[Foundation-l] Ideas for newbie recruitment

Hubert hubert.laska at gmx.at
Mon Oct 31 14:11:25 UTC 2011

hi David, what you wrote fits exactly my experience!

Today, my opinion is, that we must focus our efforts on a small portion
of Internet users. It is not that WE just do something very great,
everyone is doing something! In very different ways. Maybe even Facebook
users are doing something useful, but I can not judge.

In Austria, with our heritäge cultural monuments-project we started
different approach to animate new and old user. This project started in
the very beginning with maybe 5-6 active users and is now being carried
out with 220 Wikipedians only in Austria. With varying intensity, but
that's normal. We won estimated 30-50 new Wikipedians, also many who
have been inactive for quite some time.

Crucial was, that we started with a clear communication structure with
newsletter and a portal page from the very beginning. And personal meetings.

And what I found most important,  was the effort to welcome the
contribution of EVERY new wikipedian to welcome his/her contribution
accordingly. Saying: Thank You for your contribution! No automated
greetings with an hello-template, but a very personal one. Maybe
WikiLove as its best, but very, very consequently.

In the course of this project, 2,400 articles (lists) are created and
edited with a total of 36,000 listed properties. These lists
are directly connected to another 4000-5000 other articles and about
20,000 images.
At this time, we realised with this particular project only one third -
maybe just ten percent - what we have set ourselves as a target. This
means that we still have years to work on it. It is difficult to
estimate how many new articles we will still get from this project in
the future.

This project culminated in September wiht the WLM-project in which
Austria has achieved a very excellent result, getting 12.500 pictures.
And another 20 to 30 new user. Some of them prefer to work without
registration. I don´t like it, but I have to accept it.

Our policy was: The best, the most significant, the most important
contribution is the edit of an new user.

I think that every single project requires a communications manager who
is also directly familiar with the project. Part of this communication
efforts may also need the support of newcomers.

The mentor program is, in my view, too inflexible and too static. And
also too impersonal. Very few people will accept an request of
prerequisite tutoring.

The best of all: During the whole period we had no conflicts between us
and no article-vandalism within this thematic area.


Am 31.10.2011 12:29, schrieb David Gerard:
> I’ve been into Wikipedia for several years, and all my friends know
> this. I *still* find myself having to explain to them in small words
> that that “edit” link really does include them fixing typos when they
> see one.
> So my suggestion: tiny tiny steps like this: things people can do that
> have a strong probability of sticking.
> Anyone else got ideas based on their (admittedly anecdotal) experience?
> [inspired by Oliver Keyes' blog post: http://quominus.org/archives/524 ]
> - d.
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