Last week the Editor Engagement Experiments team deployed a new extension
to all wikis, Extension:Campaigns (
The campaigns extension does one thing: if you add "campaign=example" to a
link pointing at the account creation form, it logs the campaign name at
the time of signup.
This capability has been around a long time in some form or another, but we
disabled it so we could get to work on our redesign of account creation and
login. Now that's it's finished, we wanted to make it available again.
There's more in the documentation I linked to above, but the general point
is that this gives us a low cost, minimally invasive way to figure out how
many people are coming to sign up via a particular avenue.
Among our first test cases, my team would really like to know if
significant numbers of people are signing up via the links English
Wikipedia puts in system messages directed at those viewing semi-protected
pages and anonymous editors. I've put up a proposal about this on-wiki at
If you have any questions about how campaigns work and how they might be
applied elsewhere, please speak up. :)
Here's a quick update on today's notifications release on the English Wikipedia.
The main features this week are new links to diff pages, which were requested by a number of power users for talkpage messages (1), as well as for mentions and thanks notifications.
These diff links now appear both on the notifications flyout, near the timestamp ('View changes') -- as well as in the plain text emails.
We are now working on a couple more features in coming weeks:
* HTML Email notifications (2)
* Improved Notification Structure (3)
* More Metrics Dashboards (4)
Once these final features are done, we plan to start deploying Notifications on more wiki projects, starting with Meta and a couple non-English Wikipedias. In the fall, we hope to take on more features, as time and resources allow. For more information about our next steps for this project, check our 2013 plan for the E2 team (5).
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ryan Kaldari for all his fine work on Notifications: he has now joined the Mobile team, where I am sure he will continue to amaze us with cool new features. Many thanks as well to Benny Situ, who will be leading our development work on Notifications going forward, and is the man to talk to about engineering questions for this project.
Please let us know if you have any questions about notifications. Enjoy the new features!
Fabrice, on behalf of the E2 team
(1) Bugzilla Diff Links - Bug #48183:
(2) HTML Email Spec:
(3) Improved Notification Structure:
(4) Notifications Metrics Dashboards:
(5) Editor Engagement Features Plan:
WMF researchers have agreed to participate in an office hour about WMF research projects and methodologies.
The currently scheduled participants are:
* Aaron Halfaker, Research Analyst (contractor)
* Jonathan Morgan, Research Strategist (contractor)
* Evan Rosen, Data Analytics Manager, Global Development
* Haitham Shammaa, Contribution Research Manager
* Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Analyst, Strategy
We'll meet on IRC in #wikimedia-office on April 22 at 1800 UTC. Please join us.
If you are interested in multimedia, we would like to invite you to join our new Multimedia mailing list, which we just started this week.
The purpose of this mailing list is to discuss software tools that support the viewing, contribution, curation, discovery and use of multimedia content on Wikipedia, Commons and other MediaWiki projects.
Click here to learn more and subscribe to this multimedia list:
Participants include team members from the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as volunteers from the Wikipedia, Commons and other wiki communities. We all share an interest in adding images, sounds and videos to our free knowledge base.
In coming days, we will start posting on that list about some of our first plans for new multimedia features and infrastructure improvements, and hope to improve these plans and software tools with your help.
To learn more about our current work, visit this multimedia project hub:
We look forward to some great conversations with you!
P.S.: I have now joined our new multimedia team as product manager, but will continue to work in coming months on Notifications, Thanks, Page Curation, Article Feedback and other tools I helped launch as part of our editor engagement group. To be continued … : )
I'm happy to announce that we have just deployed HTML Email notifications on the English Wikipedia.
We developed this feature to provide a more appealing email experience, with clear visual cues and less clutter, as outlined in this feature requirements page (1). Another related feature we also deployed today is an improved notification structure (2) that makes notifications easier to read by removing confusing edit summaries.
Note that you can control which email notifications your receive and how they are displayed in your Preferences page (3). For example, if you would like to get email notifications when someone mentions your name on a talk page, check the 'Email' box next to 'Mentions', then click 'Save'. Or if you would rather receive plain text emails instead of HTML emails, select 'plain text' next to 'Email format' and click 'Save'. Easy as pie :)
Please let us know how these new features work for you. We're particularly interested in feedback on how HTML emails work on your mobile phone. Can you see the notifications well? Is it easy to click on the notification buttons? If you experience serious issues, please report them by email here -- or on Bugzilla (4). Please include screenshots if you can, as well as the name of the application, operating system and device you were using. To learn more, check our Help page (5).
Next, we plan to release notifications on the French Wikipedia, then incrementally on other wiki sites throughout the next few weeks, as outlined in this Notifications Release Plan (5). If you are active on another Wikipedia project and would like to get notifications deployed on your site, please read the checklist on that page and contact me to discuss.
We hope that you will find these new features helpful. They are part of an overall initiative to improve the user experience on Wikipedia by modernizing some of our tools to better match the expectations of our users. We think that these new features meet that goal -- and look forward to enhancing them in coming weeks with your help.
Thanks to all the community and team members who helped make this release possible! We are particularly grateful to Benny Situ and Vibha Bamba for taking these two new features through the finish line today.
Fabrice, on behalf of the Editor Engagement team
Product Manager, Editor Engagement
Dario Taraborelli, Steven Walling, James Forrester had a discussion
about how we can make article issues ("needs copyediting", "needs more
references", etc.) more accessible to software like GettingStarted,
Mobile, and VisualEditor.
The categories that some of the templates already use work for simple
cases (such as one language, one project), which is how GettingStarted
currently works. However, different languages have their own categories
and conventions for issue templates. Another issue is that it's not
always clear whether the issue applies to a single section or the
article as a whole. And some templates are used on the article, and
others on talk.
Mobile is moving the article issues to a separate area (with a pointer
to that), which requires identifying which templates identify issues.
An initial solution we discussed, with the goal of making the
GettingStarted extension cross-wiki, is using a Wikidata Q-item to
identify a cross-wiki maintenence category. An example is "Category:All
articles needing copy edit" (https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q8235695).
We also discussed how Wikidata could be used further. They are already
planning on having badges
(https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Help:Sitelinks#Badges), which describe
aspects of a page (such as Featured Article), rather than the real-world
concept. This could be extended further to include properties for
issues with that page as well (needs copy-editing: true).
A possible way to populate those Wikidata properties is by adding Lua
calls to existing templates.
We hope this can eventually make possible a lot of interesting ways to
see, work on, and flag article issues.
I'm happy to announce that we just released Notifications on Meta-Wiki today.
This version of the tool works in much the same way as on the English Wikipedia, to notify you about important activity that relates to you on Meta-Wiki. The only differences are that page reviews are not supported on this site -- and no notifications are sent for global user right changes -- only for local changes on Meta.
To learn more about this release, visit this special Notifications FAQ here on Meta:
Notifications continue to be used widely on the English Wikipedia, and we now have a wealth of metrics data on that usage, which you can view on these new metrics dashboards:
Next week, we plan to deploy HTML Email notifications (1), which can be tested now on test.wikipedia.org, if you feel so inclined. We are also working on an improved notification structure (2), which will make notifications easier to read. If all goes well, these changes should be available on Tuesday afternoon.
Many thanks to Benny for all his fine work on these features and deployments!
In coming weeks, we will be deploying Notifications on the French and Polish Wikipedias and a few other wikis, before making them available to all MediaWiki projects in the fall of 2013. If you are interested in getting Notifications for your project sooner, please contact me to discuss.
We will send you a more detailed report after next week's releases.
Fabrice, on behalf of the E2 team
Checking the list membership again, I see only 94 members on this list,
including some clearly inactive accounts like old staff members no longer
I wonder if it's time again to do a little recruitment for joining this
list, perhaps on the Village Pumps etc.?