Space Progress Report - October 2019

Here comes our second Space progress report, and with it one question that you are invited to help answering.

Registration is progressing at a rate of three new users per day, every day there is a new user posting for the first time, every day we have about fifty registered users visiting Space, and we even start to see languages other than English being used (remarkably French). However, engagement in terms of :blue_heart: or comments is slightly in decline, and it is still difficult to see longer conversations catching up.

Is this just a matter of keeping growing steadily to build critical mass, or is there something else missing? We want to hear your opinions!

Metrics

These metrics correspond to October 2019 unless specified otherwise. The target numbers refer to the Success criteria for the Wikimedia Space prototype. The previous numbers refer to September 2019.

General

For more information about these levels, see Trust levels and user rights in Wikimedia Space.

Blog

  • :white_check_mark: 6.5 blog posts per week (average, target 3, previous 4)
  • 0 languages other than English with at least 2 blog posts per month (target 3, previous 0)
    • 0 in non-Latin script (target 2, previous 0)
    • 0 in right-to-left script (target 1, previous 0)
  • 0 volunteers in the Editorial Board (target 2, previous 0)
  • 2 languages other than English supported by native volunteer reviewers: French, Arabic (target 3, previous 0)

Discuss

  • 51.7 daily visits (registered users, average, target 200, previous 49)
  • 18.0 daily engaged users (liking or posting, average, target 40, previous 23)
  • 80 users liking or posting monthly excluding Foundation staff (target 190, previous n/a)
  • 7 users posting at least 5 times in the past month excluding Foundation staff (target 40, previous n/a)
  • :white_check_mark: 3 active closed groups/categories (at least 1 post, target 3, previous 2)
  • 2 languages other than English with more than 5 users participating in that language: French, Spanish (target 3, previous 0)
    • 0 in non-Latin script (target , previous 0)
    • 0 in right-to-left script (target, previous 0)
  • 0 volunteers in the Moderators team (group/category moderators not counted, target 2, previous 0)
  • 0 languages represented by volunteers on Moderators team (B2 level, target 2, previous 0)

Wikimedia Foundation

  • 0% of departments formally briefed about Wikimedia Space (0 of 0, target 100%, previous 0%)
  • 60% of Foundation announcements published in Space on time (6 of 10, target 100%, previous n/a)

Success criteria newly met

  • 2019-10-31 3 active closed groups/categories. However, participation is still minimal.

You can find more details about the development of Wikimedia Space at our workboard in Phabricator.

Graphics

Weekly signups Jun 5 - Oct 31

Daily signups

Weekly user visits (registered users) Jun 5 - Oct 31

Daily user visits (registered users)

Daily engaged users (weekly average) Jun 5 - Sep 30

Daily engaged users

New contributors (weekly) Jun 5 - Sep 30

New contributors

10 Likes

A couple weeks ago I had a conversation at WMNL. Jan-Bart de Vreede is considering a (closed) group as channel for Dutch community conversations. He likes friendly space, might want to introduce own rules, might want to have volunteer Dutch moderators. He has to be convinced that space can be something movement wide, non-wmf, and so on. Reach out to him, he might bring in a bunch. And I am waiting for email invites.

5 Likes

Maybe it’s just my perception, but I don’t find you quite happy with your results. It makes me sad. I will tell you one thing about targets. Do not overworry about them. My intention was to say that I cannot participate a lot on this (or any other) wikimedian interaction activity as I don’t have enough time. Right now I’m working on a presentation for Amical meet-up in Cervera (28 days left), giving support to an activity of Catalan Wikisource with Universitat de València (I don’t know the time span, I just look for solutions to problems as they arise), getting ready for next ballot paper collection activity (elections in 8 days, so I’d better run like hell), creating Q numbers for monuments in the Land of Valencia (60% done, but my intention was to finish in early October, did I say something about not worrying about targets?), using mix’n’match to connect Auñamedi, Gran Enciclopedia Aragonesa, Gran Enciclopedia de Navarra and Diccionario Biográfico de España articles with Wikidata (when? mainly while sleeping TV after dinner). Oh! And I keep an eye on Spanish municipalities pictures. And try to attend face-to-face activities by fellow Wikicollaborators (Hi, Pacos -both-, Bàrbara, Nino, Amparo and Montse!). And I want to take part on Month of Asia and Human Rights editing (having had asked for help to do both things at the same time). So, well, it’s pretty difficult for me to do any more activities. I couldn’t even finish reading The Signpost!

And I still could read your post! You have done something right! But take into account that I already feel like too little butter spread on too much bread. At some point, some loaves will have to go unbuttered.

3 Likes

Congratulations for the progress made!

To answer your question about “what might be missing”: I feel there is something missing in-between tags and closed groups. For example, one thing I’d really love to do with Space is create a sub-forum for my local group here in Grenoble. A place where we could create several topics and discuss local projects.
Currently this can be done either through a closed group or a tag.

But: I don’t want it to be a closed group that no one can access. I want people from other cities or countries to be able to jump into our local debates, or just read and get inspired by our projects.
But it can’t be a tag either. Or we’ll end up creating a tag for every single city in the world and it would be quite a mess!

So this dilemma ended up in me not doing anything because what I want to do doesn’t fit anywhere.

This example works for geographic division, but same goes for thematic discussion.
Let’s say the Tech working group from Wikimedia France wants a place here to discuss. They’ll have the same issue, because they can’t create a tag of their own, but they don’t want their discussions to be stricly private either (otherwise they could just stay on a mailing list or on a telegram group - but precisely the problem of these channels is that they are not transparent, don’t allow new people to jump in or to learn as reader).

So… to conclude: maybe Space lacks the possibility to create conversations that are both organized and public.
I personally really like forums that have more hierarchy that this one. Categories, subcategories, sub-subcategories… so that information is structured and findable (eg. “Wikimedia France>thematic working groups>tech” or “Wikimedia France>geographic local groups>Grenoble”).

Tags and chronological display just feel really disorganized: they put everything on the same level, don’t allow structuring conversations, don’t allow new users to easily find their way towards what they could be interested in…

3 Likes

My impression is that there is not a lot of content that one could engage with. Most of the posts are events (has its uses but not “real” content), blog posts (too long to easily engage with) and “outreach” type posts (“tell us about project X that we are doing”) which are just not interesting for most people. There is not a lot of organic discussion happening.

…which is not particularly strange for an early-stage forum like this, it’s just usage seems larger than it actually is due to the aforementioned content types. So some types of engagement are somewhat inflated and others (like comments / likes) are not.

4 Likes

Thanks for your thoughts here @Opsylac. I can totally see how the current main page doesn’t highlight the fact that, for the most part, this actually does exist on Space. If you remember, the previous main page was the Categories page, still accessible now from the secondary navigation bar. On the left hand side of that page, you’ll see all public categories and subcategories listed, which makes the topics within them more findable and shows the structure of information on Discuss Space.

Would it be more intuitive to switch the main page back to the Categories page?

1 Like

Thanks for this point, @Tgr. Agreed. The software that powers Discuss is great for dynamic Q&A, and we need more of it. The ideal would be a general environment like what we tend to see in the #ask-here category. T232983 (providing a commitment to address questions for the Foundation in Space) is aimed at that. I also think as a Space community (calling out myself as well), we can better fuel discussions through the topics we open (hint: short and sweet is better!).

Do you have thoughts on what all of us can do to funnel important questions here?

Thank you for the pointer! I just emailed Jan-Bart.

I know… Invite by email is still in the queue because we need to keep some sanity in our development backlog. Multilingual support goes first.

1 Like

It’s OK. :slight_smile: Personally, the point that makes me less happy are the remarks that we get about the low participation of volunteers vs Foundation people in Space. The remarks are spot on, but I wonder what we can do. There are thousands of volunteers, and we would like to attract all of them.

This connects to this point you make:

This is going to be a problem especially if busy Wikimedians active in 101 places now have to keep up with Space as the place 102. We hope that Space saves time to these contributors by becoming a very good platform to distribute information, ask questions, and collaborate with each other.

But then… in fact these very active volunteers are also a minority in their own communities. Inside and outside Wikimedia there are many volunteers that perhaps could get more involved if they knew where and how. We hope Space helps the very active volunteers in recruiting, onboarding and get their less busy peers more involved.

2 Likes

7 posts were split to a new topic: Creating a public category for my local group?

Personally for me, it was, and I changed it back in my settings. For me it solved the “problem”, but many participants use the default options, I believe.

1 Like

I think, critical mass is important for the success of this initiative, and I think, most of the communities / community members are not aware of this project.

I try to change this with posts on different platforms. If more people do evangelism, it is better :slight_smile:

2 Likes

We are 604 users now. :tada:

About promoting Space, what do you think we should do?

So far we have opted for a progressive approach. I don’t know what would happen in terms of registration if we would promote Space massively to Village Pumps or Central Notice. Proper multilingual support (which is coming) should be in place before, I think. Otherwise we risk ending up with more or less the same people, while we fail to serve the big majority of Wikimedians that (imho) don’t feel represented or even alluded in the traditional channels.

1 Like

For me, starting interesting discussions is the better way to motivate people to come here. I think we are doing that quite well, progressively, and we just have to keep doing that. Massive message is not very efficient in my opinion, because people listen their close friends and colleagues more than the people from outside. That’s even worst when it’s not in the local language. And in some community, it is even counterproductive because of old stories with some part of the Foundation staff (major security change that stopped local gadgets, Trust & Safety unprepared global ban, unsatisfied Phabricator requests , etc.).

2 Likes