Last modified: 2014-09-23 23:31:12 UTC
I have a suggestion which would be a pretty big overhaul of the user talk pages system used by Wikipedia. I have noticed that users always struggle with this when commenting and replying in user talk pages. When someone leaves a comment, do you reply on ''their'' talk page or on your own? If you do it on your own, will they see the reply? Have they set your talk page for watching? The result of this is almost always having half a conversation on one page and the other half on another page. Sometimes they even duplicate messages on both talk pages.
My suggestion is to have each comment section in a type of "template" in some Wikipedia Comments database, while only adding tags to all user talk pages of those who have participated (left a comment) in the section. Whenever someone edits the comment, they can do it on their own talk page, and even when it seems thay are editing their talk page, they are actually editing the template, so the changes will appear in all pages who have the tag. This way the full conversation will be visible in all user talk pages, and will never be duplicated. Every comment would have an ID (e.g. 00215468) and its template page has everything including the title, all messages and a list of all users who have commented on the section. When a user chooses to add a section to any user talk page nothing will be apparently different since the interface would remain the same, but they will be creating or editing a "template" without openly realizing it.
An example tag that would be included in user talk pages could be something like this:
Everytime the comment is edited, all users listed for the comment will receive the "new message" notice.
This would not apply for article discussion pages since it is better to keep those attached to their articles like they are now.
Some users have implemented it manually (e.g. [[User_talk:Alphax/Threads]]) but I would like to see if it is possible for Wikipedia officials to implement this natively into Wikipedia. Thanks!
RayLast, thanks for this suggestion. I thought you'd want to know about https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Flow which the Wikimedia Foundation is now working on to address some of your concerns!