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Fellowship News
VOLUME 1 July 2012 ISSUE 2
General Fellowship Updates
by Siko Bouterse, Head of Community Fellowship Program

This month we began what will hopefully become an annual tradition - the Wikimedia Fellows attended Wikimania 2012. We shared our projects, were amazed and inspired by what others are doing, and came home with a lot of feedback and new ideas. All of the fellows panel slides are available on Commons.

July marks the end of Jon Harald Søby's fellowship year. Please join me in congratulating Jon Harald on a job well done - translating is now easier, more translators are involved than ever before, and though we're sad to see him go, we can't wait to see what he does next!

The fellows team will be hosting IRC office hours on Thursday August 2nd, 2012 at 21:00 UTC. Please join us for a conversation about current projects and the program.

And finally, we'll have space for a new fellow in fall of 2012. Now is a good time to submit an application or project idea if you'd like to join the fellows program, or, come help review open project ideas and tell us what you think of them!

Dispute Resolution Project
led by Steven Zhang

Steven Zhang presented the results of the dispute resolution survey at Wikimania, along with his other findings on dispute resolution, the slides of which are available on Commons. A workshop was also hosted at Wikimania to give interested editors basic tips they can use to resolve their own disputes, as well as the disputes of others. This work is expected to be continued online over the next month, with a guide to engage more editors interested in helping resolving disputes.

Based on the results of DR findings so far, an easier way for editors to file disputes has also been rolled out. This and other changes (such as a robot that will help manage disputes, and a template so volunteers can easily see the status of a dispute) will be undergoing a trial at the dispute resolution noticeboard in August, and metrics will be collected to see what impact these have.

Read more about this project …

Gender Gap Project
led by Sarah Stierch

Sarah participated in AdaCamp DC, a feminist open stuff unconference that took place just before Wikimania. At AdaCamp, Sarah facilitated discussions about the gender gap in Wikipedia and learned from discussions and lessons shared by other women and open stuff organizations around the world that have aimed to close their own gender gap. At Wikimania, Sarah hosted a workshop, 10 Women in 10 Minutes. This was the only workshop at Wikimania which involved editing Wikipedia collaboratively, and over 40 women and men participated to improve content in 8 different languages about notable women. Currently, Sarah is developing plans for the next phase of her gender gap project, which will be on wiki in the upcoming week!

Help Pages Redesign Project
led by Peter Coombe
Mockup of proposed new help page design

Peter presented about his fellowship work so far and future plans at Wikimania 2012; the slides from this presentation are now available on Commons. In addition to this, there were many fruitful discussions with other fellows, staff, and community members throughout the conference.

The finalised results from the help pages survey conducted in June were released. These results lend further support to the planned redesign. Three out of the planned four in-person usability tests on the existing help system have now been conducted, with the final one scheduled for next week. After this is complete the findings and recordings will be posted.

Peter has also been working on new designs for the help pages, a mockup of one is shown to the right.

Read more about this project …

Small Wiki Editor Engagement Project
led by Tanvir Rahman

A presentation on the Small Wiki Editor Engagement Project was shown at Wikimania by Siko Bouterse, as Tanvir unfortunately did not make it to the Wikimania. The slide is available on Wikimedia Commons.

After finishing the preliminary discussion with the Bangla Wikipedia community (see the outcome in previous report), a survey was initiated in Bangla Wikipedia to collect response of readers, to help us learn how best to encourage more active editing and participation. The survey ran for 2 weeks – July 4 to July 18, 2012. About 1100 responses are starting to give us a clearer picture of the current status of readers in Bangla Wikipedia, their opinions to improve Bangla Wikipedia, and their needs. The full survey report is available.

In August we will start discussions with community about our first experiment – based on the survey results, we've seen that introducing a new kind of help pages to provide help with step-by-step guidelines on basic Wikipedia editing questions is needed, and we've got a preliminary list from readers of the most important topics this help should cover. A list of necessary help pages will be finalized in discussion with the local community.

Read more about this project …

Teahouse Project
led by Sarah Stierch and Jonathan Morgan

Sarah and Jonathan presented the results of the Teahouse pilot period at Wikimania, to a receptive audience. Teahouse received several mentions in other panels and presentations at Wikimania, as well as some favorable coverage from members of the press who covered the conference.

The Teahouse team was approved to implement a HostBot script that automatically invites new editors to visit the Teahouse. Experimenting with automated invites is a priority in the Phase 2 plan because findings from the pilot period indicate that invites are an important way for guests to learn about the Teahouse, but the existing invite process is too labor-intensive to scale.

They designed a two week experiment to evaluate if automated invitations are a feasible alternative to manual invites, and created a new automated invite template for this experiment. Preliminary results seem promising: in the week since July 23rd when HostBot began sending out Teahouse invites, the average number of questions per day has increased to 8.4, from 4.8. The creation of guest profiles has increased even more dramatically: since July 24th, 15 new editors have created profiles on the Guests page, a 300% rate increase from the weeks prior.

Other measures of Teahouse activity were relatively stable in July. 215 guests visited the Q&A page in all, and roughly half of whom were new editors. Guests asked 172 questions, 54% by new editors. 23 Teahouse hosts participated overall, and 13 participated per week on average. A full July metrics report is available in the Teahouse lounge. We hope to see more growth in coming months as phase 2 work continues.

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Translations Project
led by Jon Harald Søby

Jon Harald also attended Wikimania and presented about the translation fellowship, focusing on both 2011 fundraiser translations and the 2012 meta translation project. While he was there, he also had many good conversations with translators and other helpers about the translation projects. The slides from his presentation can be found on Commons.

The banner campaign to recruit translators for the new system was a big success, with more than 1200 signups across more than 100 languages, despite being targeted to only the top 20 languages. Updated statistics regarding the number of signups can be seen on Toolserver.

In the final weeks of his fellowship, Jon Harald is involved in revamping the translation committee, which is currently looking for new members. He is also finishing up documentation on his projects.

Read more about this project …