Talk:Growth/Personalized first day/Newcomer tasks

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Misibacsi (talkcontribs)

It is a big mistake to expect newcomers will edit as experienced editors, when the newcomers know nothing about creating a new WP-article.

I suggest encouriging them to correct small mistakes, typos and such in existing articles to gain experience first, and much-much later they will start a new article by themselves.

Maybe also would be good if they would point to mistakes in articles, or suggest corrections.

Many times we notice that they leave a message somewhere in Help forums with a suggestion about an article (which contains errors), but they do not know how to correct this and ask editors for help. Maybe this is also not an easy task for a newcomer.


Wargo (talkcontribs)

This is for newcomers to learn and make first steps to "edit as experienced editors". "Maybe this is also not an easy task for a newcomer" - so there is need for resources for them. This project can help.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We encourage newcomers to make small tasks. That's the entire principle of the newcomer tasks. Maybe we haven't explained it well.

Difficulty filters

Difficulty filters are selected by default for Easy tasks, and creating an article is locked (because too difficult for a first experience) until newcomers have tried to edit.

We also plan to use the help panel to explain what to do to achieve the suggested edit.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for explaining, @Trizek (WMF). @Misibacsi -- does this make more sense now? The project uses maintenance templates to surface articles that need copyediting, links, references, etc. Newcomers will be encouraged like "Just add one link to this article and save it!" In this way, we hope they learn to edit in small steps. Do you have additional ideas?

Reply to "Big mistake"
Samat (talkcontribs)

Which part of the page is recommended to translate? The note at the bottom of the Summary section says, that "The sections below may be changed significantly in the coming weeks, are too technical or less relevant for the understanding of the project. We have decided not to have them translated.", but the whole User testing section is selected for translation at the bottom of the page.

Martin Urbanec (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Yes, it was included mainly to inform communities about the user testing results. However, you should feel free to translate it or leave it out - it's up to you.

Reply to "Localization"

Deploy Newcomer tasks and other growth features to Wikimedia Commons?

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Masumrezarock100 (talkcontribs)

I think Newcomer tasks and other growth features would be helpful on Wikimedia Commons. Commons probably has the largest backlog of all Wikimedia sites. It would encourage newcomers to clean up file pages, vectorise existing raster images, perform cleanup on Files, some necessary cropping, and other maintenance tasks. Before I propose this to Wikimedia Commons Village pump, any thoughts on the matter?

Martin Urbanec (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Masumrezarock100 (talkcontribs)

I embarrassed to say that I hadn't read it then. But I have now and it looks like I should first ask this on Talk:Growth. Thanks for showing me the correct procedure!

Martin Urbanec (WMF) (talkcontribs)

You're welcome. Please note that newcomer tasks aren't yet developed, and the Growth team probably wouldn't be confident to deploy them elsewhere for some time. Thanks for your interest in the features!

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

A quick side note: the current prototypes are designed for Wikipedias, first. It may be a bit difficult to have the current prototypes working on Commons, but who knows! :)

Masumrezarock100 (talkcontribs)

Can prototypes be designed for Commons? If so, Commons can be the testing ground (after a community discussion of course) for these unreleased features until they are implemented. What do you think?

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

They can't, for now.

The Growth team's objective is "to address this problem through software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects, starting with Wikipedias". It is possible for other wikis to get the feature, but "as they are".

But the different features may be useful as they are:

  • the welcome survey may help the community to know what are newcomers' goals
  • the help panel can help any user to have access to the most important help pages when they edit an image, and post messages to an help desk
  • the homepage can gather useful informations, like newcomers impact and a direct access to a mentor.

I'm not active enough on Commons to know how to articulate these features to this wiki.

Masumrezarock100 (talkcontribs)

Yes, I think the features you mentioned above can be customized without making extra changes. So can I ask the Commons community for their approval for adding these basic Growth features? A discussion there will sort out all pros and cons and what features can be implemented.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

You can. Please share the link! :)

Any Wikimedia projects can start this process. However, for Commons, this wiki would get the features as they are, all of them, and the Growth team will not have time to prioritize improvements specific to those wikis.

This, plus some other useful information are listed on the recommendation page. You should read it first, if not already done.

Reply to "Deploy Newcomer tasks and other growth features to Wikimedia Commons?"
Izno (talkcontribs)

I think it's a good idea to use maintenance templates in the general case.

I am concerned that there may be some maintenance templates that are unsuited. For example, the templates in en:Category:Wikipedia copyright maintenance templates usually require some delicacy/care to ensure that that fix has been implemented correctly, and usually require administrator effort to remove the copyright violation copy from the page history.

Martin Urbanec (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hello, the Growth team has asked ambassadors for each target wiki to provide a list of maintenance templates, and we're not using _all_ maintenance templates, just some of them, which we deem to provide reliable results.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Izno -- thanks for reading the newsletter and weighing in! Yes, like @Martin Urbanec (WMF) said, we are being careful to use maintenance templates that actually make sense for newcomers to work on. We did that work in this Phabricator task and its subtask, if you're interested in seeing the details. Which maintenance templates do you think are the best ones for newcomers to work on?

Izno (talkcontribs)

I think the lists I see in that task are pretty reasonable. I would be concerned about image-related ones since we immediately get into complex questions of non-free media and possibly biting new users who naively upload a non-free image which is immediately deleted.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Got it -- thanks. That makes sense about images. We were also talking about images in this other thread: Topic:V8fug8k6weg1p4ua

Reply to "Use of maintenance templates"
JAn Dudík (talkcontribs)

I am not sure, if this is good task. There are articles that have images in some language Wikipedias but not in others. Typical example: article about some music album, newbie looks to en.wikipedia and "voila, there is cover image, lets add it to my wiki's article".

But this image is not on Commons. So part of newbies give it up. But second part will try to upload image to Commons or to home wiki, where will be problem because of en.wiki's fair use.

If there is item with commons category and this task will be active only for these articles, it's better, but also here are many categories without images (e.g. author with book scan in his category).

Sadads (talkcontribs)

+1 Also deducing this from "Depicts" statements on Wikidata is super useful.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for reading the newsletter and posting your opinions, @JAn Dudík and @Sadads! That's a good point about fair use being different in different wikis. It sounds like you're saying that if such an activity were restricted only to images that are in Commons, then this is more likely to work well. That said, I also imagine there are cultural considerations. For instance, an article about "bread" in Czech Wikipedia might show a kind of Czech bread, but the article about "bread" in Indonesian Wikipedia might need an imagine of a kind of Indonesian bread.

The reason we thought of this task idea is because a lot of newcomers want to add images to Wikipedia articles and think that it will be an easy thing to do. We know that it is actually quite a complicated thing to do: you have to understand licensing, use the right templates, navigate to a completely different website (Commons), etc. So we are trying to think of an easy task that would help a newcomer learn how to add an image so that they will be more likely to succeed when trying to add their own image. Do you have any recommendations of how we could accomplish this?

JAn Dudík (talkcontribs)

Is possible to have list of articles, which

  • are connected to wikidata item
  • have commons sitelink or P373
  • have no image
  • commons category or its subcategories contains image files (.jpg, .gif,...)

When newbie wants to help with images, he should got gallery from this category.

I tried inserting image with VE for the first time - and I got gallery of possible images based on pagename, which often depicts completely different thing. So there is possibility that editor can add bad image (e.g. two villages with same name, one with images second without)

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, @JAn Dudík. These are good ideas that we can hang on to for when we want to try this method!

Reply to "Add images from Commons"
Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

@MMiller (WMF): The page indicates that the software won't "get in the way of them accomplishing their goal". I wanted to raise a concern about this; I hope that's appropriate at this stage of development.

It's sometimes the case that newcomers are unaware that they shouldn't do what they want to do, and have to learn the hard way; I believe there has been research indicating that e.g. reverts have a significant impact on whether new editors are retained in the short term (example; DOI/full text). There is probably some noise from advertisers in the linked paper's dataset, but I think it should still be somewhat significant (I think there has been some related research on the topic but I can't find it).

Perhaps rather than not taking measures to prevent this sort of thing from happening, it would be better to somehow tell newcomers that there are certain things that they definitely shouldn't do (e.g. upload copyrighted media to Commons, add song lyrics, write articles about self) and perhaps what they should do instead. It might be possible that this results in unintended consequences (e.g. newcomers leave without doing anything, even though they would otherwise have decided to stay if they had had a negative experience), but I think it might be worthwhile to test whether displaying such advice and/or linking to policies/guidelines has an impact on editor retention. In any case, this would likely have a positive impact on the workload of experienced users.

Furthermore, if reverts in particular are likely to discourage users from continuing editing, perhaps the home page could reflect this by giving users advice after they get reverted (or some other pop-up could try to reassure the user after a revert, rather than putting this in the home page, but I guess that might be a little off-topic).

Martin Urbanec (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for your comment, @Jc86035. I'm pinging @Trizek (WMF), who is Community Relations Specialist and I think he'll be interested in your comment as well.

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Jc86035 -- thank you so much for reading over the project page and gathering your thoughts. It's definitely appropriate at this stage (and every stage) to raise concerns, so please keep it coming (and I hope others do, too.)

I think we're thinking along similar lines with respect to not wanting to "get in the way of them accomplishing their goal". The idea is that we know for a fact that many newcomers arrive with these difficult tasks in mind, such as creating a new article or adding a photo. Yes, some of those initiatives are self-promotional or otherwise inappropriate, but many of them aren't, and the smaller wikis definitely need that new content. So the question is, how can we help a newcomer who single-mindedly wants to write an article about something like their hometown to eventually be successful in it? Our current hypothesis is that we might find out from the newcomer via the welcome survey that they are trying to write a new article, and their homepage might convey something to them like, "If you're trying to write a new article, you should know that's one of the hardest things to do on Wikipedia. We recommend trying some easier, but relevant, tasks so you can learn to edit and have a better chance at success." And then we would want to recommend tasks that actually help them build the skills they need, such as adding a section to an existing article, or adding a citation.

What we would not want to do is recommend tasks that are irrelevant to their goal, such as translate an image caption. That would be "getting in their way". Does this make sense? What do you think? It would also be interesting to hear from you what kind of tasks might be most relevant and nurturing for newcomers to do.

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

I think that's probably a sensible way to go about it (and it definitely makes sense not to pressure users into doing things that they wouldn't want to do). I'm not sure what sort of tasks would be appropriate, and users with more experience assisting new editors and patrolling recent changes might be better at answering that.

I think I would probably phrase a warning message more like "there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration" rather than "this is really difficult"; partly to avoid being overly discouraging, and partly since it might not be very difficult to create a given article, at least with the minimum detail needed to avoid the article's deletion. (For example, someone's hometown would probably be inherently notable on the English Wikipedia due to being a legally-recognized populated place, so it would be relatively easy to find one or two sources and create that article.)

Reply to "Specific goals"
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