Growth team newsletter #23

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Welcome to the twenty-third newsletter from the Growth team!


Screenshot of the positive reinforcement module improvements.

Positive reinforcement: an improved impact module to test

The goal of the Growth team is to encourage newcomers to try editing for the first time, and encourage them to keep editing. We want to increase newcomers’ motivation by showing them how impactful their edits are.

Newcomers have access to an impact module; you can find yours at Special:Impact. The revised impact module provides new editors with more context about their impact. It will display the number of edits, the number of thanks received, the last time they edited, the number of consecutive days they edited, and the number of views for the articles they edited.

This module will soon be available at our pilot wikis starting December 1. You can already test this new module at Beta WikipediaFor safety reasons, do not use your regular account and password at Beta wiki. Create a new, specific account for this wiki, with a different password.

Structured tasks: improvements based on patroller feedback

After the deployment of Structured tasks, we received feedback from various communities regarding how patrollers of recent changes were feeling overwhelmed by an increase in edits to check, and how some edits were poor quality or of poor relevance.

We made several improvements based on the feedback we received. Several points of improvement have already been addressed:

  • Patroller fatigue:
    • By default, newcomers can complete up to 25 “add a link” tasks and 25 “add an image” tasks per day. If patrollers are overburdened, each community can use Special:EditGrowthConfig to lower that limit.
  • Quality of edits: what constitutes a “quality edit” is not a well defined concept. We initiated a discussion and summarized our findings. We also worked on the following improvements:
    • Add a Link
      • Underlinked articles are now prioritized, so it’s less likely that newcomers are adding links to articles that are already have a lot of links.
      • The confidence score was increased, so suggestions are more likely to be accurate.
      • The default number of suggested links per article has been lowered to 3. This can be changed at Special:EditGrowthConfig. Communities can also exclude articles containing certain templates or categories from being suggested.
    • Add an Image
      • Lists will no longer receive “add an image” suggestions.
      • Disambiguation pages will no longer receive “add an image” suggestions.
      • We have many further improvements we plan to make to “add an image” in early 2023. [1]

The Positive Reinforcement project will also address some of the concerns around encouraging newcomers to progress to higher value edits. The Growth team will soon work on strategies geared at “Leveling up” newcomers so they progress from easy to more difficult tasks.

Recent changes

  • All Wikipedias now have the same onboarding experience. Previously, at a few wikis, 20% of new accounts didn’t get the Growth features when they created their account. These 20% of new accounts were used as a control group, in order to know if the Growth features were changing newcomers’ behavior. Experiments have shown that Growth features improve activation and retention, and as we want to provide the same onboarding experience at all Wikipedias, we have decided to remove the control groups. We will utilize control groups when testing new features, and German Wikipedia keeps a control group at their request. [2]
  • The quality score for “add a link” suggestions will change. We will suggest less links for each article, but they will be more accurate. We will first deploy it at our pilot wikis, and then to all other wikis where this feature is available. [3][4]
  • Growth’s features FAQ has been updated and expanded. This page centralizes all the information about Growth features. We invite you to read it, and, if you can, to translate it.

News for mentors

  • All Wikipedias can now setup and manage a mentorship program in an easier way.
    • We changed the process to make it more reliable, easier to improve and easier to use.
    • Wikipedias where mentorship hasn’t been enabled yet can turn mentorship on following a new process. When done, mentors can sign-up by visiting Special:MentorDashboard.
    • Wikipedias where the list of mentors already existed have been converted to the new system.
    • A new special page — Special:ManageMentors — now displays the list of mentors. This page can be transcluded on any other page. There are also new processes to signup as a mentor or to quit mentorship, and we improved community mentorship management.
  • The Mentor dashboard’s “Your mentees” module will have a new footer, called “Recent changes by your mentees”. This footer will include a link to Recent changes, where mentors can see only edits made by their own mentees. [5]


Improving this newsletter

We plan to have a more regular newsletter, every two months. We also want to know if the current format suits you! Let us know what you like, what you like less and your suggestions of improvements: leave us a comment, in your preferred language.

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