Growth team Newsletters #10

Originally published at: https://space.wmflabs.org/2019/10/04/growth-team-newsletters-10/

Welcome to the tenth newsletter from the Growth team! Translations are available.

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

General news

  • Growth team features are now fully deployed in Arabic Wikipedia and Basque Wikipedia (along with Czech, Korean, and Vietnamese 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, go through the checklist to start the process of configuring the features.
  • We have deployed features that help newcomers find their newcomer homepage. These features were successful, and more than doubled the number of newcomers who find their homepage. In Czech Wikipedia, 72% of newcomers visit their homepage and in Korean Wikipedia, 49% of newcomers visit their homepage.
  • You can now join the Growth discussion space on the Wikimedia Space. This space has been created during Wikimania, to coordinate initiatives around welcoming newcomers. Please come and say hello!

Growth at Wikimania

Opening panel in the Community Growth space (source)
  • Several members of the Growth team attended Wikimania in Stockholm. We helped organize a conference track around Community Growth, presented about our team’s work, and had many conversations with community members from around the world.
  • Here are the most important links:
  • These are some of our topline notes:
    • Alignment on newcomer retention: It seems like Wikimania attendees generally believe that newcomer retention is an important problem.
    • Connecting offline to online: Enthusiasm for ideas that connect our features better to offline events, such as making homepage mentors correspond to offline mentors.
    • Mentor dashboard: Experienced users requested a dashboard with which they could monitor newcomers who may need help.

Newcomer tasks — feedback needed!

Mockup of newcomer tasks (source)
  • The Growth team’s main project right now is newcomer tasks, which will suggest easy edits for newcomers. It will be built as a new module for the newcomer homepage.
  • We hope that this project will help newcomers build their skills before attempting more difficult edits, such as creating new articles or adding images.
  • These are the three main challenges we’ve been working on:
    • Where to find the tasks? After considering many different sources for tasks, we’ve decided to start by using maintenance templates, which are applied by editors on most wikis, and including tasks like copy editing, adding links, and adding references.
    • How to match to interests? Research shows that users are more likely to work on articles that are related to their interests. We are currently prototyping methods to ask newcomers their interests and then find articles that match.
    • How to guide the newcomer? Once a newcomer has selected a recommended article, they will need guidance on how to complete the edit. We have decided to use the help panel to provide that guidance while the newcomer edits.
  • We are currently engineering on this feature, and we recently published notes from user tests that give mostly positive feedback.
  • You can explore the design for newcomer tasks in these interactive mockups. We hope to hear from you about your thoughts on the project talk page. Do you think this could be helpful for newcomers? What are we missing?

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

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Love the mockups for the suggested edits feature! :)

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