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Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

Jan Dittrich
Hello,

I am looking for research on how editors transition through various levels
of involvement in their time as editors. The questions I ask myself are:

- How many people to come each month?
- How many editors leave?

…those are not too difficult to answer but…

- How many people become more involved over time? E.g. How many each month
come to a level where they are interested in handling many pages on the
watchlist, learn the less obvious aspects of wiki culture etc.

In my work as designer I am often involved in features for intermediate
and/or very involved users and I’m wondering if there are any ballpark
estimates of how many people learn these features each month.

Jan

--
Jan Dittrich
UX Design/ User Research

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 219 158 26-0
http://wikimedia.de

Imagine a world, in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That‘s our commitment.

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

Piscopo A.
Hi Jan

Together with other people in my group, we wrote a paper about how Wikidata editors change their behaviour as they become more experienced.
It might be not precisely what you are looking for, as our study has a qualitative approach, while it seems that you are looking for something more quantitative, but you might have a look if you want.
This is the link: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/401755/

Please let me know if you have any questions,
Alessandro

–––
Alessandro Piscopo
Web and Internet Science Group
School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
email: [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>

On 20 Mar 2017, at 09:34, Jan Dittrich <[hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:

Hello,

I am looking for research on how editors transition through various levels
of involvement in their time as editors. The questions I ask myself are:

- How many people to come each month?
- How many editors leave?

…those are not too difficult to answer but…

- How many people become more involved over time? E.g. How many each month
come to a level where they are interested in handling many pages on the
watchlist, learn the less obvious aspects of wiki culture etc.

In my work as designer I am often involved in features for intermediate
and/or very involved users and I’m wondering if there are any ballpark
estimates of how many people learn these features each month.

Jan

--
Jan Dittrich
UX Design/ User Research

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 219 158 26-0
http://wikimedia.de

Imagine a world, in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That‘s our commitment.

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
_______________________________________________
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https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l

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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

Oded Nov
In reply to this post by Jan Dittrich
Hi Jan,

This paper may be useful in answering some of your questions:
O. Arazy, H. Lifshitz-Assaf, O. Nov, J. Daxenberger, M. Balestra, and C.
Cheshire. On the “how” and “why” of emergent role behaviors in Wikipedia
<https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Oded_Nov/publication/307863823_On_the_How_and_Why_of_Emergent_Role_Behaviors_in_Wikipedia/links/57d953e508ae6399a39ad124.pdf>.
Proceedings of CSCW 2017: ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative
Work.

Oded


On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 5:34 AM, Jan Dittrich <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I am looking for research on how editors transition through various levels
> of involvement in their time as editors. The questions I ask myself are:
>
> - How many people to come each month?
> - How many editors leave?
>
> …those are not too difficult to answer but…
>
> - How many people become more involved over time? E.g. How many each month
> come to a level where they are interested in handling many pages on the
> watchlist, learn the less obvious aspects of wiki culture etc.
>
> In my work as designer I am often involved in features for intermediate
> and/or very involved users and I’m wondering if there are any ballpark
> estimates of how many people learn these features each month.
>
> Jan
>
> --
> Jan Dittrich
> UX Design/ User Research
>
> Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
> Phone: +49 (0)30 219 158 26-0
> http://wikimedia.de
>
> Imagine a world, in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. That‘s our commitment.
>
> Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
> Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
> der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
> Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Jan Dittrich
Dear Jan,

It's a fascinating topic and one that interests me as well.

But you have to be careful with your assumptions, our data is almost always
based on user accounts, but we'd like to think we are looking at people.
Some of whom will have different accounts over time. Some of the
involvement will switch between projects - apparently half the founding
Wikidata community were previously active in the movement. Some will spend
periods of their volunteer time off wiki - many very active volunteers put
time in as Arbcom members, OTRS volunteers or chapter trustees.


Volunteers are very very different to staff or even subscribers, barely 16
years into the project we simply don't have the data to workout longterm
patterns of retention and reactivation, but the signs so far are that
Wikipedia is beginning to look like other volunteer organisations that
people have a multi decade relationship with.

A few years ago the WMF did a survey of former editors, partly to learn why
they'd left. One of the most common responses was "I haven't left yet".

WSC

On 20 March 2017 at 09:34, Jan Dittrich <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I am looking for research on how editors transition through various levels
> of involvement in their time as editors. The questions I ask myself are:
>
> - How many people to come each month?
> - How many editors leave?
>
> …those are not too difficult to answer but…
>
> - How many people become more involved over time? E.g. How many each month
> come to a level where they are interested in handling many pages on the
> watchlist, learn the less obvious aspects of wiki culture etc.
>
> In my work as designer I am often involved in features for intermediate
> and/or very involved users and I’m wondering if there are any ballpark
> estimates of how many people learn these features each month.
>
> Jan
>
> --
> Jan Dittrich
> UX Design/ User Research
>
> Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
> Phone: +49 (0)30 219 158 26-0
> http://wikimedia.de
>
> Imagine a world, in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. That‘s our commitment.
>
> Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
> Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
> der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
> Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

Stuart A. Yeates
I know that I was recruited to Wikipedia from then-competitor everything2,
it would be interesting to find active users who joined during E2's
precipitous decline, match their accounts and compare editing styles.

cheers
stuart

On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, WereSpielChequers <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Dear Jan,
>
> It's a fascinating topic and one that interests me as well.
>
> But you have to be careful with your assumptions, our data is almost always
> based on user accounts, but we'd like to think we are looking at people.
> Some of whom will have different accounts over time. Some of the
> involvement will switch between projects - apparently half the founding
> Wikidata community were previously active in the movement. Some will spend
> periods of their volunteer time off wiki - many very active volunteers put
> time in as Arbcom members, OTRS volunteers or chapter trustees.
>
>
> Volunteers are very very different to staff or even subscribers, barely 16
> years into the project we simply don't have the data to workout longterm
> patterns of retention and reactivation, but the signs so far are that
> Wikipedia is beginning to look like other volunteer organisations that
> people have a multi decade relationship with.
>
> A few years ago the WMF did a survey of former editors, partly to learn why
> they'd left. One of the most common responses was "I haven't left yet".
>
> WSC
>
> On 20 March 2017 at 09:34, Jan Dittrich <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hello,
> >
> > I am looking for research on how editors transition through various
> levels
> > of involvement in their time as editors. The questions I ask myself are:
> >
> > - How many people to come each month?
> > - How many editors leave?
> >
> > …those are not too difficult to answer but…
> >
> > - How many people become more involved over time? E.g. How many each
> month
> > come to a level where they are interested in handling many pages on the
> > watchlist, learn the less obvious aspects of wiki culture etc.
> >
> > In my work as designer I am often involved in features for intermediate
> > and/or very involved users and I’m wondering if there are any ballpark
> > estimates of how many people learn these features each month.
> >
> > Jan
> >
> > --
> > Jan Dittrich
> > UX Design/ User Research
> >
> > Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
> > Phone: +49 (0)30 219 158 26-0
> > http://wikimedia.de
> >
> > Imagine a world, in which every single human being can freely share in
> the
> > sum of all knowledge. That‘s our commitment.
> >
> > Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
> > Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg
> unter
> > der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
> > Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wiki-research-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>
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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

Kerry Raymond
> A few years ago the WMF did a survey of former editors, partly to
> learn why they'd left. One of the most common responses was "I haven't left yet".

With the benefit of hindsight (a wonderful thing), that might be a bad way to have asked the question. A better way might have been to ask why they are no longer active and what circumstances/change would be likely to make them active again. What we really want to know if the reasons for inactivity are internal/external to Wikipedia and whether the conditions for re-engagement are internal/external to Wikipedia. And for the internal ones, we'd like to know more specifically what they are.

"I haven't left yet, but as soon as my new baby has started school, I might have the time for Wikipedia again" (i.e. the cause of inactivity  and return to activity is outside of Wikipedia's control).  There is not a lot Wikipedia can do about such a contributors.

"I left because I was sick and tired of the unpleasant way people behave, but I enjoyed contributing otherwise and would do so again if the culture was a lot nicer" is something that WP has some control over but not something you can fix in an afternoon.

"I left because I just found it too hard, I kept forgetting when to use [[ and when to use {{ and I never figured out that <ref> thing" is someone that we could potentially re-engage on the spot by saying "hey, try the Visual Editor!".

Or maybe "I haven't left yet" is more literally true than we think. It is possible that the person is still active on Wikipedia but under a different user name or as an IP so they just appear to have become inactive under their former user name. If a person has had some unpleasant experiences on Wikipedia and that is why they became inactive, there are a lot of good reasons why they might not like to return under the same user name. Wikipedia has an infinitely long memory for things like bans and blocks and watch lists last forever. If you got yourself in trouble previously but you want to start afresh, you probably want to create a new account. If you had bad experiences with some other user who was regularly unpleasant to you, you would want a new account as they can watch your User page and Talk page forever to detect if you ever return. *Changing* your user name doesn't solve that problem, creating a new account does. And of course you may just have forgotten your username or your password and created a new account.

Personally, I am inclined to think that the "I haven't left yet" editors (who aren't active under another user name) are probably effectively lost to us. Some other interest has almost certainly chewed up their spare time during their absence from Wikipedia. There's a big gap between "I'm not saying No" to "I'm saying Yes".

The other issue is that even if the desired circumstances for re-engagement are in place, you still need some kind of way to communicate this fact to the "lost users". Given that providing an email address isn’t mandatory on creating an account, we can only communicate with those who did provide an email address and hope it is still an active one.

For example, perhaps we should be emailing all the "lost users" (where we can) periodically and saying "Hey, try that Visual Editor" or "get involved with #1Lib1Ref" or mentioning some other positive thing that might convince them to give it another go.

It's been said (and I really don't know if it's true) that people respond better to being needed than to being wanted. Maybe we can use that in Project Boomerang. Find an article that the lost user has made a lot of contributions to but which hasn't grown much since (ignoring all the re-categorisations, MoS enforcements, reverted vandalisms, and other edits that don't greatly enhance the information content of an article) and tell them that article XYZ needs them to come and keep it up-to-date.

In sales, they often say it is 10x the effort to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. Maybe instead of putting  effort into onboarding new users (who we have to put through a massive learning curve very fast or watch them die the slow death of many reverts and AfC rejections), we should put more effort into re-engaging lost users (there's less of a learning curve to bring them back).

Kerry





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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

Jan Dittrich
I don't want to stop the conversation and just want to thank you all for
the great input so far. I have not been able to read it all yet, but I hope
I get to do it soon :-)

Jan

2017-03-23 7:06 GMT+01:00 Kerry Raymond <[hidden email]>:

> > A few years ago the WMF did a survey of former editors, partly to
> > learn why they'd left. One of the most common responses was "I haven't
> left yet".
>
> With the benefit of hindsight (a wonderful thing), that might be a bad way
> to have asked the question. A better way might have been to ask why they
> are no longer active and what circumstances/change would be likely to make
> them active again. What we really want to know if the reasons for
> inactivity are internal/external to Wikipedia and whether the conditions
> for re-engagement are internal/external to Wikipedia. And for the internal
> ones, we'd like to know more specifically what they are.
>
> "I haven't left yet, but as soon as my new baby has started school, I
> might have the time for Wikipedia again" (i.e. the cause of inactivity  and
> return to activity is outside of Wikipedia's control).  There is not a lot
> Wikipedia can do about such a contributors.
>
> "I left because I was sick and tired of the unpleasant way people behave,
> but I enjoyed contributing otherwise and would do so again if the culture
> was a lot nicer" is something that WP has some control over but not
> something you can fix in an afternoon.
>
> "I left because I just found it too hard, I kept forgetting when to use [[
> and when to use {{ and I never figured out that <ref> thing" is someone
> that we could potentially re-engage on the spot by saying "hey, try the
> Visual Editor!".
>
> Or maybe "I haven't left yet" is more literally true than we think. It is
> possible that the person is still active on Wikipedia but under a different
> user name or as an IP so they just appear to have become inactive under
> their former user name. If a person has had some unpleasant experiences on
> Wikipedia and that is why they became inactive, there are a lot of good
> reasons why they might not like to return under the same user name.
> Wikipedia has an infinitely long memory for things like bans and blocks and
> watch lists last forever. If you got yourself in trouble previously but you
> want to start afresh, you probably want to create a new account. If you had
> bad experiences with some other user who was regularly unpleasant to you,
> you would want a new account as they can watch your User page and Talk page
> forever to detect if you ever return. *Changing* your user name doesn't
> solve that problem, creating a new account does. And of course you may just
> have forgotten your username or your password and created a new account.
>
> Personally, I am inclined to think that the "I haven't left yet" editors
> (who aren't active under another user name) are probably effectively lost
> to us. Some other interest has almost certainly chewed up their spare time
> during their absence from Wikipedia. There's a big gap between "I'm not
> saying No" to "I'm saying Yes".
>
> The other issue is that even if the desired circumstances for
> re-engagement are in place, you still need some kind of way to communicate
> this fact to the "lost users". Given that providing an email address isn’t
> mandatory on creating an account, we can only communicate with those who
> did provide an email address and hope it is still an active one.
>
> For example, perhaps we should be emailing all the "lost users" (where we
> can) periodically and saying "Hey, try that Visual Editor" or "get involved
> with #1Lib1Ref" or mentioning some other positive thing that might convince
> them to give it another go.
>
> It's been said (and I really don't know if it's true) that people respond
> better to being needed than to being wanted. Maybe we can use that in
> Project Boomerang. Find an article that the lost user has made a lot of
> contributions to but which hasn't grown much since (ignoring all the
> re-categorisations, MoS enforcements, reverted vandalisms, and other edits
> that don't greatly enhance the information content of an article) and tell
> them that article XYZ needs them to come and keep it up-to-date.
>
> In sales, they often say it is 10x the effort to get a new customer than
> to retain an existing one. Maybe instead of putting  effort into onboarding
> new users (who we have to put through a massive learning curve very fast or
> watch them die the slow death of many reverts and AfC rejections), we
> should put more effort into re-engaging lost users (there's less of a
> learning curve to bring them back).
>
> Kerry
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l
>



--
Jan Dittrich
UX Design/ User Research

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 219 158 26-0
http://wikimedia.de

Imagine a world, in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That‘s our commitment.

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.
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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

WereSpielChequers-2
In reply to this post by Kerry Raymond
Some of these things are more difficult to test than others, and indeed some are easier to resolve than others. I'm pretty sure that we lose a lot of new editors due to edit conflicts. I suspect we can define the people who become active editors as being the people who learn how to resolve edit conflicts without losing their edit. Unfortunately there are no public logs of edit conflicts, but it should be possible to create such logs and test how predictive they are of people stopping editing. If such research produced the expected result that this was one of the major reasons why we lose editors, then there are some minor fixes that have been languishing for years in phabricator and its predecessors so we could easily halve the number of edit conflicts. If the research showed that edit conflicts weren't driving people away from the pedia then we would have learned something surprising, and that is always a good thing.

At the other end of the transition scale we have a very very long tail of occasional editors. I suspect there is a large group of people among them who think of themselves as Wikipedia users but who will fix the odd typo or other error if they come across it. I'm assuming such individual editors now edit more rarely as they encounter fewer typos etc on Wikipedia. Rather than worry that these editors are editing more rarely, I would like to find a way of measuring such a group that lets us count their finding fewer typos per hundred hours of reading as a positive sign of quality improvement rather than as a decline in editing numbers.

Regards

Jonathan


On 23 Mar 2017, at 06:06, Kerry Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> A few years ago the WMF did a survey of former editors, partly to
>> learn why they'd left. One of the most common responses was "I haven't left yet".
>
> With the benefit of hindsight (a wonderful thing), that might be a bad way to have asked the question. A better way might have been to ask why they are no longer active and what circumstances/change would be likely to make them active again. What we really want to know if the reasons for inactivity are internal/external to Wikipedia and whether the conditions for re-engagement are internal/external to Wikipedia. And for the internal ones, we'd like to know more specifically what they are.
>
> "I haven't left yet, but as soon as my new baby has started school, I might have the time for Wikipedia again" (i.e. the cause of inactivity  and return to activity is outside of Wikipedia's control).  There is not a lot Wikipedia can do about such a contributors.
>
> "I left because I was sick and tired of the unpleasant way people behave, but I enjoyed contributing otherwise and would do so again if the culture was a lot nicer" is something that WP has some control over but not something you can fix in an afternoon.
>
> "I left because I just found it too hard, I kept forgetting when to use [[ and when to use {{ and I never figured out that <ref> thing" is someone that we could potentially re-engage on the spot by saying "hey, try the Visual Editor!".
>
> Or maybe "I haven't left yet" is more literally true than we think. It is possible that the person is still active on Wikipedia but under a different user name or as an IP so they just appear to have become inactive under their former user name. If a person has had some unpleasant experiences on Wikipedia and that is why they became inactive, there are a lot of good reasons why they might not like to return under the same user name. Wikipedia has an infinitely long memory for things like bans and blocks and watch lists last forever. If you got yourself in trouble previously but you want to start afresh, you probably want to create a new account. If you had bad experiences with some other user who was regularly unpleasant to you, you would want a new account as they can watch your User page and Talk page forever to detect if you ever return. *Changing* your user name doesn't solve that problem, creating a new account does. And of course you may just have forgotten your username or your password and created a new account.
>
> Personally, I am inclined to think that the "I haven't left yet" editors (who aren't active under another user name) are probably effectively lost to us. Some other interest has almost certainly chewed up their spare time during their absence from Wikipedia. There's a big gap between "I'm not saying No" to "I'm saying Yes".
>
> The other issue is that even if the desired circumstances for re-engagement are in place, you still need some kind of way to communicate this fact to the "lost users". Given that providing an email address isn’t mandatory on creating an account, we can only communicate with those who did provide an email address and hope it is still an active one.
>
> For example, perhaps we should be emailing all the "lost users" (where we can) periodically and saying "Hey, try that Visual Editor" or "get involved with #1Lib1Ref" or mentioning some other positive thing that might convince them to give it another go.
>
> It's been said (and I really don't know if it's true) that people respond better to being needed than to being wanted. Maybe we can use that in Project Boomerang. Find an article that the lost user has made a lot of contributions to but which hasn't grown much since (ignoring all the re-categorisations, MoS enforcements, reverted vandalisms, and other edits that don't greatly enhance the information content of an article) and tell them that article XYZ needs them to come and keep it up-to-date.
>
> In sales, they often say it is 10x the effort to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. Maybe instead of putting  effort into onboarding new users (who we have to put through a massive learning curve very fast or watch them die the slow death of many reverts and AfC rejections), we should put more effort into re-engaging lost users (there's less of a learning curve to bring them back).
>
> Kerry
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l

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Re: Editors: research on transitions, learning over time, leaving

Pine W
I like Jonathan's suggestion about logging edit conflicts and trying to
figure out the correlation between edit conflicts and people leaving. Might
also be worth looking into how reversions, deletion notifications, and
giant warning templates also affect how likely people are to continue
editing.

There certainly are some POV-pushing editors (e.g. biographers of
non-notable businesspeople, academics, artists, or political candidates)
and in my opinion we are right to prevent from contaminating mainspace with
marketing materials. On the other hand I've seen some overzealous
patrollers make errors in being aggressive to good-faith contributors.

The last time I checked, there were efforts on ENWP to increase the skills
of patrollers and AFC reviewers, and I hope that those produce the desired
effects. Research into this would be beneficial.

Pine


On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 2:01 AM, Jonathan Cardy <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> Some of these things are more difficult to test than others, and indeed
> some are easier to resolve than others. I'm pretty sure that we lose a lot
> of new editors due to edit conflicts. I suspect we can define the people
> who become active editors as being the people who learn how to resolve edit
> conflicts without losing their edit. Unfortunately there are no public logs
> of edit conflicts, but it should be possible to create such logs and test
> how predictive they are of people stopping editing. If such research
> produced the expected result that this was one of the major reasons why we
> lose editors, then there are some minor fixes that have been languishing
> for years in phabricator and its predecessors so we could easily halve the
> number of edit conflicts. If the research showed that edit conflicts
> weren't driving people away from the pedia then we would have learned
> something surprising, and that is always a good thing.
>
> At the other end of the transition scale we have a very very long tail of
> occasional editors. I suspect there is a large group of people among them
> who think of themselves as Wikipedia users but who will fix the odd typo or
> other error if they come across it. I'm assuming such individual editors
> now edit more rarely as they encounter fewer typos etc on Wikipedia. Rather
> than worry that these editors are editing more rarely, I would like to find
> a way of measuring such a group that lets us count their finding fewer
> typos per hundred hours of reading as a positive sign of quality
> improvement rather than as a decline in editing numbers.
>
> Regards
>
> Jonathan
>
>
> On 23 Mar 2017, at 06:06, Kerry Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >> A few years ago the WMF did a survey of former editors, partly to
> >> learn why they'd left. One of the most common responses was "I haven't
> left yet".
> >
> > With the benefit of hindsight (a wonderful thing), that might be a bad
> way to have asked the question. A better way might have been to ask why
> they are no longer active and what circumstances/change would be likely to
> make them active again. What we really want to know if the reasons for
> inactivity are internal/external to Wikipedia and whether the conditions
> for re-engagement are internal/external to Wikipedia. And for the internal
> ones, we'd like to know more specifically what they are.
> >
> > "I haven't left yet, but as soon as my new baby has started school, I
> might have the time for Wikipedia again" (i.e. the cause of inactivity  and
> return to activity is outside of Wikipedia's control).  There is not a lot
> Wikipedia can do about such a contributors.
> >
> > "I left because I was sick and tired of the unpleasant way people
> behave, but I enjoyed contributing otherwise and would do so again if the
> culture was a lot nicer" is something that WP has some control over but not
> something you can fix in an afternoon.
> >
> > "I left because I just found it too hard, I kept forgetting when to use
> [[ and when to use {{ and I never figured out that <ref> thing" is someone
> that we could potentially re-engage on the spot by saying "hey, try the
> Visual Editor!".
> >
> > Or maybe "I haven't left yet" is more literally true than we think. It
> is possible that the person is still active on Wikipedia but under a
> different user name or as an IP so they just appear to have become inactive
> under their former user name. If a person has had some unpleasant
> experiences on Wikipedia and that is why they became inactive, there are a
> lot of good reasons why they might not like to return under the same user
> name. Wikipedia has an infinitely long memory for things like bans and
> blocks and watch lists last forever. If you got yourself in trouble
> previously but you want to start afresh, you probably want to create a new
> account. If you had bad experiences with some other user who was regularly
> unpleasant to you, you would want a new account as they can watch your User
> page and Talk page forever to detect if you ever return. *Changing* your
> user name doesn't solve that problem, creating a new account does. And of
> course you may just have forgotten your username or your password and
> created a new account.
> >
> > Personally, I am inclined to think that the "I haven't left yet" editors
> (who aren't active under another user name) are probably effectively lost
> to us. Some other interest has almost certainly chewed up their spare time
> during their absence from Wikipedia. There's a big gap between "I'm not
> saying No" to "I'm saying Yes".
> >
> > The other issue is that even if the desired circumstances for
> re-engagement are in place, you still need some kind of way to communicate
> this fact to the "lost users". Given that providing an email address isn’t
> mandatory on creating an account, we can only communicate with those who
> did provide an email address and hope it is still an active one.
> >
> > For example, perhaps we should be emailing all the "lost users" (where
> we can) periodically and saying "Hey, try that Visual Editor" or "get
> involved with #1Lib1Ref" or mentioning some other positive thing that might
> convince them to give it another go.
> >
> > It's been said (and I really don't know if it's true) that people
> respond better to being needed than to being wanted. Maybe we can use that
> in Project Boomerang. Find an article that the lost user has made a lot of
> contributions to but which hasn't grown much since (ignoring all the
> re-categorisations, MoS enforcements, reverted vandalisms, and other edits
> that don't greatly enhance the information content of an article) and tell
> them that article XYZ needs them to come and keep it up-to-date.
> >
> > In sales, they often say it is 10x the effort to get a new customer than
> to retain an existing one. Maybe instead of putting  effort into onboarding
> new users (who we have to put through a massive learning curve very fast or
> watch them die the slow death of many reverts and AfC rejections), we
> should put more effort into re-engaging lost users (there's less of a
> learning curve to bring them back).
> >
> > Kerry
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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