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Growth team updates #5

Welcome to the fifth newsletter for the new Growth team!  

The Growth team's objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects.

New projects for discussion

We began the "Personalized first day" project with the welcome survey so that we could gather information about what newcomers are trying to accomplish. The next step is to use that information to create experiences that help the newcomers accomplish their goal – actually personalizing their first day. We asked for community thoughts in the previous newsletter, and after discussing with community members and amongst our team, we are now planning two projects as next steps: "engagement emails" and "newcomer homepage".

  • Engagement emails: this project was first discussed positively by community members here back in September 2018, and the team how has bandwidth to pursue it. The idea is that newcomers who leave the wiki don't get encouraged to return to the wiki and edit. We can engage them through emails that send them the specific information they need to be successful – such as contact from a mentor, the impact of their edits, or task recommendations. Please read over the project page, and comment on its discussion page with any ideas, questions, or concerns. Do you think this is a good idea? Where could we go wrong?
  • Newcomer homepage: we developed the idea for this project after analyzing the data from the welcome survey and EditorJourney datasets. We saw that many newcomers seem to be looking for a place to get started – a place that collects their past work, options for future work, and ways to learn more. We can build this place, and it can connect to the engagement emails. The content of both could be guided by what newcomers say they need during their welcome survey, and contain things like contact from a mentor, impact of their edits, or task recommendations. Please read over the project page, and comment on its discussion page with any ideas, questions, or concerns. Do you think this is a good idea? Where could we go wrong?

Initial reports on newcomer activity

We have published initial reports on each of the team's first two projects. These reports give the basic numbers from each project, and there are many more questions we will continue to answer in future reports. We're excited about these initial findings. They have already helped us define and design parts of our future projects.

  • Welcome survey: the initial report on welcome survey responses is available here. Some of the main findings:
    • Most users respond to the survey, giving it high response rates of 67% and 62% in Czech and Korean Wikipedias, respectively.
    • The survey does not cause newcomers to be less likely to edit.
    • The most common reason for creating an account in Korean Wikipedia is to read articles—not for editing—with 29% of Korean users giving that responses.
    • Large numbers of respondents said they are interested in being contacted to get help with editing: 36% in Czech and 53% in Korean.
  • Understanding first day: the initial report on what newcomers do on their first day is available here. Some of the main findings:
    • Large numbers of users view help or policy pages on their first day: 42% in Czech and 28% in Korean.
    • Large numbers of users view their own User or User Talk page on their first day: 34% in Czech and 39% in Korean.
    • A majority of new users open an editor on their first day – but about a quarter of them do not go on to save an edit during that time.

Help panel deployment

The help panel was deployed in Czech and Korean Wikipedias on January 10. Over the past four weeks:

  • About 400 newcomers in each wiki have seen the help panel button.
  • About 20% of them open up the help panel.
  • About 50% of those who open it up click on one of the links.
  • About 5% of Czech users ask questions, and about 1% of Korean users ask questions.

We think that the 20% open rate and 50% click rate are strong numbers, showing that a lot of people are looking for help, and many want to help themselves by looking at help pages. The somewhat lower numbers of asking questions (especially in Korean Wikipedia) has caused us to consider new features to allow people to help themselves. We're going to be adding a search bar to the help panel next, which will allow users to type a search that only looks for pages in the Help and Wikipedia namespaces.

How to create a good feedback page?

What is the way to built a good help page? What blocks you when writing an help page? Your replies will help to create better help contents to newcomers, that would be used on Help panel.

Growth team's newsletter prepared by the Growth team and posted by bot, 14:15, 13 February 2019 (UTC) • Give feedbackSubscribe or unsubscribe.

You got mail

I sent you an email about Partial blocks. SPoore (WMF) Strategist, Community health initiative (talk) 21:42, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Hello @SPoore (WMF): sorry for late.   I replied on email --Alaa :)..! 15:08, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. I replied. Also, can you give me the link to the ARWP consensus discussion after you start it. I would like to follow along. SPoore (WMF) Strategist, Community health initiative (talk) 16:54, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Some flowers

For you

To thank you for your service during your first year of stewardship. To many more years! Trijnsteltalk 00:40, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Hello @Trijnstel: Thanks a lot   --Alaa :)..! 17:44, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Video tutorial regarding Wikipedia referencing with VisualEditor

Hi, thank you very much for endorsing my grant funded project to create a video tutorial regarding creating references with VisualEditor. I would like to invite you to sign up for the project newsletter so that you will receive notifications when drafts and finished products are ready for public review. Regards, --Pine 05:00, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

status = local not detected by the archiver bot at SRP?

Hello. I think that requests tagged with status = local ain't detected by the bot as closed and stays unarchived forever. Could you please check this with the bot operator? Thanks! —MarcoAurelio (talk) 20:09, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

Hello @MarcoAurelio: yes I notice that. I'll talk with him after 10 min. Best --Alaa :)..! 20:16, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
@MarcoAurelio: done per this --Alaa :)..! 00:23, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks to both. Best regards, —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:06, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 1

 Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 1

Good news: the (lengthy!) script draft 1 is complete!

Hello, I am happy to share that script draft 1 is complete and ready for public comment.

The script (link to the Google doc) is much longer than I anticipated, at almost 21 pages!

Although I think that the 21 page script would be a very good introduction to referencing policies and workflows, I am considering dividing it into two or more smaller scripts that would be produced as separate videos. For example, one script could focus on policies and a different script could focus on how to use the citation tool. I am considering this for three reasons:

  • People may be more willing to watch shorter videos that have more specific focus.
  • Shorter videos may be easier to search for an answer for a single specific question.
  • There is a possibility that if I attempt to produce a single video from almost 21 pages of script that I might exceed the budget for this mini-project. I would like for both WMF and the community to be satisfied with the results from this mini-project, and I think that dividing the script into smaller scripts which could be produced separately would be a good way to ensure that the budget for the current grant is not exceeded. While there is a reasonable possibility that I could finish production of the entire 21 pages of script within the current grant, I think that dividing the script would be prudent. After one of the smaller scripts is fully produced within the currently available funding, remaining script could be considered for production within the current grant if there seems to be adequate remaining funds, or could be saved for possible production with a future grant.

Request for constructive criticism and comments

I would very much appreciate constructive criticism and comments regarding the script, preferably by March 10 at 11:59 PM UTC. This is a shorter time window than I would like to provide, but the planned end date for this project is March 14 and I would like to finish video production by the end of March 13 so that I have 24 hours for communications before the grant period ends. If you would like to review the script or make other comments but the end of March 10 is too soon for you, please let me know that you need more time, and I will take that into consideration as I plan for final production and consider whether to request a date extension from WMF. (Extending the finish date for the project would not involve requesting additional funding for the current grant.) I would prefer that the video be done perfectly a few days late than that the video be done on March 14 but have an important error that was not caught during a rush to the finish.

I have three specific requests for feedback:

1. Please find errors in the script. This is a great time to find problems with my work, before the script goes into production and problems become more expensive to fix. Please go to this link in Google Docs and use the Comment feature in the Google Doc.

2. Do you have comments regarding whether the script should be divided, and if so, how it should be divided? Please let me know on the project talk page.

3. How do you feel about the name for the video? Do you prefer "Referencing with VisualEditor" or "Citing sources with VisualEditor", or a third option? Again, please comment on the project talk page. However, if I divide the script then I will create new names for the smaller videos.

Closing comments

Thank you for your interest in this mini-project. I am grateful to be working on a project which I hope will help Wikipedia contributors to be more efficient and effective, and indirectly help to improve Wikipedia's quality by teaching contributors how to identify and to cite reliable sources. I believe that the finished video will be good, and I hope that the community and novice contributors will find the video to be very useful.

Yours in service,

--Pine 07:55, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Growth team updates #6

18:19, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Hi, thank you for checking sockpuppets for us.

I'd like to appreciate you working hard checking sockpuppets that disrupt these days. You've been a great help.   --Super Wang hates PC You hate, too? 06:18, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

Thanks @Super Wang: your message made me happy   --Alaa :)..! 12:07, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Seconded the message, thanks for all the assistance rendered to zhwp thus far with SRCU. They are well appreciated.--Cohaf (talk) 12:14, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
@Cohaf: Thanks a lot   --Alaa :)..! 14:52, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 2 short version

 Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 2

Hi! The full version of this newsletter issue has a lot of information. I am sending a short version to talk pages.

The most important information to know is that draft 2 is finished, that the single long script has been divided into many smaller scripts, and that portions of the script have been prioritized for production.

Due to budget constraints, not all scripts can be produced within the scope of the current pilot grant, but the other scripts will remain available for potential future production. (This project feels somewhat like doing a vehicle repair when the mechanic starts to work on the engine, and once the mechanic gets under the engine and starts to work, they discover that accomplishing their objective requires twice as much time as they first had estimated.) However, nothing is lost, so do not fear. Overall, my assessment (me being User:Pine) is that this project is producing a lot of good output and is generally a valuable pilot project.

For more information, including my requests for your feedback, please see the full version of the newsletter.

Thanks very much. --Pine(✉) 22:57, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Kab Vector.css

Hello Alaa,

You've granted me admin rights on the kab wikipedia but I'm not able to edit the kab:MediaWiki:Vector.css page. Could you please copy paste the follow code? (it fixes the coordinates templates.)

/* Position coordinates */
#coordinates {
    position: absolute;
    top: 0em;
    right: 0em;
    float: right;
    margin: 0em;
    padding: 0em;
    line-height: 1.5em;
    text-align: right;
    text-indent: 0;
    font-size: 85%;
    text-transform: none;
    white-space: nowrap;

Thanks in advance. Sami At Ferḥat (talk) 22:59, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Hello @Sami At Ferḥat: yes as you should have local interface administrator flag to edit CSS/JS pages. Can you please apply a request on SRM to add this code? Thanks --Alaa :)..! 16:09, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Sorry I didn't see your message, thanks for your prompt reply.Sami At Ferḥat (talk) 20:11, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Some advice with respect to recent blocks

Hi dearest Alaa, I would like to collect some information or probable indefinite answer to all my questions, which may be need a shrewdly-kind mind to allow proper communication. Please help.

A range regarding this IP address was repeatedly blocked as a "{{CheckuserBlock}}" and "{{checkuserblock-wide}}" without any extra information as to how any alleged disruption occurred on this range. I for myself, see only positive and constructive contributions throughout this range. Their ill-use of the special extension (given through MediaWiki interface) is misused, they should only be used for a confirmation of aforementioned accounts; no proper communication was pursued. Whenever a edit was made (despite how helpful to the encyclopedia) was Cu-rangeblocked without any meeting points on a decidedly chosen talk page. It is impossible to edit full-fledgedly without getting stuck into a concurrent time-loop of a "CheckUser"-made block. I can not escape it. I can not make any edits. I can not discuss anything. I can not report the abuse. I can not know anything. Everything is confidential and is not leaked per the meta global policy, including our local policy (of English Wikipedia).

They say anyone can edit. Not in my case. I would say a one-time user was caught doing something disruptive, because of that all anonymous (or unregistered) users get into this black hole, mechanics are similar; to get squeezed, forever, without any external assistance. A definitive reasoning is considered trolling, "helpful" CheckUsers are roaming freely around; and eventually we are ignored voluntarily, without a helpful insight, discussion, or something assisting to this range which is admonished for a period that does not end at all. Bbb23 placed that erroneous one-month block, there is no vision as to who is operating under this IP range, or any associated accounts under this range. Basically, I am even afraid of entering the den of English Wikipedia, likely due to tracking, monitoring, privacy breaching, inappropriate data seeking, etc. using the tool for such malicious purposes should be disallowed if they were to go ahead and make those range-blocks in a continuous manner. Could you find any sort of disruption, if any, imminent to harm the project, severely destroy its base or go to extreme extents performing mass vandalism without any oversight, please. I just do not understand the motives, even assuming a slightest amount of good faith is getting out of hand and resulting in even further punishment, mere punitive blocks. Talk pages edits too show that it as "abuse of range", I think access to that is also revoked. From 2 weeks to a month, not entirely possible to open an arbitration case against their abuses, they may find some ways to escape or just place those uninformed designated, false "CheckUser-blocks."

Dire need of a immediate help. Clueless, helpless, in depression. Thanks my dear friend. 16:34, 24 March 2019 (UTC)


Thanks for the fish! talkcontribs 14:42, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Hello @Tks4Fish: I'll read it and replay in 24 hours. Sorry for late   --Alaa :)..! 17:02, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

The Affiliate-selected Board seats process welcomes your support

Hello. You are receiving this message because you are active in the field of translations <3 The movement needs you! The Nominations phase has started for the ongoing selection process of two Board members, and the timeline is quite tight.

A Translation Central is available to help translators figure out what's been covered and what's left to do. Over the course of the next few weeks, your attention on candidates' profiles is particularly welcome.

While there are four languages that are especially relevant for multiple affiliates (namely Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish), you can also add others. If you can't help: please see if you know anyone in your circle who could, and spread the word :) Thank you! Elitre (WMF) and Facilitators of ASBS 2019, 13:20, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, what?

I left you a note on Steward requests/Miscellaneous. Saying that I am disappointed in your response is the understatement of the year. Drmies (talk) 01:53, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

Alaa, I get that the request was kind of a mess, but I can't say I would have done better if I was getting this sort of harassment. (and I have gotten death threats before). Maybe next time we could be a bit more helpful? --Rschen7754 02:10, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Hello @Drmies and Rschen7754: I apologize. I put a response and I'll try to help as much as I can. Sorry again --Alaa :)..! 16:54, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

Special:AbuseFilter/213 false positives ...

... so looks as though the filter is too broad at this time. I have done adjustments to just make it the user/user talk nss, though will leave the match components to you, as I am not certain of your targets.  — billinghurst sDrewth 05:58, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

@Billinghurst: Thanks for this adjustments. I was supposed to see Af213 hits yesterday for evaluation but I did not have enough time. I made it track only Af now, and I'll try to put my adjustments today. Thanks again --Alaa :)..! 06:15, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Growth team updates #7

16:19, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

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