We just removed the Article Feedback Tool from both the English and French Wikipedia sites
today at 19:10 UTC.
This means that no feedback can be posted or viewed anymore on those sites.
In coming days, we will archive the feedback data in a public hub, so it can be accessed
without the tool.
We will post on this thread as soon as that data archive is available, as well as on this
English Wikipedia tallk page:
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this experiment — we hope you learned as much
from it as we did. :)
Regards as ever,
On Feb 28, 2014, at 8:51 PM, Fabrice Florin <fflorin(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
As recommended in our report (1), we now plan to remove the Article Feedback Tool
entirely from both the English and French Wikipedia sites this Monday, March 3, at 19:00
UTC (11am PT).
So any editors who wish to transfer useful feedback to their article talk pages should do
it this weekend, using the built-in ‘Discuss on talk page’ tool (2). We will also archive
the feedback data in a public hub, so it may be accessed even after the tool has been
We appreciate all the good insights we’ve received from team and community members about
our Article Feedback report and recommendation to end this experiment. We appreciate their
observations (3) (4), many of which match comments from our own team retrospective (5).
And I’m particularly grateful for Ori's kind words below, which mean a lot to me. :)
Many great feature ideas have been proposed in these discussions, which generally make
good sense to me: I wish we had the resources to build them as part of this project, but
my hope is that some of them will be useful for future projects.
In my view, a key issue for this project is that we took on a very hard problem with
insufficient resources to effectively solve it. Our small team engaged community members
extensively throughout this experiment, and we were grateful for all the good
recommendations we received; but we simply did not have the capacity to build all these
features with a single contract engineer. This taught us an important lesson, and we are
now staffing our teams more effectively for projects of this size, such as Flow.
On the whole, I think we all gained from this project, despite its setbacks. A lot of the
code and research tools we developed for Article Feedback are now being used by other
projects, so this experiment is helping improve Wikipedia in more ways than one.
In times like these, I am reminded of Thomas Edison's words about his own
experiments: 'I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.’
We too have learned a lot together from this exploration -- and I am very grateful for
everyone's willingness to experiment with us. I look forward to more collaborations
with you all in the future.
(1) Article Feedback Report:
(2) ‘Discuss on talk page’:
(3) AFT5 Report Discussion:
(4) AFT Talk page on English Wikipedia:
(5) AFT5 Wikimedia Team Retrospective:
(6) Gerrit ticket:
(7) Bugzilla report:
On Feb 13, 2014, at 12:22 PM, Ori Livneh <ori(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 2:58 PM, Fabrice Florin <fflorin(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
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.
Fabrice, I commend you for authoring this report. It is honest, straightforward, and
thoughtful -- and, I imagine, not easy to write. I think it demonstrates a high standard
of professionalism with respect to feature development. It makes me proud to be a WMFer
when I see us act with such self-awareness. It's an example I'll try to emulate.
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