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Effectiveness of "catching the creators while they are still online and logged in"

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

One of the big divides at NPP is between those editors who think it is as Kudpung put it "important to catch the creators while they are still online and logged in". And those of us who think that while it is good to quickly warn bad faith editors, good faith editors respond best to being helped, having some slack cut for them and being given a little space; But are driven away by threats to reject their work and delete their article. This divide makes certain changes difficult to agree because we have very different perceptions of the problem, there are some changes that don't involve this and that both sides can support, but making changes at New Page patrol would be much easier if we had some research behind this to show whether very promptly templating articles and warning their creators encouraged or deterred the creators from fixing their articles, and in particular whether doing this very quickly was either more effective at getting articles improved or more efficient at driving newbies away .

I've done quite a bit of trawling through the BLPprod queues, and while I'm not claiming any statistical robustness, my impression is that if articles with a BLPprod tag get rescued it is usually an experienced editor who does so. But I would be open to persuasion on this, as I hope would be those who take the opposite view to me. Speedies are harder to measure in this way because they get deleted so quickly I find it difficult to spot ones where the author has been spurred on to make greater efforts to improve their article by the threat of deletion.

If we do some research it would be important to focus on the relatively recent data, as earlier this year the system on EN wiki was changed to default to emailing editors when they received a talkpage message. One would presume that this would reduce the advantage of catching the editor before they left.

Whether the results showed a pattern that the quicker the templating the less likely the editor was to stay, or the reverse, I believe it would be much easier to improve NPP if we had some research. I remember trying to get something like this into the WSOR program for 2011 and we might be able to use some of the datasets created for that program. NB G3, G7, G10, G11 and G12 tags need to be excluded, or better still the results analysed by deletion code otherwise you risk this being skewed by our effectiveness at targetting attack pages and driving away vandals.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

Any solution(s) has:has to be addressed around the three main players: 1) The NPPer, 2) the article creator, and 3) the deleting admin (in the case of CSD). Gathering research is difficult and probably the best indication is the empirical experience from the kind of new page patrolling that I have spent 50 or so hours doing over the last few days. If anyone wants some feedback on how the patroller are performing, they can go here than work their way systematically through the list looking at all the articles that have been patrolled, and if they have been wrongly patrolled, checking the NPPers' talk pages to see if they have been warned before, and than correcting any mis-tags on the fly. I'll list some points that I have mentioned many times before:

  1. NPP needs to be either a right, or NPPers must undergo some form of gtraining. I have suggested a video turial as the best solution.
  2. Article creators are often SPA and don't come back to see what has happened to their article. Almost all new pages are by newly registered accounts.
  3. Do the deleting admins always check what has been tagged? Or do they take the NNPers at their word?Solutions:
  • Train the NPPers and make NPP a user right.
  • De-index and move very poor but possibly salvagable articles to AfC or user space; With of course a suitable message to the creators:
Welccome to Wikipedia and thank you for your contributions. The article articlename that you recently createdis unfortunately not suitable for immedate publication and has been moved to [xxxxxxxxxxx where you will be able to develop it further without fear of deletion. When the article is ready, it can be moved back to mainsspace by an established editor. Thank you, and happy editing!
  • Get Twinkle to leave a message on the creator's talk page when any maintenance tag is applied. What takes up most of my patrolling time is placing custom messages such as:
Welcome to Wikipedia and thank you for your contributions. The article articlename that you recently created has been flagged for urgent attention. Please consider returning to the article and addressing the issues that have been pointed out. If the artice is likely to take longer to develop than you thought, perhaps you would prefer develop it in your user space. - an editor could move it there for you. Thank you, and happy editing!

Such features would be extremely easy to implement - but it appears these suggestions are not making resonance. As no solution for CorenBot seems to be forthcoming, and in the light of the dozens of new articles (all slated for deletion) coming from India in the wake of the India Education Program, something needs to be done quickly.

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

I think we have threads for those suggestions, some I agree with and some I don't. The problem with using Twinkle to tell article creators about tags placed on their new article is that it may well be counter-productive. I'm aware that there are people who think it important to communicate with newbies before they log off. But there is the alternative interpretation that we are driving away newbies with our templates and warnings, and if that is the case doing that more thoroughly will drive away more newbies more quickly. Since the divide is in people's perceptions of what is going on, I'm suggesting that we undertake some research to see whether rapid tagging is an efficient way of driving away newbies or an efficient way of getting those newbies to improve articles. Until we have such research it would be wasteful to invest in making the NPP process more efficient at templating the newbies.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

It depends how the templates are worded. Researcx has already shown that most newbies believe the first messages they get are hand-written. I do it all the time, and with great response from the article creators. Unfortunately, where everyone wants stats, there are no metrics to prove it.

Steven (WMF) (talkcontribs)

What research showed that? I've seen pretty clear evidence that people who receive the current, passive voice and institutional-sounding templates think that Wikipedia is automatically warning them, rather than it being communication from a human being.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

Wiki is a huge place, and I can't remember where I saw it, but I certainly did, because it's one of the areas I work on. You hit the nail on the head though when you said 'insitutionalist sounding', and that's the brunt of the problem. I have never understood why at en.Wiki we can't have friendly messages instead of the pompous walls of text that are usually composed. Based on my old studies of comm.sci,, I have a very good idea why this is. All UK government official documents have lost their Dickensian touch over the last decade or so (probably thanks to the Internet) and websites are friendlier - even when applying online for a new passport or driving licence! To enhance the new user reception and experience, these concepts need to be borne in mind. The de;Wiki is different, almost everything in German sounds official, though I greatly appreciate that their more modern and more frequent use of 'Du' on their Wiki is very refreshing. Unfortunately, English is one of the few European languages that does not have such a distinction.

Note that the messages I use are not TLDR diatribes with shedloads of links to obscure policies; I tend to think a creator would be really happy if someone came on line, saw what they were doing, and offered some help to get it right. I know I would, but in the days when I created my first pages, I didn't even receive a welcome template for years - and when it came, I had no idea it was only a template and I was overjoyed at the thought that someone 'up there' had really noticed my painstaking work on Thailand articles. In fact one of my very first edits was to create a cut 'n paste move - I had absolutely no idea where all the rules were, especially for repairing a misspelt page name, and nobody noticed and put me right - or chided me for it!

WereSpielChequers (talkcontribs)

I think we need to remember that communication is not just a matter of posting messages on talkpages, communication also includes interacting by editing the same article. My modus operandi is to do a gnomish edit on an article, spot that another editor there has a redlinked talkpage and drop them a welcome template. I don't know whether 9% or 90% of newbies connect the two events, but my assumption is that at least a proprtion of editors think the same way as me.

However there is a huge easy win awaiting whoever starts testing welcome messages and announces which ones work better than others (from my direct marketing days the one thing I'm sure of is that the messages that work best won't be the ones that a random focus group would predict would work best).

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I have found a lot of BLP prods are rescuable, but I know that several people work at the back of the 10 day queue. So it's hard to judge what gets lost that shouldn't.