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Expressing thanks: You know you should...
Created in April 2008 by Struthious Bandersnatch and with major contributions from OlEnglish, JoeHebda, and Geekdiva, Wikipedia:Expressing thanks continues to remind us how each other's work is thankless only if we let it be.

Expressing thanks for another user's helpful, generous, or positive actions is an important activity for cultivating community virtues such as civility and WikiPeace. Sending thanks communicates one's attitude towards other users. This page lists common methods for communicating thanks to other users. In its entirety it does not represent a policy or even a guideline; the encouragement of positive behavior is a topic of guidelines and policies such as etiquette, civility, WikiLove, and WikiPeace.

Direct thanks

A message of thanks is most often directly placed on the other user's talk page. In general, when any change is made to a user's talk page, that user will receive a message notifying him or her of the change the next time he or she views any Wikipedia page.

  • Custom written message: the best method of thanks is often a short written note mentioning the circumstance and gesture you are expressing thanks for.
  • Notifications/Thanks offers a way to give positive feedback on Wikipedia. This feature (added June 2013) lets editors send a 'Thank you' notification to users who make useful edits.
  • {{Smile}} and other templates can be used and provide graphics, standardized text, and a pleasant layout for your message. Some templates permit the customization of the message text and you could also copy the source of the template if you wish to customize it.
  • WP:Awards are a special templates that usually convey a message of thanks or a recognition of a user's virtue. Most awards such as barnstars are granted on individual initiative—any user can give barnstars, not just administrators or bureaucrats—so be bold. A small number of awards are the result of a community process. Many different ones are listed here.

More public gestures

  • To make an announcement of thanks in response to an especially worthy action, you might place a temporary or permanent notice on your own user page.
  • A nice cup of tea and a sit down is both an essay and sort of a forum for appreciating members of the community.
  • Account authority promotion: If the user deserving of thanks initiates a request for adminship or a request for bureaucratship or another community process requesting community input on the user's conduct it would be an appropriate gesture to render your (honest) opinion of the user in that forum.
  • WikiGnome Kudos

Guidelines for expressing thanks

  • If a user's talk page is receiving a large number of thank-you messages, it may be considerate to wait until a "quieter time" to add your own message.
  • If you are expressing thanks in a tense situation, to someone with whom you are having a dispute, or to someone who has otherwise expressed suspicion of you, use caution. While a message of thanks might express good faith or an attitude of compromise, unless it is viewed by the receiving party as entirely sincere, it may arouse further suspicion or be viewed as patronizing. A different demonstration of good faith may be more appropriate.

See also

Editorial comment: Most readers probably enjoy The Signpost and would miss it if it were to disappear. Though hand-wringing abounds, we might all be surprised if we would thank those who have contributed to The Signpost – especially those who contribute on a regular basis. It just might keep it alive. Barbara