Talk:Growth/Personalized first day/Newcomer homepage

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Please read over the project page, and comment here with any ideas, questions, or concerns. Do you think this is a good idea? Where could we go wrong?

More filtering options (for suggested edits)

3
JackFromWisconsin (talkcontribs)

Currently the filtering options only add new groups of articles, and don't find articles that meet certain criteria. It would be valuable to have the ability to filter to only Transportation articles in Asia for example.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @JackFromWisconsin -- thanks for bringing this up. We've heard from many newcomers that they would be interested in more specific topics (especially country-level, as opposed to continent-level). Your comment has spurred an internal conversation on the Growth team about how we might accomplish this idea. One interesting thing is that it's already possible to do this through Search. For instance, check out this link using topic keywords: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=articletopic%3Atransportation+articletopic%3Aasia&title=Special:Search&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&ns0=1

By entering both topics, I get articles that have high scores for both transportation and Asia (Indian Railways, Toyota, etc.). We're thinking about whether it might be easiest to add a free-form search bar so people could use Boolean logic to make specific lists, or if there are user interface elements that could make this simple.

Is there a specific topic combination that you yourself would want to select?

JackFromWisconsin (talkcontribs)

I did not know that was already available through search! A search bar could definitely be an easy way to implement this, but I think having a selector to change between adding the topics together, and only taking articles that are in both topics would be great. Asking a question such as "How would you like your articles selected?" "From any topics" or "Only in all topics". I'm not a UX designer so my wording choices suck, but this is asking between whether all topics, or just the intersection of topics.

Messing around with the topic search, it works exactly as I would want (by bringing up articles that are rated high in both categories). If I was interested in video games based on war, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=articletopic%3Avideo-games+articletopic%3Amilitary-and-warfare&title=Special:Search&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&ns0=1 would be more useful to me.

Reply to "More filtering options (for suggested edits)"
JackFromWisconsin (talkcontribs)

It would be amazing to bring the homepage over to WikiProject pages. Relatively few things would need to be changed, for example "your mentor" should be changed to "helpful editors", and have it be composed of knowledgeable editors in the WikiProject. Making it customizable would allow WikiProjects to provide specific links and advice for its volunteers. I'm imagining the Article Alert bot system gets replicated as a tile. The possibilities are endless

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @JackFromWisconsin -- thank you for checking out the Growth projects! I agree that there is a lot of potential for the newcomer homepage when it comes to WikiProjects. The way we're thinking about the homepage is that each person has their own personal page, as opposed to it being like a common page that many people visit. It sounds like you're talking about an idea in which it would be possible for each WikiProject to set up a structured front page that shows the most important people and tasks in their project, sort of like how highly-developed projects like WikiProject Medicine have done with templates. Is that how you're thinking about it?

In terms of the homepage in the way we designed, there are several ideas we've had that relate to WikiProjects:

  • The task list could allow users to select tasks that are under the auspices of certain WikiProjects, like "Medicine" tasks or "Women in Red" tasks.
  • After users select topics of interest, it could recommend WikiProjects that they could watch or join.
  • We could assign mentors to newcomers based on which WikiProjects the mentors are active in matching the interests of the newcomer.

What are your thoughts? Are there particular projects in which you're active?

Reply to "Homepage for WikiProjects"

"Your impact" module thoughts

2
Sdkb (talkcontribs)

Hi Growth Team! Having glanced at the impact module a bunch since activating the homepage, I just wanted to offer some thoughts on it.

First, if new editors feel at all similarly to how I do, this module definitely seems to be succeeding at the goal of helping editors feel satisfaction about their impact. The main way you normally find out that others have seen your edits is when they get reverted, and this is a lot more pleasant than that haha.

Second, this is probably something that's a lot more acute for me as an experienced editor who edits tons of different pages than it would be for a newcomer who hasn't edited that many, but the selection of pages still seems off. It feels very heavily weighted toward pages I've edited recently (which have less views since I edited them by virtue of being recent), and sometimes pages I've only made quite small edits to show up. Adjusting the algorithm that picks which pages to show to favor ones where I've made large or many edits and place less weight on ones I've edited most recently might help.

Third, I think a likely impact of this module to consider is that it pushes editors toward editing more popular pages. When I see that 100 people have viewed my contributions to one page and 5000 people have viewed my edit contributions to another, that's a strong push toward editing the second page. If that's the case, the upside is that it'll allow their contributions to benefit more readers, and that it'll increase their odds of coming into contact with experienced editors who can help them if needed. However, the downside is that many more popular pages are already in much better shape, so they may have a harder time finding positive contributions to make, and the editors they encounter may be as likely to revert or bite them as to help them out.

Nick Moyes (talkcontribs)

I also had similar concerns about pushing new editors towards popular articles. The upside of that is that there would be more oversight of these new edits. If the algorithm were to be slewed so that it reflected the ‘’proportion’’ of the article that was altered, then a change to a stub article would look better than a similar edit to a large, popular one.

Reply to ""Your impact" module thoughts"

chat functionality to get real-time support

8
Poupou l'quourouce (talkcontribs)

In order to help newcomers as best as possible, I suggest that the "ask for help" button should open a chat window and connect the newcomer to an experienced user who provides help in real time and on the spot. This is not meant as an introduction of chat for all users, but only as a tool for which experienced users who want to help could sign up for. I believe that is is often difficult for newbies to write down what their problem or question actually entails and even more difficult to understand the answers written down by wikipedians. Real-time chat would help to come to the point since both participants could ask further questions to identify the specific problem the newcomer is facing. Ideally, this would be combined with a kind of back-end view, showing the experienced user the page which the newcomer is looking at (similar to a remote support functionality, but read-only).--~~~~

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

This is the best statement of the problem that I have seen!

often difficult for newbies to write down what their problem or question actually entails and even more difficult to understand the answers written down by wikipedians

As someone who very occasionally visits en-wp Teahouse and Helpdesk, and was recently looking at VE-feedback, I’ll say it’s quite common to see a post that make me go “huh? what?”. Another big issue is not knowing whether the newbie has come back and read the responses, as they rarely post an acknowledgement. It can be discouraging writing answers that will just get archived after a few days. Perhaps live help could be (sometimes) rewarding for the helper as well as the helpee?

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Pelagic -- thanks for checking out these materials. I agree that newcomers have trouble formulating strong questions. This is definitely something we've struggled with in the help panel project. We've tried a couple ways to frame the prompt to ask questions, but we continue to get plenty of newcomers whose question is simply something like, "Hello" (which, I suspect, is because they expect someone to chat them back a "hello" right away).

And it is definitely also a problem that newcomers frequently don't see the responses. Our data from the help panel makes us think it is less than half of users who return to view the responses they get to their questions. To address this, we've encouraged newcomers to add email addresses to their accounts (via the newcomer homepage) and told them to expect a notification on wiki (via the help panel). We haven't yet revisited whether we increased how many newcomers read responses.

I agree that live chat help could be rewarding for the helper, and this has been an ongoing topic of conversation on our team: how to make the helping of newcomers feel rewarding and productive. One idea we have is the mentor dashboard, which would allow mentors to monitor how their mentees are doing, and to track the kind of impact they may have had through helping those newcomers succeed. Please feel free to add any of your ideas to that talk page!

But overall, the team has not yet prioritized to digging in how we could make live chat work -- we have been prioritizing the "newcomer tasks" features that you commented on separately. I do hope we can return to this idea.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Poupou l'quourouce -- thanks for reading about our team's work and proposing this idea. The idea of "chat" has come up a lot in our team's work, especially around the help panel feature. Newcomers frequently expect the help panel to have live chat, and experienced community members have expressed interest in supporting it. And at Wikimedia Hackathon 2019, we actually built a small prototype. But there are a couple of really big challenges around it that have kept us from working on it too much, and I'm wondering whether you have ideas around these:

  • Resourcing: how could we make sure that enough experienced editors are available at all times to respond to chats?
  • Patrolling: live chat could potentially be a vector for abuse, and we would want to make sure that it is a safe place for all users.

I'm CCing @Trizek (WMF) so he can follow along.

Poupou l'quourouce (talkcontribs)

Resources and potential abuse are indeed relevant issues. I do not think that there will be enough editors available at all times for live-support. But in that situation there could just be a note saying "sorry, no live chat available at the moment, please try again later or leave your questions at XYZ, where they will be answered within the next days".

For abuse reasons there should be an easy way for the newcomer to end the conversation any time. And, possibly more important, the tool should (from a back-edn perspective) not be available to anyone, but only to experiecned users that have been approved by others, for example users who have mentor status (in de Wikipedia they are elected similar to admins, I do not know about other versions). Those users who engange would need to have some sturdy attitude, so they do not bother too much, in case they receive abuse messages from fake newcomers. Regards,--~~~~

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, @Poupou l'quourouce. These sound lke sensible ideas. We'll keep them in mind if/when we decide to work on live chat for the help panel.

Sven Volkens (talkcontribs)

Hi folks, on top of Poupou's idea I would like to suggest: Do add a) some function for appointments / individual "office hours" and b) videochat. Since 2020/21 produced an enormous leap towards videocalls e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e: Some newcomers would greatly appreciate an instant or appointed face-to-face-talk. I would prefer some function as in moodle: one click opens a zoom-session.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi Sven!

To be honest, the Wikimedia Foundation will probably never built a video conferencing software. :)

Have you considered to have office hours announced on wiki (could be on the Homepage we provide), and use Jitsi or another FLOSS software?

Reply to "chat functionality to get real-time support"

Mechanical headers on talk pages from newscomers

15
Summary by Trizek (WMF)
Iniquity (talkcontribs)

I got the idea that the same type of mechanical headlines can negatively affect the mood of both mentors and newcomers.

Often times, mentor talk pages are composed of only such headings. People suggested to me that it seems that bots are writing to you (regardless of the content of the question). This can have a negative effect in the long term, since bots are less interested in responding than humans.

I think to ask a question about this topic to the Russian mentors, but I am writing here, as maybe someone will also be interested in this possible problem.

Iniquity (talkcontribs)
Iniquity (talkcontribs)

Perhaps, by the way, this is why many mentors want to move questions to another page.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I can understand the effect on mentors, but I'm less sure about the effect on mentees. I won't say that mentees will notice a difference. They are only looking for an answer.

We tried to ask mentees to add a title, and it was not really a success: imagine a page with only headers all the same: "Question". :D

In you opinion, what would be the alternative? We can't pass on the username, since it is the only way to make a difference between two comments. Have something like "Question (26)" may be as boring as the current state.

Mentors want ot move questions to other pages? I don't remember you mentioning it - but I may be wrong!

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

> I won't say that mentees will notice a difference. They are only looking for an answer.

It seems to me that mentees still look at the mentor's talk page, and such topics kill the appearance of live communication. 1. One gets the impression that this is how the topics should be named. 2. It seems that the mentor is only answering questions from newcomers. These are just my guesses.

> We tried to ask mentees to add a title, and it was not really a success: imagine a page with only headers all the same: "Question". :D

Oh, was there such an experiment? I didn't know about this, and thought to offer this idea in this capacity :) So let's forget about this idea :)

> In you opinion, what would be the alternative?

I thought about it, and could not come up with anything good. Maybe take time out of the header?

> Mentors want ot move questions to other pages? I don't remember you mentioning it - but I may be wrong!

Yes, I didn’t tell you about it because I don’t like this idea and I decided to deal with it later. I mentioned this to Olga in our interview.

In general, a month or two ago, one mentor left the project, because she really did not like that questions from newcomers cluttered the page. She asked if they could be moved to another place, I said not yet.

Two reasons why I don't like this idea: 1. Communicating on the talk pages, the mentees immediately gets used to our discussion system: that all questions should be on the talk page 2. It will be very difficult for other mentors to follow other people's pages if they are all in different places.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Well, some mentors are only replying to mentees, since most of their interactions with the reste of the community is done on community pages. I can understand the feeling you describe though.

Taking the timestamp out of the header would be a solution. I have to ask if it is possible, since we use this header to identify the comment as being unique and we use it to display the link to this comment on the mentee's Homepage (If I remember correctly).

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

> Taking the timestamp out of the header would be a solution. I have to ask if it is possible, since we use this header to identify the comment as being unique and we use it to display the link to this comment on the mentee's Homepage (If I remember correctly).

Yes, this can be a problem :( But we can use a Anchor template for this purpose: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Шаблон:Якорь. Or simple tag with special ID.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi @Iniquity -- the reason we included the timestamp is because sometimes mentees ask multiple questions to their mentors, and we thought that mentors would want a way to distinguish between them from the table of contents. We thought timestamps would be most helpful, more than ID numbers.

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

Hi, @MMiller (WMF) :) Thanks for the explanation, timestamps most helpful, more than ID numbers, you are right.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

What would be the risk of someone removing these anchors by accident?

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

I think the risk is exactly the same as if someone wants to rename the topic :)

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I asked other mentors, and they are not perceiving it as a problem.

Could you provide links to direct feedback from users, so that I can get the context?

Iniquity (talkcontribs)
Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

It is a big page. :)

I created a task to track the issue. But as of now, this not something I have seen elsewhere.

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

Thank! This is not a priority, but let it be written somewhere :)

Reply to "Mechanical headers on talk pages from newscomers"

What happens to the newcomers queue after a mentor is removed from the list?

3
Summary by Trizek (WMF)
Iniquity (talkcontribs)
Iniquity (talkcontribs)
Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Sorry, I missed your question. Thank you for the ping. :)

At the moment, mentors remain assigned to their mentees even if they quit. We have a task about improving this, feel free to comment there!

Reply to "What happens to the newcomers queue after a mentor is removed from the list?"
Iniquity (talkcontribs)

What does "You'll receive a notification here on Wikipedia once there's a response." mean here?

Does the mentor have to ping the participant for this to happen?

Iniquity (talkcontribs)
Iniquity (talkcontribs)
Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Yes, mentors have to ping newcomers. A newcomer returning back to their mentor's talk page is unlikely to happen, and, on a crowded page, their chances to find back the message they left is really rare. Pinging is a best practice we documented as a more successful way to have a real discussion between mentors and mentees.

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

I edited the section on the help page, can you check it plz :)

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Checked!

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

> For instance, on wikitext talk pages, mention the user when you reply.

I think here it is necessary to point out that this action is mandatory.

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

I thought so, then it should be explicitly indicated somewhere to the mentors (because I repeat this every week for someone), and this message should be rewritten. Since if the mentor did not ping newcomer, then it does not correspond to reality. I think we can also give a link to d:Q12377052.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Maybe this ping should be systematic when one replies to a newcomer?

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

Yes, I insist on this when communicating with other mentors, but sometimes it is not only mentors who answer newcomers. And some mentors may simply forget about pinging a user. Tired after work, for example.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Good points. Thank you for thinking about all this, it is really helpful.

I documented it roughly (I'm in a hurry now) on Phabricator, feel free to edit with more uses cases! https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T272146 :)

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

Thank you! As always :)

Reply to "Pings"
Iniquity (talkcontribs)

Not only beginners want to see the process of their work. I think it will be useful for mentors as well. I propose for mentors to replace the "ask the mentor" module, the "mentor monitor" module, where they will be able to see the following:

  1. Number and list of newcomers under mentor's supervision
  2. Number of questions asked to the mentor
  3. Number of newcomers continuing to work after their question has been answered
  4. Button "claim a mentee"

I think this will motivate the mentors :)

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

In general, here I thought that the home page should be customizable not only for beginners. Experienced editors love graphics and interactivity too.

Флаттершай (talkcontribs)
Ailbeve (talkcontribs)

1. A form for answering questions posted on mentor discussion pages - as a mirror mechanism to the "ask a question" form available to the newcomer.

+ A recommender system that would offer 2 to 3 choices of blanks to answer. Which would be based on keyword searches in the question . Using a common table "key" (or RegExp) - "answer blanks" would be convenient, especially with access to updates and additions by mentors and other experienced participants.

+ Perhaps in the light of this hide (!) these questions from the mentor discussion page, because (A) there have already been complaints about cluttering the page (B) this will now be possible by using mirror question-answer forms.

2. More time-related statistics.

3. Ranking between mentors on performance.

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

@Trizek (WMF), hi :) Have we any phab task about this feature?

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This one maybe? https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T239234

It is a parent task for several sub-tasks, these sub-tasks describe the different possible modules that would be activated on the mentor's homepage.

Can you detail the reason why all the (nice) ideas you have would address mentors' needs or issues ? Some context would help to define better tools. As a comparison, if you ask for a dog, I could give you a dog. But if your need is to plant flowers seeds, maybe you don't really need a dog but a shovel. :)

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

> This one maybe? https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T239234

Yes, thanks! :)

> Can you detail the reason why all the (nice) ideas you have would address mentors' needs or issues? Some context would help to define better tools. As a comparison, if you ask for a dog, I could give you a dog. But if your need is to plant flowers seeds, maybe you don't really need a dog but a shovel.:)

1. Number and list of newcomers under mentor's supervision

We have a forced mentoring mechanic in our project. And I think that it would be useful for such mentors to be able to monitor who they have as charges. It also helps mentors in this list - Growth/Communities/How_to_introduce_yourself_as_a_mentor#A_separate_list_for_workshops_hosts.

2. Number of questions asked to the mentor

Just a motivation system. How much a mentor is in demand.

3. Number of newcomers continuing to work after their question has been answered

Just a motivation system. This gives you confidence that your answers helped.

4. Button "claim a mentee"

It seems to me that this useful feature is hidden very far away.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for your reply!

  1. I'm not sure to understand what "forced mentoring mechanic" means there. Can you clarify please?
  2. I understand the motivation need, but there is a drawback. Imagine two mentors, whose names are equally distributed to mentees. Mentees may not have the same motivation, and you can ha a mentor that will interact with 10% "their" mentees, while the other one will interact with 40% of them. Contacting the mentor is up to mentees, and getting no questions from mentees is discouraging mentors (I had this from a mentors from uk.wp). Don't you think such a feature would discourage some mentors, since they can't improve this figure?
  3. No comments on this one.
  4. I totally agree!

Also, our plans so far are the following: when a user ad their name to become a mentor, the system automatically adds modules or replaces modules on the existing homepage. In your opinion, should we enhance the existing homepage with tools for mentors, or create a separate one, dedicated to mentoring?

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

> I'm not sure to understand what "forced mentoring mechanic" means there. Can you clarify please?

There are some very unconstructive, inexperienced users who make a positive contribution to Wikipedia, but do not know how to communicate well. They are assigned "forced mentoring" by our administrators. That is, all their edits are strictly moderated by mentors, or in general, are published only by mentors

> Don't you think such a feature would discourage some mentors, since they can't improve this figure?

Yes, that's a very good point. But I can't think of any other number that could be motivating. Anyway, not about motivation, we need some kind of open statistics, like Special:Stats.

> Also, our plans so far are the following: when a user ad their name to become a mentor, the system automatically adds modules or replaces modules on the existing homepage. In your opinion, should we enhance the existing homepage with tools for mentors, or create a separate one, dedicated to mentoring?

A very good question, I generally thought to propose an idea, to make a "Homepage" not only for beginners, but for all participants. For example, remove a block with a mentor from users who have more than 1000 edits. Or make it possible to programmatically switch from the beginner's home page to the experienced editor's home page.

As for mentors, it depends on the number of new functions, if there are a lot of them and they overlap the main editorial blocks, then yes, we need to create a new special page.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

There are some very unconstructive, inexperienced users who make a positive contribution to Wikipedia, but do not know how to communicate well. They are assigned "forced mentoring" by our administrators. That is, all their edits are strictly moderated by mentors, or in general, are published only by mentors

Thank you for explaining it. Definitely, our tools might help. If you deploy the homepage for everyone, anyone can claim a user and then monitor the edits they made. But it is also a way to harass people, by actively stalking their contributions. :( We need to find the right balance. I keep the process you use in mind for the time we will think about this feature.

About motivation, a possibility would be to sum the number of thanks received by a mentor from their mentees. But again, this depends on the number of mentees that interact with you.

and thank you for your feedback about homepages options! :)

Iniquity (talkcontribs)

> But it is also a way to harass people, by actively stalking their contributions.

The minimum they need is just a list of users. Without any monitoring for first mockup.

Reply to "Homepage for mentors"

MediaWiki:Growthexperiments-homepage-suggestededits-footer-suffix

4
আফতাবুজ্জামান (talkcontribs)

In Bengali, if number passes 100 000, instead of saying 100 thousand (or 100K) we say 1 lakh (it feels weird to say e.g. 300 thousand). The doc of this message says, to disable number formatting using suffixes for 100, 1,000,000, etc, disable this message (translate it to '-').

My question is what will happen if we disable it? Will "300K visits (past 60 days)" become "3 00 000 visits (past 60 days)"?

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Martin Urbanec (WMF) (talkcontribs)
আফতাবুজ্জামান (talkcontribs)

Ok. Thanks.

ValeJappo (talkcontribs)

@MMiller (WMF) @Trizek (WMF) Hi, there's something wrong with the navbar template: all the italian translations that contains it, got bugged. Can you fix it? Thanak you

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hi ValeJappo, and thank you for this report.

I briefly had a look at the template, the translations and pages where this template is implemented. Apparently, not translating the last line's title breaks the template. Before - after. I let you review my "translations". :D

The last edits for this template have been made there by Shirayuki. @Shirayuki, can you have a look so that this bug would not happen anymore? Thanks. :)

Shirayuki (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Bugged navbar in italian"