WMF fellowship projects continued this month with lots of experimentation, and fellows are laying the groundwork for more to come in September. August also marks the end of Jonathan Morgan's fellowship - thank you Jonathan for a great year! We look forward to continuing to partner with Jonathan for the remainder of 2012 on the Teahouse project and more, as he joins WMF's Global Learning team as a contract Research Strategist. Do you have ideas for a great new fellowship project? Submit a project idea, or tell us what you think about existing project ideas today!
Steven Zhang monitored a trial implementing changes to the dispute resolution noticeboard on English Wikipedia this month. These changes were made to enable volunteers to handle disputes in a more efficient and effective manner, while making it less complicated for an editor to request dispute resolution. With the trial concluding at the end of the month, metrics are in the process of being gathered to determine how effective the trial was, and if such changes can be made in other dispute resolution areas. Discussions have also taken place to close wikiquette assistance, an informal forum for addressing conduct disputes, and to reform formal mediation so the process is more effective. A larger update will be in a the Wikipedia Signpost this week.
Sarah Stierch has started developing the first phase of her new WikiWomen's Collaborative project, which seeks to engage and inspire more women to edit using social media and clear calls to action. Phase one starts in September with a series of social media experiments, a blogging project, and curation of resources for women looking to get involved in the movement. In mid-September, Sarah will also be participating in Open Knowledge Fest in Helsinki, Finland, where she will be presenting on the Teahouse and the new WWC project.
Peter has created three new introductory tutorials for the English Wikipedia, covering referencing, uploading images, and navigating Wikipedia. He also released the write-up from this summer's in-person usability tests, and is preparing for a batch of remote usability tests to assess the new tutorials. Additionally the Article Feedback Tool has now been deployed for use across the Help namespace and on other help pages. The next and final month of the fellowship will mainly be focused on improvements to the primary help contents page.
In discussion with the Bangla community, Tanvir has been building new step-by-step help pages on Bangla Wikipedia, covering the topics most request by new editors in July's survey. These help pages use animated images instead of videos, to minimize load time for those with low bandwidth connections. Topics covered include article creation, article translation (as many contributors begin by translating from English Wikipedia), editing existing articles, using talk pages, and wiki-formatting for newly created articles. The help pages will be connected into a portal page so that readers and new editors can choose whatever help topic they'd like to begin with. The new help page system will be piloted starting in the first week of September.
The Teahouse is moving through phase 2 with a Host improvements sprint. This includes renovations to the Host Lounge and simplification of the new host creation process. Teahouse invitation experiments continue, as HostBot has been approved for an extended trial to automatically invite up to 100 new editors to Teahouse every day. This automation, along with the hard work of Teahouse hosts, has led to a substantial increase in the number of new editors visiting Teahouse (up about 50% from July).