The Fellowships Program is motivated by a belief that supporting editors to lead on improving community practices, processes, and pages is one simple way that WMF can boost editor engagement. This month, Wikimedia Fellows worked on 5 projects that aim to make it easier for more people around the world to learn to do things the wiki-way, by connecting editors to clear information and supportive community. We're keeping track of what we learn as we go, and hope that some of our findings will be useful for your community project as well - we'd love to hear what you're learning too!
We've launched a new project geared around connecting women who currently edit or aspire to edit Wikipedia: the WikiWomen's Collaborative. This social media initiative is inspired by the early 20th century women's movement, where women united for a common cause and encouraged each other to take action. Sarah and community members are engaging experienced and hopeful new editors via Facebook, Twitter and the new Wikimedia Foundation blog channel, WikiWomen. You can read the blog announcement and get involved here!
Peter has been working on the last phase of his fellowship: a complete redesign of Help:Contents, the main help page for the English Wikipedia, incorporating everything that has been learnt so far. After many iterations with input from community members and WMF staff, the new design is now complete. Usability tests are currently being run to compare users' experiences with this and the existing page. After compiling results from these tests, a redesign proposal will be brought to the community, to seek consensus for replacing the existing page.
Tanvir has been been working on the new help page system and a pilot is now live on Bangla Wikipedia. The first experiment focused on help pages that teach editors about new article creation. Later the pilot added help pages on other editing activities that interest new editors, such as fixing spelling, adding wikilinks, and expanding existing articles. Metrics are being collected to assess the impact of this project on Bangla Wikipedia. So far we've seen the pilot making a promising contribution to article creation and growth of Bangla editor engagement. For example, September's rate of article creation has nearly doubled, up to 9.35 articles per day from June's baseline of 5.03 articles per day. Complete data from the pilot will be available when this phase of experimentation wraps up.
The Teahouse team has been finishing a number of tasks to wrap up Phase 2 of the project, including continuing to refine automated invitations based on community feedback, and showcasing host activity and ways to get involved with the Teahouse. The Teahouse pages are going through a design "makeover" this week to bring usability improvements aimed at simplifying interactions for new editors. Next steps for the project include automating monthly metrics so that volunteers can continue to track activity in the space, the creation of a rotating Teahouse maitre d' role to empower volunteer ownership over the remaining maintenance tasks, and improving calls to action that encourage acknowledgement of positive contributions in the project.