Topic on Talk:Growth/Discussing potential Growth ideas

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Discussion on "Email Notification Replies (8)"

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Arthur Crbz (talkcontribs)

Strong Oppose. As an OTRS agent, I know that OTRS team is too busy for the moment to handle these additional emails.

Just to remind you that queue permissions-commons has currently a 125 days backlog meaning you have to wait 4 months before to get an answer and files may be deleted during this period.

John Broughton (talkcontribs)

Absolutely agree with Arthur - OTRS is completely inappropriate. If a community wants to implement something like this [it would be a good idea, first, to get a count of the number of emails that actually do get sent to users; is this at all common?], they should get volunteers who would respond to the emails. Even if there are only a couple of volunteers, that would still mean that users would at least sometimes get responses to their emails, and it would help the community (and WMF) identify how the emails might be modified to encourage users not to respond directly to them, but perhaps to respond to a help email address.

Martin Urbanec (talkcontribs)

What is appropriate place? I think info-* addresses are for questions, not for permissions or something else.

Arthur Crbz (talkcontribs)

Agents answering permissions queues are the same that people answering info queues...

Martin Urbanec (talkcontribs)

That still doesn't answer my question. If info-* queues are not appropriate place for questions, what IS the appropriate place? And BTW, not in all cases, I know about at least one agent who had access to info but did not have access to permissions.

Arthur Crbz (talkcontribs)

Info- may be the appropriate place but only if we have sufficient ressources to handle these emails. If questions are posted directly on Wikipedia (on a newcomers forum for instance), it allows every Wikipedian to answer.

From my personal experience, info queue (at least info-fr) handles few requests from newbies. It's mainly about verifying identity, correcting information, legal threats...

And yes, some agents have access to only info or only permissions.

Pere prlpz (talkcontribs)

It would be more efficient to have an informative automated reply telling how to answer.

Bencemac (talkcontribs)

OTRS agent here. I think we could try this with small languages without huge backlog. I know and understand that big languages' agents (e.g. English, German, etc.) do not want more work, so I would suggest that firstly test this function with smaller ones; for example, Hungarian could be a possible tester.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)
Bencemac (talkcontribs)

@Trizek (WMF)That is good, because Hungarian is one of them. :)

Sadads (talkcontribs)

I worry a lot about OTRS -- in that it has become a barrier to participation for uploads to commons, because the permissions queue is constantly under backlog -- I would hate to see this system sucking power contributors out of communities, and creating yet another backlog for giving feedback, without radically improving the environment for doing it.

Kerry Raymond (talkcontribs)

Well, let's agree OTRS isn't the right place. And get back to the idea itself.

Firstly, I am not at all sure why new users would be receiving their notifications by email. I do myself and it took my many years to find out how (maybe it wasn't always an option). From my experience of training new users, I don't think wandering around their Preferences and fiddling is typical new user behaviour, but maybe organic new users are different in their behaviour.

Having said that, I am absolutely 100% in favour of new users receiving their notifications via email (where email address was provided). It is by far the easiest way for them to ask questions, and get answers, as it is familiar to them and it is so much easier to include screen shots. For Visual Editor users, not having Talk enabled for VE is a barrier. But you can do your bit to solving the problem. On English Wikipedia, add the template VEFriendly to the top of your User Talk page to help VE users talk to you. Is there any way to add that template automatically to new user's User Talk pages if they are using VE? It seems ridiculous that they are restricted in writing on their own User Talk page.

Martin Urbanec (talkcontribs)

In, all new users automatically have all pages they edited in their watchlist (well, they can disable it in their preferences or one by one while saving page, but that's not typical, as you said). Therefore, they receive watchlist notifications.

Also, IIRC notifications like "new message on your talkpage" are being sent by email by default. Yes, you can disable it, but again, that's not typical.

VE is not supposed to help with editing discussions. It have not that purpose and I don't think it would be enabled on any talk page namespace. It seems it is possible right now (by inserting the template) but it can stop working at any time without notice, but it is using wrong tool for accomplishing that purpose.

BTW, why isn't OTRS the right place? Yeah, I agree the permissions-commons queue has big backlog and that we should not _create_ other backlog. But info queues already exists and should be reviewed. And althrough it might not be typical for queues, but info-cs/permission-cs queues reply to most emails within 24 hours.

علاء (talkcontribs)

I like this idea, and for mid-size wikis almost the OTRS log is not very heavy.

(I'm OTRS member for several queues.)

Jetam2 (talkcontribs)

I do not think adding to the email duties of experienced users would be a good idea. It shifts communication to more channels and who would respond? Do we have the people-hours? I doubt it. Perhaps the emails could just indicate where the new users should respond on-wiki?

MMiller (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thank you all for weighing in on this "Email Notification Replies" idea. Our team discussed all the feedback, and I've summarized it here. We're now figuring out whether to pursue this idea, and we'll be back to discuss more if we decide to work on it (please sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our plans).

Our team really liked the idea discussed by many of you (@John Broughton, @Pere prlpz, @Jetam2) of simply improving the emails themselves to make it more clear to the recipient how they can respond on wiki. That's certainly a lighter-weight solution to the problem.

This conversation brought up the question of whether new editors should have more email notifications on by default. Thanks to @Kerry Raymond and @Martin Urbanec for bringing this up. What do you all think? Should new editors have default settings that send them more email, in the hopes that it engages them further in the wiki, especially while on-wiki notification systems might be harder for them to understand?

Kerry Raymond (talkcontribs)

Just in terms of the summary, I think there is an unquestioned assumption that new uses *are* receiving email notifications. I don't think it is on en.WP; I think you have to choose it in your Preferences. And I have no idea what happens on other language Wikipedias. I note that one of the problems I have as a trainer is that I cannot see exactly what new users experience. I do have a separate "vanilla" account for preparing presentation so my screenshots aren't full of my normal gadgets and preferences, but that's not a *new* user account to experience what happens to new users. The only way I can get that experience is by constantly creating a new user account before each session (which almost certainly is not a desirable thing for me as I can see people might see it as setting up a sockpuppet army). Things are always popping up on the screen of my trainees that I am not expecting as a consequence of my inability to anticipate the new user experience. Certainly I cannot be certain on any current default preference settings.

-revi (talkcontribs)

By default, when you have email enabled, you get emails for these kinds of events and these. (Tested from Revi (WMF) account which I didn't change from the default value) We are talking about emails sent here.

The ratio of new users who setup email address during signup/after signup - is the question we've got to question (but this is already noted as "We are not sure how often this occurs").

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We will check the default settings for the different wikis we plan to work on.

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