Grants:IEG/Reimagining Wikipedia Mentorship/Profile

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Individual Engagement Grants This project is funded by an Individual Engagement Grant

proposal people timeline & progress finances midpoint report final report

I JethroBT[edit]

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Hi folks, my name is Jethro. I edit the English Wikipedia and while I write some articles, I really enjoy spending my time helping new editors through places like the Teahouse, the OTRS e-mail system, and just through my talk page. I also like to consider systems and spaces we can implement and maintain as a community that offer an easier path to learning about how to edit than trying to find and read through policy and technical pages. I try to recollect my own experience as a newcomer; sometimes, I was able to figure things out on my own, but I also made a lot of mistakes or was just completely lost and needed to ask for help. Some help pages were not easy to navigate or didn't have the answers I wanted, and mostly, I just wanted to talk to a person. Editors with even a modicum of experience have a lot to offer to editors seeking answers, and that is what has drawn me into helping to create this mentorship space.

Soni[edit]

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Hello. This is Soni here, also known by my previous username TheOriginalSoni. I have been frequenting the English Wikipedia for over 2 years now, and am a Rollbacker and Reviewer there. I'm highly motivated towards helping newcomers because of my own experiences when I joined editing, so I try and chip in my efforts towards helping whenever I can. So far, I've been a part of the Teahouse, answered mails at the OTRS, IRC Help channels, adopted newcomers and have contributed to active WikiProjects like EotW. I love helping people, and one of my main motivations for editing Wikipedia is to maximise the net benefit I can give to the world. This is why I try to frequent as many places as possible, and make connections with other editors and help them towards making Wikipedia a better place. With luck, this proposal will also fix a much needed gap in the Wikipedia newcomer learner cycle and help us retain newcomers and convert them into valuable productive editors.

Gabrielm199[edit]

Hello, I am Gabrielm199. I am a researcher and PhD candidate at Syracuse University where I look at the experience of newcomers in online collaborative environments like Wikipedia. Research on the experience of newcomers is exciting because the success of projects like Wikipedia defy commonly held beliefs of organizational socialization. Where formalized training processes are believed to be the most effective way of socialization, many newcomers to Wikipedia manage to figure out how to be valuable members despite the lack of formal training mechanisms. As such, exploring the experience of newcomers on Wikipedia requires looking at who newcomers talk to, what information they draw on, and what tools they use as they attempt to move from a state of uncertainty towards a greater understanding of how to contribute. My role in this project is to conduct research about existing newcomer orientation initiatives, examine how they complement and contrast each other, and figure out what strengths and weaknesses we can address in this project. In addition to preliminary research, I will conduct research on the experience of users in the pilot of this project. I am excited to be part of a project where my research can have direct impact on practice and support the ongoing mission of providing free knowledge to the world.