Grants:IEG/WikiProject Community Health

status: idea
WikiProject Community Health
idea creator:
project contact:
Developing a framework for a cross-language WikiProject focused on sharing findings and implementing improvements to editing communities in multiple languages
created on: 21:22, 29 January 2013‎

Project idea edit

The movement is learning more about editor engagement and retention every day, even as many of our editing communities are shrinking or not growing as quickly as we'd like. To solve some issues related to editor decline, we'll have to wait for improved software like the Visual Editor. But for some solutions to Community Health issues (example: giving editors support and recognition, making sure Bots don't scare or confuse them, offering good explanations of policy or language-specific editing tutorials, etc) are best piloted in individual language communities and maybe always will be. Social issues come from a specific context and there may be no magic button one-size-fits-all solution from software.

New projects on English Wikipedia have improved help pages and new editor support systems like Teahouse are having impact, French Wikipedia has a new editor help desk and other resources that seem to be working well, the Bangla Wikipedia has piloted banners and help pages with good results, and there are lots of other things going on in various languages to improve the overall health of each editing community. From each pilot, we learn something new about what strategies work best for different situations.

There isn't yet a really good mechanism to carry these learnings to other wikis though, or to suggest which improvements might be most appropriate for communities of certain size or facing a certain type of issue. Often what happens is a new wiki translates help pages etc from English or another large wiki to get started, but when English or other languages make improvements later on, these improvements don't get carried across in any meaningful way.

What if we had some framework for a WikiProject Community Health that could be taken up by any language community to make local improvements and share learnings? This WikiProject would collect information from various languages and help turn it around into something useful for local communities.

This is a pretty rough sketch of a project idea, and I'm obviously not eligible for a grant myself (this project might not need funding, or maybe it would)...but just tossing this out here in case anyone finds it interesting or wants to build it out a bit. I'm happy to collaborate more on the thinking if so!

Project goals edit

  • Pilot a sustainable method for disseminating community health improvements across more languages
  • Create more opportunities for learning from each other's successes and failures as we attempt to make our editing communities more accessible to new and existing editors
  • Develop scalable ways to customize community health solutions based on local community size and issues

Open questions edit

Would anyone want to work on a project like this?
  • I'd love to consult on such a project. It seems really important that when a good idea is piloted and demonstrates efficacy that we have a means to share it with the other communities. A truly high-impact project is one that will add leverage not just to a particular Wikimedia project but to all of its kind. We face similar issues, and we should share best practices when we discover one. Ocaasi (talk) 21:58, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, I think so. We always miss out the learning from other language Wikipedias. Many wikis including, we don't have proper help pages, guidelines and policy. If we can have centralized base for all the help pages, policies and guidelines from different language communities where we can share ideas and improve, would help a lot. Would love to collaborate :-) -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 10:03, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Great initiative, there are a couple areas I am interested in, this is one of them! I would love to contribute to this project. Slventura (talk) 23:14, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Definitely sounds like a great idea. I think this would be best accomplished by a small team rather than one individual due to the multilingual nature of Wikimedia projects. Steven Zhang (talk) 12:42, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Get involved edit

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