Wikimedia Apps/Team/Android/Patrolling conversation



For a long time, we've seen a shift towards mobile. Reading an encyclopedia is pretty much as easy on the phone as on a laptop. However, writing content is much more difficult on a small device without a proper keyboard. Among other things, we think this means we have less chance of getting people who could have become Wikimedians in a different situation – like how I was drawn in when Wikipedia was newer in the 00s – into editing, so we're thinking about tasks suitable for the app. We think patrolling and vandal-fighting could be one: a lot of the work is watching, reading and making judgement calls. It's qualified and important but needs fewer clicks, which suits mobile. It's also something you can do for five minutes and yet make a contribution. We especially think this would work better once we have integrated talk pages in the app, which we’re currently working on.

We can't promise anything: This is a small team with a huge list of things we'd like to do in the apps. But we want to at least investigate this and see if there's something we can do.

The questions[edit]

  • In the Wikipedia apps – and this is specifically Android asking, but what's working well in one app is likely to sooner or later move over to the other (here iOS) too – what would be the most useful workflow for you when it comes to patrolling and fighting vandalism?

Also, there are many ways to become a Wikimedian. Finding weird content and removing obvious vandalism has always been one way some people make their first edits. We think that patrolling could be one way to teach newcomers to become Wikimedians and have them be productive members of our community.

  • What are suitable tasks and a suitable workflow where newcomers could actually be useful?
  • How do we best teach newcomers and help them become knowledgeable Wikipedians who can contribute in various ways, to graduate from whatever limited tools an app workflow aimed at newcomers would be?

Please let us know at the talk page.