Grants:IdeaLab/Research team editing
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
When I started editing wikipedia one of the most frustating issues I had to deal with is to "defend" the validity of my edits. Some people seem to enjoy wiki-arguing, but since I didn't, I started working more on maintenance task, until I decided to move to Wikisource, which has no conflicts whatsoever. My perspective is that the Gender Gap is not a matter of women editing less than men, but about "conflict-averse" humans not enjoying the kind of activity that seems to come together with the edit of conflictive issues.
What is your solution?
I would like to invite the community to create a new way of editing based on teams as a complement to the current system based on individual edits. The difference is that in a team each person can take a different role, some can take care of the editing part, while others can take care of debates or aggression-handling. In this kind of environment there is not so much presure on the individual, and one can take the task that one enjoys the most instead of spending efforts on emotional-taxing activities.
First, I would like to gather some feedback about the idea, and about which shape should take those teams. The range of options is quite open, the users participating in a group could be transparent or just visible to admins. There is some work needed to identify the potential technical challenges, and regarding user experience. Finally, there are more practical issues about how to integrate the teams in the current editing workflow. But perhaps the most important are the social issues, how do users relate to the idea of working/interacting with teams? Does it really help to decrease the "gender or conflict-aversion gap"?
- this sounds like a great idea! Carriearchdale (talk) 00:30, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
- This idea seems promising, and I say this coming from 9 years of collaborative wiki-writing for academic research (off-Wikipedia), and I see potential also for attribution of group work that sometimes is credited only to one or two editors. Obviously the practical implementation needs testing, and I support this project idea because it seems headed in the right direction. Steko (talk) 06:34, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
- →Masssly✉ 00:19, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
- Working in groups is in my opinion the future. Wikipedia is so large and not clear for new users, they indicate they like to work together in groups in what they can help each other if there is an issue. So the problem described in this page intends to do the same probably, but from a different perspective. Romaine (talk) 06:01, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
- Wikipedia needs to be open to new users, and this requires the assistance provided by some more experienced users. That is why this project is good for advancing the conflict with equity. --Etiennekd (talk) 19:02, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Expand your idea
Do you want to submit your idea for funding from the Wikimedia Foundation?
The first part of the project consists in gathering feedback from the international community through a survey, hopefully translated into several languages (at least in five languages that I speak, more if volunteers help me). During the survey the participants will be asked questions like:
- How do you feel about users editing under a single username?
- Would you be interested in participating in chat/videoconference discussions?
- If you were part of an editing team, which role would you like to fulfil inside the team?
- Which roles do you think are important for a team to work efficiently?
- Which size do you think an edit team should have?
- How would you assess if a team is working properly? (text box)
- Team participant lists should be... private (to protect the identity of women or other participants) / semi-private (only seen by admins to guarantee transparency) / open (to document article writing) / other (free text input)
Depending on how the international public reacts to these questions, the next possible steps are:
- In case of negative feedback: the project will be cancelled and the remaining funds will be given back to the WMF
- In case of positive feedback: the project will continue focusing on the aspects that sparked most interest. As an example, they could be: test chat editing as a team, test videoconferences to discuss tricky issues in a set of articles, test alternative workflows for editing as a team in an asynchronous manner (no need of real-time)
After or during these experiments, the results/advances/intent will be communicated to the public through the wikimedia blog, and hopefully in gatherings like Wikimania, okfest, other events that are cost-effective (reaching out in person the maximum number of activists with the minimum investment), and definitely events with a higher percentage of women. In case of remaining funds, they will be given back to the WMF. As an example of this arrangement during this former project, out of 4K EUR in travel expenses for two people, 1055.98 EUR were unspent and given back to the community.
Testing knowledge building as a team
Usually article creation and article editing are considered a solitary activity. Users do not (or are not expected to) communicate in real time with other participants or collaborate with them in other ways than through the talk pages. This method exposes individual actions to a wider context which can be too harsh for some participants (e.g. women), for this reason after defining the boundaries of the wider community for the formation of internal groups, then it will be the time to see what are the best conditions for these groups to operate. In a way it is like defining a smaller circle of activities that relates to the wider audience in a "safer" way as all participants edit as one single username.
It will be interesting to gather data about how participants from different demographics relate to the participation in such groups, if the groups help in creating mutual understanding between users in the same team with diverging views, and how the group relates to a wider audience through classic interactions (talk pages). At the present moment it is unknown which arrangement will work the best both for the wider community and for the ad-hoc group, therefore the data gathered through direct experience will become valuable in offering a "product package" that can be either embraced, rejected, or further developed both by the spread-community, the tech community, and the Wikimedia Foundation Community.
The role of communication
The success of this project depends very much on developing progressively a community discourse from the onset to the very end. It is necessary to explain the rationale in a series of blog post, which will affect the development of this project as the audience grows and the feedback shapes the necessities/constraints. During the initial phases the audience it is considered to be mostly internal from the wikimedia movement. As the project advances the main focus will be towards participants that either abandoned the project, disliked the confronting aspects of article creation, or do not dare to plunge into editing because of the harsh environment. If the support is big enough, another survey can be done in order to select participants that feel that their current editing environment doesn't appeal them. If time, and budget allows, I would like to offer workshops (either online or in person). For in person workshops it would be in events where the presence of women is significant. Unfortunately it is now too late to submit an application for womENcourage 2015, but there might be others in Europe.
- Project management, 6 months, 1930 USD/month, 11580 USD
- Travels (max), 1715 USD
First, gathering feedback about the idea, comments, suggestions, concerns, etc. Then reach out to a more broader public through surveys, blog posts in several languages, etc. Finally perform some tests, and gather data.
If it works, then it might become a new way of editing that might evolve over time.
Measures of success
- the idea is perceived favorably by over 60% of surveyed people.
- tests show an increase in perceived confidence in participants that do not engage in discussions.
Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?