Research:Portuguese Wikipedia trends and behavior/Suggestions

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This brief research sprint successfully resulted in the compilation of a factbase regarding the PT-WP. This information can all be found within the breakdown of the different themes from the research summary page.

A few consistent themes emerged from the research, and various questions answered point to a few concrete areas of changing course of action:

Make editing on wiki.pt more fun!
Welcome new users
Improve techniques to fight vandalism
Re-evaluate methods of dealing with conflict

Key Points[edit]

1. Make editing on wiki.pt more fun![edit]

Improve the environment to retain qualified editors.

Research Results[edit]

Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Index by language project (WESI)
  • Editors on Portuguese Wikipedia are the least satisfied amongst language projects, according to recent editor survey (see graph)
  • Communication with new editors is impersonal and tends to be more about warning than welcoming

Suggestions[edit]

  • Encourage the use of such tools as WikiLove, localizing it to make it more relevant
  • Modify templates to encourage new participation
  • Begin more actively communicating the primary reasons of participation: to share knowledge

Challenges[edit]

  • Find a compromise between openness and security: vandalism must be stopped but well-intentioned newbies should be welcomed and taught how to become better contributors.
  • Monitoring to detect which percentage of editors reach the autoconfirmed threshold, locating possible faults in the reception and maintenance of newbies.

2. Welcome new users[edit]

Simplify steps to involvement for new users.

Research Results[edit]

  • The edits of new editors are being deleted more rapidly now than in the past.
  • New editors are also most likely greeted in an impersonal manner and mainly with warning messages instead of welcoming messages.
  • The standard welcoming message is too long (in comparison to other wikis, especially en.wiki) and slightly agressive since it is very imperative and uses distinctions between new users and experienced ones. The word novato (newby) may be offensive to some people. In other wikis it is more welcoming and warm.
  • The CAPTCHA presents a roadblock to new editors, though it has not proven to be effective in decreasing the overall amount of edits that need to be reverted.
Reverting new users Templates on talk page Reverts as % of edits

PT WP reverted edits.png

Newly created user talks ptwiki.png

Number of reverts as a percent of edits.jpg

Suggestions[edit]

  • Modify templates to be more positive and personal (e.g., Huggle experiment; welcoming templates)
  • Consider removing the CAPTCHA, which was originally planned to be a non-permanent solution for fighting vandalism. Alternatively, the CAPTCHA requirement could be removed for all registered users, leaving it only for anonymous. CAPTCHAs are designed to prevent computers from doing human work, so this may not be the most effective tool to slow down human vandals, and may be unnecessarily slowing down good-faith new editors.

Challenges[edit]

  • The local recommendation is to send welcome messages only to users with at least one valid edit. That might be shying away users from welcoming new editors when they are not sure whether an edit is valid or not.

3.Improve techniques to fight vandalism[edit]

Keep vandals and vandalism out of the encyclopedia while allowing more good-faith new editors in

Research Results[edit]

  • There is an inherent tension between the goal of having an encyclopedia anyone can edit and the challenges of maintenance: on PT:WP, the most active community may be focusing on vandal fighting at the expense of openness to newcomers.

Suggestions[edit]

  • Look for ways to balance fighting vandalism with supporting new editors to become part of the community - reverting vandalism is important, but so is encouraging editing.
  • Allow individual editors to participate in their deletion discussion or at least to understand the reasons for deletion, regardless of edit count.
  • Consider the outcomes of other language projects and how PT-WP might adapt its social structure
  • Consider lowering the barrier to entry to adminship, and thus building a larger group of admins able to work on things besides reverting vandalism.
  • Consider alternative methods of vandal fighting, for example Flagged Revisions (which is already being used on pt.wikiversity). In the English Wikipedia they tried to implement something called "pending changes", which was basically a "trial version" of the full on "Flagged Revisions". It was ultimately rejected, probably for two major reasons: (1) it was unclear how copyright responsibility was effected if you incorporated an "approval" process. For example, if an editor endorses content that later turns out to be a copyright violation or defamatory misrepresentation of sources, does this editor share responsibility? (2) It could easily be misused by "established" editors to help propagate their own viewpoints. For example, not accepting content that doesn't match his/her own viewpoint.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Pending_changes)

Challenges[edit]

4. Re-evaluate methods of dealing with conflict[edit]

Research Results[edit]

  • Conflicts on-wiki tend to be left unaddressed. Requests by editors to admins for blocking have increased, but they are not always answered. This is largely due to lack of online admins; not because they are overly-sensitive issues.
  • Barriers to gaining additional editing permissions or capabilities in the community are high, requiring thousands of edits and months of experience
  • To participate in making community decisions, one has to qualify for voting rights, which are also high; less and less people are qualified to vote.
  • Almost 40% of total megabytes added to PT-WP are to user-talk pages instead of the main article space

Suggestions[edit]

  • Consider the outcomes of other language projects and how PT-WP might adapt its social structure
  • Consider lowering the barrier to entry to adminship, and thus encouraging and enabling admins to focus more efforts outside of reverts/deletions
  • Consider lowering the barriers to entry for voting; perhaps talk to other language projects about what they do

Challenges[edit]

See also[edit]