Greetings, fellow FB'ers!!
A couple of points. I mentioned this before on IRC, why is Social Media and
FB being used by the India operations? If this is an initiative by WMF, I
would have thought it could have been taken on from SF. Expert opinions
about "Why Facebook" aside, this pilot program doesn't seem to have
anything unique for the Indian context. It is still the same scatter
approach, get more people to 'Like', and between the mountains of, "OMG,
lol, I like totally like Wikipedia. lol" get them to make an edit. After
going through the "numbers", there seems to be a conversion rate of 8% or
less with a total edits of less than 300.
Second, I understand that there might be 2 skill-sets involved here. But I
don't know how qualified Indian staff members, or even SF ones are, to take
on one-on-one teaching assignments like these. To the best of my knowledge,
SF staff for the most part avoid teaching assignments, which are done by a
handful of editors on staff. Most of the Indian staff member's editing
started after or a few months prior to joining WMF, and turned into
teaching within a month or two. In Noopur's case, I understand, that
teaching and editing might be two different skill-sets, but I don't know if
she possesses the other one either. She is without doubt qualified to Tweet
and FB ( lawd knows, I can't argue ;) ), but teaching others to edit? She
barely completed her first year editing, sometime last week I think, and a
lot of those edits were in the course of her job. I'm weary only because
this was one of the large problems with the IEP.
On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM, Noopur Raval <nraval(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
Greetings! Here's an update on the Social Media pilot
Just a small recap before I go on to the numbers.
Why we decided to go with Facebook at all is because potential new editors
are more comfortable and familiar with the channel. To illustrate, after
outreach sessions, we tried staying in touch with around 100 participants
using a combination of email and talk page messages and got just 3
responses. When we sent an invite to a Facebook page where they could get
help and inputs on how to edit, we got 300 signed up in less than 3 days.
Also, social media requires relatively lower investments of time and
resources from our community and many Internet savvy people are comfortable
using it. The Social Media program was started in order to effectively
utilize platforms like Facebook and community groups there (like the Odia
Wikipedia group, Kannada Wikipedia group) in order to engage more new
editors and give them basic lessons on editing.
However, running a Facebook group is very different from using Facebook
for personal updates. That's why after observing how these groups work
and interacting with a few editors who started these groups, we developed a
systematic 19 point guide that looks at various aspects of how to do use
Facebook effectively including aspects like discipline in messaging,
structuring the interactions, tone of messaging, selecting articles, being
cautious with Wikispeak etc. (Of course, it keeps in mind WP:NOTFACEBOOK.)
Here's a sneak peek into what we've been doing on two different groups:
1) You can also write on
This group was primarily started to give lessons in English editing.
Although all of us use social network sites, it is important to understand
that the way we interact on Wikipedia is very different from Facebook. This
is the gap we are trying to bridge through more deliberate messaging. As
mentioned in the detailed program
we try and do regular editing sessions with fun, interesting articles that
have adequate space for improvement (therefore making it easier for new
editors to make their first edits.)
Through a series of 5 basic tasks like creating a username, correcting a
spelling mistake, adding a line of information, adding a reference and
adding an interwiki link, we try and get the user to make their first 5
edits in less than 10 minutes. Our initial experiments show promise and of
the 400+ members right now, over 30 users have participated in these
mini-editing sessions and have now edited for the very first time. (You
can see their usernames in the
group; do note that are the names of 7 existing editors also on that
list, who are the mentors.)
So, out of 400+ members, over 30 edited. This would have a conversion rate
of 8% or less, I believe. The total edits generated by this exercise don't
seem to exceed 250-300 edits, since the inception.
I wonder, don't workshops, or mid-size meetups have mostly the same
response generated without this much fanfare. I'm sure, yelling at a busy
street might have similar conversion rates.
To cite examples, User:
editor) came to the group and wanted to create the article on
cricketer Ajit Chandila <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajit_Chandila>.
Once we helped him create the article, he started contributing to
Chandila's article and moved on to another cricketer, Manvinder
User:10gible <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/10gible>joined us
to edit the article on Lalu
Prasad Yadav <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalu_Prasad_Yadav> while
the article on his college, Jawaharlal
Vicky Donor <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicky_Donor> and Amul
Chaat <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloo_Chaat> and
Most of the listed new users here, only make minor edits and then stop
completely. There also seems to be something odd here, the formatting of
citations, knowledge of template formatting and edit summaries, aren't
common from new editors in the first week. And I'm only speaking from my
experience of dealing with new editors for close to 2 years on IRC. I see
Srikeit and a couple of senior editors helping out and editing in tandem,
maybe that's it.
This could not have been possible without a group of
like Debanjan, Karthik, Deepon, Sheel, Pratik and Harsh who volunteered and
constantly keep helping new editors. We had Skype calls and regular chats
just to ensure that we connect with new users in a way they find most
The first hurdle of getting new editors to do a set of basic tasks has
been crossed for some. The challenge going forward will always be is to
sustain the interest of these new editors and make them long term editors
hopefully by multiple editing sessions. That still needs to be figured out.
Any inputs, comments and help are welcome.
2) Odia Wikipedia group <https://www.facebook.com/groups/OdiaWiki/>
This group caters to Odia Wikipedians as well as people who speak the
language and might be interested in knowing about Wikipedia. We used
similar techniques as above to expand the group conversations beyond
existing Wikipedians and encourage new editors to participate.
Once when an article on Handia <https://or.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handia> (a
local beverage) was posted, a new
forward to contribute images. Since then, she has been contributing to
articles on Odia cuisine and adding images to articles on Tribes of Odisha.
the article on Capital
So far almost 10 new users have joined in and made their first few edits
in the past month. Given the small size of Indic communities, this could be
a very effective way of encouraging newbies. This also helps because it
means that it filters in those who have Internet connectivity, are
passionate about the language and (in most cases) are familiar with typing
in Indic languages).
Again, this was done with the help of existing Odia Wikipedians like
Gorvachove, Mrutyunjay Kar, Gyanranjan Sahu, Suratha Parhi, Diptiman and
This is really what I wanted to mention. It has been close to an year, and
the majority of updates and work I've read consistently mention odia
wikipedia and smaller Indic language groups. I don't know if that is
intentional to keep the visibility low, or just a preference. I am all for
improving Indic Wikis, but there are other Indic languages who desperately
need attention. For example Hindi Wikipedia, while the largest language
within India, is and has been, in dire need of attention. I am also under
the impression that the entire Indian staff speaks Hindi very well, along
with the majority of readers on this list, yet, there have been little or
no attempts to improve the Hindi Wikipedia. Earlier this year, there were
multiple issues with hi.wp with user rights abuses, copyright violations
etc. I don't think anyone besides Ashwin and a couple of senior editors
bothered looking into or offering to help.
There needs to be more consistency when talking about Indic languages. I
see the same smaller Wikis mentioned over and over a lot more than others.