The Teahouse works. It's the only thing we've shown to have a substantial effect on long term retention. How about we put some Product support behind this.
- Search feature for previously asked questions: Increase capacity of hosts by helping newcomers find old answers. Will also make finding answer faster (assuming they exist and can be found through search). This would be generally easy.
- Make the Teahouse a platform. Better than a messy collection of wiki pages. This would be difficult and expensive.
- Use modeling strategies to nudge people towards polite and welcoming language.
Would these changes be welcome?
On the teahouse talk page, there's a huge discussion going on. A lot of people engaged. Lots of interest in improving the Teahouse and experimentations. Important to note that we do not own the Teahouse.
Looking for engineering resources, no really to hand over the Teahouse to some independent product team. Jonathan would be a good leader for a set of experimental product interventions.
Considering what went wrong with Gather: It was seen as "replacing" existing functionality, but that functionality (Books) wasn't all that widely used. So, Teahouse improvements are something we can explore, but we have to be careful of timing, and have continuous community engagement & expect that any changes to the Teahouse have to be approved by the hosts. No top-down solutions.
This task is done when a presentation re. product implications is made to the C-levels of the WMF.