Welcome to the twelfth 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

  • A training for mentors has been published. The training was first tried with the Czech community, and went well.
  • Growth team features have been deployed to Hungarian, Ukrainian, and Armenian Wikipedias. If your community is enthusiastic about welcoming newcomers, we encourage you to contact us so that we can verify together whether your wiki is eligible. Then you can go through the checklist to start the process of configuring the features.

Productive edits from newcomer tasks


We deployed the basic workflow for newcomer tasks to our target wikis on November 20, and the early results are exciting.

Suggested edits by type of edit.
Graph captions (top to bottom):
Add links
Expand article
Add reference
Advanced edits
  • About 1.5% of newcomers who visit their homepage complete the workflow and save a suggested edit. So far, this has amounted to over 450 edits, on all wikis, coming from both desktop and mobile users.
  • When we look at the edits that newcomers make, we see that they are largely positive! We are pleased to see that this feature does not appear to encourage vandals.
    • 75% of the edits are productive and unreverted.
    • 95% of the edits appear to be in good faith.
  • Most of the edits include copyedits and adding links, with some newcomers also adding content and references. Copyedits are suggested most strongly.
  • Click here to learn more specifics about the results so far.

Topic matching deployed


The results from our user tests showed us that newcomers are likely to do more suggested edits if they can choose articles related to a topic that they're interested in, such as "science", "music", or "sports".

  • On January 21, we deployed topic matching on our pilot wikis. Newcomers are now using it. We expect it to cause more newcomers to try suggested edits, and to keep making more of them.
  • In the coming weeks, we will be making improvements to the accuracy of the algorithm used to topic matching, which is part of the ORES project.

Next steps for newcomer tasks

Prototype of how the help panel will "peek" from the bottom of the page to offer guidance on mobile.

Because we are seeing positive results from newcomer tasks, the Growth team plans to concentrate our efforts on improving the workflow and encouraging more newcomers to use it.

  • Guidance: next, we will be using the help panel to provide guidance to newcomers as they do suggested edits, and to prompt them to do another edit after completing their first one. In user tests for this feature, demo videos were one of the favorite features, and we will think about how these might be added.
  • Starting the workflow: only about 20% of newcomer who visit their homepage begin the newcomer tasks workflow. We are going to be trying out different layouts of the homepage to encourage more newcomers to try newcomer tasks.
  • Additional task types: we are researching methods to recommend more specific tasks to newcomers, such as specific links to add, or images that could be added to articles from Commons.

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