Welcome to the twentieth newsletter from the Growth team!
The Growth team's objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in Wikimedia projects.
As of February, 300,000 suggested edits have been completed since the feature was first deployed in December 2019.
Add a link is the team's first structured task, deployed in May 2021. It has improved outcomes for newcomers. The team is now working on a second iteration based on community feedback and data analysis. Improvements will include: improved algorithmic suggestions, guardrails to prevent too many similar links to be added, and clearer encouragement for users to continue making edits. After adding these improvements, we will deploy this task to more Wikipedias.
Add an image is the second structured task built by our team. It was deployed in November 2021 to four pilot Wikipedias. This is a more challenging task for newcomers. However, it adds more value to articles (so far, over 1,000 images have been added). We are currently learning from communities and from the data on what is working well and what needs improvements. The project page contains links to interactive prototypes. We are very interested to hear your thoughts on this idea as we build and test the early versions. We will soon deploy this task to more Wikipedias as a test.
"Add a link" and "Add an image" now both have a limitation on how many of these tasks newcomers can do per day. It is meant to discourage careless newcomers from making too many problematic edits.
Over the last two years, the Growth team has focused on building suggested edits: easy tasks for newcomers to start with. We have learned with this experience that these tasks help many newcomers to make their first edits. Now, the team is starting a new project : "positive reinforcement". Its goal is to make newcomers proud of their editing and to make them want to come back for more of them. With the positive reinforcement project, we are considering three kinds of features:
- Impact stats: give newcomers the ability to see how many people read the articles they edit.
- Leveling up: encourage newcomers to progress from easier tasks to harder tasks.
- Personalized praise: encourage mentors and other editors to "thank" and award newcomers for good work.
This project is just beginning, and we hope for community thoughts on the direction. We know that things can wrong if we offer the wrong incentives to newcomers, so we want to be careful. Please visit the talk page to help guide the project!
News for mentors
- The mentor dashboard is available at all wikis. It helps mentors see who their mentees are and keep track of their activity. It is automatically activated where a list of mentors has been created. If you need assistance to create a list of mentors, please contact us.
- The mentor dashboard has a new module: settings. It is now possible for mentors to define their status (active or away). They can specify the volume of questions they want to receive, and they can claim mentees in an easier way. It is also possible for mentors to quit, which will automatically reassign their mentees to other mentors.
- We are working on an ability for a mentee to opt-out (and back in) to having a mentor.
- Previously, in the table that displays mentees activity, the filters displayed all mentees, even the ones with zero edits or lots of edits. We have changed this so that only mentees with between 1 and 500 edits are visible by default. Mentors can change this value in their filters.
- We are currently working on a special page for mentors to sign-up.
Some wikis have created userboxes that mentors can display on the user pages. If your wiki has one, please link it to Wikidata!
Previously, at most Wikipedias, only 80% of newcomers were getting the Growth features. This was done for experimentation, to have a control group. We have changed this setting. Now 100% of new accounts at all Wikipedias get the Growth features (except a few, kept as test wikis). We invite communities to update their onboarding documentation and tutorials. Please include the Growth features in it. To help you, we have created an help page that can be translated and adapted to your wiki.
How to help
Do you have questions about the Growth features? This translatable FAQ contains answers to the most common questions about the Growth team work. We regularly update it.
Interface translations are important for newcomers. Please help for your language, by translating or copyediting interface translations for the Growth features.