Fellowship News/2012-06

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Fellowship News
VOLUME 1 June 2012 ISSUE 1
General Fellowship Updates
by Siko Bouterse, Head of Community Fellowship Program

Welcome to the first monthly fellows digest! This newsletter will keep you informed about the progress that WMF Fellows are making on fellowship projects each month, and we'll also share other fellowship updates here. Want to receive an update on your talk page when a new digest is available? Sign up here!

The Fellows are going to Wikimania, and we hope to meet you there - we're hosting a featured session on Friday July 13th to give you a taste of our work in person and discuss what its like to be a fellow. If you'll be in Washington D.C., please join us for this panel presentation.

Dispute Resolution Project
led by Steven Zhang

Results of the English Wikipedia dispute resolution survey have been collated and the final results will be released soon. Community members' responses show both positive and negative aspects of the processes. Overall, dispute resolution seems to be effective when disputes are dealt with in a prompt and professional manner by experienced volunteers, with participants working together. However, when the process becomes too complex or consumes too much time, it can result in a negative experience. Ideas to improve dispute resolution as well as a more detailed summary are available in my June report.

Analysis of dispute resolution activity is also in progress to assess participation in several key dispute resolution forums, response and resolution time, and the success rate of processes.

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Gender Gap Project
led by Sarah Stierch

Sarah is in Berlin for Wikipedia Academy where she is a keynote speaker, discussing the visual experience and gender in Wikipedia. Plans for a new gender gap project will be announced soon.

Help Pages Redesign Project
led by Peter Coombe

A large survey was undertaken to find out what users think of Wikipedia's current documentation. Responses are still coming in, but preliminary results are now available. Finalised results and further analysis should be complete within the next few days.

Scripts have been written for the first in-person usability tests, scheduled to start in early July.

The second issue of the Help Project newsletter was released.

A new template and gadget have been designed to make it easier for new- and non-editors to leave feedback about help pages, and are currently awaiting further community input before deployment.

The help page statistics were updated.

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Small Wiki Editor Engagement Project
led by Tanvir Rahman

We've been engaging in extensive discussion with the Bangla Wikipedia community, our first small-wiki focus for the project, about what we can do to help new editors and encourage more readers to edit Bangla Wikipedia. The local community identified some barriers to attract new editors, such as usability of the MediaWiki editor panel, lack of useful help pages on basic topics, and lack of helpers. But the community agrees that lack of motivation and awareness is the main reason for not editing Bangla Wikipedia or its sister projects. More details are available in the project's first report.

As we wrap up feedback collection from the existing editing community about the project, now we are focusing on getting the views of the Bangla reader community, with a particular focus on potential editors. A survey is currently running in Bangla Wikipedia to collect this data.

Future plans for this project are being developed to experiment with several strategies and tactics to motivate readers to edit Bangla Wikipedia and provide new editors with effective help - motivational banners, mentorship programs, and help documentation re-designs are all under consideration.

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Teahouse Project
led by Sarah Stierch and Jonathan Morgan

We've finalized and published the Teahouse pilot report and metrics report. The project team visited the Wikimedia Foundation in early June to present their findings at WMF's June metrics meeting, and discuss next steps for the project.

To keep the project running smoothly, Jonathan moved all production database tables and scripts to a more robust database, and fixed several bugs in the scripts which were breaking automated processes. Guest intros have also been updated with a timestamp and auto-adding of usernames to simplify and improve the guest experience.

We've been planning for phase 2 of the project, which aims to double the number of active hosts, triple the number of new editors participating at the Teahouse, transfer more of the project's daily tasks from fellows and staff to volunteers, and show that the Teahouse continues to boost new editor engagement and retention on Wikipedia for those who participate in the project.

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Translations Project
led by Jon Harald Søby

My fellowship is coming to a close soon. We had 1100 translators signed up for the 2011 Fundraiser, and last month we migrated those who are still active over to a wonderful new translator signup and notification system recently built by the i18n team. Next, we planned to run a CentralNotice campaign to recruit more translators; and after working out a few issues with the system, as of the start of July this campaign is now running. The campaign focuses on the 20 languages with the biggest Wikipedias – we're focusing on the languages most often requested as priority for translation, before spreading out recruitment to other languages.

I have continued my work assisting with translation requests on Meta wherever needed to address questions and concerns and expedite when required. Also ongoing is documentation on my fellowship year – what has been changed with regards to translations in 2012, what has been learned and how things work now. This documentation will be useful both for WMF staff and community members who continue to be involved in Wikimedia translations.

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