What works for increasing editor engagement?

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What works for increasing editor engagement?

Pine W
Hello research colleagues,

When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.

Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.

I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?

One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?

Thanks,

Pine

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Kerry Raymond
Can we see data on the number of new editors and the number of editors dropping out (by some definition of sustained inactivity) to see if the problem is initial recruitment or dropping-out? And in terms of number of edits when do we see inactivity set in? My suspicion is that we are getting plenty of new editors but that our ability to retain editors is our problem.

I'd be betting on reverts as the cause of loss of newer editors and conflicts as the cause of loss of more experienced editors. personally I think revert need a tick the box (like the licensing question on commons) to make it harder to revert unless it's vandalism, BLP, or nonsense etc. Try to make it harder to revert "because I don't happen to like it like that" and encourage more pleasant and helpful discussion. I think we need to upgrade from "civil" which appears to mean little more than don't swear.

Sent from my iPad

> On 11 Sep 2014, at 4:00 pm, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello research colleagues,
>
> When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.
>
> Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.
>
> I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?
>
> One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Pine
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> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Kerry Raymond
In reply to this post by Pine W
And I would comment that I don't see why the foundation should respect the autonomy and social processes of any group that's effectively working against the foundation's objectives through the group's norms. I would be inclined to say "our platform, our rules" in that case.

I find it fascinating

Sent from my iPad

> On 11 Sep 2014, at 4:00 pm, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello research colleagues,
>
> When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.
>
> Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.
>
> I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?
>
> One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wiki-research-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wiki-research-l

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Pine W
Hoi,
The point of research is that it provides us with understanding that indicates one way or the other the problems  we face and, how we are trending towards success or failure.

Thanks to numbers we know the extend of the growth of our mobile readers and editors. The trend is uncontroversial; it grows and it offsets the readers and editors that are declining from computers. Simple research shows that talk pages are unworkable on mobiles and tablets.

Dear Pine, do you agree that such research exists, do you agree that I fairly summarize the data that is available ?

When you want more engagement by our public, ask yourself how can we use our numbers and analyse what might point to things where we could / should mobilise our community. Numbers that show clearly why it makes sense for us to ask volunteers to volunteer. I give you one set of numbers we do not have... The number of negative results from the searches in our Wikipedias individually.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 11 September 2014 08:00, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello research colleagues,

When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.

Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.

I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?

One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?

Thanks,

Pine

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Kerry Raymond
It would be very interesting to know the size of edits done on mobile vs desktop (it would be even better if we could distinguish between phones and tablets because of the different form factors. I appreciate that we have the problem of definition as a person on a phone can use the desktop interface and vice versa, so there's a matrix of device and interface potentially.

when I say "size of edit", I would really prefer to know the size of the delta, not the difference in the size of the article as reported in the history. My personal hypothesis is that the smaller the form factor the smaller the edits. As much as I love my ipad, it is no substitute for my laptop for serious editing, most edits are harder and slower on the ipad than my laptop, and it's a pain to,do citations on a mobile device. If my hypothesis is correct, I am not personally convinced that the loss of a desktop edit is compensated by the gain of a mobile edit, even it results in the same total number of edits, I think the extent to which an article is improved will be lower on mobile (on average). Not sure how we measure that but KPIs like size of delta and addition of citations would be something that might be interesting. Or, with enough data, we could use the automatic assessment tool to look for articles that change assessment (as measured by the tool) and look at the mobile vs desktop edit counts and ratios etc.

Sent from my iPad

On 11 Sep 2014, at 8:20 pm, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hoi,
The point of research is that it provides us with understanding that indicates one way or the other the problems  we face and, how we are trending towards success or failure.

Thanks to numbers we know the extend of the growth of our mobile readers and editors. The trend is uncontroversial; it grows and it offsets the readers and editors that are declining from computers. Simple research shows that talk pages are unworkable on mobiles and tablets.

Dear Pine, do you agree that such research exists, do you agree that I fairly summarize the data that is available ?

When you want more engagement by our public, ask yourself how can we use our numbers and analyse what might point to things where we could / should mobilise our community. Numbers that show clearly why it makes sense for us to ask volunteers to volunteer. I give you one set of numbers we do not have... The number of negative results from the searches in our Wikipedias individually.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 11 September 2014 08:00, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello research colleagues,

When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.

Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.

I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?

One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?

Thanks,

Pine

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The problem with this approach is that as it is, the functionality for editing on tablets and phones is not well developed at all. As a consequence the results will not be that meaningful. 

It is only recently that it became possible to edit. So realistically there are several important factors... The development of enabling technology, the numbers of readers from a tablet / mobile.

The personal argument of current editors that they prefer their computer for complex stuff essentially makes the newbies on that other platform second class citizens. The realisation that currently our technology favours computer usage is not. The first is an argument that sounds like "do not bother, it does not matter", the other leaves room for "we need to work on improving the mobile/tablet experience".

Arguably, calling things a KPI may mean a bias from the start.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 13 September 2014 14:41, Kerry Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:
It would be very interesting to know the size of edits done on mobile vs desktop (it would be even better if we could distinguish between phones and tablets because of the different form factors. I appreciate that we have the problem of definition as a person on a phone can use the desktop interface and vice versa, so there's a matrix of device and interface potentially.

when I say "size of edit", I would really prefer to know the size of the delta, not the difference in the size of the article as reported in the history. My personal hypothesis is that the smaller the form factor the smaller the edits. As much as I love my ipad, it is no substitute for my laptop for serious editing, most edits are harder and slower on the ipad than my laptop, and it's a pain to,do citations on a mobile device. If my hypothesis is correct, I am not personally convinced that the loss of a desktop edit is compensated by the gain of a mobile edit, even it results in the same total number of edits, I think the extent to which an article is improved will be lower on mobile (on average). Not sure how we measure that but KPIs like size of delta and addition of citations would be something that might be interesting. Or, with enough data, we could use the automatic assessment tool to look for articles that change assessment (as measured by the tool) and look at the mobile vs desktop edit counts and ratios etc.

Sent from my iPad

On 11 Sep 2014, at 8:20 pm, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hoi,
The point of research is that it provides us with understanding that indicates one way or the other the problems  we face and, how we are trending towards success or failure.

Thanks to numbers we know the extend of the growth of our mobile readers and editors. The trend is uncontroversial; it grows and it offsets the readers and editors that are declining from computers. Simple research shows that talk pages are unworkable on mobiles and tablets.

Dear Pine, do you agree that such research exists, do you agree that I fairly summarize the data that is available ?

When you want more engagement by our public, ask yourself how can we use our numbers and analyse what might point to things where we could / should mobilise our community. Numbers that show clearly why it makes sense for us to ask volunteers to volunteer. I give you one set of numbers we do not have... The number of negative results from the searches in our Wikipedias individually.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 11 September 2014 08:00, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello research colleagues,

When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.

Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.

I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?

One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?

Thanks,

Pine

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Kerry Raymond

It’s always been possible to read or edit from a mobile phone or tablet using the desktop interface, but I agree that the development of more mobile friendly tools alters things, but still I would argue having some “measurements” (if KPI is too biased a term) is useful to judge whether the effort put into those tools is worth it for the return. Does adding features alter the way Wikipedia is edited and is it for better or worse? For example when the new mobile tool was released a little while ago, I saw a lot of edits tagged “Mobile Edits” that were vandalising Wikipedia. Fortunately it died down, but obviously if most of the edits coming from mobile tools were vandalism, we might well ask if it is worth having.  

 

I often check my watchlist on my iPad and “knock off” the easy ones “ok, ok, ugh vandalism revert, ok, ok, leave that one until I’m on my laptop, ok, ok, ok” so it may be that people just reorganise their editing around the device they are using in which case it might change what they do from hour to hour but not over (say) a week.

 

I think we have a range of metrics to pick from in terms of quantity of activity (how many, how large, etc). What we probably need to complement are some kinds of quality metrics. We could go with some easy ones (how often an edit summary is left, how long is the edit summary), how often is the activity a revert or a reverted edit, are the edits to mainspace, talk, user, user talk, etc. But I think we do want to consider things like the macroscopic “quality assessment” issues.

 

Kerry

 

 


From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
Sent: Sunday, 14 September 2014 3:23 AM
To: Research into Wikimedia content and communities
Subject: Re: [Wiki-research-l] What works for increasing editor engagement?

 

Hoi,

The problem with this approach is that as it is, the functionality for editing on tablets and phones is not well developed at all. As a consequence the results will not be that meaningful. 

 

It is only recently that it became possible to edit. So realistically there are several important factors... The development of enabling technology, the numbers of readers from a tablet / mobile.

 

The personal argument of current editors that they prefer their computer for complex stuff essentially makes the newbies on that other platform second class citizens. The realisation that currently our technology favours computer usage is not. The first is an argument that sounds like "do not bother, it does not matter", the other leaves room for "we need to work on improving the mobile/tablet experience".

 

Arguably, calling things a KPI may mean a bias from the start.

Thanks,

      GerardM

 

On 13 September 2014 14:41, Kerry Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:

It would be very interesting to know the size of edits done on mobile vs desktop (it would be even better if we could distinguish between phones and tablets because of the different form factors. I appreciate that we have the problem of definition as a person on a phone can use the desktop interface and vice versa, so there's a matrix of device and interface potentially.

 

when I say "size of edit", I would really prefer to know the size of the delta, not the difference in the size of the article as reported in the history. My personal hypothesis is that the smaller the form factor the smaller the edits. As much as I love my ipad, it is no substitute for my laptop for serious editing, most edits are harder and slower on the ipad than my laptop, and it's a pain to,do citations on a mobile device. If my hypothesis is correct, I am not personally convinced that the loss of a desktop edit is compensated by the gain of a mobile edit, even it results in the same total number of edits, I think the extent to which an article is improved will be lower on mobile (on average). Not sure how we measure that but KPIs like size of delta and addition of citations would be something that might be interesting. Or, with enough data, we could use the automatic assessment tool to look for articles that change assessment (as measured by the tool) and look at the mobile vs desktop edit counts and ratios etc.

Sent from my iPad


On 11 Sep 2014, at 8:20 pm, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hoi,

The point of research is that it provides us with understanding that indicates one way or the other the problems  we face and, how we are trending towards success or failure.

 

Thanks to numbers we know the extend of the growth of our mobile readers and editors. The trend is uncontroversial; it grows and it offsets the readers and editors that are declining from computers. Simple research shows that talk pages are unworkable on mobiles and tablets.

 

Dear Pine, do you agree that such research exists, do you agree that I fairly summarize the data that is available ?

 

When you want more engagement by our public, ask yourself how can we use our numbers and analyse what might point to things where we could / should mobilise our community. Numbers that show clearly why it makes sense for us to ask volunteers to volunteer. I give you one set of numbers we do not have... The number of negative results from the searches in our Wikipedias individually.

Thanks,

     GerardM

 

On 11 September 2014 08:00, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello research colleagues,

When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.

Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.

 

I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?

One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?

Thanks,

Pine


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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Pine W

I agree that the shift to mobile is a big deal; I remain concerned that tech-centric approaches to editor engagement like VE and Flow, while perhaps having a modest positive impact, do little to fix the incivility problem that is so frequently cited as a reason for people to leave. Creating more efficient ways for people to communicate seems unlikely to alter the substance of the messages that are exchanged in a significant way. So I am thinking that culutural change is at least as important as Flow, VE, and Getting Started, and that cultural change should be resourced accordingly. The question I have is what WMF's role should be.

Pine

On Sep 13, 2014 4:00 PM, "Kerry Raymond" <[hidden email]> wrote:

It’s always been possible to read or edit from a mobile phone or tablet using the desktop interface, but I agree that the development of more mobile friendly tools alters things, but still I would argue having some “measurements” (if KPI is too biased a term) is useful to judge whether the effort put into those tools is worth it for the return. Does adding features alter the way Wikipedia is edited and is it for better or worse? For example when the new mobile tool was released a little while ago, I saw a lot of edits tagged “Mobile Edits” that were vandalising Wikipedia. Fortunately it died down, but obviously if most of the edits coming from mobile tools were vandalism, we might well ask if it is worth having.  

 

I often check my watchlist on my iPad and “knock off” the easy ones “ok, ok, ugh vandalism revert, ok, ok, leave that one until I’m on my laptop, ok, ok, ok” so it may be that people just reorganise their editing around the device they are using in which case it might change what they do from hour to hour but not over (say) a week.

 

I think we have a range of metrics to pick from in terms of quantity of activity (how many, how large, etc). What we probably need to complement are some kinds of quality metrics. We could go with some easy ones (how often an edit summary is left, how long is the edit summary), how often is the activity a revert or a reverted edit, are the edits to mainspace, talk, user, user talk, etc. But I think we do want to consider things like the macroscopic “quality assessment” issues.

 

Kerry

 

 


From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
Sent: Sunday, 14 September 2014 3:23 AM
To: Research into Wikimedia content and communities
Subject: Re: [Wiki-research-l] What works for increasing editor engagement?

 

Hoi,

The problem with this approach is that as it is, the functionality for editing on tablets and phones is not well developed at all. As a consequence the results will not be that meaningful. 

 

It is only recently that it became possible to edit. So realistically there are several important factors... The development of enabling technology, the numbers of readers from a tablet / mobile.

 

The personal argument of current editors that they prefer their computer for complex stuff essentially makes the newbies on that other platform second class citizens. The realisation that currently our technology favours computer usage is not. The first is an argument that sounds like "do not bother, it does not matter", the other leaves room for "we need to work on improving the mobile/tablet experience".

 

Arguably, calling things a KPI may mean a bias from the start.

Thanks,

      GerardM

 

On 13 September 2014 14:41, Kerry Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:

It would be very interesting to know the size of edits done on mobile vs desktop (it would be even better if we could distinguish between phones and tablets because of the different form factors. I appreciate that we have the problem of definition as a person on a phone can use the desktop interface and vice versa, so there's a matrix of device and interface potentially.

 

when I say "size of edit", I would really prefer to know the size of the delta, not the difference in the size of the article as reported in the history. My personal hypothesis is that the smaller the form factor the smaller the edits. As much as I love my ipad, it is no substitute for my laptop for serious editing, most edits are harder and slower on the ipad than my laptop, and it's a pain to,do citations on a mobile device. If my hypothesis is correct, I am not personally convinced that the loss of a desktop edit is compensated by the gain of a mobile edit, even it results in the same total number of edits, I think the extent to which an article is improved will be lower on mobile (on average). Not sure how we measure that but KPIs like size of delta and addition of citations would be something that might be interesting. Or, with enough data, we could use the automatic assessment tool to look for articles that change assessment (as measured by the tool) and look at the mobile vs desktop edit counts and ratios etc.

Sent from my iPad


On 11 Sep 2014, at 8:20 pm, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hoi,

The point of research is that it provides us with understanding that indicates one way or the other the problems  we face and, how we are trending towards success or failure.

 

Thanks to numbers we know the extend of the growth of our mobile readers and editors. The trend is uncontroversial; it grows and it offsets the readers and editors that are declining from computers. Simple research shows that talk pages are unworkable on mobiles and tablets.

 

Dear Pine, do you agree that such research exists, do you agree that I fairly summarize the data that is available ?

 

When you want more engagement by our public, ask yourself how can we use our numbers and analyse what might point to things where we could / should mobilise our community. Numbers that show clearly why it makes sense for us to ask volunteers to volunteer. I give you one set of numbers we do not have... The number of negative results from the searches in our Wikipedias individually.

Thanks,

     GerardM

 

On 11 September 2014 08:00, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello research colleagues,

When I look at the WMF Report Card, it appears to me that the global active editor stats and the number of new accounts being registered per month has been relatively flat since at least 2011.

Those of you who work in EE research and analytics, I would like to ask if there is a summary of techniques that you have found that do produce statistically significant results in improving editor retention. I know that some of you write tools, design projects, or pull and analyze data about editors. It looks to me like WMF is investing significant effort in research and tool creation, but we're not moving the needle to create the results that we had hoped to achieve. So I'd like to ask what have we learned from all of our time working on editor engagement about techniques and programs that do improve the EE stats significant ways, so that we can hopefully accelerate the implementation of programs and techniques that have demonstrated success.

 

I'd also like to ask what barriers you think prevent us from becoming more effective at improving the number of users who register and the number of active editors. For example, are users who go through GettingStarted often being deterred by quickly being confronted by experienced editors in ways that make the newbies want to leave? If that is a significant problem, how do you suggest addressing this?

One of my concerns about investing further in developing Flow, analytics tools like like WIkimetrics, and further complex editor engagement research projects, is that the most important challenges related to editor engagement may be problems that can only be solved through primarily interpersonal and social means rather than the use of software tools and mass communications. I like Wikimetrics and I use it, and I think there's an important place for analytics and tool development in EE work, but I wonder if WMF should scale up the emphasis on grassroots social and interpersonal efforts, particularly in the context of the 2015+ Strategic Plan and Jimmy's speech at the 2014 Wikimania. What do you think,and if your answer is yes, how do you think WMF can do this while respecting the autonomy and social processes of the volunteer projects?

Thanks,

Pine


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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by Pine W
Pine wrote:
>
> I agree that the shift to mobile is a big deal;

I do not agree: Active editor attrition began on its present trend in
2007, far before any mobile use was significant.

> I remain concerned that tech-centric approaches
> to editor engagement like VE and Flow, while
> perhaps having a modest positive impact, do little
> to fix the incivility problem that is so frequently
> cited as a reason for people to leave.

I agree that VE has already proven that it is ineffective in
significantly increasing editor engagement. And I agree that Flow has
no hope of achieving any substantial improvements. There are good
reasons to believe that Flow will make things worse. For example,
using wikitext on talk pages acts as a pervasive sandbox substitute
for practicing the use of wikitext in article editing.

And I do not agree that civility issues have any substantial
correlation with editor attrition. There have been huge civility
problems affecting most editors on controversial subjects since 2002,
and I do not see any evidence that they have become any worse or
better on a per-editor basis since.

My opinion is that the transition from the need to create new articles
to maintaining the accuracy and quality of existing articles has been
the primary cause of editor attrition, and my studies of Short Popular
Vital Articles (WP:SPVA) have supported this hypothesis.

Therefore, I strongly urge implementation of accuracy review systems:
https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposal:Develop_systems_for_accuracy_review

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Oliver Keyes-4


On 13 September 2014 20:52, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:
Pine wrote:
>
> I agree that the shift to mobile is a big deal;

I do not agree: Active editor attrition began on its present trend in
2007, far before any mobile use was significant.


I'm not seeing how that means it's not a big deal. Mobile now makes up 30% of our page views and its users display divergent behavioural patterns; you don't think a group that makes up 30% of pageviews is a user group that is a 'big deal' for engagement?
 
> I remain concerned that tech-centric approaches
> to editor engagement like VE and Flow, while
> perhaps having a modest positive impact, do little
> to fix the incivility problem that is so frequently
> cited as a reason for people to leave.

I agree that VE has already proven that it is ineffective in
significantly increasing editor engagement. And I agree that Flow has
no hope of achieving any substantial improvements. There are good
reasons to believe that Flow will make things worse. For example,
using wikitext on talk pages acts as a pervasive sandbox substitute
for practicing the use of wikitext in article editing.

And I do not agree that civility issues have any substantial
correlation with editor attrition. There have been huge civility
problems affecting most editors on controversial subjects since 2002,
and I do not see any evidence that they have become any worse or
better on a per-editor basis since.

My opinion is that the transition from the need to create new articles
to maintaining the accuracy and quality of existing articles has been
the primary cause of editor attrition, and my studies of Short Popular
Vital Articles (WP:SPVA) have supported this hypothesis.

Therefore, I strongly urge implementation of accuracy review systems:
https://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposal:Develop_systems_for_accuracy_review

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--
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Research Analyst
Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by Pine W
Oliver Keyes wrote:
> ...
> Mobile now makes up 30% of our page views and its
> users display divergent behavioural patterns; you
> don't think a group that makes up 30% of pageviews
> is a user group that is a 'big deal' for engagement?

For the English Wikipedia:

              >100            Million
            active             mobile
Date       editors  Change  pageviews  Change
July 2009    3,795     -7%
July 2010    3,517     -7%       278
July 2011    3,374     -4%       571     105%
July 2012    3,360      0%     1,210     112%
July 2013    3,135     -7%     1,880      55%
July 2014    3,037     -3%     3,010      60%

Where is the evidence that mobile use has any influence on editor engagement?

If you want to predict how long editors will stay, compare how many
new articles they were successfully creating in their first 500 edits
in 2004-2006 versus 2008-present.

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Pine W
Hi James,

The data you show in that table indicates that there is a negative correlation between active editors and mobile pageviews. Correlation does not imply causation, but I for one find it difficult to edit text using a phone and I would guess that the same is true for other potential or former contributors.

A tablet might work better for editing, and one of the unfortunate consequences of switching the mobile view to tablet is that tablet views and edits are now mixed in with phone views and edits.

Regarding my other point about how Wikipedia culture has become more hostile over the years, I suggest viewing the presentation by WMF's Jonathan Morgan in which he discusses this issue [1] [2] [3].

Pine

[1] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TA3M_July_2014_J-Mo_Wikimedia_presentation_part_1_small.ogv
[2] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TA3M_July_2014_J-Mo_Wikimedia_presentation_part_2_small.ogv
[3] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TA3M_July_2014_J-Mo_Wikimedia_presentation_part_3_small.ogv



On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 12:24 AM, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:
Oliver Keyes wrote:
> ...
> Mobile now makes up 30% of our page views and its
> users display divergent behavioural patterns; you
> don't think a group that makes up 30% of pageviews
> is a user group that is a 'big deal' for engagement?

For the English Wikipedia:

              >100            Million
            active             mobile
Date       editors  Change  pageviews  Change
July 2009    3,795     -7%
July 2010    3,517     -7%       278
July 2011    3,374     -4%       571     105%
July 2012    3,360      0%     1,210     112%
July 2013    3,135     -7%     1,880      55%
July 2014    3,037     -3%     3,010      60%

Where is the evidence that mobile use has any influence on editor engagement?

If you want to predict how long editors will stay, compare how many
new articles they were successfully creating in their first 500 edits
in 2004-2006 versus 2008-present.

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Stuart A. Yeates
My personal hypothesis is that much wikipedia incivility is part of
the broader internet-troll phenomenon (google "Don't Read The
Comments" if you're unfamiliar with the effects of trolling). I'd be
very interested to see a linguistic comparison between classes of
edits/comments tagged as 'bad' across a range of sites which allow
unmoderated comments.

Being able to confirm that large part of the problem was actually part
of an internet-wide problem rather than a local problem would be a big
step forward.

It worries me that the WMF may, by making the wikipedia interface more
similar to other discussion systems, reduce the differences between us
and the troll-infested platforms and make it psychologically easier
for those who troll on other platforms to troll on wikipedia.

cheers
stuart

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2
Hoi,
The numbers quoted are interesting but hardly relevant in this context.They show how total editor activity is going down. We know that editors are mainly editing from computers and Oliver states that 30% of our page views is from mobiles. CONSEQUENTLY, all efforts intending to enable mobile editors enable a latent potential of editors. When this is deemed insignificant, fine but than my sense of proportions is "obviously" wrong.

Flow and VE are not intended as tools to instill more civility. When there is an occasional increase of vandalism as a result, it is actually a reason to be cheerful; it shows that all the efforts to bring people from the mobile cohorts into our editor communities is having an effect.

The problem with previous studies about editors is that they only reflect the past. When something truly new happens like bringing in an important percentage of our readers into our editor communities that were previously hardly able to edit, comment the validity of those arguments is largely gone. For instance, when the number of editors is down and there is no conversion from mobiles and tablets, it may mean that given the group of computer users the number of editors is actually up seen in that light...

Arguments like "wiki pages are a training ground for Wiki editing" are hopeless. The visual editor has as a side benefit that we will be moving away from Wiki editing. This invalidates largely the argument that we need Wiki editing in Flow. 

The problem with quoting research for having your way is demonstrated for me in the argument used to hide the Font functionality. The argument is that research shows that clutter is detrimental. This is arguably true. However, as a consequence the 5 to 7% of all readers who are dyslexic have no chance to find the font that will help them. This is how research is abused and the most wonderful part of it is that it is considered a community decision. 

My point is very much that we have to be more clean in brandishing arguments when we consider post on this list to be about "research". If anywhere, this is the place to call BS on flaky arguments and points of view that have little to do with the point under consideration.
Thanks,
       GerardM




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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Oliver Keyes-4
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2


On 14 September 2014 03:24, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:
Oliver Keyes wrote:
> ...
> Mobile now makes up 30% of our page views and its
> users display divergent behavioural patterns; you
> don't think a group that makes up 30% of pageviews
> is a user group that is a 'big deal' for engagement?

For the English Wikipedia:

              >100            Million
            active             mobile
Date       editors  Change  pageviews  Change
July 2009    3,795     -7%
July 2010    3,517     -7%       278
July 2011    3,374     -4%       571     105%
July 2012    3,360      0%     1,210     112%
July 2013    3,135     -7%     1,880      55%
July 2014    3,037     -3%     3,010      60%

Where is the evidence that mobile use has any influence on editor engagement?

My apologies; there's a point of confusion here. I'm not saying that the source of difficulties around editor engagement == mobile traffic increases. What I'm saying is that the increase of mobile traffic is going to have an impact on efforts to reverse the negative trend in active editors. Sure, the problem started long before Mobile became a factor, but the existence of Mobile means that the terrain has changed dramatically. If the attempts at solutions to editor engagement problems don't take that into account, we have a problem.
--
Oliver Keyes
Research Analyst
Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2

Pine wrote:
>...
> The data you show in that table indicates that
> there is a negative correlation between active
> editors and mobile pageviews....

No, it does not. The rate of editor attrition has been constant since 2007, while mobile views have increased from zero to billions. Mobile pageviews have has absolutely no correlation with editor engagement whatsoever.

If there is a quantification of civility issues per editor somewhere, please bring it to my attention. I suggest that editors who think incivility has increased since 2006 are not familiar with incivility issues prior to 2006.

Gerard Meijssen wrote:
>...
> all efforts intending to enable mobile editors
> enable a latent potential of editors.

Editing under the Vector skin has worked just fine on Android since 2010 and on iOS since 2012. There is no evidence that the edits under mobile device specialty skins or apps will ever approach the proportion of editing under the Vector skin.

Nor is there any evidence that the increasing proportion of mobile pageviews has had any impact on the number of active editors, who again have been declining along a constant trend since 2007 to the present, even as mobile pageviews have displaced a very substantial and growing proportion of desktop pageviews.

> The visual editor has as a side benefit that we
> will be moving away from Wiki editing.

Are you aware of the proportion of active editors who have enabled the visual editor? It is miniscule, judging from tags in recent changes.

Oliver Keyes wrote:
>...
> the increase of mobile traffic is going to have an impact
> on efforts to reverse the negative trend in active editors.

Why? Mobile pageviews are now 30%. Editing is enabled and relatively easy on mobile devices. The rate of editor attrition is unchanged from 2007. Where is there any evidence that the trend in active editors will change at all if and when mobile pageviews reach 50% or 75%?


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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Please define "just worked fine"... Really ?? !! Try editing a page that starts with a template.. there are a few on a mobile .. 
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 14 September 2014 18:38, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

Pine wrote:
>...
> The data you show in that table indicates that
> there is a negative correlation between active
> editors and mobile pageviews....

No, it does not. The rate of editor attrition has been constant since 2007, while mobile views have increased from zero to billions. Mobile pageviews have has absolutely no correlation with editor engagement whatsoever.

If there is a quantification of civility issues per editor somewhere, please bring it to my attention. I suggest that editors who think incivility has increased since 2006 are not familiar with incivility issues prior to 2006.

Gerard Meijssen wrote:
>...
> all efforts intending to enable mobile editors
> enable a latent potential of editors.

Editing under the Vector skin has worked just fine on Android since 2010 and on iOS since 2012. There is no evidence that the edits under mobile device specialty skins or apps will ever approach the proportion of editing under the Vector skin.

Nor is there any evidence that the increasing proportion of mobile pageviews has had any impact on the number of active editors, who again have been declining along a constant trend since 2007 to the present, even as mobile pageviews have displaced a very substantial and growing proportion of desktop pageviews.

> The visual editor has as a side benefit that we
> will be moving away from Wiki editing.

Are you aware of the proportion of active editors who have enabled the visual editor? It is miniscule, judging from tags in recent changes.

Oliver Keyes wrote:
>...
> the increase of mobile traffic is going to have an impact
> on efforts to reverse the negative trend in active editors.

Why? Mobile pageviews are now 30%. Editing is enabled and relatively easy on mobile devices. The rate of editor attrition is unchanged from 2007. Where is there any evidence that the trend in active editors will change at all if and when mobile pageviews reach 50% or 75%?


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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by Pine W

Gerard Meijssen wrote:
>...
> Please define "just worked fine"... Really ?? !!
> Try editing a page that starts with a template..

Editing pages with or without templates works under the Vector skin on both iOS and Android, although scrolling in the textarea can be difficult if you aren't used to it.

Are referring to the fact that the mobile skin silently omits many if not most templates, and prevents users from editing them? The thought that active editors will ever take a skin which does that seriously is absurd.


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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
It is equally absurd to mistake a product under development with a finished product. When you admit it is difficult for you to use the Vector skin you implicitly admit that Vector is not usable for someone who does not have your advanced skills.

The point to the discussion is that we are only now getting to the point where editing from mobiles becomes feasible. It needs to be editable by the 30%+ of our new readers not by the people who run for their laptop when it becomes difficult or unfamiliar.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 14 September 2014 19:14, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

Gerard Meijssen wrote:
>...
> Please define "just worked fine"... Really ?? !!
> Try editing a page that starts with a template..

Editing pages with or without templates works under the Vector skin on both iOS and Android, although scrolling in the textarea can be difficult if you aren't used to it.

Are referring to the fact that the mobile skin silently omits many if not most templates, and prevents users from editing them? The thought that active editors will ever take a skin which does that seriously is absurd.


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Re: What works for increasing editor engagement?

Pine W
In reply to this post by James Salsman-2


On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 9:38 AM, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

Pine wrote:
>...
> The data you show in that table indicates that
> there is a negative correlation between active
> editors and mobile pageviews....

No, it does not. The rate of editor attrition has been constant since 2007, while mobile views have increased from zero to billions. Mobile pageviews have has absolutely no correlation with editor engagement whatsoever.

If there is a quantification of civility issues per editor somewhere, please bring it to my attention. I suggest that editors who think incivility has increased since 2006 are not familiar with incivility issues prior to 2006.


James, that's a good argument, but if that's the argument that you want to make then please show data back to 2007, not to 2009. Also, I stand by my statement that there is a negative correlation between active editors and mobile pageviews in the data that you showed. Correlation and causation are different.

If you watch Jonathan Morgan's presentation, you'll see that he says that his favorite theory about the decline in active editors after 2007 is the rise of the popularity of Facebook. I think everyone would agree that there are other issues at play as well. I believe that Jonathan says that new editors were welcomed more readily in Wikipedia's older days, and now they are more likely to receive template warnings on their talk pages.

Other possible factors include
* The length of the review time at Articles for Creation, at least on English Wikipedia, which means that contributors may lose patience before their drafts receive reviews
* The trend of preferred Internet devices switching from desktop to mobile, combined with the difficulty of contributing text from mobile, as some of us have mentioned in this discussion
* Shorter human attention spans (is there any data about this?)
* Preferred modes of social expression switching from lengthy blog prose to short strings
* The number and complexity of policies and laws that govern Wikimedia content
* Increased surveillance, censorship, and criminalization of Internet activity, which may deter potential contributors
* The reputation in social media and technical communities that Wikipedia is a hostile environment; I have heard this personally from other tech open source enthusiasts

Other people on this list may be able to contribute additional ideas.

I agree with Stuart that Wikipedia may be part of an Internet-wide trend of trolling becoming more common, and that making communication and editing easier on Wikipedia is likely to make trolling and vandalizing easier. My bigger concern is that lots of resources are being poured into VE and Flow but that VE and Flow address problems that are of less significance than others that we've mentioned in this thread, particularly the difficulty of mobile editing and the increase in hostility. AfC and the Draft namespace would be other good territories for investigation of their impact on editor retention and content creation.

I hope that VE and Flow will be net positives (I am generally supportive of the VE concept, and cautious about Flow) but I feel that Wikipedia's biggest problems may lie elsewhere, and I would like to see resources that are proportional to those spent on VE and Flow get spent on some of the other areas like AfC and the on-wiki culture. These would need to be addressed in collaboration with the content communities, and the WMF Strategic Plan update would be a good time to elevate Wikimedia's cultural issues as a priority, with a continuing emphasis on mobile and new modes of consumption and creation.

Pine

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