[Foundation-l] User talk templates

Steven Walling steven.walling at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 18:38:14 UTC 2012

These are both great questions Pine.

On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM, En Pine <deyntestiss at hotmail.com> wrote:

> First, has anyone thought about automatically adding a welcome message to
> the user’s talk page when they first register, not only for EN but also for
> Commons, Simple, and other projects? Currently we require a human to do
> this, which means that lots of people seem not to get welcome messages
> which could contain useful information, and perhaps a link to the Teahouse
> for EN users. Could we implement an automated post to a user’s talk page
> that gives the user links to WP:WELCOME, WP:HELP, the Teahouse, and/or
> other similar resources as soon as the user has registered?

As Tim said, there is actually an extension which can do this, and it's
used on several projects, including the Arabic, Hindi, Thai, Chinese, and
Romanian Wikipedias (among others).

Personally speaking, I think that we should treat automated welcoming of
any kind with healthy skepticism. But the great part of running A/B tests
(however hack-y our system is) is that we don't have to make our consensus
decisions based just on gut instinct about how people will react to
different communitication methods.

To that end, we're currently testing a few different welcomes delivered via
this extension on the Wikimedia Incubator:

The reason we're doing tests at all is because in our first A/B test, we
confirmed our working hypothesis that enough people read these templates to
make changing their contents actually worthwhile.

As others have pointed out though, it's actually more likely that people do
not *really* read fully automated welcome messages from bots, so the most
important thing I want to learn from the Incubator test is whether we can
see any statistically significant difference in the activity of editors who
receive these various welcomes.

> Second, has anyone looked at non-English Wikipedias, especially any that
> show better editor retention than EN’s, to check for best practices
> regarding the languages used on templates?
> Thanks,
> Pine

This is a really important thing. We've done some research in prep for
non-English tests we've ran, and I can give you some anecdotes etc., but no
one has done a comprehensive survey. If you want to help work on one, I'm
happy to start it!

Last but not least, there are links to all the local coordination pages and
ongoing research on Meta.[1] If you're from EN, PT, or DE Wikipedias, there
are WikiProjects to join which have their own localized documentation
already, and we're definitely open to doing tests on new wikis.


1. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template_A/B_testing

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