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Wiki Guides
Let us help you find your way...
For Guides
Resources for Wiki GuidesTools and links
Welcome messagesEmail
User page
New editors needing helpWikipedia's Live Help Channel ({{help me}} notified here)
Help deskWikipedia:Help desk
Mentoring programWikipedia:Mentorship
For New Editors
Resources for new editorsBookshelf
Wizard to create a new articleArticle Wizard
Experiences as a new editor
Established editors recount their experiences
when they were new editors
We are here to welcome, guide and inform
The number of new editors with more than ten edits peaked in early 2007 and has steadily declined since then.

Ever wanted to know what our new editors are thinking? Why exactly did they start editing? What encourages or discourages them from continuing to edit, and what can we do to improve their editing experience? Since early 2007, the monthly count of new editors has steadily declined.

As a community we have many ideas but too many options and too little data. We're trying to craft strategies, develop new editors, and to get data on exactly how our new editors are finding their first, and later, experiences on Wikipedia. Of course, it will also help to share the experiences of established editors, who are able to find necessary resources for new editors. In this study we'll be specifically testing whether targeted interventions at specific times (after the first edit is reverted, article is deleted, etc) are helpful in boosting retention. We are trying out several different tactics in the process!

What do I need to do as a guide?[edit]

  • Click here to sign up to help!
  • Be willing to help!
    • Every new editor is different and has individual reasons for finding the site difficult, confusing, or frustrating. Your greatest strength as a guide would be knowing where to look; you don't need to know every answer but you should know enough to point the new editor to the right place.
  • Be willing to dedicate an average of four to six hours a week.
  • Be willing to give your email address to the Wikimedia Foundation.
    • To help administer the study and confer with all the guides, we need to contact you via email. Just click here and send an email through Special:EmailUser. If you want to use a different email address from the one attached to your account, feel free to specify that. Any address you provide will be handled under the Wikimedia Foundation’s Privacy policy.
  • Be willing to contact the new editors to whom you are assigned by email as well as via talk pages.

What was your experience as a new editor like?[edit]

All Wikipedians had a "New User experience" - they all had to start somewhere!

Many have kindly given us their stories of those early, tentative days of how it felt to be a new user on Wikipedia. If you are already an editor, please go to the talk page to add your own section and tell us your story.

You can view those stories on the talk page (click here), but here are a few teasers!

  • Wilhelmina Will: "Even after I started editing with my account, I only felt comfortable doing the simplest of edits; I remember thinking it would be a huge time-consuming task to add in an external link ... I've managed to gain a pretty decent understanding of how the different fields of editing in Wikipedia operate. A considerable amount of this comes from interacting with other users"
  • Carcharoth "It may never be too early to ask people what exactly they want from their Wikipedia experience, and tailor things to help them that way."
  • Jsayre64 "I definitely did not enjoy the first several weeks after I created an account here on Wikipedia, in July of last year. I was annoyed and puzzled by image problem notices and I felt as if I were a burden on everyone else. But then I signed up to join the friendly editors at WikiProject Oregon and I began to realize how I could actually help an encyclopedia."
  • Pfly "I was telling her about a possible ancestor-cousin of mine who was a pirate captain, and how a recent book had used his hanging as a kind of milestone, an end to the "Golden Age of Piracy". She said, "let's see if he's on Wikipedia". He wasn't, so she created a page in less than a minute. I was surprised and amazed."
  • The_Interior "My first real interaction with another editor was my requesting some Czech translation, which was replied to almost immediately and in great detail(the reply can still be seen at the top of my talk). I have to say this was my "pivotal" moment which led to further editing adventures."
  • Anna Frodesiak "New editors and prospective editors should know loud and clear, that Wikipedia is composed of others just like themselves -- that there is no government that audits and approves their edits."

Userboxes and Barnstars[edit]

See also[edit]