The Growth team are part of the Engineering & Product Development group at the Wikimedia Foundation. We build software that helps grow the community of active Wikipedia editors.
Who we are
- Matt Flaschen (Software Engineer)
- Aaron Halfaker (Research Scientist)
- Kaity Hammerstein (Associate Interaction Designer)
- Rob Moen (Software Engineer)
- Sam Smith, (Software Engineer)
- Moiz Syed (Interaction Designer)
- Steven Walling (Product Manager)
What we do
Growth is just what it sounds like. This team's job is to expand the Wikipedia editor community. The team’s yearly target is a number of new editors, rather than particular features. Learn more about our 2013-14 goals and plans and check out the list of projects below too.
Our work officially started in April 2012. For about our first year, we were known as "Editor Engagement Experiments" or "e3". See Sue Gardner's announcement and coverage in The Signpost. We decided this name was too long-winded and confusing. It also focuses on our method of working, as opposed to our goal.
List of projects
Core features that other WMF teams are building, like Flow and notifications, lay the groundwork for a healthy community that includes many new editors. The Growth team builds on this by giving people a compelling reason to join our wikis, and showing them how to make their first contributions to the encyclopedia. Together, they work in concert (along with mobile, multimedia improvements, VisualEditor, and more) to provide a modern, cohesive experience for Wikipedia editors.
- ✓ Done: Testing new user warnings to improve their effectiveness at communicating to editors
- ✓ Done: Necromancy -- emailing lapsed editors and asking them to return
- ✓ Done: Timestamp position modification -- testing whether a visible, linked, human readable timestamp improves edits on articles
- ✓ Done: Editor milestones -- thanking editors here on English Wikipedia that have made their first 1,000 edits to articles
- ✓ Done: Post-edit feedback -- testing whether various feedback mechanisms improve editor activity
- ✓ Done: Community Portal redesign -- testing various redesigns to the Community Portal that will make it a more useful space for editors
- ✓ Done: Redesigning account creation and login -- simple changes to improve and streamline the account creation and login process
- ✓ Done: Onboarding new Wikipedians -- onboarding, a term borrowed from human resources parlance, means to introduce brand new contributors to Wikipedia and show them how to edit. See also: Wikipedia:GettingStarted
- ✓ Done: Guided tours -- providing tooltip-like tours of the Wikipedia experience, see also Help:Guided tours
- In progress Anonymous editor acquisition -- discerning who anonymous (IP) editors are, and how we can entice more of them to register
- Article creation incl. work on Drafts -- thousands of new Wikipedians join with the goal of starting a new article. Let's fix the process for doing so. Planned:
- Task suggestions for enticing new and existing contributors back to Wikipedia to help improve the encyclopedia Planned:
Where do I go if I have comments, ideas, or further questions?
We want to hear what you think! The best places to ask are (in rough order):
- The associated Talk page here. If you think a feature might be new, then be sure to check the technical Village Pump, where we post announcements about new deployments.
- Join the public mailing list about editor engagement. We are active there.
- In IRC at #wikimedia-growth connect, especially for the more technically minded among you.