[Wikimedia-l] editor retention initiatives

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[Wikimedia-l] editor retention initiatives

Tim Davenport
David Goodman has this exactly right — new volunteers (as opposed to casual
contributors) aren't made with templates of cookies or beer, they are
generally made one at a time, with personal attention and personal
assistance. Teahouse is one of the best ideas of the last five years, being
a place where newcomers can go to ask specific questions. Mentoring
programs is another very correct step.

I'm currently working with a buddy who is getting into it. Wiki markup gunk
isn't a big problem for him; he's about 40 years old and has been around
html enough that it doesn't put him off. Footnoting he initially found
difficult, but I taught him how to do it long form rather than using layout
clogging templates, so that might have added an hour or two to the learning
curve. Still: not that difficult and he already has the knack of it — and
once you learn that, it's all very simple.

I'm going to write him a couple thousand word email on linking today.
That's all pretty self-evident.

We had lunch yesterday and I explained to him the way that some topics
which interest him (alternative medicine) are going to be battleground
areas in which he really must be a master of NPOV; while other interests,
relating to popular culture and sports, are less intense, with rawer and
worse articles standing that need Tender Loving Care.

He's enthusiastic about WP, and there is absolutely no substitute for that.
That is the thing that is missing in college students doing class projects.
My experience thus far with them is that they dive in at the 11th hour, do
minimally decent work necessary to complete the assignment, ask zero
questions, and then vanish.

Serious, longterm editors are made one at a time, I think. It starts with
personal attention. It requires someone to explain editing techniques and
(just as importantly) WP culture and policies and tour-guiding them through
all the policy pages and various backstage aspects of WP.

It also involves something we have totally ignored so far: making sure they
have something to do: assigning projects."You like this band? Dig up more
sources, flesh it out. Oh, your grandpa was a pro athlete and already has a
page? Dig up some news stories on his career... Write about his
teammates... Hey, this article on the NFL championship game he played in is
pretty terrible, why not see if you can make it better?

Another unspoken problem is photo rights, which is (1) confusing to start
with; (2) subject to one of the worst decisions ever, the choice to use
free files rather than to make use of American fair use legal doctrine; (3)
populated by anal retentive volunteers who delete first and ask questions
never, engage only with templates, work too fast, and who in many cases I
suspect take malicious joy in their work. I know that that was the aspect
of WP that alienated me the worst as a newcomer. It still does.

So, WMF sorts: remember that this is a slow process and that there are no
magical software solutions. Creating new Very Active Editors takes
motivated candidates and volunteers willing to take newcomers under their
wings.

Tim Davenport
Corvallis, OR
"Carrite" on WP /// "Randy from Boise" on WPO


DAVID GOOMAN WROTE:
>>Perhaps the best way of doing this is the admittedly laborious method
of personally communicating with new editors who seem promising
and encouraging them and offering to help them continue. The key word in
this is "personally". It cannot be effectively done with  wikilove
messages, and certainly not with anything that looks like a template.
Template welcomes are essentially in the same class as mail or
web "personalized"advertisements.  What works is to show that you actually
read and appreciated what they are doing, to the extent you wanted to
write something specific.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] editor retention initiatives

Rich Farmbrough
I have coincidentally raised the question of fair-use images for living
people at the Gender Gap Taskforce talk page. Perhaps this is something we
shoudl take to the policy talk page?


On 26 August 2014 14:24, Tim Davenport <[hidden email]> wrote:

> David Goodman has this exactly right — new volunteers (as opposed to casual
> contributors) aren't made with templates of cookies or beer, they are
> generally made one at a time, with personal attention and personal
> assistance. Teahouse is one of the best ideas of the last five years, being
> a place where newcomers can go to ask specific questions. Mentoring
> programs is another very correct step.
>
> I'm currently working with a buddy who is getting into it. Wiki markup gunk
> isn't a big problem for him; he's about 40 years old and has been around
> html enough that it doesn't put him off. Footnoting he initially found
> difficult, but I taught him how to do it long form rather than using layout
> clogging templates, so that might have added an hour or two to the learning
> curve. Still: not that difficult and he already has the knack of it — and
> once you learn that, it's all very simple.
>
> I'm going to write him a couple thousand word email on linking today.
> That's all pretty self-evident.
>
> We had lunch yesterday and I explained to him the way that some topics
> which interest him (alternative medicine) are going to be battleground
> areas in which he really must be a master of NPOV; while other interests,
> relating to popular culture and sports, are less intense, with rawer and
> worse articles standing that need Tender Loving Care.
>
> He's enthusiastic about WP, and there is absolutely no substitute for that.
> That is the thing that is missing in college students doing class projects.
> My experience thus far with them is that they dive in at the 11th hour, do
> minimally decent work necessary to complete the assignment, ask zero
> questions, and then vanish.
>
> Serious, longterm editors are made one at a time, I think. It starts with
> personal attention. It requires someone to explain editing techniques and
> (just as importantly) WP culture and policies and tour-guiding them through
> all the policy pages and various backstage aspects of WP.
>
> It also involves something we have totally ignored so far: making sure they
> have something to do: assigning projects."You like this band? Dig up more
> sources, flesh it out. Oh, your grandpa was a pro athlete and already has a
> page? Dig up some news stories on his career... Write about his
> teammates... Hey, this article on the NFL championship game he played in is
> pretty terrible, why not see if you can make it better?
>
> Another unspoken problem is photo rights, which is (1) confusing to start
> with; (2) subject to one of the worst decisions ever, the choice to use
> free files rather than to make use of American fair use legal doctrine; (3)
> populated by anal retentive volunteers who delete first and ask questions
> never, engage only with templates, work too fast, and who in many cases I
> suspect take malicious joy in their work. I know that that was the aspect
> of WP that alienated me the worst as a newcomer. It still does.
>
> So, WMF sorts: remember that this is a slow process and that there are no
> magical software solutions. Creating new Very Active Editors takes
> motivated candidates and volunteers willing to take newcomers under their
> wings.
>
> Tim Davenport
> Corvallis, OR
> "Carrite" on WP /// "Randy from Boise" on WPO
>
>
> DAVID GOOMAN WROTE:
> >>Perhaps the best way of doing this is the admittedly laborious method
> of personally communicating with new editors who seem promising
> and encouraging them and offering to help them continue. The key word in
> this is "personally". It cannot be effectively done with  wikilove
> messages, and certainly not with anything that looks like a template.
> Template welcomes are essentially in the same class as mail or
> web "personalized"advertisements.  What works is to show that you actually
> read and appreciated what they are doing, to the extent you wanted to
> write something specific.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>




--
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Mobile (UK) 0798 1995 792
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] editor retention initiatives

David Goodman-2
Trying to radically change the NFCC guidelines, however desirable, is not
something which is likely to succeed.
Trying to somewhat simply image procedures might; I hope it could, because
I no longer even attempt to work with images. Though this is in large part
my own conceptually preference for text, I'm not the only one with that
problem.


On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM, Richard Farmbrough <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> I have coincidentally raised the question of fair-use images for living
> people at the Gender Gap Taskforce talk page. Perhaps this is something we
> shoudl take to the policy talk page?
>
>
> On 26 August 2014 14:24, Tim Davenport <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > David Goodman has this exactly right — new volunteers (as opposed to
> casual
> > contributors) aren't made with templates of cookies or beer, they are
> > generally made one at a time, with personal attention and personal
> > assistance. Teahouse is one of the best ideas of the last five years,
> being
> > a place where newcomers can go to ask specific questions. Mentoring
> > programs is another very correct step.
> >
> > I'm currently working with a buddy who is getting into it. Wiki markup
> gunk
> > isn't a big problem for him; he's about 40 years old and has been around
> > html enough that it doesn't put him off. Footnoting he initially found
> > difficult, but I taught him how to do it long form rather than using
> layout
> > clogging templates, so that might have added an hour or two to the
> learning
> > curve. Still: not that difficult and he already has the knack of it — and
> > once you learn that, it's all very simple.
> >
> > I'm going to write him a couple thousand word email on linking today.
> > That's all pretty self-evident.
> >
> > We had lunch yesterday and I explained to him the way that some topics
> > which interest him (alternative medicine) are going to be battleground
> > areas in which he really must be a master of NPOV; while other interests,
> > relating to popular culture and sports, are less intense, with rawer and
> > worse articles standing that need Tender Loving Care.
> >
> > He's enthusiastic about WP, and there is absolutely no substitute for
> that.
> > That is the thing that is missing in college students doing class
> projects.
> > My experience thus far with them is that they dive in at the 11th hour,
> do
> > minimally decent work necessary to complete the assignment, ask zero
> > questions, and then vanish.
> >
> > Serious, longterm editors are made one at a time, I think. It starts with
> > personal attention. It requires someone to explain editing techniques and
> > (just as importantly) WP culture and policies and tour-guiding them
> through
> > all the policy pages and various backstage aspects of WP.
> >
> > It also involves something we have totally ignored so far: making sure
> they
> > have something to do: assigning projects."You like this band? Dig up more
> > sources, flesh it out. Oh, your grandpa was a pro athlete and already
> has a
> > page? Dig up some news stories on his career... Write about his
> > teammates... Hey, this article on the NFL championship game he played in
> is
> > pretty terrible, why not see if you can make it better?
> >
> > Another unspoken problem is photo rights, which is (1) confusing to start
> > with; (2) subject to one of the worst decisions ever, the choice to use
> > free files rather than to make use of American fair use legal doctrine;
> (3)
> > populated by anal retentive volunteers who delete first and ask questions
> > never, engage only with templates, work too fast, and who in many cases I
> > suspect take malicious joy in their work. I know that that was the aspect
> > of WP that alienated me the worst as a newcomer. It still does.
> >
> > So, WMF sorts: remember that this is a slow process and that there are no
> > magical software solutions. Creating new Very Active Editors takes
> > motivated candidates and volunteers willing to take newcomers under their
> > wings.
> >
> > Tim Davenport
> > Corvallis, OR
> > "Carrite" on WP /// "Randy from Boise" on WPO
> >
> >
> > DAVID GOOMAN WROTE:
> > >>Perhaps the best way of doing this is the admittedly laborious method
> > of personally communicating with new editors who seem promising
> > and encouraging them and offering to help them continue. The key word in
> > this is "personally". It cannot be effectively done with  wikilove
> > messages, and certainly not with anything that looks like a template.
> > Template welcomes are essentially in the same class as mail or
> > web "personalized"advertisements.  What works is to show that you
> actually
> > read and appreciated what they are doing, to the extent you wanted to
> > write something specific.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Landline (UK) 01780 757 250
> Mobile (UK) 0798 1995 792
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
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