Hello friends of community engagement … and greetings from Bali!
I’m on vacation here through the end of the week, but just took a break from my yoga retreat to submit these session proposals for Wikimania 2014, since the deadline is today:
* Growing a Culture of Kindness
Presentation - 30 mins.
* How Can We Make Wikipedia Better?
Presentation - 30 mins.
If you plan to go to Wikimania this year and you are interested in either of these sessions, please sign up at the bottom of the submission pages to let the organizers know of your interest.
The first proposal was inspired by my time here in Bali, where kindness is deeply engrained into the culture and everyone goes out of their way to help each other out. It got me thinking of what it would take to grow the same type of widespread gentleness into our own Wikipedia culture, which still suffers from a pervasive lack of civility from some of its members. I don’t claim to have the right answers on how to make this cultural shift happen, but I would like to engage community and foundation members to think more together about what can be done to grow a kinder culture, over time.
The second proposal is based on my 2-year photo project to collect ideas on how to improve Wikipedia from community and team members for one. You can see the full gallery and a video here:
P.S.: I will not respond to emails on this account until I return to work next Monday. But if you see any serious issues, feel free to make any tweaks to the submissions, as needed.
I’ll follow Fabrice and cross-post here a list of Wikimania proposals submitted or co-authored by members of the WIkimedia Analytics team, many of these proposals bear on research and analytics on editor engagement:
This is being discussed on Jimbo's talk page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#.22I_actually_hate_it_h…. A number of us feel that that hostility and contention are driving away good-faith editors. Would someone from Growth comment on WMF's current efforts to recruit and retain editors? Also, could people comment about how WMF or community members might be able to influence English Wikipedia to be a friendlier and more civil place?
I want to share some new research in to Wikipedia article creation trends
on the 10 largest Wikipedias: English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese,
Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
This work was led by Aaron Halfaker and done in part as background work in
to potential future design work by the Growth team, aimed at helping
newcomers be more successful at creating their first articles.
- Slides are at:
- and Aaron's talk was recorded as part of our first public research
showcase at the Wikimedia Foundation: http://youtu.be/arO9YzcTWGE
This is really important insight in to the nature of who creates articles
and how on large Wikipedias. Aaron compares the overall success rates of
editors based on their experience level, as well as the workflow used to
create a page (direct creation, userspace draft, or a more elaborate review
process like English Wikipedia's Articles for Creation system).
In particular, some important or unusual conclusions/questions we have
1. Retention of articles by newly-registered users is actually getting
worse over time. How can we use new software and better social policies to
turn this around? In addition to Aaron's thoughts in the presentation, we
have notes on mediawiki.org.
2. Except in Polish and English (where anonymous article creation is
turned off) anonymous editors are actually much more prolific and
successful article creators than users who create a page in their first 24
hours after registering an account. How can we support these anonymous
editors more? Our hypothesis about why they are more successful is
currently that they include some experienced editors, including some small
number of logged-out Wikipedians.
3. Why is survival of new articles so high on Japanese Wikipedia?
4. How can we seriously reform review processes like "Articles for
Creation", Flagged Revisions, and so on? These backlogs of review hamper
throughput of new articles created by newbies. In English Wikipedia's case,
it is seriously choking off new article creation. The quality of articles
that make it past is high, but is not enough to make up for the 50% (!)
drop in volume of new articles in my view.
More thoughts are welcome,
2. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Draft_namespace and its /Usability
As many of you know, we have been testing an improved version of Article Feedback v5 in two pilots on the English and French Wikipedias throughout 2013. The main purpose of this experiment was to increase participation on Wikipedia by inviting readers to leave comments on article pages.
The French pilot just ended last month, providing informative results about this experiment. In the final RfC we ran on the French site (1), about 45% of respondents wanted AFT5 removed everywhere, while 38% wanted to keep it an opt-in basis, and 10% on help pages only (2); nearly everyone agreed it should not be on by default on all 40,000 pilot pages, let alone on the entire French Wikipedia. Their concerns are is consistent to what we heard from editors on the English and German pilots: overall, a majority of editors do not find reader comments useful enough to warrant the extra moderation work.
Based on these pilot results, we recommend that Article Feedback be removed from our two pilot sites at the end of the month, as outlined in this report (3) — since the tool is not welcome by a majority of editors, despite its benefits to readers.
We propose to give editors two weeks to transfer any feedback they find useful to their article talk pages, using the ‘Discuss on talk page’ tool (4). We also recommend that we archive the data from our pilot sites, and that we keep one instance running on Labs, for reference purposes.
Lastly, we recommend further discussions between the community and the foundation on how to give readers a voice on our sites. Suggested topics include how to make it easier for readers to comment on articles they read — as well as how to enable readers to participate in decisions that impact them, so that we can better serve the needs of all our users in the free culture movement.
We would be grateful for your comments about this recommendation — and how to better integrate readers in our communities. Could you share your thoughts on this Article Feedback talk page (5) in coming days? You are also invited to share any lessons learned from this experiment in our report's discussion page (6).
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the community and team members who contributed to this experiment. We’re particularly grateful to Matthias Mullie, Pau Giner, Oliver Keyes, Maggie Dennis, Philippe Beaudette, Howie Fung and Erik Moeller at the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as to community members Denis Barthel, Benoît Evellin, Tom Morris, Sebastian Peisker, TMg and Utar, to name but a few.
We appreciate your willingness to experiment with new ways to involve our readers in our communities — and we hope that the lessons we learned together can inform future initiatives.
Regards as ever,
(1) French RfC Discussion:
(2) French RfC Results:
(3) Article Feedback Report:
(4) Discuss on Talk Page Tool:
(5) Article Feedback Post on English Wikipedia:
(6) Article Feedback Discussion Page: