HRWiki talk:Guestbooks

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#Probably not as strong a point, but I like knowing that people have at least visited my page. I don't have a lot to offer on my page and I would actually like some comments. Restricting them to the talk page is probably best. [[User:NFITC1|NFITC1]] 03:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#Probably not as strong a point, but I like knowing that people have at least visited my page. I don't have a lot to offer on my page and I would actually like some comments. Restricting them to the talk page is probably best. [[User:NFITC1|NFITC1]] 03:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#:I think that would be a good point ''if'' signing a guestbook meant that someone had actually looked at the page. When it's just a game, however, to see how many you can find and sign, it loses all meaning. Also, notice the little counter down at the bottom (where it says "This page has been accessed ''n'' times"). You can track that number to see how many people are visiting your page. — [[User:It's dot com|It's dot com]] 04:03, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#:I think that would be a good point ''if'' signing a guestbook meant that someone had actually looked at the page. When it's just a game, however, to see how many you can find and sign, it loses all meaning. Also, notice the little counter down at the bottom (where it says "This page has been accessed ''n'' times"). You can track that number to see how many people are visiting your page. — [[User:It's dot com|It's dot com]] 04:03, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#::I can't speak for everyone else, but I at least read a page before signing a guest book. I thought that was the whole idea of one: letting the user know '''who it was''' that read the page rather than how many people have. Also, Isn't there a way for the signing of specific pages to NOT be put in the recent changes menu? I don't know much about the structure of the wiki so I wouldn't know. If there was then that would end half of the opposing argument against them. On a page like User:{whatever}/guests or something. [[User:NFITC1|NFITC1]] 20:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#::I can't speak for everyone else, but I at least read a page before signing a guest book. I thought that was the whole idea of one: letting the user know '''who it was''' that read the page rather than how many people have. [[User:NFITC1|NFITC1]] 20:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#Is there anything wrong with guestbooks?--{{User:Benol/sig}} 15:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#Is there anything wrong with guestbooks?--{{User:Benol/sig}} 15:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#:Benol, you should read the guestbook discussion [[#Original discussion|below]]. {{User:The Chort/sig}} 15:22, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
#:Benol, you should read the guestbook discussion [[#Original discussion|below]]. {{User:The Chort/sig}} 15:22, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Revision as of 20:03, 22 January 2006



Recently, some users have discussed the current guestbook situation, and we are formally proposing to get rid of guestbooks. Please note that this decision is still being decided, and is not policy yet. If you wish to give us your opinion on this, then please tell us here.

Note: This discussion has grown quite lengthy, but several people have made important points on both sides of the issue, so please be sure to read all the way to the very end of this thread. You can also use the history page to help keep track of the progress of the discussion.
Please be aware that there are several questions to be answered, so don't forget to give an opinon in each of the sections.

End the practice of guestbooks


  1. See reasons at the original discussion. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 00:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC).
  2. If it's for the good of the Wiki, guestbooks should go. Has Matt? (talk) 00:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. See Rogue Leader's comment. --videlectrix.pngENUSY discussionitem_icon.gif user.gifmail_icon.gif 00:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. I'll go along with this - don't have a strong opinion on guestbooks, personally. — Image:kskunk_fstandby.gif KieferSkunk (talk) — 00:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. See Venusy's comment. --DorianGray 00:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. If it's for the greater good of the wiki, I gotta vote to get rid of 'em. Thunderbird 01:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  8. See reasons at the original discussion --minibaseball.png Bkmlb(talk to me·stuff I did) 02:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  9. I want people to read my user page, not just to sign it without knowing what else is there. DBK! 03:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  10. Don't really see the point of them. There's nothing a gues book can do that a User talk page can't. -AtionSong 04:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  11. FireBird|Talk 04:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  12. See my comment below. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 06:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  13. See comment below. – The Chort 13:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  14. They were fun at first, but now it's just taking up space. I would appriciate it if we could let them go. — Lapper (talk) 14:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  15. Ditto Ation. -?????????? (Ookelaylay)
  16. Homsad I agree with the guys at the original discussion. Delete them!
  17. small_logo.pngUsername-talk 17:01, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  18. teeeffoh! 17:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC) Yeah, I'm gonna have to go with Ation here.
  19. Marth 99 19:16, 22 January 2006 (UTC) Originally, I was gonna try to save them, but after your arguments, I've decided that the guestbook isn't the best way to go.
  20. 19:44, 22 January 2006 (UTC) I don't want to shuffle through countless guestbook edits to find vandalism. If you want to compliment somebody, use their talkpage.
    Hey there, Do you have a user account? If so, you should use it when posting on this page. Thanks. Anonymous votes will not figure much (if at all) into the final tally. — It's dot com 19:46, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


  1. I want the sweet sweet guestbooks. They let other users know they are there. --TheThin 13:48, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Amost all of the people I know on the Wiki are from my or someone else's guestbook. Guestbooks make relationships! Bluebry 03:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Guestbooks make relationships, granted, but that's not the only way to make relationships. This H*R knowledge-base wiki is not designed to be a place to hang out and socialize. That's what the forums and IRC channel are for. The proper way to make relationships on this wiki is to make good edits; eventually people will notice you. One can supplement relationship-building through other venues while editing the wiki the way it was intended. —BazookaJoe 03:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Probably not as strong a point, but I like knowing that people have at least visited my page. I don't have a lot to offer on my page and I would actually like some comments. Restricting them to the talk page is probably best. NFITC1 03:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I think that would be a good point if signing a guestbook meant that someone had actually looked at the page. When it's just a game, however, to see how many you can find and sign, it loses all meaning. Also, notice the little counter down at the bottom (where it says "This page has been accessed n times"). You can track that number to see how many people are visiting your page. — It's dot com 04:03, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I can't speak for everyone else, but I at least read a page before signing a guest book. I thought that was the whole idea of one: letting the user know who it was that read the page rather than how many people have. NFITC1 20:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Is there anything wrong with guestbooks?-- Benol, aka Coach B 15:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Benol, you should read the guestbook discussion below. – The Chort 15:22, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. The guestbooks aren't killing anyone, they're just fun. Why should we all act like a bunch of proper stuck ups on a Homestar Runner fan site? Now, if this were turning into a trend on Wikipedia, that'd be one thing, but this is a wiki on a silly, fun cartoon, and guestbooks are one of my fondest memories of this web site. What's next, will saying things like "ARROW'D!" be banned? Of course, I'm sure everyone is going to hate on me now and diss me like a bunch of geeks and nerds, just like what they did when somebody proposed that they could be saying "Strong Bad paints Marzipan" in Strong Bad is a Bad Guy. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Just for info: I was the one who proposed that. I don't exactly recall being catcalled about it. --DorianGray
    Yeah, I noticed it was you right after I posted that. Well, I remembered everyone dissing you for that. There have been other times that users have been treated like crap for having a different opinion, though, and that wasn't a very good example, I guess. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    I agree, this may seem a bit extreme to some, but this part of the HRWiki family of websites is primarily for the facts. A more relaxed, "anything goes" atmosphere exists at the Fanstuff Wiki. Though this site isn't Wikipedia, we still strive to emulate their formal style, and attempt to limit most of our work here to building the Knowledge Base. Thunderbird 05:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, that's a good point. We should probably be on the look out for more things in Homestar Runner to pick at until they're not even funny anymore. For a more formal atmosphere, how about we all strangle each other as we argue over fhqwhgads? Is she a wiffle ball? Are Urban Dictionary's theories true? And only we visiting the Fanstuff Wiki should watch Homestar for fun. Instead, let's try to find Homestar as boring as possible, so that all we can do is analyze crap.
    So, who's with me? Are we going to save the guestbooks, or are we going to suck all the life out of the wiki and make pages like Strong Bad Saying, "I Mean I (Did Something)" until nobody visits besides us? All right, perhaps I went a bit far. Anybody who's offended, no hard feelings. I just want sweet guestbook freedom. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Uh, ok. Did you even bother to read the reasons why we wish to get rid of guestbooks? We are just trying to make life easier for patrollers. Besides, signing a guestbook does not mean that you are even remotely interested in their page. It just shows that you have a fast mouse and tilde finger. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 06:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Look, I hate to have the whole site against me, especially since I probably won't have as much luck winning you guys back as Strong Bad does, but no, I didn't read the excuse list. Why, because I know it won't affect my opinion on guestbooks. In my experience, I've visited way more talk pages thanks to guestbooks, and I actually check out what's there, so that I can get to know a little more about these peoples before I post. But if you'd like to liberate the site from those ridiculous fan activities, go ahead. I'll keep doing what I'm doing even if it means getting banned! I feel a song, erm, rap coming on...
    (Do not tell me what I can and cannot do when I rock) WHEN I ROCK, WHEN I ROCK...
    DO, DO, DO, DO NOT! Tell me what I can and cannot do when I rock! Original material my crew nonstop! We're keeping it fly and we'll turn it out, y'all feeling some of that? No doubt! Yes, that's right, I'm keeping my guestbook up no matter what! And maybe some people will respect me for my independence, but I seriously doubt that. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    1) John Rue is a good man. 2) Breathe. Nothing's happening one way or the other for at least ten days. While persuasive oratory is called for, panic isn't; it's not like guestbooks are dead unless everyone's convinced in the next couple of hours. 3) You're not alone, per se; although I'm far from strongly supporting guestbooks, I don't strongly oppose them. 4) Since time isn't of the essence, do take the time to read the rest of this conversation (and also where it started). It helps to know what's already been said. 5) Although I'm sure the shock got your fight-or-flight reflexes going, so far no one is hating on anyone; the conversation so far has been civilized and non-angry. I really hope it stays that way through its course; please help it do so. 6) In closing, I'd just like to make sure it doesn't go unnoticed that a recent edit included the words "That's a big but." —AbdiViklas 07:18, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Mr. Katana (or should I call you Mr. X?), Like a wise user once said to me when I was just new to the wiki and didn't have a username: "sarcasm doesn't exactly work wonders while attempting to argue a point". And now for the actual reply. We all want to have friends and meet new ones. If this fact was false we wouldn't have such sites as MySpace. Yes, the wiki is a way to make friends, contrary to what some people were saying here, and no, the Fanstuff is not the only place to goof around. But (and that's a big but) making friends through random signatures left on your userpage is not the way to do it. Some userpages told the signers to leave a comment next to their sig. While some posted things like "Thenks for helping me" or "We had fun that one time", alot of them left comments like "Yay! I'm number 27!" or "What? Another guestbook?!" showing that they don't really care about you, your userpage or how good your edits are. It just became a wall intended to be place for art pieces but ended up for ugly graffiti. If you want to make friends, have you thought of going to the chatroom? Having a project, a big one? Think about the wiki as school. An open one where you can make everything. Do you make friends by going to random people with a pen and writing something on their back? Or do you make friends by making something beautiful for all to see? Elcool (talk)(contribs) 06:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    First off, check what I posted before I was editing conflict'd. And second, too much ugly graffiti? I love too much ugly graffiti! No, seriously, where I come from graffiti is the finest art form around, but that's not really the point. This wiki isn't a school, unless it's the Crazy Go Nuts University, and I couldn't give a crap less whether people care about me or not, as you can plainly see. That's how I met basically everyone here, and that's how I met all my friends here who probably all hate me now. Anyway, even if it is a big waste of time, it's just freaking user pages, not actual articles, and from what I know, these guestbooks haven't caused any tragedy. So there, ban me for my guestbook. It's a Free Country, USA and I will not be silenced! Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    1) Please see my most recent edit above. 2) Yeah, I've made the school analogy before, but I was just thinking "everything that's good or has the potential to be good about school, hopefully without the really crappy side effects." I.e. ideally it would be a place for creativity, spontaneity, and individual expression, plus communal, supportive collaboration, but without getting stuffed into lockers or simply called a dumb***. Hopefully it would not be a militaristic institution for the mass-producing of servile factory fodder either. 3) I'd be really surprised if anybody on the wiki hates you right now, including those with the opposite opinion on this argument. Guestbooks do make friendships (though meaningful talk page edits do so even better), and if the friends mean more to you than the guestbook, then even if guestbooks go the way of MXPX and the buffalo, you'll have what mattered in the first place. —AbdiViklas 07:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, we're on the same page. Or, more accurately, we're on two different pages which are right next to each other, but that counts too. One thing though, I don't think MXPX will be taking the buffalo route any time soon - I just heard them on Burnout Revenge and all. So, to close it up, I'll halfta go check that out, and hopefully none of my friends will take my flames personally. You might want to check out the Fight for the Guestbooks on my talk page, anyway. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Not long ago, before guestbooks were popular, we still managed to communicate, form friendships, plan projects, and so on... through the use of talk threads and IRC chat. No one is going to be asking you to stop communicating. No one is going to prevent you from reading user pages and posting meaningful comments on the talk pages. — It's dot com 16:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. I think having a guestbook is a good idea; i would however support the concept of moving them to a subpage. DJTehCheat M-E-H! 16:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. I don't want to get rid of my guestbook. They let people know they've arrived. --The 386 My talk 17:07, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well, all it really lets you know is that they arrived at your guestbook. There's no real reason to expect—or even believe—that the person was on your page any longer than the time it took to type #~~~~. — It's dot com 17:13, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  8. I want 'em, but keep one only and keep 'em friendly, not competitive. LePorello / T / C 19:19, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


  • The primary objections seem to be 1) that they make userpage vandalism harder to spot, and 2) they make a lot of "empty" edits to check out in general. Stux suggested restricting them to User Talk pages; although it wouldn't solve the second issue it would solve the first. Although I don't like them, I'm not so sure they need to go entirely; they do have some benefit in community-building, plus banning them even from talk pages seems a little draconian. (If the defense were that they're not wiki-related talk, many of us would be guilty.) Certainly only one per user per lifetime should be allowed, but I'm not ready to vote to end them entirely and everywhere. —AbdiViklas 01:24, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I think the reason that people are ready to get rid of them entirely is because they are not being used as real guestbooks. A signature on one does not mean that the user page was appreciated or even read. Some users actively campaign (via talk page spam) to try and get more signatures, which just drives up frivolous edits more. This is why I believe they should be eliminated, not just moved. — It's dot com 01:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I wish there was some way to keep certain guestbooks, such as the ones that were around before they were a fad, or the ones used actually as guestbooks, not as a challenge to see how many signatures they can get by a certain date... But there's not really a way to fairly decide that, is there? Thunderbird 01:02, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, it's kind of like when one noisy student ruins the field trip for the whole class. — It's dot com 01:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I hear you, Thunderbird. But yes, that would be quite difficult to justify reasonably: "Your guestbook is appropriately motivated; you can keep it! But your guestbook is a mercenary guestbook; you can't!" I personally don't find the argument of function compelling (not "proper" guestbooks); frivolous edit and talk page spamming are concerns, though. —AbdiViklas 01:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Since I seem to be saying a lot in defense of guestbooks, I just want to play the other side for a sec.: There's no reason people can't simply link to blogs or personal websites which have guestbooks of their own. —AbdiViklas 01:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Just curious, but why are you saying so much in the defense of guestbooks? You don't have one. Almost none of the people with whom you collaborate most often have one. Have you ever formed a meaningful friendship through one? I myself have signed a few guestbooks (back when that's what they were), but nothing substantial came of it. Again, I'm just curious. :) — It's dot com 16:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If this thing didn't evolve to be a fad I would even fight for the right to keep them. But now they just litter the recent changes page. This days are the first time I had to use the MainSpace filter to a actually see the edits Elcool (talk)(contribs) 06:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Finally! I am so tired of this stupid fad! You sign one guestbook, another million pop up. They serve no purpose to the wiki and, frankly, they're now really unoriginal. Are we just owning and signing guestbooks because everyone else is? I mean, when it comes to taste, everyone just follows each other like sheep. Why else are the music charts here in England full of crap? – The Chort 13:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • just because you consider it a fad, it's a USER PAGE. as in, the USER gets to decide what to do with it. and if they want a guestbook, it's not up for the wiki to decide. this sounds like a meaningless rule designed to give more control to a humble majority. "I don't like jumproping! nobody else can jumprope from now on!"DJTehCheat M-E-H! 16:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Actually, user page control is not absolute. We do give quite a bit of leeway as to what you can put on a user page, but there are certain restrictions. If the community decides (and not by just a simple majority) that it's best if we eliminate guestbooks, then we will. But we're not taking this decision lightly—It has simply reached a boiling point. — It's dot com 16:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Is there a way to keep any user X's guestbook at "User:X/guestbook" and modify code somewhere to make it so that no changes made to to pages of the form "User:X/guestbook" would appear in the Recent changes log? (I understand this opens the door for unchecked vandalism.) Trey56 17:46, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well, it would be possible from a technical standpoint, but I'm not very comfortable with random users' edits not showing up in the recent changes. Besides, the recent changes flood is just an annoying symptom of the underlying cause (that guestbooks aren't being used as intended). — It's dot com 18:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • These three consecutive edits illustrate the supporters' positions precisely: If you were a speed reader, you might could get through all three of those pages in less than a minute each, but would you have enjoyed the experience at all? I think not. Those who would read a user page are no longer signing guestbooks, and those who now sign guestbooks are just clogging up the recent changes. — It's dot com 19:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

If the consensus is to end the practice, then what?

Delete them altogether

  1. It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 00:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. DorianGray 00:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. FireBird|Talk 04:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I'm having a hard time understanding this position. All the arguments against guestbooks, it seems to me, center around what happens when people edit them (clogs recent changes, etc.). Aside from the possibility that having them around might incite new ones (which the "closed" tag idea below ought to curtail), what exactly are they hurting? Even if deletion is necessary, is there a reason to go in and delete them by force with a "the notice has been up" defense rather than starting by asking the user to do so? It seems so... Vogon. —AbdiViklas 08:19, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Keep in mind that almost nothing is actually ever deleted from the wiki. If people want to visit their old guestbook, it will still be in the history. You ask what they're hurting, and several people have said that they clog the recent changes. While I agree with this, it isn't the basis of my opposition to them because I think it is a weak argument and is only a side-effect of the underlying problem: namely, at some point in the not-too-distant past, guestbooks reached a critical mass and exploded. When that happened, they lost all meaning and became a game. In other words, if guestbooks were currently being used as they were intended to be used, then I would fight tooth and nail to keep them and to heck with the annoyance of the patrollers. But they're not, and I have no reasonable expectation that simply moving them would change the current behavior even one iota. — It's dot com 16:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Homsad Delete them!
  6. small_logo.pngUsername-talk 17:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. Gafaddict Image:Gafaddict sigpic.gif (Talk | Contribs.) 19:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Move existing ones to subpages and lock them

  1. Has Matt? (talk) 00:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC) I think that if someone really really values their guestbook, they should have the option of moving it to a subpage and keeping it there for the sake of documenting history.
    Couldn't they copy it to their own computer? Also, they can still see it in their page history. — It's dot com 00:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I'm just saying they should have the option. By the way, I'm saving my guestbook to my computer.
    I think we should fight subpage creep as much as possible. If we disallow guestbooks, then those subpages would no longer serve the project. But if someone just wants to see one, all they would need to do is look at an old version of their page. — It's dot com 01:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    There are other reasons for wanting to keep one than sentimental value. Guestbooks—like user pages in general—are excusable exercises in vanity. The whole point of one is so people can see how many people like you, or at least have acknowledged you. Though this may not be a particularly noble motivation, it's hardly unreasonable. —AbdiViklas 01:42, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    But again, it's not like the comments would disappear from the histories. Why add to the already growing problem of subpages? Talk page discussions are just as good as (nay, better than) guestbook entries, because actual thought goes into leaving messages. — It's dot com 01:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Bluebry 03:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC) As said above - Most people I met were from guestbooks.
    *sigh* Once more, you would have a chance to copy the info to your computer, or look at it in your page history. (Broken record = me) — It's dot com 03:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I know, but I want to meet more people, not ones from January. Bluebry 18:42, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Have you tried looking around the wiki yourself? Like the recent changes page or talk pages? Elcool (talk)(contribs) 18:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. For someone who knows what it's like to have something that took a long time taken from him, I'm voting about sub-paging and locking. At least give them that. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 07:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Guestbooks were and always will be a major part of HRwiki history (not to mention all these arguements). I at least think that we should leave them on the Wiki. Taking them off would be like TBC disbanding Teen Girl Squad: sure, it used to be minor, but it became a big piece of the big enchilada. teeeffoh! 17:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    *sigh again* Is anybody reading the previous discussion? They won't disappear from the histories. Hardly anything ever does around here. As for being a major part of our history, I would tend to disagree with you there. They're a fad. — It's dot com 18:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I was reading the above arguements, thank you. But my point is that fads can make history books too. What about mullets? They were pretty big way back when. Now, I agree with the fact that they're not the biggest part of history, but maybe just have a little about them on the history page or something. Or keep some examples, like the ones that revolutionized guestbooks. Not trying to sound like a speech here, but, well, you know. teeeffoh! 18:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well, what goes on the history page is outside the scope of this thread (although whatever the outcome of this discussion is should definitely be noted there). Any links on that page can just as easily point to old versions of a page as anything else. By the way, by "revolutionized", do you mean "made a perfectly fine practice into a problem that then had to be dealt with"? — It's dot com 18:34, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Your point has seeped into my brain. But what if people took a screenshot of their guestbook in its final state, hosted it on a site, and provided a link to it on their userspace? Personally, I think that's a good idea for (a)anyone who wants to preserve their guestbook and (b)anyone who still wants the world to see it. That way, it's not really cluttering the wiki. teeeffoh! 18:40, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I suppose you could do that. Couldn't you also just put in a link to an old version of the page, kinda like this? — It's dot com 18:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I guess it would be the choice of the user, then. Pages like this would load faster than an image (especially if you had dial-up like me). teeeffoh! 18:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Heck, as long as you're hosting things externally and linking to them, you can keep your guestbook rolling (as I've mentioned somewhere else on this sprawling page). —AbdiViklas 19:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


  • Restrict them to talk pages; one per user; and require input beyond signatures. They could even be thematic; Has Matt's list of "Things I Wish Homsar Would Say" would be a good example (except in this scenario it would be on his talk page). The goal would be meaningful statements that would keep all the good aspects of guestbooks (recognition, friendship-building) without the qualities that started this discussion. —AbdiViklas 07:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    1. AbdiViklas 07:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      But who will decide what's meaningful and what's not? Some will argue that "YA!!! IM #143! =^^=" is quite meaningful. And if some kind of standard is reached, who will remove the bad stuff from the user's page? The user? Sysop? Having something you wrote removed can triger alot of flame wars. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 07:45, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Yeah, good questions. First: once we're talking about talk pages, I for one would be cool with pretty much anything. As I've hinted earlier, some might not find discussions of the absoluteness of absolute pitch the most meaningful talk page content. But I think the policy could be stated fairly clearly: don't just leave your name; try to say something substantive that will make the user happy or tell him or her something about you. The fact that your #143 only makes you happy, and isn't a particularly intrinsic personal quality. Secondly: Whoa now, yeah. If this conversation results in a change in policy, then I feel like it should be implemented by leaving the owner a note asking to do it him or herself. He or she can then either delete or move and convert it (though the vast majority would need to just start from scratch—which isn't so bad, really). Rather than moving to subpages and locking, my proposal would be to add a tag to existing guestbooks telling other users not to add to them, and then enforce it with warnings. It's not like we're dealing with vandalism on the Main Page here; once somebody accidentally signs a "closed" guestbook and is warned, they're not going to continue. If they do, they need to be banned anyway. But closed STUFFs, for instance, survive just fine without locking. —AbdiViklas 07:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      That's a decent idea, but it definitely achieves rigamarole status. I vote for keeping it the way it is, but like I say, good one anyway. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
      Oh-ho-ho-ho! (devilish laugh) Sorry about that, I just felt like this place needed a random Strong Bad quote. Okay, back on task. Why don't we just put something in the standards page that says something like, "Although guestbooks in the Wiki are discouraged, you are allowed to have one guestbook on a subpage or on your talk page." Just another idea I'm throwing out here. You'll probably find some problems with this idea one way or another, I just felt it needed to be mentioned. Has Matt? (talk) 14:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      I would not have a problem with comments restricted to talk pages, but why would an organized guestbook be necessary there? First of all, there's nothing that prevents someone from starting a thread: "Hey, I read X on your page and you rock!" I have done that myself several times. Second, as we have clearly seen, there seems to be something wrong with a structured list with the label "Guestbook" that causes certain people to go into a frenzy, which completely negates the whole reason to have people sign it (i.e. to indicate that the user page was read and appreciated). — It's dot com 16:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      How about this. If the guest book bannination is accepted. how about we give people with guest books 2-3 days to move to a sub page and have a sysop lock it. If they fail to do this, I think we should just delete the guest books that are left. And Has Matt?, I kinda think that that defeats the purpose of this vote. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 16:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Yeah, we're way past the point of simply discouraging them. Also, if we permitted them on subpages at all, then we'd might as well just move them to a subpage for them. — It's dot com 16:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

If the consensus is to end the practice and delete them altogether, when should that happen?

  • About ten days after the consensus is reached here, they should be deleted. A notice should be put up on the Recent Changes page and at the top of watchlists.It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    1. It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      And the notices have been put up. Has Matt? (talk) 02:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      (Notices of the current discussion, that is, not of deletion.) —AbdiViklas 02:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Right. Up there I meant that similar notices would be put up saying something like "Now would be a good time to archive that locally before it's gone" or something. — It's dot com 02:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Do you think you could put a notice on the Main Page as well, like we did for donations and NSMC? Has Matt? (talk) 02:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      The thinking is probably that this is an issue that doesn't really concern IPs; if someone's a user they'll probably see it either on recent changes or when they log in (it's on the "successful login" page). —AbdiViklas 03:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Yeah, this isn't something we need to bother people with who are just here to read. — It's dot com 03:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    2. Homsad 17:00, 22 January 2006
    3. Yeah, what counts as a guestbook? I mean, I have things like Favorite Sbemail, and the occasional poll. Bluebry 18:47, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Bluebry, polls are different than guestbooks. Many people have guestbooks, while not as many people have polls. Polls won't last forever, and aren't as annoying as guestbooks. Most people leave their guestbooks up forever. Polls are temporary. Now, people with two guesbooks, on the other hand, are more of our focus. *wink wink* teeeffoh! 18:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Yeah, um, sorry for having TWO guestbooks. Ummm, yeah. Bluebry 18:54, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Original discussion

This disscussion was originally found in HRWiki:Da Basement

Guestbooks started out as kinda cute. Then they became a fad. Now it seems that everybody's user pages are being edited by other people. I remember a time when such a thing was vandalism nine times out of ten. Having guestbooks is really becoming a nuisance for recent changes. I think we should do away with them. I don't even think moving them to a subpage is a good idea, because it seems most people just go around blindly signing them, without actually reading the page in question. I would prefer, if someone had read my user page, that they just made some kind of meaningful comment on my talk page. — It's dot com 04:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I am going to have to say that I agree. At the very least, all current guestbooks need to be moved to a subpage. Guestbooks now are just for signing them, not to show that someone reads a guestbook owners userpage. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 04:27, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I concur with Ben on all counts. -- Tom 04:30, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yessir. It's Dot Com hit the nail on the head. —FireBird|Talk 04:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you guys are probably right. I have to admit, I'm also guilty of owning a guestbook, but if that's what it takes to do away with this pointless fad, I'll give a vote towards getting rid of all guestbooks, including my own. Thunderbird 04:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I like signing guestbooks. I don't have one but I like signing them. About 75% of the time I do end up reading the page in question too! I hope I'm not the exception. Perhaps they can be restricted to the user's talk page? --Stux 05:02, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
EDIT CONFLICT:Agreed with everybody. Signing a guestbook doesn't say that you like that page, or that you enjoyed what they wrote. I agree with Dot com, leave a message with some thought if you want to say that you liked a user page, not put your sig on their userpage. I don't think guestbooks are bad, they're just pointless.--minibaseball.png Bkmlb(talk to me·stuff I did) 05:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
When we come to a point when (and I don't want to name names) there are two or three different guestbooks on the same userpage for no reason at all, or that there's a "guestbook race" where users race to see who could sign it first, or even when a user picks up a deadline for getting X signatures before a certian date, it's time to get rid of that fad. I hate seeing users who have more then 500 userpage and usertalk edits, but less then 20 mainspace edits. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 07:37, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Stux: That wouldn't make a difference. It's not about where it is, it's the fact that it clutters Recent Changes up and makes patrolling edits a nightmare. —FireBird|Talk 07:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree, although guilty of signing a few. It's become not only a fad, but a competition. Who can sign the most guestbooks, who can sign the fastest, whose is longer, who can reach the most by such and such date--even who has the most. I personally wouldn't mind seeing them go. --DorianGray
That page made me agree with getting rid of them. In fact, I'm gonna go get rid of mine right now. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 03:50, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
{sigh} It's sad it got to this point. It's really kind of like The Geddup Noise, isn't it? We've gone from "Guestbooks used to be cool!" to "Corporate Guestbooks still suck". I hate the thought of them being banned, but it probably has gotten to that point. I'll support it. Heimstern Läufer 04:01, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Guestbooks are dying with their original creator, Bubsty. I'm taking mine out too. DBK! 04:13, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly who started the fad, but my money's on Smileyface11945. Both his and my guestbooks predate that of Bubsty's. Still, I think Bubsty ammased the most sigs, and I belive it was his' that influenced the inordanant influx of guestbooks. Thunderbird 05:24, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
His is gone. 23:44, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, Bubsty never started guestbooks. He said he got it from RJMT somewhere. 23:48, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I just meantioned that. His' is still around, just not really linked to much. And RJMT's guestbook only goes back to Novermber 9th, which still post-dates both mine and Smiley's. Thunderbird 00:38, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I think this is an interesting point... --DorianGray
Heh. That is interesting. But guestbooks clearly died out at some point (perhaps when we switched to MediaWiki), and have only recently resurged. — It's dot com 01:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah. I'm not sure if anybody remembered his or not to start the MediaWiki generation of Guestbooks, but that's beside the point. We're getting a bit off topic now (mostly my fault). The question isn't who started them, it's should we keep them, and/or what should we do about them? Thunderbird 01:05, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Dot com. (I know, I left, but I was finishing this killerdynamo and admin-hating thing up...) About 2-3 weeks ago they weren't that big of a deal, but now it's gotten kinda... insane. Especially if everyone starts getting more then one. They started out being cute, but now they're just plain annoying. (I feel kinda bad though, seeing as a lot of users see mine and think "Oh cool! I want one!"). I'm taking mine off. — talk Bubsty edits 05:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I think we should keep our own guestbook if we want to. NO!!! PLEASE... DON'T SHOOT!!! Tampo (T/C) AND SOMEONE GET THiS FREAKiN CURSOR AWAY FROM ME!!!!! 14:41, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
May I remind you Tampo, that the discussion, as mentioned below is going on in above. --Stux 16:42, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

This is an archive of the original discussion. Please put new comments above.

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