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Encouraging supportive behavior

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Do you have some ideas about how to encourage supportive behavior? I remember someone talking about a task-management program that they liked, and one of the things that they particularly liked about it was that if you took certain actions (such as marking a task as completed), then there was a small chance that you would get a cute animated image as a reward (confetti? flying unicorn? I don't remember any of the details). It's silly, but it's friendly and human, and I suspect that it encourages many people to keep their tasks up to date.

Have you considered trying something similar to reward actions that we think are encouraging, such as Thanking editors for their first edit?

JMatazzoni (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I'm glad you brought that up @Whatamidoing (WMF). Thanking is so simple yet so powerful! (So thanks!) I need to find out more about what happens currently in the area of automatic messages to new users, so we can add to it intelligently...

In addition to thanking the new users, we've also been thinking about how to keep constructive reviewers engaged. @Pginer-WMF had the idea to somehow reward reviewers by exposing the positive outcomes of people they've helped -- alerting the reviewer when one of the people she helped reaches a certain number of edits, for example. It could get a little complicated but I like the idea. We can also encourage people who get reviewed to thank the reviewer, of course.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

>  We can also encourage people who get reviewed to thank the reviewer, of course.

You might want to put some limits on how often you suggest that. People who edit the Main Page at enwiki get thanked many times for the same actions, and it can be disruptive. It's easy to mark a hundred pages as patrolled in a day, or to leave a hundred welcome templates, but I wouldn't want to get thanked for each one. Being thanked is more fun when it doesn't happen a dozen (or a hundred) times each day.

Pginer-WMF (talkcontribs)

The volume of actions is a key point to consider related to the review activities. Thanks for pointing to that, @Whatamidoing (WMF).

My thought are along the lines of giving more visibility to encouraging factors, but not necessarily interrupting the users every time. Some possible examples:

  • In your review dashboard you have a list of your recent reviews and some of them have a "1M thanks". You didn't got a notification each time but the effect of your work becomes visible to encourage you to review more.
  • In your Review dashboard you can view information on the users that you reviewed last week. Next to each user there is a visual summary of their last contributions, allowing you to see that some of the users you helped are getting less reverts and more accepted and thanked edits.
  • For a custom review feed on a very specific topic (e.g., "edits on Mexican rock bands by good-faith newcomers"), you decide to subscribe and receive notification about what is going on. A bulk notification of 100 new thanks being received this week may be acceptable since it is connected to the subscription you explicitly made and the frequency is controlled.


Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

"Bulk notification" sounds like a good approach. I wonder whether it's possible to have a bulk notification that says "You were thanked 8 times [since the last time you looked] for marking 8 different pages patrolled"? "You were thanked 8 times for marking [[Example]] patrolled" seems like it would be easier to create, but most thanks for that kind of action would be one thanks per page.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

'Thanking' editors is possibly one of the most abused process on Wikipedia. An excellent initiative when it was created, it's largely gone the way of barnstars and Wikilove. It's time developers understood that not all Wikpedians are children or young adults, even if many of them act as if they were.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Did you knew that on some wikis (including non-Wikipedias wikis), there is no barnstars or wikilove processes? Or on other wikis, they are not used that much? Thanks provides a way to thank people in context, quickly. When I see how many thanks are respectfully sent on wikis where I'm active on, I don't know how many people are sharing your feedback. :)

CKoerner (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I was curious as to how well used Thanks was. On the English Wikipedia in the month of June just the top 100 "Thanker's" gave out over 10,273 Thanks.

Source (you can fork to run it for other wikis!):

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Well, there is always the trap of mistaking "my view" for "everyone's view", but I personally find Thanks very helpful. Like many users, I use it to indicate gratitude for a helpful edit and to let people know that I'm interested and supportive of their efforts.

In some contexts, I also use it to say, "I saw your reply to my comment". I don't think this is a misuse. It's not materially different from the brief "Thanks" that one says in person, when someone hands you something that you wanted while you're busy (or they are). In person it looks like this: I'm talking to someone while walking down the hallway in one direction; you're hurrying down the hallway in another direction. You have something that I need. As we approach, you hand it to me. I say "thanks" as we hand it off, and we both keep going. On wiki it looks like this: I'm doing my work, and you're doing your work. You have some piece of information that I need. You post it; I see it. I click the thanks button so that you know that I've got the information now. We both keep going. It's the same thing, just translated to my wiki life rather than my meatspace life.

I have rarely heard of uses that give me pause, e.g., someone being Thanked for posting a patently rude message or for joining an edit war, but in the few cases where I've bothered to check the log for the names of people Thanking someone, I suspect that those Thanks were truly genuine expressions of gratitude and support.

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

You'll forgive me for not being overly concerned about the way the other Wikimedia Wikis work. Except perhaps for the way the French Wiki does not insist on the same high standards of notability and sources that we do on en.Wiki. Et c'est pour cela que je n'y bosse pas.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

(Certains francophones disent la même chose des anglophones ! ;-))

Kudpung (talkcontribs)

Peut-être, mais j'ai déjà traduit pas mal de vos articles pour en.Wki ;)

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