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Scale: align welcome message mentor to homepage mentor
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The newcomer homepage provides a mentor to any mentee based on a specially formatted page on wiki. Meanwhile, many wikis already do some kind of automated mentor-like outreach to newcomers based on existing lists of mentors. For instance, Arabic Wikipedia automatically posts a welcome message on every new account's talk page, signed by a random name from a list. Right now, these two lists are not unified -- a newcomer may receive a welcome message from one user, and then their mentor on their homepage may be a different user. (NB: through an experiment being done by CAT Lab, we will learn how valuable automated welcome messages are for newcomer activation and retention.)

On some wikis, this interaction between mentor and mentee can or could go further than only on the homepage:

  • display the mentor's name on a message left to the mentee's user talk page, like a welcome message (Hello, I'm [[user:Mentor|Mentor]] and I welcome you) or some guidance (please ask [[user:Mentor|your mentor]])
  • display the mentor's name on a sandbox template (sub-page of mentee's user page) to have a reminder about who they should contact
  • create user boxes: "My mentor is Mentor".

A possible solution would be magic word, like {{MENTOR}} that would react on the user and user talk domains according to the assignment.

One open question is whether users who sign up to be welcome message signers will also want to be mentors and vice versa. Perhaps the unified sign-up page should allow users to indicate which of the mentorship programs they want to participate in. On the other hand, maybe we should not allow users to only participate partially -- because we think that there should be a connection between the homepage mentor and welcome message signer.

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Liuxinyu970226. · View Herald TranscriptSep 18 2019, 6:48 PM

@Trizek-WMF: Assuming this task is about GrowthExperiments, hence adding project tag so others can find this task when searching for tasks under that project or looking at that project workboard.

8:48 PM is not my best time to be efficient, @Aklapper! 😝

MMiller_WMF renamed this task from Have a way to display on any user page or user talk page the name of the mentor assigned to a mentee to Homepage: align welcome message mentor to homepage mentor.Mar 4 2020, 7:31 PM
MMiller_WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)
Tgr added a subscriber: Tgr.Mar 10 2020, 7:02 PM

This is easy to do but some things to consider:

  • It will make user-mentor relationships public (even if the magic word is not used on one's page, it can be checked via edit preview).
  • Magic words are evaluated real-time so when the mentor changes the page would change. This might be a good thing in some cases (e.g. in a help template), probably not wanted in other cases (e.g. a signature). Could be substed, but that requires some changes to the bot and the general UX of the welcome (if it's not substed already).
  • For non-substed usage, there's some possibility of abuse now since any (GrowthExperiments) mentor can claim a user, but users cannot change their mentors.

At the moment, we have two ways to create mentors lists based on existing lists:

At the moment, these pages are listing the following items:

  • username (signature lists only have this)
  • short description (only on Growth-shaped lists)
  • interests (long description)
  • interest (topics, like on SuggestedEdits)
  • last activity (also on the homepage)
  • action like/button to contact the user on wiki

I listed the most common ones, because I've also seen cases where admins and non-admins are listed, or sometimes the location of the mentor.

One example of the most current case:

Should we take the opportunity to unify these lists?

Provide unified, filterable lists would help communities to shape their mentoring efforts. Communities could rely on this page to have names, descriptions and points of contact for newcomers. It would also help the Growth team by being sure that mentors are creating the list for the mentorship module the right way.

Ideally this new page should be a page where mentors just have to add their username and description, which would lead to a nice looking page for people visiting it.

Maybe have it as a special page (Special:Mentoring?), available on all wikis by default?

RHo added a subscriber: RHo.Mar 19 2020, 8:30 PM
MMiller_WMF renamed this task from Homepage: align welcome message mentor to homepage mentor to Scale: align welcome message mentor to homepage mentor.Apr 3 2020, 10:18 PM
MMiller_WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)Apr 15 2020, 12:57 AM
MMiller_WMF added subscribers: Catrope, kostajh, marcella and 2 others.

In thinking about the various scaling tasks, I consider this task not to be strictly required before we scale, but I think it could be a pretty big help. The reason it's not strictly required is that the homepage has been deployed on Arabic Wikipedia for months with users receiving different mentors on the homepage than the users who sign their welcome messages. That said, the reason it could be a pretty big help is that if we can use a wiki's existing list of mentors to also be the help panel mentors, then a wiki won't have to go through as much process to collect and list mentors.

MMiller_WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)Apr 28 2020, 3:39 PM

This was discussed in my check-in meeting. I feel that the magic word approach would be more useful for wikis like cswiki, who don't have a dedicated list of welcome message signers, yet the welcome message could be altered to also introduce the mentor.

Urbanecm edited subscribers, added: Urbanecm_WMF; removed: Urbanecm.Aug 22 2020, 6:51 PM
MMiller_WMF moved this task from Inbox to Upcoming Work on the Growth-Team board.

Would it be possible to simply return a user's current mentor? indicates the previous mentor when assigning only one. The bot trainers for the welcome messages can then take care of the rest.

It seems that Russian Wikipedia wishes to have this feature. (ping @Iniquity)

It seems that Russian Wikipedia wishes to have this feature. (ping @Iniquity)

Oh, thanks! Means, that not only I think about it.

Iniquity added a comment.EditedTue, Jan 12, 2:44 PM

We have two bots that send a template ( with the following signatures (Проект:Помощь_начинающим/Приветствующие). The list is almost the same with mentor's list (Проект:Помощь_начинающим/Наставники), but some users of this list refused to become mentors because of too much workload.

I'm not sure about combining the lists, it needs to be discussed. This can cut off a number of participants.

Considering that bots do this, I think we just need an API with mentor's nickname and the bots will take the desired nickname.

French Wikipedia has two pages, one for the welcome message, and one for mentors on the Homepage. The first one is a mirror of the previous one, used only by the welcome message bot. It seems that the fusion of these two lists went well: people who agreed to sign the welcome message overall agreed on becoming mentors.

Czech Wikipedia had a different need that may be interesting for your case. They have on-wiki mentors and at-workshops mentors. Some of the latter don't want to be auto-assigned to newcomers they don't know on wiki, but they wish to have a way to claim the mentees they worked with at the workshop. As a consequence, it is now possible to have a separated list for mentors who can claim mentees, but who won't be automatically assigned to newcomers. Check on to know more about this feature.