:Fundamental]]
[[Category:Wikipedians]]

It is important to place yourself in the member directory so that other Wikipedians can find you based upon your skills and experience. They may need help on an article that you are particularly qualified to assist with.

Memberships and affiliations

Many users list the Wikipedia suborganizations they are members or regular participants of (such as our various departments and WikiProjects), the other Wikimedia projects they are involved in, even other wikis, and organizations IRL ("in real life").

You may be active in other project areas without being a listed member of an organisation, and may wish to list those. These might include the Welcoming Committee, Wikipedia:Cleanup Taskforce, the Help desk, the Counter-Vandalism Unit, or the Articles for deletion discussions.

Administrators, arbitrators and those in similar elected positions or with privileged access to technical features will also usually identify themselves as such on their userpage.

You can simply list your memberships and affiliations, or use the graphics and userboxes provided throughout Wikipedia by the suborgs. Here are some examples:

WikiProjects

WikiProjects are teams of Wikipedians dedicated to working on articles of a particular subject, or to develop a specific aspect of Wikipedia. Wikiprojects help to organize and coordinate a team's efforts.

Wikiprojects are overseen by the WikiProject Council and are listed on the Wikiproject directory. Userboxes for Wikiproject membership are listed at Wikipedia:Userboxes/WikiProjects. Here are some examples:

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg This user is a participant in WikiProject Philosophy.
The WikiProject Council logo This editor participates in the WikiProject Council.
Crystal Clear app ktip.svg This user is a Wikipedia tipster.


Wiki letter w.svg This user is a member of the Stub sorting WikiProject.
Exquisite-kfind.png This user regularly reads and responds to Requests for feedback.



Counter Vandalism Unit

Counter Vandalism Unit-en.png
Code: Results in:
{{user CUV}}
CUV This user is dedicated to
cleaning up vandalism.
{{user CVU1-en}}
CVU.svg This user is a member of the
Counter-Vandalism Unit.
{{user CVU2-en}}
Counter Vandalism Unit-en.png This user is a member of the
Counter-Vandalism Unit.
{{user CVU3-en}}
Cvu-tan.png This user is a member of the
Counter-Vandalism Unit.

Patrols


Wikiactivities

A summary or list of the pages, projects, or programs you are currently working on.

Interests

  • Real-world interests
  • WikiInterests

Picture (portrait)

  • Real portrait
  • Avatar
  • Joke pic
    • For an example, see User:ClockworkSoul and take a look at his pic under "The real world me"

WikiStatus

In special proceedings

An example:


When placed on your main userpage, this template links to your editor review (assuming you are actually in one).

Availability status

This ranges from where you are at the moment to longer-term indicators like messages to warn other users that you are inactive or temporarily unavailable.

In/Out

Some users check in and out the same way office workers do, placing a notice on their userpages to indicate whether they are currently on Wikipedia or not...

In Icon.JPG Around Icon.JPG Out Icon.JPG

Or just use a message box:

This user will be slightly busy due to work, and expects to be less active on Wikipedia for a few days. But please feel free to contact me here!.

WikiBreak

In the event that you aren't going to be around for a bit, it is a courtesy to let other users know that you are away, so that they don't falsely expect a reply to the messages they leave you, or report you missing. Here are some sample messages:

insert your name here is on Wikibreak until _______.
My apologies to anyone who leaves me a message and receives no reply.
This user is on wikibreak, but will be back after ___________. Feel free to leave messages, and I will reply to them upon my return.

WikiStress

Here are a couple stress meters to display your current mental state on your userpage:

Insanity Reigns!
Stress level low


These are actually sets of images, in which you place the appropriate image (or specify it if you use a template). The full sets are provided for your convenience below:

Favorite pages

Provide a custom tour of Wikipedia via links. Some examples:

  • Favorite articles
  • Favorite bad jokes
  • Favorite movies
  • Favorite music
  • Favorite books

WikiPhilosophy

A Wikiphilosophy is one's beliefs about what Wikipedia should be, how Wikipedia should be run, where's it's going, and how it will get there. All Wikipedians have a wikiphilosophy whether they are aware of it or not. Some users present their wikiviews on their user page for all to see, as diatribe, or as (of course) userboxes. Here are some known wikiphilosophies:

Code Result
{{user DAR}}
links talk edit
dar This editor is a darwikinist.
{{user delete}}
links talk edit
del This editor is a deletionist.
{{user delu}}
links talk edit
delu This editor is a delusionist.
{{user even}}
links talk edit
even This editor is an eventualist.
{{user exclu}}
links talk edit
excl This editor is an exclusionist.
{{user exo}}
links talk edit
exo This editor is an exopedian.
{{user imm}}
links talk edit
imm This editor is an immediatist.
{{user incl}}
links talk edit
incl This user is an inclusionist.
{{user increm}}
links talk edit
incr This editor is an incrementalist.
{{user merge}}
links talk edit
mer This editor is a mergist.
{{user AWWDMBJAWGCAWAIFDSPBATDMTD}}
links talk edit
{{user meta}}
links talk edit
meta This editor is a metapedian.
{{user flexible}}
links talk edit
Flexible This user deals with edits, deletion, and creation of pages individually instead of unilaterally and encourages others to do so.
{{User nopixuseless}}
links talk edit
Image-request.svg This user believes that articles are useless without images.
{{user everyone}}
links talk edit
{{User:Chris is me/Notability hurts}}
links
☹ This user feels that deletions subject to a popularity contest rather than a verifiability test damage Wikipedia more than any userbox ever could.

Awards (Barnstarium)

Wikipedians are encouraged to award other users who go beyond the call of duty. You may have received such an award in recognition of your efforts. The most prevalent type of award on Wikipedia are barnstars. Barnstars are generally awarded on your talk page, but there they would eventually be archived with the rest of your messages, and forgotten about. Therefore many users copy them to a display section or subpage of their user page. In this way, their barnstars serve as badges of honor or as informal credentials of their performance on Wikipedia. Such a section is usually just labeled "Awards", but can also be called "Barnstarium", "Trophy room", etc.

Awards come in many formats and even in different styles, but some users integrate their awards as elements of their user page design and change the awards' format and style in order to do so. Barnstars usually come in one of 3 formats/styles: barnstar banners, barnstar in an image frame, or as ribbons (modeled after military awards).

You can convert any of these to any other of these...

Thus, a barnstarium that looks like this:

Awards

Thanks for helping a newbie!

Filmcom 14:36, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I award this random acts of kindness Barnstar to Go for It! for being very helpful to a newcomer wikipedian, without being asked to.Filmcom 19:41, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I just want to thank you for building on my tip and making it a true wikipedia tip of the day. I'm still learning a lot about how to do things around here, so your help was greatly appreciated! Keep up the great work, and keep on Going for it!

RfA

I declined it. This gesture was one of the nicest gestures I have received in WP. You don't know how much I appreciate it. And here you get a nice little sun to your talk page, hope it will find a place in your archives ;) Renata 00:16, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Barnstar

This Working Man's Barnstar is awarded to Go for it! for your tireless and diligent work on the reference desk templates! -- Natalya 19:37, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
You're welcome, you absoutely deserve it! -- Natalya 17:58, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Smashing!

Smashing job on Tip of the day!
You've done a great job getting the Tip of the Day off the ground. As a result, I think you deserve this! smurrayinchester(User), (Talk) 17:52, 9 March 2006 (UTC)



A Barnstar!
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar

For everyone who worked so hard on the Main Page redesign, we all deserve a barnstar! HereToHelp 01:05, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Seconded :-) +sj + 10:00, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Yep, that was a tedious project. Good job. --Go for it! 03:20, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Barnstar

For going above and beyond the call of duty at Esperanza/Admin coaching, I award you this Original Barnstar. Good work! --Fang Aili talk 18:34, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Congrats. You deserved it.

A Barnstar!
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar

Go for it! earned this barnstar for tireless contributions to the Community Portal and Tip of the Day. (^'-')^ Covington 05:19, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Congrats. Don't forget to wind it up every other day. (^'-')^ Covington 05:20, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Award

Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
Your kindess was not random, because you were kind enough to listen to my requests to fix my userpage. Your major kindness will not be ignored, as this BarnStar is my token of appreciation! SoleteRayosÑajo.gif Kyo catmeow! 01:59, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Tongue.png Biggrin-smiley.png Thanks for teaching me how to use smilies! I'll be using these more often! Kyo catmeow! 01:59, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


Can be converted to look like this:

Or this:

A Barnstar!
The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar

I award this random acts of kindness Barnstar to Go for It! for being very helpful to a newcomer wikipedian, without being asked to.Filmcom 19:41, 23 February 2006 (UTC)]]
A Barnstar!
is awarded to Go for it! for your tireless and diligent work on the reference desk templates! -- Natalya 19:37, 25 March 2006 (UTC)]]
You're welcome, you absoutely deserve it! -- Natalya 17:58, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
Smashing job on Tip of the day!

You've done a great job getting the Tip of the Day off the ground. As a result, I think you deserve this! smurrayinchester(User), (Talk) 17:52, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar

For everyone who worked so hard on the Main Page redesign, we all deserve a barnstar! HereToHelp 01:05, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Seconded :-) +sj + 10:00, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Yep, that was a tedious project. Good job. --Go for it! 03:20, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
Original Barnstar

For going above and beyond the call of duty at Esperanza/Admin coaching, I award you this Original Barnstar. Good work! --Fang Aili talk 18:34, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar

Go for it! earned this barnstar for tireless contributions to the Community Portal and Tip of the Day. (^'-')^ Covington 05:19, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Congrats. Don't forget to wind it up every other day. (^'-')^ Covington 05:20, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
Your kindess was not random, because you were kind enough to listen to my requests to fix my userpage. Your major kindness will not be ignored, as this BarnStar is my token of appreciation! SoleteRayosÑajo.gif Kyo catmeow! 01:59, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


Or this:

barnstars... thank you wikipedia!
Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.pngWorking Man's Barnstar.pngBarnstar of Diligence.pngTireless Contributor Barnstar.gifOriginal Barnstar.pngTireless Contributor Barnstar.gifRandom Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png

(make the link lead to your awards subpage)

Or even this:

Raokbarn rib.png Raokbarn rib.png WMBarnstar ribbon.png Dilbarn rib.png
Tireless Contributor ribbon.png Barnstar rib.png Tireless Contributor ribbon.png Raokbarn rib.png

Or even even this:

Canada Gold Ribbon.pngUserpage Ribbon.pngOriginal Ribbon.png
Photographers Ribbon.pngMinor Ribbon.pngSpecial Ribbon2.png
Editors Ribbon.pngCopyClean Ribbon.pngSwitzerland Ribbon.png
Bright Idea Ribbon.pngCivility Ribbon.pngFauna Ribbon.png

(See Wikipedia:Ribbons)

And there are other ways out there. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.