User:Robertinventor/Work arounds for lengthy talk page comments

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These are guidelines that I have worked on for myself, as I tend to do longer posts than most here. If about to do a lengthy post, I can stop before I post it, and then apply one of these points to shorten it.

  1. Only answer one point if the other editor raises multiple points to answer. And if they insist on me answering everything just politely suggest we cover other topics in another thread or section
  2. Just do part of my answer. Then they have to ask me to keep going to hear the rest if they are interested to hear more (probably only work some situations).
  3. If my answer needs a lot of background information such as quotes, citations, links etc etc - e.g. a talk page post announcing a topic or issue or some such - or just an idea that needs details to present it fully - in future I'll put the details into a separate page in my user space, so the post itself can be short and link to the details for those who need more.
  4. Collapse all except the start of my answer, similarly to discussions on facebook and Quora. This works pretty well on those platforms, I often write extremely long comments running to many pages, and nobody minds at all. They only need to read it if intrigued enough to click "More" after they see the first bit of it. This doesn't work so well here on Wikipedia though. Perhaps because the visual interface is a bit more intrusive - a green band right across the page. Also perhaps because it is not collapsed in the wiki code if someone replies to me. So to use with restraint, but can help at times.
  5. If after trying all this, I still can't do a short post, just don't post at all, forget it. Because the irritation for the reader of a long post may outweigh the value of saying it at all. Instead just take a break, post to facebook or quora instead where nobody minds long posts, relax and regroup and revisit the discussion on a later date - then maybe I'll see a way to do a shorter post.

Also in some areas of wikipedia, long posts are the norm and acceptable - if I see other users submitting 12 K posts it probably means it is okay for me to do longer posts there too (unless someone objects to the length of my posts there).

  • I need also to be more aware of this - to notice typical lengths of other posters in the topic area or on the page. And if they are all short - then it is possible that a long post might not be welcome and might be seen as aggravating.
  • To pay especial attention if it is a controversial topic or emotions are running high - I.e. to pay attention to the emotional tone of the debate, and how confrontational it is (if it is) - if emotions are running high or the debate has becoe confrontational, then longer posts are more likely to be seen as aggravating.