Jump to content

Grants:IdeaLab/train reviewers to become ambassadors

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
train reviewers to become ambassadors
summaryRefresh on boarding new editors. AfC and New Page Patrol are broken processes. new editors are greeted with an impersonal wall of rejection.
targetEnglish wikipedia
amount2000 USD
contact• slowking4(_AT_)gmail.com
volunteerVwanwebOmni FlamesDevopam
project managerslowking4
researcherOmni Flames
created on02:53, Friday, June 3, 2016 (UTC)
round 1 2016

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


Serious harassment thrives in an uncivil environment; New editors are greeted with an impersonal wall of templated warnings;
AfC is broken; new article creators persist in resubmitting multiple times without improvement: it is failure to communicate.
New page patrolers bite new editors, rather than collaborate with them to produce encyclopedic content;
therefore, drain the swamp.

What is your solution?


Develop engagement model and practices. Document reviews best practices. Measure reviewing events and outcomes versus existing reviews.

Train the human reviewers to collaborate with the public. Let the ORES system handle the vandalism, and redeploy the humans to on board the new editors through their learning curve. AfC effectiveness would increase, as resubmits are coached away from churning. New Page Patrol would become more productive, as they collaborate with new editors, and avoid edit conflicting, and rejected deletion nominations.

model coaching new editors on wikihow welcome wagon. institute individual grants for ambassadors.

Project goals

  • train people in the practice, using human resource management skill sets, and tools
  • monitor trainees conduct
  • measure improved new editor on boarding
  • measure increased new editor retention

Get involved



  • Volunteer Help with completing tasks that may come forward based on this idea. Vwanweb (talk) 04:46, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer Willing to help with this idea as I'm heavily involved in AFC and this sounds like something that would benefit the project. Omni Flames let's talk about it 08:05, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I am willing to spend time on drafts to enrich them and remove basic flaws that lead to most obvious causes for rejection. Devopam (talk) 12:23, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


  • I think it's very hard for newbies to feel they can become an integral part of the community. But it's very important that they do. StevenJ81 (talk) 03:10, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Very much endorsed. The "welcome" to new users does not invite to participate or keep participating. It seems an automated robotic process where not even the new articles of the user are taken into context.
To improve this, users should be welcomed by people who are "expert"/contributor in the field the new articles are witten in. That makes the new contributor much more aware of the already existing community, to approach specific people for help and to have a better and more in-depth review process.
I wouldn't welcome a contributor on advanced maths or neurology because I don't know anything about those subjects. On other terrains I know more and would like to invite new contributors who enthusiastically start and want to find their ways.
I am a new user here (en:wiki), but with loads of wiki experience elsewhere and even for me it's hard to find my ways, I cannot imagine how it must be for a young fresh starter who now gets dumped a standard wall of links and "help" which doesn't work. They get put off and stay away. If they get welcomed by users who are knowledgeable about the subject, they feel welcome(d).
Also the "assume good faith" theoretical position is not (always) working well.
The "new article" control process looks like that robotic work as well. Most of the time a reviewer doesn't even read a new article, just marks as checked and moves on robotically to the next article, on a completely different subject.
If new article marking contributors would be marking those articles that are in their field of expertise or interest, it makes much more sense to both parties; it also becomes much more fun to mark those articles and actually read (full, not just scan if it looks nice enough) the articles and learn, as I think that is the whole basis of Wikipedia on both sides (readers and contributors); learning in an accessible and pleasant way. Tisquesusa (talk) 03:37, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Very true, new editors are stalked w/WARNING messages by 'Page Patrol'. Instead of thanking and encouraging the new editor, they BRUTALIZE them with Policies ABC... Vwanweb (talk) 04:44, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I find that new patrolers are rude and curt. They should understand that if one is new they will make mistakes. Few were very helpful and courteous even when deleting a entry and also giving advice which is nice as we all like to learn & improve. Mcolombowala (talk) 05:07, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • When you have more people to help, easier becomes the job Guilherme Nunes Corte Real (talk) 14:53, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Endorse I have seen the AfC process become very broken. Editors who are acting as gatekeepers are not letting articles that would normally pass GNG through the process and the reviewing editors are not always giving useful feedback. I'd love to see the process change. Right now, AfC feels like an extension of AfD, with many of the same editors active in both participating. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 15:39, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The feedback is definitely an issue and somewhere along the line someone put out the suggestion (which people have run with) that AfC reviewers should only point out one issue - even if the article is rife with various things that would result in a decline (sourcing, tone, etc). The idea was that anything more than one would overwhelm the submitter, but this usually results in the submitter getting confused and upset when they fix one issue but then are faced with 4-7 more that need fixing. I usually try to give more of a comprehensive overview when I decline, since I'd rather that they know all of the issues and then they can contact me about whatever they need more explanation on.
Now one thing I do have to point out and this isn't directed at you at all - I've seen you participate at AfC and with new users in general. I think that part of the issue here isn't really training, but participation. We have a lot and I mean a lot of people complain about various processes (AfC, new pages feed, etc) and talk about how they're unhelpful, but part of the issue is that we really only have the same 7-8 editors working in these areas. This results in high burnout rates and unfortunately, pages getting nominated because the editor in question wants to try to review as many pages as possible because they're afraid that if they don't then odds are no one else will. (This is especially accurate for AfC, where pages can sit for months before getting a review.) This leads to pages with potentially minor issues getting declined because the reviewer doesn't have the time/energy to fix them and because they're afraid that if they do accept them, that the page will get whacked once in the mainspace. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the problem here isn't really the processes, it's that we don't have participation. I think that having a training program would be great, but we first need to try to figure out how to get people actively participating in the programs we already have. There's a huge bystander mentality on Wikipedia where people are aware that there are problems and even know the specific areas, but there are few to no people actually pitching in to help. Tokyogirl79 (talk) 03:44, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. Recently we had an entire class taken to SPA. Imagine an instructor creative enough to write a Wikipedia lesson plan for his class, without any help and without knowing anything about the educational support programs. So what did we do? Clone him? No, we blocked him, and his class, and desysopped an experienced campus rep who tried to help them. What is wrong with this picture? —Neotarf (talk) 23:22, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. If the introduction new editors get to editing is to brutalize them, then we need to scap that system and start over. Smallbones (talk) 23:20, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
  • In my experience, it is very hard and discouraging for newcomers to find their way, this idea goes in the right direction. Kenzia (talk) 07:38, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. AFC is where articles go to die and new contributors go to be alienated. It would be nice to see a systematic, non-random and haphazard process for dealing with potential new editors. Gamaliel (talk) 01:50, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. Even though I was a registered editor, I used AFC, because I thought I would get help. Instead, I soon learned that AFC is where articles get rejected. It only takes one keystroke to display a canned rejection message. Comfr (talk) 03:23, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
  • It is quite vital for Wikipedia to attract volunteer editors. Handholding, nurturing are imperative for first time editors. Not providing enough/sufficient pointers on article improvement leaves many drafts abandoned. Same is the case with AfDs as well. Very less importance is given to BEFORE guidelines

Expand your idea


Would a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation help make your idea happen? You can expand this idea into a grant proposal.

Expand into a Rapid Grant
Expand into a Project Grant
(launching July 1st)

Project plan



  • test practice
  • train editors to become welcome ambassadors


  • stipend for test ambassador $1000
  • manager travel to wikiconUSA training workshop $2000
  • stipends for potential ambassadors $5000

Community engagement


we will invite interested reviewers, and editors interested in interacting with the public. we will train interested editors at conferences.



we will train more ambassadors we will expect that the WMF will support ambassadors with stipends in the future

Measures of success


we will use the hastag tool to track activity and report outcomes. we will compare outcomes with intervention versus a random sample without.

Project team

  • Slowking4 - manager, ambassador trainer
  • Omni Flames - stipend for experienced ambassador / tester
  • Vwanweb - volunteer ambassador
  • Devopam - volunteer ambassador

Community notification


Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?