IRC office hours/Office hours 2012-05-04

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From 20:30-21:30, UTC:
<StevenW> Hi everyone. We're starting the first office hours for the editor engagement experiments team (WP:E3) in #wikimedia-office in about 10 mins.
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 Thehelpfulone thekaryn
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>chanserv< voice #wikimedia-office Maryana
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<omtsh> hello sgardner_ :)
<AlexandrDmitri> Hello all coming in.
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<WereSpielChequer> WSC waves and offers popcorn to those with matter transporters
<Maryana> hehe, hi werespielchequers
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<DarTar> hey WereSpielChequer
<WereSpielChequer> Hi Maryana, how many barnstars did you award in your recent experiment?
<Maryana> close to 180 now and still going
<StevenW> Sounds like we're ready to get started then? :)
<Maryana> this was just now: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Hahc21
 :D
<StevenW> Yeah, there are 3-5 new English Wikipedians a day crossing the 1K edits mark
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<WereSpielChequer> And over 1 a week crossing the 100k mark

  • jorm is around.

<Maryana> does everybody here know what we're talking about?
 barnstarring...?
<StevenW> So other than WereSpielChequers, is everyone familiar with the "editor engagement experiments" team, why it was started, who's on it, etc.?
<jorm> why no.
 i am not.
<StevenW> haha
 well then, we should probably introduce ourselves ;)
<Maryana> you first, stevenw
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<Maryana> oh wait, everyone who uses irc already knows you
 me first!
 i am maryana
 :)
 ok, thekaryn?
<thekaryn> Hello! I'm Karyn
<StevenW> Karyn is The Boss.
<howief> um, I'm Howie
<StevenW> He's not the boss.
 (Just kidding.)
<DarTar> what are you guys doing in this team?
 oh I'm Dario BTW
<heatherw> :)
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<StevenW> hi delphine
<delphine> hi StevenW :)
<StevenW> So if people are curous, we wrote a big FAQ that we hope addresses some of the basics
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:E3#FAQ
 The short answer to "What do you do?" is that we run short term experiments to test ideas about how to better engage volunteers to edit the projects, esp. Wikipedia
 This came about because we have a team in engineering working on some big important projects
<DarTar> who is the target of these experiments?
<Maryana> pretty much everyone… readers, new editors, ex editors
<DarTar> ok that makes sense
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<StevenW> anyway, it doesn't sound like anyone is particulary confused about what we're up to or why?
 perhaps we should take questions or dive into some of things we've already been working on?
<delphine> no, you guys are clear ;)

  • delphine has a question :P

<StevenW> shoot
<delphine> What are the plans to test stuff on other language than English? I found the Necromancy study super interesting, I would love to see it tried on other languages
<DarTar> Incidentally – where� do you find about active experiments? http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Engagement_Experiments
<StevenW> So for now the default is English just because that's what we speak.
 But we're open to suggestion
 and ultimately
<delphine> (incidentally, Necromancy is too funny, such a geeky dnd thing ;))
<StevenW> anything we do that would become a real part of the interface
 would have to be localizable (sp?)
<Maryana> ahem, i speak other languages :-P but english data is easier to come by a lot of the time
<delphine> yes, of course, I just think it would be extremely interesting to try it in other languages because wiki-break is (imho) a very project/language/culture tied thing
<StevenW> yes
 we haven't yet gone through all our ideas and said which projects are appropriate for each particular experiment
 For Necromancy...
<thekaryn> We're also open to doing experiments on other wikis when/where it makes sense to do so
<StevenW> do you mean "wikibreak" is an English specific term?
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<StevenW> or that it is thought of different in FR, DE, etc.
 differently*
<WereSpielChequer> When you classify editors and try various tests are you checking SUL to see what they are as Wikimedians rather than just focussing on that project? An EN Wikipedia editor of 100 edits is a very different Wikiedian if they are also a 10k editor on commons or ZH wiki
<delphine> no, I meant the concept of going on a wikibreak may have the same roots in a smae project, but may have very different cultural roots
 if that makes sense?
<howief> delphine: can you give an example of how the cultural roots might be different?
<Maryana> wsc: true, many of the people we're barnstarring (like the editor i just linked to) are active on other WM projects
<delphine> Random thoughts here: in a young community, wikibreak might be a call for attention
<DarTar> delphine: if we run the pilot of an experiment and see some interesting effect we would definitely want to try it in other communities as long as we have support from them and depending on the technical dependencies (Necromancy is a good example for experiments with no major UI development implication)
<delphine> in an older one, it might mean a real fed-up
<howief> got it
<Maryana> delphine: we weren't specifically looking at people who announced they were on wikibreak
 we were going by the data on their contributions
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<Maryana> so, it's not just people who announced that they're fed up :)
<delphine> Maryana: I got that, but even then, it might be relevant
 "Let's see if anyone notices that I've stopped editing" ;)
 type thing
<StevenW> it's a good point though. on a smaller community it might be easier to convince people to return from a wikibreak
<delphine> again, I'm just thinking outloud
 nothing tangible on my side
<StevenW> The email replies we got from the EN folks, especially from the group that had been gone for a year, suggested that they were of the "fed up" type rather than the "I got no appreciation, so I'm leaving" type
<delphine> Maryana: you got emails from the 1 yr group, what did they say in substance?
 ie. "I'll never come back" or "I'm too fed up" or "random reason why I won't come back"
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<Maryana> delphine: only a few replied, and they were mostly "i had this specific conflict, and that's why i'm not coming back"
<delphine> ok, thx
 Might it be an idea to do a survey on the same kind of people of why they stopped editing?
<StevenW> one idea for expanding on the Necromancy thing is to ask volunteers to write personalized emails to promising people, aka those who didn't flame out
 which would be great for non-EN projects
<delphine> the opening rate is quite interesting, so people actually care that we talk to them
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<WereSpielChequer> Yet we know that some people do return from long breaks, or migrate to other projects within Wikimedia
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<StevenW> WereSpielChequer, yep.
 to answer the survey question: https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Former_Contributors_Survey_Results
<delphine> ah!
<howief> delphine: yes. open rates are *very* high compared to industry standard
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<howief> response rates were very high for the former contributors survey as well
 I think people like it when they get stuff from wikipedia :)
<delphine> lol
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<Maryana> all the emails were sent from either me or steven… i'd like to try sending from jorm's address. i think it would boost those numbers even more :)
<delphine> rofl
<Maryana> for EN people, at any rate
<jorm> whee!
<Maryana> "a personal appeal from brandon harris"
 "edit more plz!"
 i'm only partially kidding
<WereSpielChequer> There is a myth that Internet hobbies are transient things of 18 months to two years duration. In reality some people will start hobbies as teenagers and continue with gaps until long after retirement age.
<delphine> :D
 I have an idea for something that interests me particularly
<Maryana> share, please!
<StevenW> Ideas: we want them!
<delphine> my observation is that many people stop editing when they get involved in real life stuff
 chapters, events you name it
 I'll take my example :D
 which is what I know best
 I am now *afraid* of editing
 I mean it
<Maryana> why's that?
<delphine> I am actually less bold today than I was 7 years ago
 that's 1)
<apergos> I think most people on the projects are a lot less bold now
<delphine> 2) I am more of a perfectionist, so I can't just "edit for the sake of editing"
 ie. if I find a mistake, I realize I just don't have the X minutes/hours I need to make it as good as I would like it to be
<WereSpielChequer> The people who are lured away probably don't think they've stopped. Wasn't I'm not gone yet one of the most common answers when we surveyed them?
<StevenW> do you think it's more about not knowing what to do in the little spare time you have... or that it's more intimidating?
<delphine> it's more intimidating
 there's the software
 (the citation thing is hell)
<howief> WereSpielChequer: yes -- they've stopped editing (based non their contribs), but don't think of themselves as having stopped
<WereSpielChequer> Perhaps we need refresher training and other reintegration tools
<delphine> but there's also a deep knowledge of what should be done
<StevenW> sounds to me like we should send an email newsletter to all former contributors when the visual editor is rolled out...
<delphine> and my standards are too high for myself
 if that makes sense
<StevenW> it does
<delphine> WereSpielChequer: yes, that sounds like something I'd like ;)
<StevenW> so that's related to two of our ideas...
<WereSpielChequer> @Steven Yes but in batches please - that way we can test it and not swamp things.
<tommorris> hey all, got a question: are there any plans to allow the active community to be involved in these kinds of experiments, specifically with the intention of improving content in areas that we lack on.
<thekaryn> WereSpielChequer - I'm interested in reintegration tools. That might mean different things, though. What does that mean to you?
<StevenW> I'm interested in WSC's thoughts there, then we can move on to tom's question :)
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<WereSpielChequer> Commons and EN wiki have both started automatically desysopping people who are inactive for a while - 6 months I think. It would be good to test whether that has a positive or negative effect on getting the longterm users to return.
<delphine> oldies need mentors :)
<StevenW> 1. We might try live training sessions via webinar or something. To test the theory that some eligible people will never edit (again) without a helping hand.
<DarTar> tommorris: if you mean bringing more community eyeballs in areas where we lack them I totally agree (and we have a few plans to experiment in that field, more later...)
<WereSpielChequer> Reintegration tools to me would include "What has changed docs"
<tommorris> well, no, I more mentioned can we get people who have left the project to come back and work specifically on areas that WP currently lacks
<delphine> WereSpielChequer: the Commons one has a positive effect on me, I do do my X edits in the 6 months, but I'm often at a loss as to *what* I can do with little time on my hands, for example
<DarTar> tommorris: I see that would be a combination of necromancy with some of the task assignment ideas we were thinking of
<WereSpielChequer> Training tools that include computerised training modules for deleting and so forth
<tommorris> aha, DarTar, great minds.

  • alhen has tried Adobe Connect for training sessions

<StevenW> did it work?
<alhen> yes
<apergos> is it cross-platform?
<alhen> I partnered with Adobe Bolivia group work and had like 10 to 16 people online
 it was a contest to create articles for Bolivia
<StevenW> The other idea is something more like what WSC suggested: basically a sandbox that actually teaches you things, rather than just giving you a blank space to muck around with
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<alhen> people responded well and stayed for most of the training. Most of them were new contributors.
<delphine> StevenW: also "easy editing" ideas
<alhen> apergos, it's a web-based solution
<apergos> great
<WereSpielChequer> @Delphine There are some editors who just do the minimum to keep their tools - so the decline in EN wiki admins has almost bottomed out. My worry is that the people who come back after a year and find their tools gone might be less likely to return
<DarTar> delphine: easy editing.. as in?
<Maryana> setting up a large training program is a bit out of scope for a rapid experimentation team, but one of our ideas was setting up a series of small-scale webinar for new contributors
<delphine> for people like me, who have little time for editing, have a fairly good knowledge of wiki editing as such
 but we don't know where to start
 DarTar: I "made" Commons; ya know, I was there at the very beginning
 today, I don't know what I can do when I come in
 I have to mull through thousands of categories, pages and whatnot
<StevenW> it's even harder on Commons than on Wikipedia I think
<DarTar> yeah that brings us back to the question of task assignment which is really important
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<delphine> to do any kind of useful editing
<Maryana> delphine: totally, and one of the big things we want to figure out is how to direct workflows better, without being too dictatorial
 there are a lot of ways to surface possible tasks to current contributors
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<DarTar> every other major platform I can think of� has recommender systems that tell you what you *could* do next, Wikipedia has none
<delphine> I'd love something like a "do an admin task today"
<Maryana> admin suggestbot? :)
<DarTar> we have SuggestBot as the most basic implementation of this idea

  • delphine does not know suggestbot

<alhen> delphine, a page that says "So you're coming back. Welcome!"
<DarTar> and that's something we want to explore more systematically
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<StevenW> SuggestBot is something made for English and a few other Wikipedias (Norwegian I think )
<DarTar> it's a project run by GroupLens to suggest relevant tasks
<StevenW> you sign up, and the bot tells you similar articles to the ones you've edited in the past.
<Nettrom> currently on en-WP, no-WP, and sv-WP
<DarTar> especially article in need of love
<delphine> alhen: not sure, I don't want to hear 'you're coming back" makes me feel bad that I haven't been there ;)
<DarTar> not just similar
<StevenW> thanks Nettrom
<Bence> someone just showed this game to improve Wikipedia: http://www.wikipeetia.org/src/wikipedia-game/ , gamifying some of the editing might be something to explore (e.g. with spelling mistakes and such minor things)
<Nettrom> I'm working on getting a better request queue set up, so it's easier to make SuggestBot give you articles in a limited space of interest
<alhen> delphine, good point hehehe
<StevenW> oooh, interesting game Bence
<DarTar> hey Nettrom we definitely need to talk :)
<StevenW> yeah, a mini interface for stuff like disambiguating links, finding/fixing references, copyediting etc. is a great idea
<WereSpielChequer> @Nettrom, all wikiprojects will have articles in their categories and identified as needing work
<Maryana> now we're all just playing bence's game...
<StevenW> haha
<alhen> wikiHow has something like that. Every category has a place at the end point out the articles in need of love.

  • delphine has a dream: get rid of all [citation needed] that are older than 3 weeks

<Nettrom> DarTar: sure thing, msg me for my email address if need be
<WereSpielChequer> We already have http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_backlog perhaps we need better ways to tell people about it
<StevenW> another tool we might try testing more widely is User:EpochFail's WikiGnome.
 which is a sentence level editor gadget
<Maryana> wsc: yes… without actually sending them to the backlog, which is terrifying
<Nettrom> WereSpielChequer: good point, I'll look into that and see if the WikiProject articles are already being picked up
<alhen> http://www.wikihow.com/Category:Bath-Recipes <---- example
<DarTar> The idea is to (1) have a better way of broadcasting issues and (2) matching these issues with contributors
<StevenW> wikiHow has a lot of cool tools like that
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<StevenW> so tom: if you could invite people to help with those specific areas needing improvement, how would you want to see it done?
 ideally speaking
<delphine> alhen: do you know how they choose the articles in need of love?
<alhen> delphine, I think they use size and a list of templates as to tell an article needs help or not.
<delphine> k
<alhen> not sure though. I'll ask
<WereSpielChequer> Some people really like being part of a backlog busting crew. But it needs to be a challenging target ad it helps to have a team - I've seen seveal initiatives on EN wiki in the last few years
<StevenW> the "editing challenge" idea is a great one
 I would like to do something involving the system used for the recent coding challenge to help automate those more
<DarTar> Nettrom: for an informal overview of ideas around tasking/engagement here's a few slides http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Microtasks_and_new_editor_engagement.pdf
<apergos> thre's a sentence level editor that was worked on some time ago, javascript, I think there's an extension....
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<rolphology> If response rates are high (described earlier), is it systematically possible - per editor who has ceased to contribute - to invite them to return, via email, to an article(s) they've already contributed to? Natural topical interest would likely exist, and it signals respect for what they know, especially useful for discouraged contributors. I worry that contributors may not like
 assigned tasks. From already identified interest and knowledge levels, there may be seguays possible into articles needing attention. The work needs to be emotionally gratifying in constructive ways.
<StevenW> Agreed.
<alhen> +1
<StevenW> So in the emails we already sent, we invited people to return to check out their watchlist
 and sent them back there after they logged in
 sort of
<rolphology> Hmmmm...
<Maryana> rolphology: that's a good idea.. and i noticed that some of the people who did return picked up where they left off
<StevenW> it's not very good, but that was what we could try at the time
 there actually is no way to send people back to a page after they log in. you can only give them a link right now.
<WereSpielChequer> The recent change to email people when articles on their watchlist are updated will have an effect. It had been disabled on EN wiki for some time.
<StevenW> yes
<Nemo_bis> check watchlist? but if one doesn't know how it works then the watchlist pobably doesn't contain what the user is actually interested in
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<Nemo_bis> WereSpielChequer, sadly the default is to have it disabled still
<Nettrom> DarTar: I'll shoot you an email over the week-end, we already have some data on this, and plans for another experiment
<StevenW> yeah, we only did that for people who had been fairly active before leaving. not newbies
<DarTar> rolphology: when I refer to "assigned tasks" I'm actually not thinking of "here's a list of stuff we expect you to work on", but more something like: "Hey, you just edited article A, there's a very similar article B that would need a minute of your attention (and nobody is editing), can you help?"
 Nettrom: sweet => dario@wikimedia.org
<Nemo_bis> For enotifwatchlist I hope it's just a matter of migrating all users from NULL to false and then all the others to true (by default)
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<rolphology> DarTar - sounds good - do you have outcomes' data?
<StevenW> we haven't tried it yet :)

  • delphine has never ever used a watchlist, even at a time where she edited

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<DarTar> we haven't even started with it :)
<Nemo_bis> delphine, why not?
<DarTar> delphine: that makes you very special
<WereSpielChequer> @ Nemo I don't think we should do tha to people who have chosen that option. I have over 13,000 pages on my watchlist, others will have really long watchlists.
<delphine> I'm a wiki gnome, I only do spelling mistakes and whatnots
<rolphology> But, you-sens are on the right track, sounds like.
<delphine> not content editing
 the only place I use my watchlist is meta ;)
<Nemo_bis> WereSpielChequer, that's what I just said, although I'd like to enable it for people with few pages in watchlist as well (not particularly easy to do though)
<delphine> I don't feel any kind of special relationship to an article
<DarTar> see, if Wikipedia knows you've mostly done wikignome kind of edits we can maybe suggest you some appropriate tasks
<delphine> DarTar: yes, that would be the idea
<Nemo_bis> delphine, me too but I want to make sure people don't revert my copyedits!
<delphine> Nemo_bis: you control freak ;)
<StevenW> I always revert Nemo's copy edits
<delphine> LOL
<Nemo_bis> delphine, well, only till 5 years ago
<StevenW> I don't believe in the serial comma ;)
<Nemo_bis> aww
<Maryana> i do!
<Nemo_bis> well of course it's about Italian so
<Maryana> very strongly!
 edit war
<DarTar> Nemo_bis: couldn't agree more

  • delphine starts the drumroll

<rolphology> Wikignomes are a class unto themselves, they need all freedoms. Outlier kind of thing.
<Nemo_bis> don't kid, we've had severe edit wars about an apex on it.wiki
<delphine> rolphology: indeed. I want a challenge.
<Nemo_bis> or was it a comma
<delphine> Like a cool mistake that no bot can correct
<WereSpielChequer> @ Delphine I have two gnomish bots running on EN wiki that would be interesting to run on FR wiki. Both generate lots of possible gnomish edits - I is the guy who eradicated poop and pubic vandalism on EN wiki
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<StevenW> so we have 10-ish minutes
<DarTar> we can nudge them to do useful stuff and give them some impression of freedom >:-)
<StevenW> WereSpielChequer, and AbuseFilter ;)
<Nemo_bis> the only emails I usually send are to editors I know well, to understand while they're not editing or at least to greet them
 usually I do so when I realize "OMG X has not edited in y months" then I check other regulars and find some disappeared and send a bunch of worried emails
<WereSpielChequer> One common factor in all our welcome messages is the exhortation to sign posts with ~~~~, It could so easily be made redundant by making a bugzilla change filed back in 2009. See meta:Wikimedia_Forum#Default_to_Auto_signature. I'd be interested in research on our non-retained newbies, but I bet being told to type four tyldas must seem offputtingly geeky to the majority and clunky and...
 ...outdated to the geeks. If you guys are getting some tech support you could just make that happen.
<StevenW> Yes, automating that would be much smarter
<Maryana> perhaps we should create a missing wikipedians board?
<Nemo_bis> sigh, even importing SineBot finds huge opposition
<StevenW> and put them on milk boxes
<alhen> I somehow thing we shouldn't make it easier
<delphine> LOL
<Nemo_bis> Maryana, there's already one I think
<delphine> virtual milk
<Maryana> memo, really?
<rolphology> Well, for systematic emails, protocols would likely require piloting to get it right.
<Maryana> *nemo
 damn you, autocorrect
<Nemo_bis> Maryana, maybe only on it.wiki?
<alhen> See, knowing something no other people now about Wikipedia gives you an advantage and something to teach and share with your peers.
<WereSpielChequer> Another editor engagement thing you might want to measure is the effect of appointing people as Autopatrollers. It wouldn't surprise me if it outranked a barnstar in retention effect. Provided of course you word it well. While I cant see us appointing more than thirty or so admins this year we could easily appoint hundreds of rollbackers and Autopatrollers.
<delphine> ok, I'm off to bed. Thanks for doing cool stuff guys :)
<StevenW> thanks for coming by delphine!
<Maryana> goodnight, delphine!
<rolphology> Newbie fall off worries me too.
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  • delphine_away est partie pêcher / has gone fishing

<DarTar> Nemo_bis: does the itwiki community hang out on a regular basis on IRC? I should probably lurk in that channel
 au revoir
<Nemo_bis> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Missing_Wikipedians ?
 delphine_away is the best person to ask about #wikipedia-it :D
<alhen> I proposed a webinar for patrollers
<Nemo_bis> (but it became so boring in the last 4-5 years I think)
<StevenW> I think the people who get put into Wikipedia:Missing Wikipedians are prblly not the best to automatically email
<DarTar> Nemo_bis: thanks, will autojoin from now on
<alhen> there is too much template using and not much person to person interaction
<howief> alhen: are you part of our discussions on improving new page patrol?
<Nemo_bis> StevenW, indeed
<Nemo_bis> although I don't know the English version
<thekaryn> Nemo_bis thanks for sharing the missing WIkipedians list. Would you check a list like that if if were automated?
<alhen> howief, on my home wiki es-WP but now officially.
 not*
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<StevenW> whoa
 without even reading "Missing Wikipedians" we emailed people gone for three months
 amazing
 ;)
<Maryana> and we've been thanking people with over 1k edits!
<rolphology> If any comments, am glad to share on discussion/talk pages.
<StevenW> speaking of talk pages
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<StevenW> there are a bunch of sugggestions on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Editor_engagement_experiments
 and discussion on the Meta page is welcome too
 and we have #wikimedia-e3 if you're more of an IRC person
<rolphology> Challenging projects - warm congratulations on digging in to seek solutions.
<StevenW> Thanks!
--- maplebed is now known as maplebedBUSY
<aude> oooh, office hours :)
<StevenW> just the end of it aude :)
<Maryana> thanks, rolphology

  • aude scrolls up

<alolita> hey E3'ers! good work on the office hours
<Maryana> thanks, alolita :)
<alolita> :-)
<StevenW> ok I need to go
<Maryana> thanks for coming, everybody
<StevenW> but we will definitely be holding another one of these again
 soon
<Maryana> feel free to ping us if you have more Qs
<alolita> once every month :-)
<DarTar> bye everybody
<StevenW> ciao!