In the Wikimedia Foundation's 2017–2018 Annual Plan, Program 4 for Audiences is "New editor success".
A steady inflow of good-faith new editors, and the tools and resources to shape them into productive community members, is crucial to the long-term sustainability and diversity of Wikimedia projects. However, the number of new editors across Wikimedia projects has declined over the past several years even as the number of existing editors has remained stable. Compared to the experiences and perspectives of existing editors, relatively little is known about the experiences and perspectives of new editors. This lack of understanding is particularly acute outside the largest communities (such as English and German Wikipedias). Tenured users spend much of their time reviewing these incoming edits, many of which are unacceptable because of the simple mistakes new users commonly make.
We will work to improve the experience of our emerging communities, on mid-sized Wikimedia wikis with roughly 500–2,000 monthly active contributors, where we think we can provide the most benefit.
The main goal is to improve the new editor experience.
The desired outcome is: In emerging communities, increase the retention of new editors, and the quality of their contributions.
- Expand and deepen our understanding of the experiences of new editors in emerging communities based on generative research
- Improve, adjust, or create features geared at the needs identified in the research project. The features will be chosen based on research outcomes, but likely will be aimed at the following:
- Providing better contextual guidance to new users facing social or technical obstacles during the editing process (such as a perceived lack of permission to edit, a lack of understanding of citations and linking, or a desire for real-time assistance)
- Better supporting existing editors in mentoring and nurturing new users (such as by improving communications, helping identify good-faith newcomers, or helping new users express their interests and needs)
The targets are:
- In emerging communities, the second-month retention rate of new accounts increases.
- In emerging communities, the revert rate for edits by new accounts and IPs decreases.