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This page contains updates on the Growth team's work to increase new editor retention in Czech and Korean Wikipedias. The planning for this work began in June 2018. The team works on multiple projects at a time, but they will all be discussed on this page. During July, August, September, and October 2018, the team was also simultaneously working on a project to improve the Articles for Creation process and New Pages Feed in English Wikipedia, which is discussed on its own page.

How to get involved

It is important that our work is grounded in the reality of the communities we hope to help. If you have thoughts or ideas around this project or our team's work, please comment on this project's talk page.

Project updates

Updates for 2022 are listed below, from this page. Watch 2022 updates. ● See also the Release Timeline ● Growth team updates: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018.


Update 2022-06-27: Add a link analysis

  • Add a link
    • Add a Link Experiment Analysis has been published. The most important points are:
      • Newcomers who get the Add a Link structured task are more likely to be activated (i.e. make a constructive first article edit).
      • They are also more likely to be retained (i.e. come back and make another constructive article edit on a different day).
      • The feature also increases edit volume (i.e. the number of constructive edits made across the first couple weeks), while at the same time improving edit quality (i.e. the likelihood that the newcomer's edits are reverted).
    • A fourth round of wikis have received "add a link" (T304548).
      • This round included: Abkhazian Wikipedia, Achinese Wikipedia, Adyghe Wikipedia, Afrikaans Wikipedia, Akan Wikipedia, Alemannisch Wikipedia, Amharic Wikipedia, Aragonese Wikipedia anwiki, Old English Wikipedia, Aramaic Wikipedia, Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia, Asturian Wikipedia, Atikamekw Wikipedia, Avaric Wikipedia, Aymara Wikipedia, Azerbaijani Wikipedia, and South Azerbaijani Wikipedia.
  • Add an image

Update 2022-06-13: Structured tasks and positive reinforcement feedback

  • Structured Tasks
    • We have been discussing the challenges of patrolling "add a link" and "add an image" structured tasks with patrollers on Arabic Wikipedia, Spanish Wikipedia, and Russian Wikipedia. We are now brainstorming improvements to help address some of the main patroller complaints. We would love to have feedback from an even wider audience, so if you have any thoughts to add about the challenges of reviewing these tasks or how we should improve these tasks further, please let us know.
  • Positive Reinforcement
    • We summarized the initial feedback gathered from community discussions about positive reinforcement ideas, along with how we plan to iterate based on that feedback. The first Positive Reinforcement idea (an overhaul of the impact module based on incorporating stats, graphs, and other contribution information) received the widest support and we plan to move forward with impact module design A.

Update 2022-06-06: Community configuration for "add a link" and "add an image"

  • Add a link
    • Communities can set the maximum number of "add a link" suggested tasks a newcomer can complete daily. In other words, communities can limit the number of "add a link" tasks newcomers can complete, which is helpful if patrollers are overwhelmed by the quantity of these edits. Privileged users can configure this task limit, and other Growth feature settings, from Special:EditGrowthConfig. (T308543).
    • The backend work is complete for the 4th round of wikis to receive "add a link" (T304548).
    • We posted an overview of what is included in "add a link" iteration 2.
  • Add an image
    • A bug was fixed in which the "view image details" option was no longer visible when a newcomer was adding a caption.
    • Communities can set the maximum number of "add an image" suggested tasks a newcomer can complete daily (T308543).
  • Positive reinforcement
    • We are continuing discussions with communities in Arabic, Bengali, Czech, English, and French, and starting to compile a summary we will share.
    • User testing of positive reinforcement designs will start soon. Tests will be conducted in Arabic, English, and Spanish.

Update 2022-05-30: positive reinforcement discussion, mentorship update, and "add a link" improvements

  • Positive reinforcement
    • We have started community discussions about the positive reinforcement project in Arabic, Bengali, Czech, English, and French. We would love to hear from more people, so please join one of these discussions if you are interested.
    • Based on community feedback, we added a few more designs to the "leveling up" idea. You can see one of our ideas in the accompanying image. Please join the discussion to share your thoughts.
 
Design idea showing how newcomers making poor quality “fast edits” could receive guidance
  • Mentorship module:
    • We completed some improvements to the newcomer homepage that allows newcomers to better understand the mentorship feature, and allow them to opt out of mentorship.
      • Provide more information about the public nature of the mentors and talk pages in the Mentor module (T292627).
      • Allow newcomers to opt-in and opt-out of mentorship (T287915).
 
Screenshot of the "About mentors" explanation from the newcomer homepage
  • Add a link
    • The next group of wikis that will receive "add a link" will be:
      • Abkhazian Wikipedia
      • Achinese Wikipedia
      • Adyghe Wikipedia
      • Afrikaans Wikipedia
      • Akan Wikipedia
      • Alemannisch Wikipedia
      • Amharic Wikipedia
      • Aragonese Wikipedia
      • Old English Wikipedia
      • Aramaic Wikipedia
      • Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia
      • Asturian Wikipedia
      • Atikamekw Wikipedia
      • Avaric Wikipedia
      • Aymara Wikipedia
      • Azerbaijani Wikipedia
      • South Azerbaijani Wikipedia
    • We have tested and evaluated the models used for "add a link" for all of these languages. To stay informed, you can subscribe to Phabricator Task 304548.
    • We are working on two more "Add a link" improvements:
      • Prioritize suggestions of underlinked articles (T301096).
      • Allow communities to customize the "add a link" quality gate threshold easily within Special:EditGrowthConfig (T308543).
    • In our "add a link" analysis we found that this feature helps engage newcomers and has a low reversion rate. However, the ease of the task also means that on some wikis there are many of these newcomer edits appearing for patroller review. We are engaged in discussions with community members from several wikis regarding improvements we could make to the "add a link" feature or even the "Recent Changes" feed to ensure the feature is sustainable for patrollers.

Update 2022-05-23: positive reinforcement updates and other Growth team work

  • Annual planning
    • We are planning for our coming year, and we’ll post our thoughts in the next couple weeks so that community members can react to our plans and help make sure we’re on the right track.
 
Impact module: design A
  • Positive reinforcement
    • This is the next big project that the Growth team will focus on. We want newcomers to understand there is progression and value to sustained contributions on Wikipedia, and we want to improve new editor retention.
    • We have started a Positive Reinforcement discussion with contributors in English, and we will also discuss the project in more detail with our pilot wikis (Arabic, Czech, and Bengali Wikipedias) who receive Growth team features first. You can see some of our ideas in the accompanying image. Please join the discussion to share your thoughts!
    • The three main ideas part of the Positive Reinforcement project are:
      • Impact: An overhaul of the Impact module based on incorporating stats, graphs, and other contribution information.
      • Leveling up: It is important to communities that newcomers progress to more valuable tasks. For those who do many easy tasks, we want to nudge them toward trying more difficult tasks.
      • Personalized praise: Research shows that praise and encouragement from other users increases newcomer retention. We want to think about how to encourage experienced users to thank and award newcomers for good contributions.
  • Add an image
    • There have been no changes lately to this feature, but we are gathering data and community thoughts to plan iteration 2.  So far, over 5,000 images have been added to articles.
    • Add an image was used in four successful GLAM events, in which 67 people made 198 image edits.  We also learned many of these contributors returned and continued to make edits following the GLAM event.
  • Add a link
    • We have completed "iteration 2", which involved several improvements that came from community discussion and from data analysis:
      • Algorithm improvements:
        • Avoid recommending links in sections that usually don't have links.
        • Avoid suggesting first names.
        • Limit each article to only having three link suggestions by default (limited to the highest accuracy suggestions of all the available ones in the article.)
      • User experience improvements:
        • Add a confirmation dialog when exiting out of suggestion mode prior to making changes.
        • Improved post-edit dialog experience.
        • Allow newcomers to browse through task suggestions from the post-edit dialog.
      • Community configuration:
        • Allow communities to set a maximum number of links per article via Special:EditGrowthConfig
    • With those improvements, we are confident about releasing "add a link" to more wikis, and so this past week the feature was released to these wikis:
      • Catalan Wikipedia
      • Hebrew Wikipedia
      • Hindi Wikipedia
      • Korean Wikipedia
      • Norwegian Bokmål Wikipedia
      • Portuguese Wikipedia
      • Simple English Wikipedia
      • Swedish Wikipedia
      • Ukrainian Wikipedia
    • The next group of wikis that will receive "add a link" are documented in this this Phabricator task. The list may change slightly as we test and evaluate models and ensure the level of precision and recall in each language is adequate.
  • Marketing:
    • We are currently partnering with the Marketing team to test the efficacy of social media ads (bringing users into our projects) and welcoming emails (retaining new users). This newcomer experience marketing pilot includes an inspiring video full of community members.  We’ll post results in a few weeks.
  • Fundraising:
    • We are working with Fundraising on ideas for how to give donors the opportunity to learn to edit.  Next week we will start an experiment (in fundraising campaigns in Latin America, South Africa, and India) that shows donors a thank you message that also encourages them to create an account to start editing and improving Wikipedia.
    • Donors included in this fundraising campaign who create accounts will then be brought to the newcomer homepage to get started.

Between January and May 2022, some team members transitioned to new positions and responsibilities. As a consequence, only the main events have been written down below.

Update 2022-02-25: positive reinforcement project beginning

  • Add an image
    • This feature was originally deployed on mobile on 2021-11-29. On 2022-01-28, we deployed a desktop version so that newcomers can use it on either platform.
    • On 2022-02-16, we added Spanish Wikipedia to the test. Now, 40% of newcomers on Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, and Czech Wikipedias are receiving "add an image" as their first task.
    • Usage of the feature remains low, but with some users completing many edits day after day. We are now analyzing the full conversion funnel in detail to understand how to increase participation. We are also analyzing the captions users write to understand their quality and how those can be improved.
    • This feature will be used in a GLAM event by Wikimedia Argentina on March 7, to help museum professional illustrate articles in Spanish Wikipedia. If it goes well, it will be used in several subsequent events in Latin America.
  • Add a link
  • Positive reinforcement
    • In building suggested edits, the Growth team has successfully caused more newcomers to make their first edits to Wikipedia. But our analysis shows that although the features increase how many people make their first edits, they do not additionally increase the share who come back and edit again another day (retention). For this reason, we are prioritizing a project called "positive reinforcement", which is about helping newcomers be proud of their impact and be excited about coming back to continue their editing.
    • This project has three main ideas, and we'll begin conversations about them with communities:
      • Impact: the newcomer homepage contains a rudimentary impact module that we could improve to make more interesting.
      • Leveling up: it is important to communities that newcomers progress to more valuable tasks. For those who do many easy tasks, we want to nudge them toward trying more difficult tasks.
      • Personalized praise: research shows that praise and encouragement from other users increases newcomer retention. We want to think about how to encourage experienced users to thank and award newcomers for good contributions.