Welcome to the sixteenth 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.

Growth features show impact


Newcomer task experiments results

The team recently published our analysis of the impact of newcomer tasks. We are happy to announce that we found that the Growth features, and particularly newcomer tasks, lead to increased editing from newcomers.

In November 2019, the Growth team added the "newcomer tasks" feature to the newcomer homepage. After six months, we collected data from Arabic, Vietnamese, Czech, and Korean Wikipedias. We analyzed the overall impact of the Growth features, including newcomer tasks.

This analysis finds that the Growth features lead to increases in:

  • the probability that newcomers make their first article edit (+11.6%)
  • the probability that they are retained as editors
  • the number of edits they make during their first couple of weeks on the wiki (+22%)

We also find that the quality of their edits, as measured by revert rate, is comparable to that of a control group.

Because of these results, we think all Wikipedias should consider implementing these features. Learn more about how to get them.

You can find more details about this experiment on the report page. Please post any feedback or questions on the talk page

General metrics

As of November 2020, across all wikis where the features have been deployed:

  • more than 5,000 newcomers have made more than 40,000 edits using Newcomer tasks.
  • more than 14,000 questions have been sent to volunteer mentors by more than 11,000 users.
  • more than 2,000 questions have been asked on help desks by more than 1,500 users.

Learn more about Growth results here, and please post any feedback or questions on the talk page.

Variants C and D


Variants C and D are two new arrangements of the newcomer homepage. We deployed them in October. After six weeks of these variants being deployed, we can see that they have led to increased interactions with newcomer tasks. Next, we will determine which variant is best and use that for all newcomers.

News for mentors


Mentors are volunteers ready to help newcomers in their first steps. Newcomers can contact them using the mentorship module on their homepage.

A separate list for workshops hosts

During workshops organized by education programs through the communities, workshops hosts like to mentor people they train on wiki. Several wikis requested to have a way to claim their mentees without having other newcomers being randomly being assigned to them. To address this need, a separate list can be created on wiki, for mentors that wish to claim mentees, but prefer not to have random mentees being assigned to them. Learn more about this feature.

Claiming multiple mentees at once

Mentors can use Special:ClaimMentee to claim a newcomer as their mentee. The feature now allows mentors to claim multiple newcomers at once.

Community news


The help panel allows people to post a message to the local help desk while editing. Previously, the tool always posted messages to the bottom of help desks. Wikis are now able to configure it to display new messages at the top of the help desk page. T261714

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