Growth/Communities/Community events reports

This page lists community events Growth team members and supporters attended, and where Growth features were presented or mentioned. Notes listed below reflect the opinion of the attendees.

2024

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Report by Benoît Evellin

Over a 10 minutes segment, I introduced several features under the name "Newcomers Onboarding Tools":

  • Growth suggested edits
  • Editing's Edit check for References
  • Growth mentorship
  • Community Configuration, as a way to configure Growth features, and more features beyond.

The questions were around available how successful the Growth features are, and the fact that the default interface is difficult for newcomers.

2023

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Habib presenting Inkscape

Report by Habib Mhenni

I had the privilege of participating in the WikiConvention Francophone held in Abidjan, 22 and 23 September 2023, and organized by Wikimedia Côte d'Ivoire and Wiki Franca. This conference was a gathering of francophone colleagues from the Wikimedia Movement, and it provided a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences related to various Wikimedia projects. In this conference, I provided two sessions, first one is about the Growth and Editing tools, and the second one is about using Inkscape to generate SVG illustrations.

Presentation on Growth and Editing Tools

During the conference, I delivered a presentation (available on YouTube, in French) on growth tools and editing tools. The focus of my presentation was to highlight the importance of these tools in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of contributions to Wikimedia projects. I discussed various features of these tools, their applications, and how they can be leveraged to improve the quality of edits and contributions.

Here:

  • a comment from one of the attendees in this session: "... I discovered the newcomer interface, which is still in beta, but which I find rather well done. It makes it easy to contact your mentor and ask essential questions, but also to contribute quickly and simply with suggestions for links to add, photos to check, etc. I find this interface really interesting to make it easier for beginners to contribute and perhaps increase our retention rate on projects."
  • some feedback shared on X (here and here).
Interaction with Colleagues

The conference provided an excellent opportunity to interact with many African colleagues from the Wikimedia Movement. These interactions were insightful and enriching, as we shared our experiences, challenges, and best practices related to our work on Wikimedia projects. It was inspiring to see the passion and commitment of my colleagues towards contributing to the growth and development of these projects.

 
The new LiveRC project page

In this conference, I discovered that Wikimedia France is developing a new version of LiveRC, it will help patrollers in their task.

Discussion on Improving the Edit Journey for Africans

One of the key discussions I had during the conference was about making the edit journey more efficient for Africans. We discussed various challenges faced by African contributors, such as the lack of understanding of Western administrators, language barriers, and lack of access to resources. We brainstormed potential solutions to these challenges, such as improving the availability and accessibility of editing tools, providing training and support for new contributors, and promoting local content creation. One participant suggested that we should learn newcomers how to change their usernames if it's providing critical information such as their origins.

I would have liked the Wikimedia Foundation to be better represented (quantitatively) in this conference, to show the interest we have in French-speaking Africans who feel neglected because of the language barrier. Participating in the WikiConvention Francophone in Abidjan was a rewarding experience. It not only provided me with an opportunity to share my knowledge and learn from others but also sparked meaningful discussions on how we can collectively work towards improving the edit journey for African contributors. I look forward to implementing the ideas and strategies discussed during the conference and continuing to contribute to the growth and success of Wikimedia projects.

Wikidata Days 2023, September 2023

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Poster of Wikidata Days 2023 event

Report by IZapico (WMF)

Wikidata Days 2023 took place in the National Library of Portugal in Lisbon, from September 28th to 30th. The event was organized by Wikimedia Portugal and I received a scholarship to attend in my volunteer capacity. The program was really interesting and I had the opportunity to learn how to make a SPARQL query, what is Wikibase or the huge possibilities that OpenRefine brings. Speakers were very diverse (to include Asaf Bartov and Luca Martinelli among others) and attendees were mainly members of the Portuguese community (including some from the informal feminist user group Wiki Editoras LX).

Last year, the organizers from Wikimedia Portugal attended the Wikimedia Spain annual meeting and one of them told me she liked my Growth features presentation there. She also suggested me to submit any presentation proposal we want for future events of Wikimedia Portugal, like next year's Wikicon Portugal, which is usually attended by wikimedians of the Portuguese and Spanish community.

 
Wikimania Singapore 2023

Report by KStoller-WMF

As the Growth team's Product Manager, I was able to attend Wikimania this year and share information about Growth team work in two sessions. One session focused on Mentoring new editors on Wikipedia, while the other session covered upcoming work related to Supporting moderators at the Wikimedia Foundation.

Youtube recording

 
Wikimania 2023 closing party

In this workshop, we reviewed why the Growth team built out Mentorship tools, and then learned how communities can utilize these tools to help newcomers on their wikis. We also reviewed recent results from Mentorship preliminary analysis, where a WMF Data Scientist looked how Mentorship impacts newcomer activation, retention, productivity, and revert rates. We then answered several questions, and then participants brainstormed responses to the following questions:

  1. What is one thing your wiki does well in terms of welcoming or onboarding newcomers?
  2. How can we recruit more Mentors and ensure Mentorship is rewarding and engaging for Mentors?
  3. How can we make Mentorship more effective? How should Mentorship tools be improved?

You can view the Mentoring new editors on Wikipedia slides, along with the responses from attendees here. Since the session, Mentorship has been enabled on Odia Wikipedia, and an admin from Punjabi Wikipedia has expressed interest in enabling Mentorship.

Youtube recording

Product Managers from the Wikimedia Foundation shared plans for supporting moderators (e.g. patrollers, administrators, and stewards) in this year's annual plan. Growth, Editing, Moderator Tools, and the Android App team's Product Managers shared upcoming project plans.

I shared information about the Growth team's Community configuration feature, and our exploration into improvements we hope to make in our upcoming Community configuration 2.0 project. You can view the Supporting moderators at the Wikimedia Foundation slides here.

 
Santhosh Thottingal shares the impact of the "Add a link" task
Other Wikimania 2023 sessions that mentioned Growth features
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Although the Growth team only presented at two Wikimania sessions, it was exciting to see how often Growth features were mentioned in other sessions. Of the sessions I attended I noticed Growth features mentioned by several other WMF teams and community volunteers.

Santhosh Thottingal, the Principal Software in Language team of Wikimedia Foundation mentioned the Growth team's "Add a link" structured task while presenting on the plenary stage at Wikimania 2023.

 
Structured Data Across Wikimedia session

This session explored the results of the Structured Data Across Wikipedia (SDAW) program, and featured the Newcomer "add an image" task. Marco Fossati, Software Engineer on the Structured Data team, shared information about the "add an image" task. Since release, the "add an image" newcomer task has resulted in over 40,000 images being added to Wikipedia articles!

YouTube recording

This panel discussion explored recent AI developments, how these developments impact the way volunteers manage and moderate contributions, and potential partnerships the Foundation may make with AI industry and advocacy organizations. Leila Zia, Director of the Research team at the Wikimedia Foundation, showcased ongoing WMF projects and features that harness machine learning and AI technologies. Zia used the "add a link" structured task as an instance of an AI-powered feature benefiting Wikipedia newcomers. The Research team is currently exploring ways to make this algorithm more language agnostic.

 
Anton Protsiuk presents ideas for appreciating volunteers

In this Lightning talk session at Wikimania 2023, Anton Protsiuk presented Wikimedia Ukraine’s “wiki condensed milk” program as it relates to motivating volunteers and retaining newcomers. Anton Protsiuk is the 2023 Wikimedian of the Year Honorable Mention. Protsiuk mentioned Growth’s work on Positive Reinforcement when discussing this Ukrainian appreciation project.

Report by IZapico (WMF)

Thanks to a partial scholarship, I was able to attend Wikimania in person in a volunteer capacity. The experience was both awesome and exhausting at the same time. Knowing so many incredible wikimedians and the projects they are developing to make the wikis (and the world) better was really inspiring. 

This was my first opportunity to attend an in-person Wikimedia international event, so it was also the first time I could meet face to face with many wikimedians of my community who already knew, but only virtually. It was awesome to be able to engage in person with the LATAM community and humanize each other after so much time of just talking in the Cafe and/or through emails and videoconferences. Although I was wearing my volunteer (and UG) hat, some community members recognised me as a product ambassador of the WMF and their reactions were mainly positive, even some of them mentioned they loved our work. It was great to be able to receive that feedback in person.

Several Growth team engineers attended Wikimedia Hackathon. Growth team engineers hosted or assisted with the following sessions:

Report by Ankan (WMF)

Ankan participated in the WikiConference India 2023 in Hyderabad, India, where he had a meeting with the Wikimedia Bangladesh chapter regarding their new programs. Two board members commented that conducting a workshop for the experienced contributors (who will be the future trainers for newcomers, and conduct workshop) would be helpful as the features for newcomers have been updated in the recent time by the growth features. So they believe that it is important to ensure the trainers know about these, and can comfortably conduct outreach events. Another conference participant, who organizes education programs often, got interested knowing the growth features.

The growth features were shown to these contributors during the conference. One of the takeaways from this conference is the fact that many community members (including some active members) still don't have a clear idea about the growth features.

Wiki for Human Rights campaign + Newcomer Tools, April 2023

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Report by KStoller-WMF

Growth team representatives, KStoller-WMF and Martin Urbanec (WMF), participated in a Let’s Connect virtual learning clinic. The focus of the session was to share effective strategies for retaining and re-engaging new editors during and after the Wiki for Human Rights campaign. The session was held on Apr 11, 2023 and was open to all Wiki for Human Rights campaign organizers in the Central and Eastern Europe region and in other regions who are participating in this year's campaign.

The Growth team shared a presentation about Newcomer tools for campaign participants. This presentation is also available in Spanish, Arabic, French, and Brazilian Portuguese.  

After the presentation, some questions were asked about setting up Mentorship on wikis without the feature enabled. So we shared further information about Mentorship features for workshop or campaign organizers, along with an invitation to reach out to Trizek (WMF) for more personalized assistance. One current mentor expressed frustration about some newcomers "spamming" talk pages with repetitive questions or requests for assistance when they are violating guidelines. But in general reception was positive, and the post presentation feedback about what was learned in the session included:

  • Growth team tools are super cool
  • I'm really interested in the mentorship tool!
  • I plan to adjust my preferences to have the growth experience features and support new editors.

2022

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Report by Trizek (WMF)

Growth hosted a presentation of Growth features evolution across the 5 last years. The room was too small for the number of people who attended.

I also attended sessions about newcomers experiences, newcomers feedback, help pages, improving best practices, etc.

Main takeaways from the entire conference:

  • Most people were not aware of what we achieved over the 5 last years.
  • Most people were stunned by what we achieved, and how good our data is.
  • Suggested copyedit raised a lot of eyebrows as there are several standards for French language. As the event was also about minor languages spoken across the francophonie, some users were concerned of being left aside because no dictionary exists for their language.
  • People asked for a per-country filter, to help their workshops.
  • Non-Wikipedia wikis asked when specific task for their needs would be available, or if an option would be provided to allow them to create their own tasks.
  • Several users were looking for a mentor. It was particularly true for people who created their account a while ago, but haven't yet edited "for real". As their account is too old, they can't find their mentor. Going through preferences wasn't easy for them.
  • While translations are popular, there is no way to ask a question to your mentor while you translate an article. And you mentor can't access your translation.

Mentorship was added to https://ary.wikipedia.org/.

Report by Dyolf77 (WMF)

WikiIndaba 2022, November 2022

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Report by Dyolf77 (WMF)

A dedicated table for a live demonstration of the tools for experienced Wikimedians.

WikiArabia 2022, October 2022

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Report by Dyolf77 (WMF)

 
Presentation of the Growth team

Growth team tools for newcomers was presented in a session. The session was delayed and was rescheduled in parallel with another session in the first day of the conference:

  • Majority of attendees was new editors who wanted to manage workshop with newcomers;
  • One mentor was able to join the session;
  • Questions and feedback from attendees:
    • "Great tool, I wish I had the same assistance at my early times on wikis!";
    • "We want mentors for specific mentees!";
    • "In a workshop, how to assign mentors for the learners without disturbing them with changing their initial mentors?"
    • From the mentor: "It will be very helpful to offer a VRTS like system to handle questions from newcomers."

Wikimedia Spain annual meeting

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Report by IZapico (WMF) In November 2022, WMES celebrated the ninth edition of their annual conference. It was an in-person meeting.

Growth hosted a presentation of Growth features during the event:

  • It was the last session of the day and the room was crowded (around 30 attendants).
  • Attendants were mainly experienced users that have been editing Wikipedia for many years. Just a few newcomers attended.
  • Just before Growth session, a current mentor of our mentorship give a related short talk titled "From tutoring to mentoring: a new program to help newcomers". He was really enthusiastic with our project.
  • Another 2 mentors attended (3 in total). One of them joined just a few days before the meeting and was kind of frustrated because he did not received any question yet from his mentees. The other 2 mentors, that joined before the deployment of the mentorship in es.wp, were happy and commit with their mission, but they felt they received too much questions and have too many mentees assigned.
  • Some attendant show interest in becoming mentors, but at the same time they claim to have no much time for it.
  • Apart from mentorship, attendants were really surprised to learn more regarding our features.
  • Most people were not aware of what we have already done.
  • Some of them, specially women, tell that they would have like to have these features when they started editing.
  • Some newcomers told that they were planning to start using our features.