Growth Newsletter #11

Originally published at: https://space.wmflabs.org/2019/11/20/growth-newsletter-11/

Welcome to the eleventh newsletter from the Growth team!

The Growth team’s objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects.

General news

  • Expanding to more wikis: the team is preparing to deploy Growth features to Ukrainian and Hungarian Wikipedias. Wikis that already have the features are Czech, Korean, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Basque Wikipedias. If your community is enthusiastic about welcoming newcomers, we encourage you to contact us so that we can verify together if your wiki is eligible. Then you can go through the checklist to start the process of configuring the features.
  • Mentor training: we tried out our first training for mentors with the Czech community, so that experienced users can build skills that help them retain newcomers.
  • The guide for mentors has been updatedTranslations are welcomed!

Help panel results

Mockup of guidance while doing a suggested edit, using the help panel

The help panel was first deployed to newcomers in January 2019, and we have now finished analyzing data to determine its impact. A brief summary is below, and more in-depth information can be found here (in English).

  • In summary, although we have seen a good amount of usage of the help panel, the help panel has not shown an increase in activation (whether a user makes their first edit) or retention (whether a user returns to edit again).
  • This is a disappointing result, and our team has discussed potential reasons for the result and ideas for the future. Although we have many ideas for how to improve the help panel, we have decided to keep our attention on the newcomer homepage and newcomer tasks projects for the coming months.
  • We’ll be using the help panel as part of the newcomer tasks project: using it to guide newcomers while they complete suggested edits.
  • We welcome questions and thoughts about this on the project’s talk page.

Newcomer tasks deployment

Mockup of topic matching in newcomer tasks
  • The first version of the newcomer tasks workflow (V1.0) will be deployed in the next weeks on our 4 priority wikis. This version will suggest articles to edit based on maintenance templates. In this first version, we expect many newcomers to initiate the workflow, but not many to select articles to edit or complete edits. We expect future versions of the feature to increase those behaviors.
  • We’re excited about this project because the majority of newcomers visit their newcomer homepage, and this will be the first element of the homepage that clearly asks the newcomer to start editing.
  • These are the next two versions of the feature, which are already being planned:
    • V1.1 (topic matching): will allow newcomers to choose topics of interest (such as Art, Music, Sports, or Technology) to personalize their suggestions. After evaluating several approaches, we have decided to use a new ORES model built by the WMF Scoring team. The model will automatically identify the topic area of each article. We expect this to increase how often newcomers select articles to edit.
    • V1.2 (guidance): once newcomers arrive on an article to edit, we will use the help panel to provide guidance about how to complete the editing task. We expect this to increase how many newcomers actually complete productive edits.
  • The project page includes links to the designs of the workflow, and we welcome questions and thoughts on the talk page.

Growth team’s newsletter prepared by the Growth team • Give feedback • Subscribe or unsubscribe on wiki.

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