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[OKR] Increase response rates
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Description

This parent task represents the work of experimenting with different interventions (see table below) to increase the likelihood people receive timely and relevant responses to the comments they post and conversations they start on talk pages, across Wikipedia's namespaces.

Priortiziation

We are prioritizing this work because if people are not equipped with the tools and controls they need to respond to others who are seeking help/guidance/input/etc. in a timely manner, these people seeking contact could be prevented from making the changes necessary to improve our projects.

Scope

This area of "increasing response rates" has multiples parts:

  1. Making it easier for people to stay up-to-date about conversations that are relevant to them.
    • Where "relevant" means conversations people have an interested in, but have not already participated in (e.g. they have not commented in the conversations yet).
  2. Making it easier for people to know when someone else is talking to them.
    • E.g. Junior Contributors expect to be notified automatically when someone responds to something they said as noted in T247485#6089355.
  3. Making it easier for people to make others aware their input is needed.

Interventions

The work to increase the likelihood people receive timely and relevant responses to the comments they post and conversations they start on talk pages is comprised of the following interventions.

TicketInterventionDescriptionStatus
T263820Subscribing to topicsEnable people to elect to receive notifications when new comments are posted in topics they've chosen to "subscribe" toIn progress
T263819Automatic new activity notificationsEnable people to elect to receive notifications when new comments are posted in topics they've participated in.Not yet prioritized
T263821New topic notificationsEnable people to elect to receive notifications when new topics are posted on talk pages they are interested in.Not yet prioritized

Research

The research that will inform the approaches we take to implementing the Interventions above will happen in T273921 and its sub-tickets.

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Event Timeline

ppelberg renamed this task from Ping specific contributors in-line to [Epic] Ping specific contributors in-line.Sep 20 2019, 6:19 PM
ppelberg renamed this task from [Epic] Ping specific contributors in-line to [Epic] Increase response rates.Apr 9 2020, 7:19 PM
ppelberg updated the task description. (Show Details)

Sub-pages and notifications

Some helpful feedback from @Parkywiki about how the lack of notifications that are sent on sub-pages can cause delays in communication:

Nick Moyes writing in Topic:Vjl9e4d6kwjbtbxf

It's the failure of the notification system to detect and give an on-wiki notification to a user of any edits made to their own user sub-pages and the corresponding talk pages. As an example, I maintain a sub-page for each person I adopt (via en:WP:AAU). Both parties have to remember to include a ping command every time they start a thread or reply to the other person. If they fail to do so, their reply can go overlooked for ages. It is easy to forget and has caused awkward delays in communication. I find this lack of talk page notification really does impact on my workflow. An example of where this problem arises can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Nick_Moyes/Adoption/Clovermoss And the forgotten Phabrictor task is at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T5234

Watchlist vs. notifications
Here, @Patriccck and @Urbanecm share their perspectives on notifications vs. watchlists...

@Patriccck asked me to translate his thoughts. Here it is!

I personally think mentioning is an useful feature, but I understand some people don't like. For me, it's always better if someone mentions me, because that's more visible than just the watchlist. I can easily overlook a watchlist entry. There also are some users who don't even have a watchlist.

And what about for your specifically...do you relate more to the people who watchlist talk pages and finds pings to cause unnecessary notifications? Or do you more closely relate to the people who who don't watchlist talk pages and instead, find pings to be helpful?

I don't really mind either approach. I do watchlist talk pages, but if someone pings me anyway, I don't feel offended or anything. It mostly causes quicker reaction, as I keep zero unread notifications, and if something's red there, I almost immediately check, if I'm currently wiki-working.

Is it worth mentioning that there are many times when I need to turn off my watchlist email notifications for months on end? I do this during very busy periods of my life (like right now) in order to avoid my webmail Inbox being utterly swamped with hundreds of messages about pages I'm not really interested in having been modified. In the past I have missed key personal emails because of being flooded with watchlist email notifications, so I do try and check my online watchlist every few days at these times, but often forget. It can be a useful reminder when I see a watched talk page popping up in the list and then remember "oh yes, I did leave a message on that page a while ago; I'd better go and see if there's anything relevant to me on it." I previously used an email client like Outlook which allowed me to filter out wiki notification messages into a separate folder - which was really helpful - but I don't have this facility in my current webmail system.

I now try hard to pare down my watchlist to just key pages I'm seriously interested in (currently down to below 1,500, which is manageable). Has anyone consider the possibility of devising a 'nudging' message that tells users who have turned off email notifications - but who do have entries in their watchlist - that they've not checked their watchlist for xx days, and that they might wish to go look? An alternative approach is to allow me to receive just one weekly or monthly emailed update of all watchlist changes in a single message. Just a couple of thoughts I'd throw up, lest they're of interest.

Oh, and whilst I'm here, I'll also comment about cross-wiki notifications. I really welcome seeing them (I was alerted to a mention of my name above), but I really hate how that once I've marked them as 'read' in the alerts and notifications windows, they disappear completely and can no longer be viewed. All that remain are those from my main en-wiki interactions. Is there a setting to prevent read cross-wiki alerts being lost?

ppelberg updated the task description. (Show Details)
iamjessklein renamed this task from [Epic] Increase response rates to [OKR] Increase response rates.Feb 4 2021, 7:45 PM