Research talk:New user help requests

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Couple of minor points on data explanation:

  1. On your map of where newbies go to get help (love the simplicity and effectiveness of that particular visualization, by the way!), you made it look as though Help and Reference desks were the most popular spots, though in your results you found that talk pages were actually the most common location for help requests, right?
  2. I think some of the help categories could be phrased more directly without needing to recode (i.e., "multimedia" requests are only ever questions about uploading images, as far as I've seen, and "Participation is in response to notification" is a long, slightly circumlocuitous way of saying "contesting deletion"). Buickmackane 15:53, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Comments on grpahic and a couple questionsEdit

I agree with the comment by Buickmackane; the shading implies an ordering, on e that appears not to match the facts. If simply decorative, I think it should be removed.

Alternatively, change the order of the entries to match the order of importance.

If the software allowed it, change the radius of the circles to match the relative frequencies.

One specific question: I am particularly interested in Requests for feedback

Can you tell me if questions to that forums were specifically tracked or if they are included in "other"?


Another question: I am slightly surprised to see edit summaries as a "space" for help requests. Can you tell me anything about this? Are these explicit help requests, e.g. "Can someone help me do X?" or are they implicit help requests "I'm trying to add something, not sure if I'm doing it right"?--Sphilbrick 17:10, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback! I agree that the shading is misleading--if I continue this research, I'll revise the graphic (up to and including incorporating you suggestions on ordering and radius).
In this study, requests for feedback that took place in the Request for Feedback space itself were rare (and included in "other"). It was much more common for new Wikipedians to ask for feedback on the user talk page of a more experienced Wikipedian with whom they'd previously interacted. My intuition is that this is due to a) newcomers relative level of comfort asking for assistance from strangers in large, public spaces and b) newcomers level of knowledge about where to ask for what kind of help.
re edit comment requests, they were sometimes explicit (e.g. How do I edit a table?), and sometimes explanatory (I can't figure out how to add this image). I included both types in this case, since if they had posted the same message on a talk page, it would have been taken as a help request.
Thanks again! Jtmorgan 00:19, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Return to "New user help requests" page.