Live help is offered via a public Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel. This channel is not private or one-on-one. Multiple users might be receiving help at the same time, and you will all be able to see everybody's messages. Messages which are intended for you will often start with your nickname (visible in the bottom-left corner when connected).
Help is provided by volunteers, so it might take a few minutes before someone replies to your question. Try leaving the chat window open for a bit. If you don't get a reply before you need to leave, consider asking your question at the Teahouse instead.
This service is only for assistance with editing or using the English Wikipedia.
Once you join, just type out your question and send it. For example, if you are wondering what you can put on your user page, you should type What can I put on my user page? There is no need to ask if anyone is around or say that you have a question, which usually just delays your answer. If you do not receive a response within a few minutes, you can get the attention of helpers by typing !helper.
Can you help me with...?
Probably! But bear in mind that the IRC channel is only for questions about editing the English Wikipedia. Any other questions, such as if you need to find information about a topic, or help with other things, should go to the Reference Desk and not the IRC help channel.
Can you review my draft?
Please be aware that all drafts will be reviewed when a volunteer editor is available to do it. Drafts are not necessarily reviewed in order of submission and the more diverse the draft, the longer it may take to be reviewed. There are currently 4,816 pending submissions awaiting a review.
Can you write an article for me?
No, but we can point you in the right direction to get started. Check out the Teahouse – a great place to help new editors – and ensure that the subject of your article satisfies the notability requirements. If you really don't want to write an article, you can request it at Requested articles.
How can I keep my article from being deleted?
Articles that do not comply with Wikipedia's policies are deleted. The most common reasons for deletion are notability issues, advertising and copyright violations. Live help volunteers can help make sure that your article meets Wikipedia's requirements but you should read the sections below first, especially if your article has already been deleted once.
How do you decide what's notable?
Notability is determined, essentially, by what reliable sources say about a subject. Basically, whether the subject has been significantly "noted", rather than simply being potentially "noteworthy". Sources need to be independent of the subject of the article, with a reputation for fact-checking and oversight, because sources close to the subject might naturally be biased or promotional.
Every subject has specific guidelines in addition to general notability. If the subject of your article is a person, you might want to briefly look at the guidelines for people and living people. Biographies of living persons are held to a higher standard, and need to be completely factual, and backed by the most reliable sources. If your subject is an organization or business, you will want to check out the guideline on organizations. If you need help in figuring out what makes a source reliable, the guideline on determining reliable sources can help.
What about this other article?
When their article is deleted, people often point to an existing article, about a similar subject. This article may have similar problems and is used as a reason that their article should be kept. This is the "what about x?" argument, and it is not a good one. There are things on Wikipedia that shouldn't be, adding another article that shouldn't isn't going to help that.
Why was my draft declined?
There should be a reason on the draft's page in a pink box or on your talk page. Live help volunteers can help if you can't find the reason or still don't understand why it was declined.