Editor Growth Coordination Committee

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In the effort to pursue the Wikimedia Foundation’s goal of increasing the diversity of editors to improve knowledge equity, multiple teams in the Audiences and Community Engagement departments are endeavoring to engage new editors with medium- and small-sized Wikimedia projects. While Audiences will focus on changes to our software, and Community Engagement will focus on relationships with editing communities, we expect that the most impactful efforts to increase the engagement of new editors on medium and small wikis will occur when those two domains complement each other.

This coordination committee consists of representatives from Audiences and Community Engagement who will meet to identify and take action on those opportunities when software and community relationships can work together to engage and retain new editors.



Update 2018-11-27: Growth team progress and Help pages challenges[edit]

Growth team updates for this meeting were about the deployment of Personalized first day and Understanding first day.

Then, the group has discussed about two challenges:

  • have up-to-date help pages for the help panel
  • have existing help pages for the help panel

At the moment, the quality of help pages varies a lot from one wiki to another, both on quality (some pages haven't been updated since years) and variety (some wikis don't have help pages for editing using the visual editor or about editing on mobile).

The following points to consider have been raised up:

  • consider translations from existing resources, where translated content would be something easy fix it, better than starting from a blank page. That would require local adaptation and creating images
  • consider to have an edit-a-thon around help pages. Could be around translating and adapting existing resources.
  • motivate communities progressively. The help panel requires 5 links to show to newcomers. It is a good opportunity to have communities to focus on those 5 pages.
  • use more centralized documentation for tools, like the one existing for the visual editor.

Update 2018-10-30: partnerships and Growth team progress[edit]

We added Dan Foy to our committee today, who works on partnerships with other organizations for WMF. Several ongoing partnership opportunities are related to new editor growth, and his presence will help us coordinate efforts.

The group also discussed the Growth team's upcoming interventions: "Understanding first day", "Personalized first day", and "Focus on help desk". We brainstormed some ideas and potential issues to watch out for:

  • A primary concern around driving traffic to help desks is whether wikis have enough capacity to answer the incoming questions from new editors. This is something we continue to discuss as we work on human-to-human help ideas. Although we believe human-to-human help is effective because (a) it has the potential to give people answers to their exact question and (b) it helps them feel connected to the wiki, it comes with these problems of scale.
  • Perhaps surfacing the most common questions and answers as a sort of FAQ could help alleviate the burden on question-answerers, although this would give a less personalized and connected experience to the asker.
  • A long term goal is to help change attitudes toward mentorship on the wikis. If experienced editors believed that growing new editors is part of what it means to be a good editor, then there would be more capacity for mentorship and question-answering. We talked about some ideas around incentivizing this nurturing behavior -- like thinking about how mentorship can affect one's own edit count. This is on the Growth team's list of long-term open questions.

Update 2018-08-28: Growth team list of ideas for development[edit]

Today, the committee discussed the Growth team’s list of ideas for development.  This list was posted on 2018-08-22, and has been publicized via the team’s newsletter and other mass messages.  It has also been translated to Czech and Korean and posted on those wikis.  Community members have been asked to respond with their thoughts and reactions by 2018-09-05.  The group brought up several thoughts with respect to these Growth ideas:

  • We want to be able to give new editors information they need as soon as possible.  That is a disadvantage to any asynchronous question-answering system. Perhaps, therefore, “in-context lessons” could be a better place to start than “in-context questions”.
  • Email new editors their impact” is a favorite idea of the group.  The reason is that we want people to feel good about editing, but Wikipedia does not have much functionality that does this.  The Growth team should think about how editors are feeling throughout the editing process.
  • The New Editors Experiences research identified six personas that characterize new editors.  We want to be able to help each of the six personas in a different way, that fits their goals.  The problem is that we don’t know what a new editor’s persona is when they arrive. The “personalized first day” and “understanding first day” ideas may help with this.
  • OTRS is already overloaded, and so directing any questions to that system might not be a good idea, unless we also invest in relieving the stress on that system.

Update 2018-08-01: takeaways from Wikimania 2018[edit]

Today’s conversation focused on takeaways from Wikimania 2018 having to do with new editor growth. Between Neil’s and Abbey’s presentation of the New Editor Experiences research, and the various conversations we had throughout Wikimania, it seemed that many communities are enthusiastic about growth, and expressed interest in learning tactics or adopting new software into their wikis. Taking these things into account, we discussed whether our committee can play a role in aggregating best practices for new editor growth and sharing them to the many communities. It might be possible for us to help communities learn from each other. We also discussed the fact that many wikis are heavily using social media to communicate amongst both new and experienced editors. We talked about whether and how social media can safely be used to increase new editor retention.

Also see[edit]