Wikipedia:Welcoming committee

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Smile.svgWelcoming Committee | Welcome Page | Greetings | Templates | Template Gallery | Finding NewbiesSmile.svg

Welcoming committee members welcome new users who have already made constructive edits and help them get started in various ways. There are no requirements for joining us except a good attitude and a willingness to help newcomers get started on Wikipedia.

How you can help[edit]

Welcome new users[edit]

Our main activity is to welcome new users who have already made constructive edits. To do that we post a welcome message on their talk pages (if they do not have a talk page yet, create one for them!). It is best to post a personalized greeting written by you, but to save time you can use a welcome template. Always check their edits first (see below).

Welcome templates[edit]

You can go to Wikipedia:Welcoming committee/Welcome templates for a full list of welcome templates, or to Wikipedia:Welcoming committee/Welcome templates/Table for a visual gallery of welcome messages.

There is no standard template, but the two most commonly used are {{subst:Welcome}} and {{subst:W-graphical}}. To use them, type one of these on a new user's talk page:

{{subst:Welcome}} ~~~~


{{subst:W-graphical}} ~~~~

This will make a section titled "Welcome!" and place the welcome message under it. Be sure to place greetings on each user's talk page, not their user page. This will ensure they will receive the "You have new messages" automatic alert. Also please remember that all welcome templates must be substituted, not transcluded.

Welcoming via Twinkle[edit]

Twinkle also has a welcoming option.
To use Twinkle, go to the preferences and then the gadgets area. Then, look down for "Twinkle", and click the checkbox next to it. Save the settings, and you have a TW item.
To welcome with Twinkle, click the TW, then click 'wel' and click the template you want to use.

Welcoming etiquette[edit]

Your edit summary should simply say "Welcome!", with the edit not marked as minor.

Is the user a bot?

Click the link to see what this means. Bot accounts (a common nickname for software robot) is an automated or semi-automated tool that carries out repetitive and mundane tasks to maintain the 48,519,380 pages of the English Wikipedia. Bots are able to make edits very rapidly and can disrupt Wikipedia if they are incorrectly designed or operated. For these reasons, a bot policy has been developed. It is unnecessary to thank a bot for their edits or to welcome them to Wikipedia.

Is the user a vandal?

Before you welcome users, it is recommended that you check their recent contributions. Some new users use their accounts solely to vandalize or break the rules in other ways. If the user has vandalized a page, you should add a warning template, such as {{subst:uw-vandal1}}, to their talk page. Please do not thank vandals for their contributions.

Is the user a spammer?

Click the link to see what this means. Some new users use their accounts solely to promote themselves, their company, or their music. Please do not thank spammers for their contributions. You may need some degree of experience to recognise such work.

Is the user a WP:SPA?

Click the link to see what this means. SPA refers to Single Purpose Account. Many of them are 'drive-by' editors who have no intention of returning to Wikipedia to edit it again. You may need some degree of experience to recognise such work.

Unintentional mistakes

If you notice unintentional mistakes in the new user's contributions, you may wish to bring it to their attention in your welcome message.

Personalize your message[edit]

The best way to show someone that they are really welcome is by being open to their needs. Look at their contributions, and personalize your message accordingly. Examples:

  • If the new user created a new page, but had trouble with that, point them to the new Article Wizard.
  • If the new user seems to be interested in a particular topic, point them to the appropriate WikiProject. (To find a good fit, go to Wikipedia:WikiProject, and select the subject area from the directory. It's often a good idea to just use a more general WikiProject, such as Wikipedia:India. Before you recommend a more specific WikiProject, such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Gujarat, check out their talk page to see how active they are—Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Gujarat, e.g., has as of Sept 2009 not had a message by a project member for almost two years. Directing a new user to a stale project will only end up frustrating them.)

Welcome users local to you[edit]

A great way to attract new editors to Wikipedia is by welcoming users that are in the same area as you. If a new user sees that there are Wikipedians in their own community, they are more likely to interact as well, especially if it's a small town. This of course only applies if you self-identify on your userpage where you are from, but you can also personalize your welcome message by telling the user where you are from on their talk page.

How can I know where a new account is located geographically you ask? Well, unless they self-identify themselves on their own userpage, you can't. But you can watchlist the city and/or neighbourhood you live in, and if you spot a new user making substantial edits to that article, it's usually very likely the user is from that same area. Imagine how pleasantly surprised they may be to see a welcome message from a 'Wikipedia representative' from their own community!

Monitor the page linked in the Welcome notification[edit]

The Welcome notification is sent to new editors at the time they register an account. Currently it includes a link to the Help:Getting started page. Around 1,000 new editors every day will be looking at that page. Please make sure that the page is as helpful as it can be to new users, and also respond appropriately to any entries that new editors may place on its talk page.

Last but not least[edit]

Don't overdo it - use the welcoming system with discretion. Contributing new content, repairing obvious grammatical errors, or reverting blatant vandalism are more important than anything else you can do here.

Follow up[edit]

If the new user responds to the welcome message on your talk page, follow up with more help. You may wish to suggest adoption.

Most welcome templates instruct users to place a {{Help me}} request on their talk page if they need assistance, so it may be beneficial to check Category:Wikipedians looking for help frequently.

Help improve newcomer resources[edit]

In addition to greeting new users, we also design and help maintain pages specifically to assist newcomers in various ways. The pages we help operate and/or maintain are:

Discuss plans[edit]

As an active team, we discuss and implement new projects from time to time. We also discuss new users in general and try to keep in touch with the experience a typical new user is likely to be subjected to upon discovering and participating in Wikipedia. Sometimes the treatment they receive from veterans can be confusing or even traumatic, so we try to come up with ways to prevent this sort of thing. To participate, please see the talk page.

Where to find new users[edit]

Here are some ways to find new users:

  • Check Wikipedia's account creation log – this is especially useful with a quick link to their talk page, as well as an "at-a-glance" sign to tell if they've probably been welcomed already: their talk page isn't red linked!
  • Check the Newbies' contributions page and help newbies contribute if they are having trouble.
  • New users can frequently be found seeking help at the Wikipedia:Teahouse and Wikipedia:Help desk.
  • You will no doubt come across new users as you work on Wikipedia. You may spot them in the edit histories of pages or on talk pages. If a user's signature or username is in red, that indicates that he or she doesn't have a user page set up yet. That means they are very likely (but not always) a new user. Check their talk page to see if they've already been greeted (though there's no harm in greeting a new user again; you can always say "hi", and offer your assistance).
  • Check the recent changes. If there is a new user, it will say as an edit summary: (New user account). These users will also be on the account creation log. You can then click on the red linked talk page and then greet them. This is also helpful if you are looking for newbies, vandalism, etc.
  • Snuggle displays users who have registered within the past month. The list can be sorted in date order. It provides an overview of messages on their talk page, and quick access to their talk page and list of contributions.

Add yourself to our member list[edit]

To become a member of the welcoming committee, please see Wikipedia:Welcoming committee/members.

Welcoming Committee Userbox[edit]

Face-smileThis user is a member of the Welcoming Committee of Wikipedia!

{{WP:Welcoming committee/Userbox}}

  • Or you can get one that links to the Welcoming Committee homepage!
Face-smileThis user is a member of the Welcoming Committee of Wikipedia!

{{WP:Welcoming committee/Userbox (linked)}}

  • And you can also use our top icon that links to the Project page and displays the icon in the top-right of your user page!

Face-smile.svg{{WP:Welcoming committee/Topicon}}

See also[edit]