Le Kit Community Health Metrics
The Trust and Safety team, in collaboration with other teams within the Wikimedia Foundation, researched a Community Health Metrics Kit to help volunteers understand the relative health of their communities. We invite you to read more about our plans here, and to give your opinions on the talk page.
The Community Health Metrics Kit is a project being investigated by the Trust and Safety team, in collaboration with the Community health initiative, at the Wikimedia Foundation. The ultimate goal is a public suite of statistics and data documenting the relative health of Wikimedia communities on a per-project basis. This project was researched in the 2018–19 financial year, and will inform further development of community metrics in the future.
As a movement, Wikimedians have always measured aspects of their communities. Data points such as editor activity levels, new users, and editor retention have been regularly collected. While these metrics provide some useful indications about the health of a project, they do not give major insights into challenges and specific areas needing improvement. The Community Health Initiative wants to build on the metrics work already done by individual contributors, affiliate groups, academics and researchers, and the Wikimedia Foundation.
This project has two primary goals:
- to have regularly updated quantitative statistics that provide useful insights into aspects of a community’s health, and
- to provide better qualitative options for finding insights that can’t effectively be measured through quantitative approaches.
This kit and the data it will contain will be targeted towards two major audiences:
- The local and global communities, in order to ascertain the relative health of their projects and to more easily identify the early signs of an unhealthy community; and
- The Wikimedia Foundation, who may make use of the data (now in one centralised place) to better identify trends in community health and direct development efforts towards solving problems.
Where we are now: Consultation
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|July–August 2018||Metrics definitions; brainstorming; internal publicising|
|September 2018||Design involvement; determining location; community consultation on metrics|
|October–December 2018||Further work on design; community discussions to continue|
|January–March 2019||Technical implementation, prototyping|
|Before end of June 2019||Launch of Metrics Kit|
This project is currently at the design and consultation phase. At this point, we have a rough idea of who this project is for (local community members interested in judging the relative health of their communities/projects, and Wikimedia Foundation staff interested in monitoring this health for things like tool or policy development). We also have a rough shortlist of metrics we'd like the kit to include. That is where we need your help.
How to give feedback
While we have set up the framework for this and put down our ideas, this project will suffer without the community's knowledge and expertise. Here, we are asking you to give us feedback on our ideas and to offer your own.
Please use the discussion page of this project for your feedback. To make it easier, we have set up a number of sections there for the aspects of this project about which we are most excited to hear your opinions. One of those sections is titled Other feedback, because we might miss things otherwise. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions in one, several or all of the sections! Thank you in advance for your thoughtful insights!
How to engage deeper
In addition to asking for feedback on what we do, we are also looking for volunteers who like to work more closely with us on the project. There are several ways you can engage, if you are interested:
- You can work with us to refine the way we gather the data in one or more fields for all the Wiki communities
- You can help find bugs and mistakes we may make
- You can get our support to understand your own community better through community health metrics
- You can help spread the knowledge about those new metrics throughout the wikiverse
If you are interested in investing time into this project on one or more of those issues on a mid to longterm basis, please sign up under the corresponding section of the discussion page!
How we will use the results
Your feedback at this stage will directly affect our thinking with regards to this project. As one of the major audiences for this work, the community's insight is naturally invaluable. As such, it will all be taken aboard and used to guide the future of this project as we focus on its design and usecases.
We're currently looking at metrics that reflect community health. These will be informed by comments and suggestions made during this consultation, as well as by individual user interviews and other design research methods. Right now, we're looking at metrics reflecting things like:
- Active administrator and user statistics;
- Backlog statistics (compared with the number of people working on them);
- Statistics already used to compare Wikimedia projects with each other (such as Wikipedia article depth);
- Rates of vandalism, blocks, and other administrative tasks;
- Other metrics we haven't yet come up with :)
We've spent a little time thinking about how this kit might ultimately look and be used by members of the community. Our requirements for this project are that it is:
- Findable: It should be easy for community members to find and make use of in their work.
- Readable/Accessible: It should be simple to read and absorb the information it is attempting to impart.
- Up-to-date: It should be updated live (or at least regularly), automatically and with minimal maintenance.
- Translatable: It should be available to users in as many languages as possible (ideally beginning with the UN standard languages), and be available for users to supply translations where none exist.
Right now, we are thinking of hosting this data on Toolforge, as that option would cover most of the above requirements. We are aware that many of the metrics points we'd like this kit to hit are already collected by Wikistats, and we imagine the finished product would likely turn out quite similar to this in look, feel, and target demographic.
Building on existing work
Some top-level community insights are part of the WikiStats portal. This platform provides data on:
- Total unique devices
- Top-viewed articles
- Newly registered users
- New pages
- Edited pages
- Net bytes difference
- Absolute bytes difference
The Community Engagement Insights survey provides a window into a number of community health aspects, and provides useful demographic information as well.
Individual projects and contributors have used various approaches and API queries to gain specific insights about specific workflows and issues. Examples include the English Wikipedia’s AdminStats and this analysis of Adminstrator numbers and ratios on the different Wikipedias.
There is a large body of past research projects that deal primarily with topics of community health, or look at related aspects and issues. We have collated some of that here in this table; if we have missed something, please add to this subpage!
We began this project by looking at what is already collected and what isn’t, and identifying which data points and areas should be prioritised for this project. This will involve both collecting new metrics and using existing metrics differently (e.g. providing new ratios and comparisons of already-collected information). Some of the broad areas we looked at to include in the Metrics Kit:
- Administrator statistics
- User statistics
- New accounts
- Activity levels
- Retention rates
- Prevalence of vandalism, trolling, harassment
- Abuse filter, vandalism reports
- Cultural, ethnic, gender barriers
- Content bias
- Language barriers
- Access to tools
- Internet access
- Libraries and knowledge resources access
Future plans: More and easier qualitative surveying
Building on the Community Health initiative's analysis of the English Wikipedia's Administrator's Noticeboard/Incidents. This project surveyed users on their experiences with an important noticeboard. We want to do better survey assistance - helping communities survey themselves through easily adaptable survey forms, good techniques for getting respondents, and help analysing the results.