Welcome to the nineteenth newsletter from the Growth team!
The Growth team's objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in Wikimedia projects.
"Add a link" is the team's first structured task. It uses machine-learning to suggest wikilinks as easy edits for newcomers. It was deployed in May 2021 on four Wikipedias and then in July on eight more Wikipedias after we evaluated the initial results. So far, we've seen a high level of engagement from newcomers. Communities that have the feature suggested valuable ideas for improvement. We'll work on improvements and then contact more communities to deploy it.
"Add an image" is the team's second structured task, currently in development. It is an editing task that suggests Commons images for unillustrated Wikipedia articles. We have conducted many community discussions and tests. Then, we've decided to build a first prototype. We'll first deploy it only to our pilot Wikipedias, to learn whether newcomers can be successful with the task. The project page contains links to interactive prototypes. We are very interested to hear your thoughts on this idea as we build and test the early versions. These prototypes have already been tested by newcomers, in English and Spanish.
News for mentors
The Mentor dashboard is available at our pilot wikis: Arabic, Czech, and Bengali Wikipedias. It will soon be available at a few more volunteering wikis, as a test.
At wikis where the mentor dashboard is deployed, a new filter is available for mentors. Mentors can monitor their mentees' activity in Watchlist and RecentChanges, so they can help support their mentees' work. For privacy reasons, this filter can't be accessed by someone else than the mentor itself. This filter only filters mentees assigned to the mentor. This filter is not visible for people who are not listed as mentors
Communities now have the ability to configure how Growth features behave on their own wikis. At Special:EditGrowthConfig, community members can add a list of volunteer mentors, alter the templates used for suggested edits, update help links, and more. This special page is editable by administrators and interface admins.
We are proud to announce that all Wikipedias now have the Growth features! Thank you to all the community members who helped the team build the features and bring them to their wikis. The only exception is Chinese Wikipedia (zh), for technical reasons.
The wikis that have Growth features deployed have been part of A/B testing since deployment, in which some newcomers did not receive the new features. Now, all of the newcomers on 280 of the smallest of those Wikipedias have the features.
A test is undergoing at English Wikipedia: 25% of newcomers receive the Growth features. The results from this test will be part of a discussion of how to proceed on that wiki.
Now that Growth features are available at Wikipedia, the Growth team considers to extend them to other projects. Some Wikisource users have expressed some interest in getting Growth features. There is currently a discussion about implementing them on Wikisource.
News for communities
Do you have questions about the Growth features? This translatable FAQ contains answers to the most common questions about the Growth team work.
The Growth features were recently used in a test amongst Latin American donors to give donors the opportunity to learn to edit. You can see the results here.
Interface translations are important for newcomers. Please help for your language, by translating or copyediting interface translations for the Growth features.
Help:GettingStarted was a feature developed in 2013, which directed newcomers to articles that needed editing. We recently removed this feature from all wikis, because it has been replaced by the Growth features.