User talk:MMiller (WMF)

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Growth activities[edit]

Hi MMiller (WMF), is there a newsletter or some other method that you and your team use to communicate your plans and activities regarding new editor retention? I want to be informed of your plans and activities. Thanks, --Pine 05:40, 24 May 2018 (UTC)Reply

@Pine: thanks for getting in touch about this. I remember we exchanged some notes on your talk page a couple months ago. Thanks for those helpful tips. Has there been any updates with the LearnWiki project since then? Regarding the Growth team, there is not yet a newsletter or project page, but I'm planning for both of those things to begin to exist during June and July. I will make sure you know where to find them as soon as they do exist. But I can say that nothing crucial has happened yet, as the team that will be working on Growth is still completing their previous major project. Thank you, and I'll stay in touch. -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 21:26, 25 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
Hi Mark, I have no major updates to report from my end. When your team starts to work on growth, are you planning to start by developing in-context help for VE and NEWT? Also, does your team have a public Phab workboard? Thanks, --Pine 18:16, 29 May 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: I'm sorry; I'm learning acronyms as quickly as I can, but still have a ways to go. Is "VE" visual editor? And what is "NEWT"? We are currently figuring out whether "in-context help" or "human-to-human help" is the better project for the team to begin with. There are not yet current project pages for those two things, and there also isn't yet a Phabricator board for the Growth team. We'll be getting those things set up during June and July. -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 01:31, 1 June 2018 (UTC)Reply
MMiller (WMF) yes, VE -> VisualEditor. Also, NEWT is my personal term for the New Wikitext Editor. :) You seem to be very new, which makes you a good candidate for Wikipedia editor onboarding. Have you tried The Wikipedia Adventure? Regarding your team's order of operations, I would be appreciative if you would tell me by mid-June whether you will prioritize in-context help or human-to-human help. If you prioritize in-context help then I will want to be updated about your plans frequently, probably weekly. If you prioritize human-to-human help then I can more easily work independently of your team. Since you are new, I would recommend that you prioritize human-to-human help which I think will make your learning be easier, and after a few months of experience with that then you could transition to in-context help. I would like to meet with you on Hangouts in late June if you would be willing to have a more detailed discussion at that time. Thanks, --Pine 03:29, 1 June 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: I have done the Wikipedia Adventure, which does seem to contain some good content. I will definitely keep you posted as soon as we know our plans in more detail. Thank you, Marshall. -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 22:39, 4 June 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Hi Marshall, I apologize for repeatedly referring to you as Mark. I would like to ask for an update about your plans for FY1819, especially for July. Zero hour is rapidly approaching. :) Thanks, --Pine 00:55, 27 June 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: thanks for checking back in. Yes, the new fiscal year is about to begin, and we're in the middle of a lot of planning. Just for your background, the Growth team is largely composed of members from the previous Collaboration team, which has been working on map improvements and the new filters for the Recent Changes and Watchlist pages. The engineers are wrapping up those projects as we get ready for the work of the new team. With respect to the new team, there are a few important things going on right now:
  • We are assembling our team and project pages on These will be the main places for community members to read about our work and track our progress. My goal is to have a page up by the end of the week, even if it's not finished yet. Though we have not yet chosen the first specific feature we will be developing, we'll be laying out many ideas and choosing the first one deliberately. The rest of the points below will be present on that page.
  • We are starting with data. The two wikis in which we'll be piloting interventions are Czech and Korean Wikipedias, chosen because they are mid-size Wikipedias that participated in the New Editor Experiences research. Right now, we're spending time going through the data on new user signups and retention on Czech and Korean Wikipedias, to make sure we're grounding any interventions in the reality of what's happening in those environments. We'll be posting the reports on wiki.
  • We are working with our Czech and Korean ambassadors to give us necessary background and context on the most common user challenges experienced on their wikis, and on the current help-related resources that are available in their wikis. This will help us understand the context into which we would be adding any sort of changes.
  • The Growth team will actually begin the quarter by finishing a project that was begun by the Community Tech team. It is a project to improve the Articles for Creation and New Pages Patrol workflows in English Wikipedia, that I began after ACTRIAL became permanent. The reason Growth team will be finishing this project is because the engineers have expertise in some of the technical elements that the project needs (particularly with ORES models), which will allow it to be completed sooner. This additional time will also help the team prepare for the work we'll be doing on Czech and Korean Wikipedias. We expect this to take the first month or so of the quarter.
I hope this gives you a good sense of what the team is planning, and I will let you know as soon as the wiki pages are up.
-- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 18:01, 27 June 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Thanks Marshall, that was very useful information for me. My focuses in the short to medium term will be ENWP and Commons, and it will be good that we are staying out of each others' way for the time being. I am very glad to hear that some people from the Maps Improvements 2018 and Edit Review Improvements will work in the Growth team because I have a positive opinion about the two previous projects. I would be happy for your team to succeed on Czech and Korean Wikipedias and then start to work elsewhere. I would like to cooperate with your efforts where possible, which sounds more likely if and when your team starts to work on ENWP and/or Commons. Good luck and please continue to provide updates at least monthly. Thanks! --Pine 02:37, 2 July 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: I wanted to let you know that the Growth team's page is up, which describes our team and the background for what we're working on and why. We also posted a project page for our first project. You'll see on there that we're still in the process of deciding what our first intervention will be. It's on that project page that I'll be posting updates on our team's progress. Please let us know on the talk pages if you have any thoughts! -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 9 July 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Pine: thanks for the note. I will check that out. I also wanted to let you know that our team has just posted the first set of features we're considering, and we want to get feedback from communities before making any decisions. I'm hoping you can join the conversation on the talk page! -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 23 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

New bot groups?[edit]

Hi MMiller, we noticed a new "bot" access group has been loaded in to production projects and would like to know information about it. Please see w:en:Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard#New_bot-like_access_group. A link in to a more "official" page may be useful as well. Best regards, — xaosflux Talk 18:47, 1 September 2018 (UTC)Reply

Hi Xaosflux, thanks for getting in touch about this. That bot will be for facilitating automated copyvio detection on pages in the New Pages Feed via this project. The work on that project is all in this Phabricator epic. The lead engineer on our team is User:Roan_Kattouw_(WMF), and I've brought the conversation to his attention so he can help with the technical details. -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 4 September 2018 (UTC)Reply

Video tutorial regarding Wikipedia referencing with VisualEditor[edit]

Hi, I have received a grant from WMF to support production of a video tutorial regarding creating references with VisualEditor. I anticipate that the video will be published in March 2019. Depending on funding considerations, this tutorial might be published in both English and Spanish. If this tutorial is well received then I may produce additional tutorials in the future. If you would like to receive notifications on your talk page when drafts and finished products from this project are ready for review, then please sign up for the project newsletter.
Regards, --Pine 06:27, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Growth features on Italian Wikipedia[edit]


I'm a user from the Italian Wikipedia, and I'm trying to convince my community to approve the deploy of your features on our wiki.

I'm preparing a discussion to be opened at the village pump, but I need some informations.

  1. Witch features are you going to deploy? All ones? Just the personalized first day project?
  2. In the future, you will automatically deploy the new features you are going to develop or we should ask for them? If it is automatic, can we eventually ask you to do not deploy something?
  3. I saw you're developing an interface for mentors, is it already aviable? Updates like this (so updates concerning the homepage) will be automatically deployed?
  4. Can you, or some of your colleagues, write me a text explaining why we need those features, so I can translate and show it to my community?

Thank you, regards --ValeJappo (talk) 09:44, 11 July 2020 (UTC)Reply

Hi ValeJappo -- thank you for getting in touch, and for working hard to help newcomers on your wiki. I have heard from Trizek about the conversations you have been having. Below are my answers. I hope they are what you need, and please let me know if not.
Witch features are you going to deploy? All ones? Just the personalized first day project?
When we deploy Growth features to a new wiki, we usually deploy all these features:
Three of those are described on this page, which I see is translated to Italian. "Welcome survey" is not described on that page because it is a more minor feature, but still important, because the answers from the welcome survey are used to personalize the newcomer's homepage. The only Growth feature that we do not plan to deploy is "EditorJourney", which is a way to collect data about newcomers' first day. We no longer are analyzing this data, and therefore do not want to collect it if it is not being used.
Are you concerned that your community will not want the full set of features?
In the future, you will automatically deploy the new features you are going to develop or we should ask for them? If it is automatic, can we eventually ask you to do not deploy something?
Yes, usually we automatically deploy new features once wikis start working with us. Our features usually work together, and so we recommend having all of them. We announce upcoming new features in our newsletter, and we also contact the volunteers (like you) who we work with in our wikis to make sure they are aware of what is coming up. If there is a feature in the future that you do not think should be on your wiki, it is sometimes possible to not deploy it, and we can discuss that if the situation occurs. In the case that it's not possible to not deploy it, the only other option may be to turn off all the Growth features. We hope this does not happen, because we want to work with you to figure out the best solution.
I saw you're developing an interface for mentors, is it already aviable? Updates like this (so updates concerning the homepage) will be automatically deployed?
I think you are talking about the mentorship dashboard. This is the idea for an interface so that mentors can see who their mentees are. Is that correct? Unfortunately, we have not built it yet. Do you think it would be useful? It would be good to know if you think it will be valuable, and maybe that will help us prioritize the work. When we do build it, we would want to automatically deploy it, but we would make sure communities know in advance that it is coming, so that we can discuss any questions or concerns. How does that sound?
Can you, or some of your colleagues, write me a text explaining why we need those features, so I can translate and show it to my community?
Yes, I wrote a paragraph below. Do you think this is what you need?
The WMF Growth team has existed for two years, building features that are meant to increase the retention of newcomers. Research shows that newcomer retention is very low across all Wikipedias. The research also tells us why: newcomers are not given an experience that helps them overcome the technical, conceptual, and cultural challenges of joining the Wikipedia community. The Growth team features are meant to make it clear to newcomers how they should get started. The features give newcomers easy edits that will be interesting to them, teaches them wiki concepts through those edits, provides ways to get support and connect with the community, and allows them to see the impact they have had. The features are currently on 11 wikis, with the largest being French and Arabic Wikipedias. So far, we have seen positive results, with over 10,000 content edits made through the features and thousands of questions asked to mentors. Importantly, we have not seen any increases in vandalism or received major complaints from experienced community members. We think that Italian Wikipedia can benefit from these features. And if Italian Wikipedia adopts the features, that will increase the amount of data the Growth team can gather so that we can learn and improve more quickly.
Thank you for starting this discussion. Please stay in touch and let me know what else you need. We are enthusiastic about working with Italian Wikipedia.
-- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 05:47, 13 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, for the moment it is all I need. I wrote a comment in the mentor dashboard discussion, I hope it can be useful. Regards --ValeJappo (talk) 06:31, 13 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think that users will ask why the biggest Wikipedia, the english one, do not have this features. The community does not want them or you are not deploying it for some reasons? --ValeJappo (talk) 06:45, 13 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
Hi ValeJappo -- good question. The Growth team deliberately started by working with smaller communities -- like Czech, Korean, Vietnamese, and Arabic -- for a few reasons:
  • We felt like smaller communities need more help around growth because they have fewer resources to improve growth on their own.
  • We wanted to make sure that our features would work for all wikis, not just the large ones. By designing for smaller wikis first, we'll make sure that things will work in different languages, scripts, and cultures.
  • We can quickly learn by working with smaller wikis and then make sure the features are of higher quality with fewer bugs once they go to larger wikis.
Now that we have good experiences with the smaller wikis, we feel like the features are ready to put on the larger wikis, and so now we are talking to Wikipedias like Polish, Italian, Portuguese, and we have already deployed to French. We have started a conversation on English Wikipedia about eventually using the features, but that might come later on.
Does this make sense? -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 13 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
Yes, it does. Thank you --ValeJappo (talk) 17:00, 13 July 2020 (UTC)Reply

Open letter to the WMF[edit]

Hi Marshall,

We have posted an open letter to the Foundation and Board of Trustees. It concerns the development of MediaWiki extensions and needs the personal attention of all concerned developers and managers. Please see it at:

meta: and en.Wikipedia:

Your comments are welcome. Many thanks.

Kind regards, On behalf of the English Wikipedia Community MB (talk) 02:39, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply

Update to commentlinks.js gadget[edit]

I am about to update my comment links gadget to link the comment's timestamp rather than add a separate [ link ] button. If you prefer the old style, that gadget will be available at commentlinks-v1.js. As before, this gadget is experimental and may stop working at any time, see T275729 for the task to make this a proper feature. Thanks, ESanders (WMF) (talk) 12:14, 30 September 2022 (UTC)Reply

We need your feedback on a tool from the Wikimedia Summit[edit]

Reminder: the guide to using Baserow, presented during the Wikimedia Summit.

Hi! I'm contacting you as one of the participants in the Wikimedia Summit 2022, to kindly ask for your feedback through a 5-10 minute survey to evaluate 'Baserow' (note: the survey is on a Google form).

Baserow was a tool through which participants in the Summit co-created a database of Movement Strategy activities. We hope to learn from you how useful it may be to keep using it in the future to help document and connect on Movement Strategy work.

You are welcome and encouraged to fill out the survey in any language. Your feedback would be very appreciated --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 15:38, 16 February 2023 (UTC).Reply