Notes from our meeting

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New Editor Experiences discussion 1 notes (2017-10-04)[edit]

If you ask a question or make a comment, help us remember it by writing down a short version here. You can also note down anything you didn’t get a chance to say. We’ll move these notes to a wiki page later. Make sure you put down your name or username.  For example:

  • [Gabriela] WMCZ’s Seniors Edit Wikipedia courses help with this
  • [-revi] How many people had this problem?

General

Finding 1: Motivations and personas

  • Vahid: do we have %/distribution for the personnas in the community? (possibly out of scope for the study).
    • Not the goal of the study, susceptible to self-selecting bias. But among our 64 participants the ranking was: (1) Knowledge sharers and reactive correctors (3) Audience builders (4) social changers and (6) joiner-inners and box checkers.
  • Volker: When differentiating between short/long tasks on desktop and mobile, does this come from looking at how people behave on their device whilst they're in interviews (direct observation) or from questionnaires?
    • Both.
  • Volker: Was this just about existing Wikipedia editors?
    • It looked at current, and former editors, and also asked about their other knowledge-editing activities online. [?]

Finding 2: Wikipedia’s prominence

  • [nick] The Cswiki example (from finding 3 discussion) about Prof. Sokal (sp?) was interesting, because it showed how setting up an expert as a representative editor, reinforced the perception that only experts edit.

Finding 3: Intermediaries

  • [nick] minor wording quibble: "intermediaries are a critical asset" - crucial? "Critical" is ambiguous.
  • Carolyn: Are these typically 1-1 relationships, or 1-many relationships?  Did you talk to many mentors, and ask how they could be better supported by the wider community?
    • Both types of relationship. All archetypes are fluid, with people taking on different roles at different times, and getting burned out on specific roles - but asking that second question is a key part of this research.

Finding 4: Limited content

Finding 5: Complexity of how Wikipedia is made

  • Vahid: goes back to the discussion of whether Wikipedia is a social network or not. Inasmuch as we are, our interaction designs don’t make it easy/intuitive to discover for newbies.
    • Agreed. Some editors were surprised to find out about talkpages, and that they could discuss things with real people. [?]

Finding 6: Confidence in knowledge

  • Dan: Sue Gardner used to say that Wikipedia is a great place to learn about a topic, contrary to the intuition that you need to be an expert to edit.  She meant that the research process can be shared, while you’re learning you can edit. I’m curious to what extent this attitude still exists, because Sue talked about this being prevalent in the 2007-2011 time period?
    • Answer: Neil: didn’t see it much.  Abbey: found examples of this among people characterized as Social Changers.
  • Ben: re: intermediaries - inspiration to contribute — and inspiration specifically to learn about a topic (or to learn how to do research etc.) via contribution — can be cultivated in a programmatic context. Possible area of further research.
  • Vahid: In Latin America, students are trained to copy/replicate knowledge already formed—no expectation of being a knowledge creator/sharer. Cultural issue: do people feel empowered to create+share knowledge?
    • Additional note: Maria Sefidvari (Board member) has observed the same issue at WikiWomen editathons in Spain: It takes specific work for the participants (women) to feel they have the right to edit (on feminist topics). (Vahid)

Finding 7: Iterative, progressive learning

Finding 8: Conceptual challenges

  • Dan: After explaining the misconceptions to the newcomers, how did they react?
    • We were mostly trying to learn from the participants (how they attempted to find answers, and how else they might expect/guess to try). We did explain in a few cases though, which eased but didn't remove frustration.
  • Note bank-line/queue analogy ("wait an hour, get to the front, find out you were in the wrong line")

Finding 9: Unintuitive processes

  • Vahid: We don’t make it easy for newbies.

Finding 10: Help outside Wikipedia

  • Vahid: Argentina chapter has been running a MOOC for teachers. Creating a small network of tutors providing round-the-clock support (e.g. over instant messaging) is key for success (for the teacher-newbies). Hand holding through the initiation for Newbies is key to success.
    • Ben: another prompt to expand research into programs-based approaches to bringing in new editors

Finding 11: Feedback

New Editor Experiences discussion 2 notes (2017-10-05)[edit]

If you ask a question or make a comment, help us remember it by writing down a short version here. You can also note down anything you didn’t get a chance to say. We’ll move these notes to a wiki page later. Make sure you put down your name or username.  For example:

  • [Gabriela] WMCZ’s Seniors Edit Wikipedia courses help with this
  • [-revi] How many people had this problem?

General

Finding 1: Motivations and personas

  • [Revi]: by the way , we have a typo in “social changer” but it’s obviously too late to fix :P
  • [Qui]: I like the personas. can you also categorize by complexity of edits and frequency of edits?
    • Can you also categorize editors by complexity of edits and frequency of edits?

Finding 2: Wikipedia’s prominence

  • [Neil] Wikipedia = authoritative voice;  How might we make people more comfortable editing

Finding 3: Intermediaries

  • [Neil] 1:1 personal relationship; 1:many / classes; Intermediary who is a celebrity.
  • [Cheol] Are not there famous Wikipedia editors in Korea, did you find? They are helpful!

Finding 4: Limited content

  • [Neil] Language wikipedia is limited; wikipedia lower in Naver search results. (Penalized because Wikipedia isn’t their service)
  • [Neil] If their needs are met by English, there may be no inspiration / incentive to translate to their own language.
  • [Chelsy] Considering most of the new editors think that English Wikipedia is more comprehensive in a lot of more global topic, did you find local editors have more interest in editing in topics that are more related to their country/culture, but have limited sources in English?
    • Yes. Especially in topics that they are passionate about / knowledgeable in
    • Example: piano player article in English was detailed, but other languages were shorter and different aspects of that person were highlighted depending on each culture/language
  • [Qui] how did people feel about replicating English content in local language?  Did they feel there was value in that?
    • Many ways of translating, either in other apps/outside of translating tool within Wikipedia
  • [Qui] If someone is just translating would you call them editors?
    • Yes.

Finding 5: Complexity of how Wikipedia is made

  • [Neil] Understanding policy is a huge barrier
  • [Neil] Lack of understanding of social aspects of Wikipedia (talk, user pages)
  • [Meghana] What did you learn from people who did find or know about the social aspects of Wikipedia, and/or when they learned about talk / user pages from your team, what was their reaction?
    • They received thanks and understood that they received a message; pride
    • Social aspects are all in wikitext; people are used to visual editor
    • Lack of understanding of what they can do with the newly found social aspects; lack of any particular reason for them to start a conversation

Finding 6: Confidence in knowledge

Finding 7: Iterative, progressive learning

  • [Abbey] Success = small manageable chunks on your own, vs, editathon = mass edits in a group; lack of sustained learning over time
  • [Meghana] All these behaviors (anonymous editing, small tiny changes)... are these encouraged by the UI?
    • Not particularly. Often times it happens just by experimentation, trial / error. Edits are happening all over the world, but maybe we can make this easier for people, even the experts. Neil: “reactive corrector” (finding this an interesting term (persona)!)
    • Small changes = much easier to figure out
    • Complex new articles = harder, and also a bigger challenge because they have to learn the social aspects and policies around editing and discussing their work
  • [Abbey] Word docs / “sandboxes” are used to gather research and sources before going back into Wikipedia
  • Idea: to quantify the time it takes for people to learn to edit
  • [Abbey] Categorize the types of editors / complexity of edits and frequency of edits. Frustration when learning: explorers (its ok), goal oriented editors (this is a blocker) = coming up with such categories will make it easier for us (Wikipedia) to explore ways to make it easier for (all types of) people to edit

Finding 8: Conceptual challenges

  • [Neil] Writing content the Wikipedia way, and policies are more difficult to overcome than the technology itself
  • [Meghana] Making it easy for people to get feedback before putting content back into Wikimedia will be a good thing to explore. How can we make it easier for people to do that within Wikipedia? Ex: Medium: I think you can get a “private URL” to share with collaborators.

Finding 9: Unintuitive processes

  • [Abbey] Wiki text super challenging, beyond the basics. People prefer visual editor.
  • [Abbey] Email notifications. Replying doesn’t do anything. People don’t know what to do next!
  • [Abbey] Online help is overwhelming.

Finding 10: Help outside Wikipedia

  • [Cheol] telephone help desk will work? Screen Sharing video conferencing for tutoring?
    • [Quiddity] I think only German Wikimedia has experimented with telephone calls. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Telefonberatung  --- See description in https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2016-2017_round_1/Wikimedia_Deutschland_e.V./Progress_report_form (search "telefone")
  • [Neil] Wikipedia guides and help are complex and hard to understand. They reach these help pages via google, not from within Wikipedia
  • [Neil] People prefer 1:1 help, but it’s often outside of talk pages.
  • [Abbey] OTRS (Email) is available
    • [Revi]: But understaffed, Korean has about 2 or 3 yet receiving occasional help request)
  • Idea: tiered help

Finding 11: Feedback

  • How feedback is framed can be inspiring or completely discouraging
  • Messages/notifications can be a blocker
  • When work is edited to align with the rules but nobody describes why it was edited in that way and what the rules are
  • Experts/mentors also volunteer their time helping others, but they do not see their help having an impact, they do not want to continue

Next steps

  • Better recruiting and retaining of new editors
  • Planning a series of workshops of staffers, prioritize findings and next projects in partnership with South Korea and Czech Republic communities.