FamilySearch Wiki:Welcoming committee

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Welcoming Committee | Welcome Page | Members | Finding Newbies
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Welcoming committee members welcome new users 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 FamilySearch Research Wiki.

How you can help

Our main activity is to welcome new users who are participating in the wiki by authoring new content or editing existing content. To do that we post a welcome message on their Talk pages. It is best to post a personalized greeting written by you, but to save time you can use a welcome template.

Step 1: Find a new user

Click here for instructions on where to find new contributors to the Wiki.

Step 2: Check the user's contributions

It's important to know what the individuals are contributing so you can personalize the message (see Step 4) and the information can be used to encourage future contributions.
  1. Click on the new contributor's username
  2. While on the user page, underneath the Toolbox menu on the right, click on User Contributions
  3. Look at the following:
    • The dates of the edits the user made so you know how long they have been contributing to the Wiki
    • The pages they have been editing so you know where their interests are
    • Click on the "diff" link so you can see what the individual has edited
    • List edits on the Supporting Active Users (Column "Q")

Step 3: Add the Welcome message

Welcome templates

The standard template is {{subst:Welcome}}. To use it, type this on a new user's talk page in Wikitext:
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.  A second edit will ensure they will receive the "You have new messages" automatic alert.  The second edit can be as simple as adding a couple of spaces at the end of the text.
A welcome message that can be customised to recognize specific contributions is also available by using {{subst:W-contributor}}. To use it, type this on a contributor's talk page in Wikitext (adding after the equals sign wikitext to link to the article and what you learned from the new contribution:
An alternative template with more options is {{subst:W-basic}}. To use it, type this on a new user's talk page in Wikitext:
== Welcome! == <br> {{subst:W-basic}} 
Another alternative is the {{subst:W-question}} template for when a new wiki user asks a question on a talk page rather than contributes information:

Welcoming etiquette

The edit summary of the welcome edit should simply say "Welcome!" The edit should not be a minor edit.
Before you welcome users, it is recommended that you check their previous contributions. Some new users use their accounts solely to vandalize or break rules in other ways. If the user has vandalized a page, you should add a warning to their talk page. Please don't add a template that simply thanks a vandal for their contributions.
In addition to this, if you notice any unintentional mistakes in the contributions of new users, you may wish to bring it to their attention in the welcome message.

Step 4: Personalize your message

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 creating a page.
  • 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 FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject, and select the subject area from the directory. It's often a good idea to just use a more general WikiProject, before you recommend a more specific WikiProject, check out their talk page to see how active they are. Directing a new user to a stale project will only end up frustrating them.

Step 5: Follow up

If the new user responds to the welcome message on your talk page, follow up with more help. Get to know what their goals are in coming in to work in the Wiki, and give them any guidance that might be needed.
Most welcome templates instruct users to place a {{helpme}} request on their talk page if they need assistance, so it may be beneficial to check Category:Contributors looking for help frequently.

Step 6: Update the Supporting Active Users Spreadsheet

Open the [Supporting Active Users Spreadsheet][1] in Googledocs.
Locate the appropriate alphabetical location for the new user's information
Insert a new line for the new user's information
Copy and past the User Name from the User's Contributions page
If the New User was welcomed, put "yes" and the date in the "Welcomed?" field of the spreadsheet, also include the date the user was Welcomed.
If the New User was not welcomed, put "no" in the "Welcomed?" field of the spreadsheet and the reason in the "Notes" field.
Open the User's page, copy the url of the User's page into the appropriate field.
Open the User's Talk page, copy the url of the User's Talk page and paste it into the appropriate field on the spreadsheet.
Copy and paste the url of the User's Contributions page into the appropriate field
Open the User's User page, copy the url of the User's User page and paste it intot he appropriate field on the spreadsheet.
If there are any special notes note that in the notes field.
If New User Lessons are included on the User Talk page, note the dates on which the lessons were posted.
List the areas and/or types of pages the User contributed to in the Interests/Pages created or edited column.

Help improve newcomer resources

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

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 FamilySearch Wiki. 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

Here are some ways to find new users:

  • Check the Newbies' contributions page and help newbies contribute if they are having trouble
  • You will no doubt come across new users as you work on FamilySearch Wiki. 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.