Wikipedia talk:Teahouse/Host lounge/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


Hi everyone! We'd LOVE to see a barnstar for the Teahouse! Frankly, my design skills stink, so perhaps some of you or people you know have the skills to create a cool barnstar that follows the design and color scheme of the Teahouse (maybe uses some of the Teahouse graphics?) that can be awarded to great hosts, awesome new editors and other participants. Your creativity is needed! If I had the skills, I would, but, I don't! So...invite your friends, find your own creative inspiration, and please help design a cool barnstar (or two) for the teahouse =) Thanks for considering it...can't wait to see the magic happen! Sarah (talk) 22:36, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Don't forget to greet the Teahouse guests =)

Many new and experienced editors visit the Teahouse and fill out a guest profile! Studies show that friendly welcomes and encouragement help to retain new editors. Say hi and welcome them to the Teahouse and Wikipedia on their talk pages! Greet the guests here!. Sarah (talk) 14:37, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

More random profiles?

Now that we have 26 host profiles, should we consider expanding the random selection of hosts for the front page? Writ Keeper 16:22, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

I say yes! And switch em around (you can do that any time). heather walls (talk) 18:34, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Double yes. If you have a hard time doing it (it took me a long time to figure it out the first time), let me know. Otherwise, go wild! - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 21:58, 21 March 2012 (UTC)


(i.e. yet another stupid user script)

So, this time, it adds links in the page action menu (the little down-arrow menu in the top right corner where the page-move link lives). It'll add the capability to automatically add Teahouse invites and talkbacks from anywhere in a user's userspace (the links only show up if you're in user space). You can see the predetermined edits in my various recently-reverted test edits to my and J-Mo's talk page. (Sorry, J-Mo!) Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Writ Keeper 18:02, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Ohh, lovely. You're making this whole Teahouse thing too easy Writ Keeper :) We're talking about this, right? Nolelover Talk·Contribs 13:29, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Scratch that, it's this one, and I apparently added it last night. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 13:33, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Yep, that's the one. I used it in one of the examples below, so that's probably why you've already installed it. As an aside: I feel like we should make a WP:Teahouse/Host lounge/User Scripts page to keep links to all these scripts or something like that. We probably don't want to move the scripts themselves out of my userspace, because then they'll be open for anyone to edit, instead of just me and admins, which could be a security concern. But even just a teahouse directory could be useful. Writ Keeper 13:40, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Implemented teahouse navbar script (no impact to new users)

Hey, guys, just letting you know that I've put the hidden navbar on the front page, hosts page, and questions page. You need to have this script installed to see it; there will be no change in appearance if you don't have the script installed. If you'd like to add the hidden navbar, just subst my user subpage like so: {{subst:User:Writ_Keeper/sandbox/navbox}}. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Writ Keeper 20:57, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

I've got it installed now, and it works great! Thanks again, Writ. I look forward to testing out you other scripts soon. Here's a rookie question: if I want to install multiple userscripts, do I just paste the code below the previous script code on my skin page? Or do I need to formally divide them? I imagine that since it's Javascript (which IIRC is pretty lax), the answer is probably just "paste it below", but I figured I'd ask an expert first :) - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 22:01, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Yep, just paste it below. Writ Keeper 22:05, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand how to install a script. Can anyone provide me with some "newbie" advice? Where do I put it? Thanks and great work Writ! Sarah (talk) 22:06, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Will it work with the MonoBook skin that I prefer (i like my search box on the left).--Charles (talk) 22:27, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Sorry to butt in here, but you don't need to use javascript to override css styling; an easier way to make the navbox show up might be to add the following line to the end of your common.css (or start the page with, as the case may be):

#teahouseNavbar {display: block !important;}

Both this and the script will work cross-skin, mind, and either would be fine appending to the end (for the javascript script, the end of this page, specifically), but css is generally better practice for styling concerns. Hope that helps. Isarra (talk) 23:12, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

That's actually a great idea. My experience is more with Java/Javascript/PHP type things; for this kind of work, I tend to think in Javascript and ride straight over simpler solutions like that. Thanks! Writ Keeper 00:48, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, after trying this, it's a much more satisfactory solution. It means that you don't have to wait on the javascript to load, so that the navbar comes up instantly, rather than a second or two after the page loads. Great idea, Isarra! Writ Keeper 00:53, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
@Charles: both the javascript and the (preferred) css change will work in any skin, I believe.
@Sarah:You can install a script by going to this page and adding a line at the bottom. the line will read:
importScript("<name of script page>");
So, for my Teahouse Utility script mentioned in the section above, it would read
You can see examples at my common.js page. Writ Keeper 00:58, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
User:SarahStierch/common.js how's that? Sarah (talk) 01:06, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
That should work. Remember that you have to clear your cache after changing your common.js, as it says at the top of that page; you won't see the effect of any changes you've made until you clear it. If you're using Firefox, just hit ctrl+shift+R at the same time to do it. Writ Keeper 01:11, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Hey guys, thanks for what you're doing here. However -- me, too -- I need help understanding what to add and where. I have a Mac, I use Firefox, and I understand how to clear my cache. Thanks --Rosiestep (talk) 03:00, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Hey, Rosie. (Anyone else reading this: through the magic of Wikipedia, the following links will be just as valid to you as they are to Rosie or anyone else, so feel free to click on them and start using scripts!) What you need to do is, for any scripts that end in ".js", you want to add them to your common.js page accessible through this elegant and finely-crafted wikilink. What you do on this page is you add the script you want to use. You add it by creating the page if necessary, and then adding the following on a new line on the page:
importScript("<full script name here>");
You replace the <full script name here> with the full path of the page the script is located, as if you were making a wikilink to it (but keep the doublequotes, they're necessary!). So, to use one of the scripts from my script page as an example, say you want to add the "teahouseTalkbackLink" script. You would go to your common.js page, create it if you haven't already, and, on a new line, write
importScript("User:Writ Keeper/Scripts/teahouseTalkbackLink.js");
Once you've done this, save the page and clear your cache; the script will now be enabled. You would install any of the scripts on my script page, or any script that ends in ".js", the same way.
Now, the css thing above that Isarra posted (and that I fully endorse over my script for seeing the teahouse navboxes) is different. It's not a Javascript code (which is what the ".js" at the end of the page means), it's a CSS code, which is a different kettle of fish entirely. What you need to do here is change your common.css page (notice that it's ".css," not ".js"). You can find that here. Again, if it doesn't exist, go ahead and create it. Then, copy Isarra's code above into a new line, just as you did for the javascript:
#teahouseNavbar {display: block !important;}
Save the page (I don't think you need to clear your cache for CSS, but it can't hurt to clear it, just in case). You'll be able to see the hidden navboxes on the main Teahouse page, Questions page, and Hosts page. And that's all there is to it! If you want examples of how it should look, you can look at mine: User:Writ Keeper/common.js and User:Writ Keeper/common.css. I have a bunch of scripts installed, but as you can see, they all follow the same formula of importScript("<full page name>"); . The CSS page should be pretty much identical to yours if you want the teahouseNavbox functionality. Hope this wasn't too complicated; us tech nerds can get a little carried away with jargon at times. Feel free to troutwhack me if I missed anything, or if this is incomprehensible (or you can just ask me about anything you need help with; either way!) Thanks! Writ Keeper 04:10, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
*raises hand* Where does my vector.js file come into this? That's where all my scripts are...what's the difference? Nolelover Talk·Contribs 04:22, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
The difference is that any script you install on the vector.js page will only show up if you're using the Vector skin for Wikipedia. Similarly, if you were to put your scripts in the "monobook.js" page, they would only show up for the "Monobook" Wikipedia skin. Any script you install to the "common.js" page will show up no matter what skin you're using. Practically, if you only use Vector, there's really no difference between vector.js and common.js. I have some scripts on one page and some on the other. It just makes it easier to explain things in terms of "common.js," since I don't have to explain skins as well, and have them know which one they are using. Writ Keeper 04:27, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Ahh yes, that makes sense. Thanks :) Nolelover Talk·Contribs 04:37, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the awesome explanation, Writ Keeper! heather walls (talk) 04:23, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Can someone perhaps take initiative and organize this content in an easy to understand manner (I had to get additional help for this, and I'm not idiot!) and perhaps create a Host Lounge page for this information? This is an important tool and having it all chaotic here on this talk page is a bit tough for me to navigate. Thanks everyone! Sarah (talk) 18:38, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Sure, I'll work on it. Writ Keeper 18:39, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay, done. There are links to the new subpage from the Host lounge. Anyone care to take a proofreading glance at it? Writ Keeper 19:21, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
AWESOME!! I just checked it. I was going to do it but had to travel to the office first, but you have done a much better job! Excellent. I might just move those up in the list because they are SO USEFUL. (Notice some enthusiasm?) heather walls (talk) 20:26, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
PS Sarah will you highlight Teahouse/Host_lounge/User_scripts on your next Tea Leaf? heather walls (talk) 20:34, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! :) Writ Keeper 20:36, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Yay; it worked! Writ Keeper, your instructions were so user-friendly. Thank you! Rosiestep (talk) 05:00, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Suggestions for the table

Could another column record the inviter's sig? Tony (talk) 03:01, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps the bot-operator might consider:

  1. removing the second-level table lead altogether, since it's repetitive ("Teahouse database reports are now automatically updated every 30 minutes to display whether individual users listed in these reports have already been invited by a host using a transcluded invite template. Refresh this page to check for recent updates.");
  2. changing "Daily report" into "Updated reports" (note downcasing and plural); I suggest a copy-edited version of the lead, thus: "A list of editors who joined in the past 24 hours, have since made more than 10 edits, and are not blocked."
  3. downcasing "Newish Editors" subtitle to "Newish editors", per en.WP practice. I suggest a copy-edited version of the lead, thus: "A list of editors who joined in the past four days, have since made more than 20 edits during at least three sessions, and are not blocked.
  4. Key text in the tables should be downcase ("Guest Name" -> "Guest name", same for "Edit Count"; would then be consistent. More in the "Newish" table.

Having invited a few new people, my comment is that for house-cleaning it would be nice to know if a host has communicated without template with a new editor, as a prep for invitation. For example, Sumber manusia may not speak English: his userpage has only a foreign language (possibly Bahasa Indonesia?). He could be a valuable contact for getting Indonesian articles translated, and may speak English. I'd rather leave an informat note on their talk page first than invite them, to get a sense of their status, as it were, and whether we can assist. Now, it would be efficient for other hosts looking at the table to know that (non-template) prelim contact has been made, and by whom. But perhaps that's not going to work with this automatica system (which is already very good, I must say). Tony (talk) 06:03, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Sinner145 was indeffed nine hours ago. Perhaps eventually the software could pick an indeff tag on their talk page and remove them from the list.
What do we do about users that look like college/school group accounts, like Psyc3330 w12gp02RN? ‎
User talk:Josefine vesterbrogade—User:Jeffwang has already left a non-template invitation, so it didn't show up on the table. Can we have a protocol for this? On a related matter, the instructions (Step 3) don't mention that if you email-invite an editor without putting a template on their talk page, it won't show up on the table as "invited". We could be double-inviting without knowing it.
I'm already getting the feeling that new editors in the "Newish" list who've edited only a single article (over several sessions) are likely to turn out to be here for that article alone (company employees, etc.). It will be interesting to see whether the number of articles edited should also be listed in a column, as well as the number of sessions, to help hosts sort out who's likely to be worthy of investment as a future member of the editing community. Tony (talk) 08:08, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, the general idea of the database report is as a starting point only. One is expected to go to the user's user page and talk page, maybe look at their contribs, before sending an invite. I was actually writing a script to allow automatic inviting straight from the database report page (you can see the fragments here, but it's totally non-functional and likely to remain so), but I stopped development on it after talking to J-Mo because I was making precisely that mistake. So, most of the issues that you've brought up should be caught by an inquisitive inviter.
Now, all that said, of course there's no reason not to improve the bot. Non-template invitations could probably be caught by the bot with a regex of "/\[\[(Wikipedia|WP):Teahouse/", since any invite worth its salt will link to somewhere on the Teahouse. (ooooh, that just gave me a great idea for improving the teahouseUtility script...) Block templates could be caught relatively easily, as well (I'd be a little surprised if it doesn't already do so, tbh). I don't know about the extra fields in the columns, but that might not be a big deal, either. The "who invited them" thing is probably not very important, though; it really just matters that they were invited. Number of distinct articles edited would be useful, although that's not the be-all-end-all of who's going to be a valued contributor in the future.
So, in conclusion, these are excellent ideas, but unfortunately, no bot's gonna replace due diligence. Thanks! Writ Keeper 13:39, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Writ here: I'm willing to (in fact, very interested in) improving the bot, but at a certain point you run the risk of
  • 'automatically' screening out newbies who should have been invited--take SPA's: I don't think that's necessarily a deal-breaker for a newbie; people often start off editing a single article that they feel comfortable with. At the Teahouse, I think we should always give newbies the benefit of the doubt.
  • hitting diminishing returns. I code slowly, so it sometimes takes a surprisingly long time for me to make simple updates happen. Coupled with this, the seemingly neverending database issues we've experienced over the last week have kept me busy moving my scripts around. So at this point it's often not advisable for me to spend dev time doing things that are pretty easy for people to 'eyeball', such as checking whether or not someone has been informally invited.
Now, to address your other points. Yes, I think the text and column headers on the report page should be cleaned up (you already did some of this, and I followed up with some more). I'll hopefully get that finished within the next few days. Re: updating "blocked" like we're updating "invited", that's possible on the back end, but again it seems to me like something that's pretty easy to tell just by checking someone's page. Or am I wrong? Currently, the report checks its invitee list against the most current "blocked" table on the database, so the users who appear on both of the reports should be not-blocked at the time the new day's reports are generated. If they get blocked sometime during that day, that won't be reflected in the report. Re: searching for 'informal invites' by checking for backlinks to Teahouse in user_talk, this is also possible, but would take some extra work to implement, as well as a second API query--which are somewhat resource-intensive and could provoke grumblings from some circles (I haven't actually registered a bot yet! so running too many API queries under my main account, which is potentially frowned upon). - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 22:55, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

New version of teahouseUtility script; comments encouraged

Just some quick notes on the latest version (as of 3/23 14:04 GMT) of the teahouseUtility script: I've gotten rid of the text that accompanies the template in the Teahouse Invite, per Sarah's suggestion. The signature will now appear within the template, and the template will stand alone in the section. I've also made some cosmetic changes to the source, to allow easier configuring of custom messages and section titles; see the source comments for details (or ask me, naturally). Finally, I've impemented a crude check for previous invites to the Teahouse. When you hit the Invite button, the script will first check the page for any links to the teahouse (so that it catches both the standard template and any non-template invitations that include a link back to the teahouse); if it finds such a link, it will ask you for confirmation before posting another invite. Keep in mind that this check only occurs on whatever page you are on; it doesn't necessarily check the user's talk page first, so if you're on, say, their user page, and they have an invite on their user talk page, the script will miss it, and you won't get a prompt for confirmation before it applies the invitation template. For best results, use from the user's talk page. I'd love to hear feedback about these new features, particularly the confirmation prompt. Do you think it's a good idea? If you do, do you think that I should make the TH Invite link only accessible from the user's talk page, so that the effectiveness of the check is maximized, at the possible cost of convenience? Thanks! Writ Keeper 14:11, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Note: I have just updated the Teahouse Talkback Link script to work with users who have a nonexistent talk page, as well as fixing a bug with that script and the Teahouse Utility, wherein, if a page had ever been deleted, you would get an edit conflict with the delete, due to incorrect timestamp calculations. If you're running either of these scripts, please clear your cache to get the latest versions! Writ Keeper 21:05, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to be dumb, but where's the new template, and where's this "button"? I've been pasting my own version of the invitation template. Tony (talk) 03:31, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

At last, an end to the spam!

Okay, guys, I've figured out a way to stop spamming my script update notices all over the place. If you install/have installed one of the user scripts found on WP:Teahouse/Host lounge/User scripts, please put that page on your watchlist! Whenever I update one, I'll post to that talk page, and the talk page will show up on your watchlist, letting you know that you need to clear your cache. I may still post a message to the bulletin on the Host lounge page, as well, but watchlisting the scripts talk page is probably your best bet. Thanks, all! Writ Keeper 23:12, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Sock of banned user still on database

User:Titiprosop ... Maybe the bot didn't respond because the blocking admin put no template there. Just why userpage and talk page for such socks aren't immediately deleted is beyond me. Tony (talk) 03:26, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Most hosts still aren't emailing invitees. Why not?

Hey there hosts-with-the-most. As I mentioned in the invite metrics report I posted here on Monday (since moved here, emailing new users seems to work a lot better than just leaving a talk page template. But it looks like most/many of you still aren't emailing the new users you're inviting, even when that user has email enabled. Could you reply to this thread and let me know why not? If you tell me why you aren't doing it now, maybe I can do something to help make it easier/more desirable for you. Or at least we can start to talk about what's not working. I'm here to work for you and make the invite process more usable... for you, the ones who have to use it. So let me know!!! - J-Mo 00:30, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

I know for me it's just been that because I personally enabled email so late (at least a couple years after creating my account), I automatically assume that newer editors don't have it either. Hence I completely forget about emailing them at all. I'll do my best to remember though, since it does appear to work :P Nolelover Talk·Contribs 01:37, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it'd surprise people to see how many new editor's have their email turned on. You can see examples in the invitation reporting document. Sarah (talk) 14:57, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, about half of new users have email turned on! - J-Mo 19:02, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
For the sake of transparency, I've always liked keeping wikipedia talk on wikipedia. With rare exceptions, I've avoided spilling into email. If you're asking hosts to add the email component to the invite process, I'm up for the task but because it's time consuming, it'll cut down on my invite numbers... and I am trying to keep up with Sarah! :) Is there a bot that can assist, i.e. if a host leaves a Teahouse invitation on a talk page, and the user has enabled email, then the Teahousebot would send the email? --Rosiestep (talk) 02:24, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I think the reason that people are not e-mailing new users is that it's quite a lot of extra work. It is easy to send a talk page message, but takes much longer to then get to the e-mail user page. It would be helpful if the Teahouse specific resources (such as the database) could have a link directly to e-mail the user. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:44, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Huh. For me it actually takes very little additional time. I have all my documentation already prepped up in an on Wiki space, with easily editable personalization. It seriously takes me such a small amount of time to click the "Email this user," paste my letter, change the name, cut the subject, paste it over the ugly "Wikipedia email" subject and hit send and document it. Seriously. Perhaps my fingers just move faster than the normal human being, though. I wonder how many people are actually trying it and timing it :) Especially if you only have to invite about 20 folks (which we should be inviting more, honestly) a day! Sarah (talk) 19:17, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure there are ways to set this up and make it work quickly; however, to do so is not immediately obvious. I think that, if we want all of our hosts to do something that they're not, we need to make it easier for them to do so. I like the principle of functionality for the end user: that tasks should be as easy and intuitive as possible. I really like the fact that the Database report links account names directly to talk pages; perhaps the e-mail column could link 'Yes' to the e-mail this user page. Anything which makes it faster and easier for hosts to do what can be a repetitive job will help. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:53, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I do agree that making things easier is always great. Sadly it's not in my skillset! We'll see what J-Mo says :) Sarah (talk) 21:30, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Capital idea, chaps! And shouldn't be hard to implement. I'm working on this now! ;) cheers, J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 03:47, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Got it done just in time for tomorrow's db report to run. Check it out--looks like it's working to me! cheers, J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 04:16, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I've just added emailing (if it's enabled) into my invite routine, and it's is easy enough with cut and paste. --Rosiestep (talk) 05:41, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That looks great, thank you. I wonder - can anyone think of ways to make e-mailing easier for the other methods of finding potential new Teahouse users? ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:09, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't believe I've yet used the email feature, which is my excuse for not employing it here.Face-wink.svg If I can do so without risking replies direct to my inbox then I'll probably give it a go soon. -- Trevj (talk) 16:32, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Zippy: nothing springs to my mind. I unfortunately don't have the kind of control over those methods that I have over the db report. However, I suggest that more hosts try inviting through the db report, since it seems to be the most successful way of getting newbies to the Teahouse so far... check out this weeks' metrics! - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 16:41, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Just a quick note to apologise for being slack with my invites recently (didn't think it worth starting a new thread for this). Been busy with off- and on-wiki (elsewhere) stuff so will catch up ASAP. -- Trevj (talk) 08:09, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Host tips

"Remember: they will always come back if they need more help." I'm not sure about this. Maybe one of our key thresholds will be getting them to return. Tony (talk) 12:20, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Actually, we've been really lucky in the fact that a large number of our visitors are return visitors! It's really important to also go out on a limb and follow up with new editors if that interests you. Feel free to use this talk page as a place to brainstorm ideas on how to get editors back. The main reason for this pilot is to help with user retention and to encourage healthy interaction and participation for editors. Oh, and we really need help inviting people, more than anything else. Just a reminder ;) (Since I find anyplace to remind people to invite people!!) Sarah (talk) 13:38, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
So I could place an update in the "News and notes" page of the next edition of The Signpost, giving a few stats on increased numbers of hosts, invites, whatever shows growth. Could you provide some stats? Copy due latish Monday UTC. Tony (talk) 03:33, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Tony, stats are finally up on the metrics page. Looong delay was due to a series of unfortunate technical events. - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 00:19, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Technical issue

A Teahouse guest has reported having a technical issue with the question asking interface (here). I've been unable to answer - could someone with technical knowledge of the Teahouse have a look, please? ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 15:03, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Unless he provides more information, I am not having an issue either. All I can think of is the navbox, maybe Writ Keeper can do an experiment with the person asking the question. heather walls (talk) 17:02, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm gonna hold off until he responds with his browser info; if he has some weird old browser, that could be it. I'm getting similar behavior in IE6, but I'm not sure it's exactly the same, so I want to hear back from him before anything else. Writ Keeper 17:23, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I've pinged Werdna about this. Hard to know what the problem might be without more details, but hopefully he can get it rectified (or, at very least, hopefully the bug doesn't impact that many people). - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 00:09, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Potential job application

I am thinking of becoming a host, but only to help technical experts get started. I am not going to help people figure out how to add images to pages. The main motivation I have is to attract experts who would improve the low quality technical articles, and explain the approach needed for getting things done. I understand the mentality of technical experts. The issues are discussed here. Can I join as a part time person? I may accept less pay than others, if free tea is provided - must be Darjeeling. I will watch this page, so response can be provided here. History2007 (talk) 20:18, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, in my view, please come aboard. What do you mean by "technical" articles? Tony (talk) 10:10, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I mean something like Dynamic programming language, not a general item e.g. Charlie Sheen, etc. Dynamic programming language is at least 70% incorrect, and just refers to the work of one researcher - totally non-representative of the field. I joked before that unless someone gets me a new Tardis I will never be able to fix all of these myself. On Talk:Reduced_instruction_set_computing#Tags a user said:
  • Experts, if they invest time, do NOT like to invest twice the time to protect their edits
I think many experts feel that way. They do not do the edit for they have no assurances of its remaining there more than a few hours. That is why many technical articles, such as the one being discussed further below and above on that talk page are at best mediocre. I have started fixing that one, but I would never even bother with a less general article where everyone and his brother could change things the next day. But there are strategies for getting the more technical articles, say supercomputer fixed. I fixed that a few months ago and it has had no debate, because I laid out the case carefully at each point, and most people can not debate that topic for i is too advanced. Yet it had serious errors a few months ago, as I said on its talk page. That is what I meant. History2007 (talk) 11:09, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
History, there is no application process. Please visit Wikipedia:Teahouse/Your hosts to learn more about the hosts. Thanks for your interest! Sarah (talk) 15:07, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
But there were "responsibilities" listed there, e.g. "send invitations to a set of new good-faith editors" like 20 a week, etc. I do not think I can sign up and meet those requirements as such. What I can do is interact with the "apprehensive experts" (typically professors who do not want to waste time debating their own students) and guide them. My main goal is that this will eventually lead to a scenario where someone will agree to watch the page and email them in case there is a major debate, but they do not have to watch it forever. I know the problem. I have about 1,500 pages on my watchlist, 500 new article I wrote, about 500 I expanded and another 500 I think are necessary to watch. That does take effort. Unless that type of issue is resolved, I do not see a lot of sane experts coming in for tea. History2007 (talk) 16:18, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi History. It seems like Wikipedia's Online Ambassador program might be more valuable for you. During this pilot time we have some pretty important things that we need hosts to do, as it'll help us judge the success or failure of the Teahouse project. I think your valuable skills would probably best be served by the Online Ambassador program, which works directly with professors (many of which do send their students to the Teahouse, but, we don't work directly with the professors). I hope that might give you something to think about that might be a better fit for you! Sarah (talk) 16:21, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
There you go... I lost another job.... kidding. I will apply there, else back to the unemployment line... History2007 (talk) 16:31, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Some one at the Amb program thought I was looking for a paid job. So let me clarify that the term job was a joke. I am not looking for paid employment. I do this for fun, and to get the articles cleaned up. Anyway, time to move on. History2007 (talk) 17:39, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I'll admit that I was confused at first, until you mentioned Darjeeling. Too much deadpan, I think. Writ Keeper 17:41, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
History: if you want to be a host, be a host! We are always looking for more help. However, we really do need people to invite new users--currently, most of the inviting is done by two hosts. Without more people actively inviting, we will probably see a decline in activity sometime soon, so you might find yourself with no guests to greet, no questions to answer. - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 00:13, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Weekly metrics after weeks one and two?

Do you have any further metrics after the first two weeks? MathewTownsend (talk) 18:14, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

We will soon. Unfortunately a ton of database have caused us to not be able to gather data, it's sadly, been happening for a few weeks and is out of our control. Jonathan might have more to add to this (well, he can explain it better than I since he is the gather o' data). So please bear with us! We're all anxious for metrics and I appreciate you inquiring. Sarah (talk) 18:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
If you had them, I'd stick them in the Signpost. MathewTownsend (talk) 18:29, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. Looks like it'll just have to wait! I believe when we do have our next set of stats they'll be a round-up of the past month (our first month), so it'd be good stuff for The Signpost. We will keep you posted! Sarah (talk) 19:05, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Just missed this week's Signpost (by a hour or so) but they can go in next week. Thanks! (Keep me updated.) MathewTownsend (talk) 00:22, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Mentoring and follow-up

Please see the comments on this new editor's talk page User:Rv7f-393, which drove her off wikipedia leaving behind a RETIRED notice. We invited her to the Teahouse, and we invited her to take a Teahouse survey, but another editor's comments turned her off, and her last edit summary was "bye", which is what took me back to her talkpage. What can we do to mentor and follow-up with our invitees? I think the Barnstar could easily be incorporated into our follow-up but would personal messages be better? Other suggestions? --Rosiestep (talk) 02:37, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up Rosie. One thing I have been doing is greeting all of the Guests that come to the Teahouse. I also do a follow up with those who have asked questions, just to say hi, see what they are up too, how it's going and what they are editing next. It's simple, it's valuable, and they feel empowered. I also handle all of the emails that I receive from my email invitations. Sometimes I do leave people barnstars, sometimes I leave people Wikilove treats. You can see some of the positive feedback from new editors that I've received on my talk page. It's amazing what a simple follow up can do. :) And it makes me feel good! Sarah (talk) 02:50, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah well. You can't win 'em all. There is good news too however. One of our new editors whom I and others have been mentoring has her second Did you know? on the front page as I write.--Charles (talk) 21:52, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
That is awesome Charles! I've had some good luck, as well. It can be frustrating, I've been "mentoring" a new user and the article we have been writing has been declared non-notable and it's maddening (Because I swear to Wales the subject is!!), so I can only imagine how new editors feel. Everytime we can help keep, inspire and encourage new editors - that is +1 for the team. So while we might lose one, at least we gain a few! Sarah (talk) 22:02, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Agree, the DYKs are awesome!!! --Rosiestep (talk) 01:46, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
What page is that Sarah? Is that the AfC I saw floating around somewhere? Nolelover Talk·Contribs 22:14, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Edward Margolies I know the citations aren't perfect, but, I know my shit, and this guy is notable! (I'm the queen of obscure but notables ;-) ) Sarah (talk) 22:21, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Accepted. The Fulbright is enough for me. You might want to look at your references though...the Kirkus Reviews site is blocked on my computer because of a problem with the security certificate. That, combined with a rather vague source for the Fulbright ("Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Reports") and multiple offline sources that only appear to be by the writer instead of about him will set off red flags in every reviewer's head. In fact (PROTIP:) any submission in which multiple books/papers/etc written by the person are set forth as the method of achieving notability better have some damn good content in the other parts, or it will be quick-failed. AfC just gets too many of that type (and then we hear "but he wrotes lotz of booksss!!" and that gets old fast). In this case, the Fulbright and professorship probably got lost. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 23:04, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I've given it a bit of a go, and will look for some additional refs later on. Rosiestep (talk) 01:45, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
And you guys are AWESOME! Wow, not only did we prove the review process wrong (imagine how many new articles are turned away because people don't research the articles before reviewing them? And the reviewer was really nice and apologized immensely!), but we, IMHO, "saved" a new editor from being turned away from contributing. I am so happy right now. Thank you Teahouse hosts :) Sarah (talk) 01:50, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Thoughts on this experiment

Colleagues, at the moment few hosts are actively inviting new editors, and even fewer are emailing them. Why?

Could I suggest a few possible reasons (without knowing whether they hold any water)? First, there seem to be an awful lot of hoops to jump through to become a host, including multiple pages of reading that aren't all that clear to me, still. I wonder whether it's possible to create a simpler how-to-invite guide, and to let WPians have a go, dip their toes in, without much trouble.

The cast-iron requirement of five hours a week may be putting off potential hosts. My feeling is that this might be replaced with an estimate of "at least an hour a week". Once hosts start, either they'll be interested and naturally rewarded by the activities, or they won't. If they are, they'll put in as much time as they feel they can.

My intuition tells me to avoid editors who show evidence of editing only a single article. This applies to most of the list of very new editors; I suppose fulfilling the criteria for being listed there makes it likely you haven't had time to go into other articles. My inclination is to focus instead on the lower list of not-so-fresh newbies who've edited more than one article. I also go for those who've already received knock-backs on their talk page, whether image deletion notices or article creation rejections, if they look ok otherwise.

It's a pity the Database Reports can't be integrated with the Invite tracking spreadsheet.

The other matter that's worth raising is that I've had a look at the first entries of a number of long-term WPians. The records show that, often as not, there was a sputtering start, sometimes with weeks between sessions. Then there's a turning-point somewhere down the line where they start to edit more frequently. Tony (talk) 10:33, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

In no particular order (and when I say "you", it's the "royal you", not "you" as in anyone specific):
re your concerns about the 5-hour limit: I don't think it's really that unreasonable, considering that all it's asking is to basically have the Teahouse/questions page on your watchlist and then be logged in on Wikipedia for at least five hours a week. It's not like we mean "You must sit on the teahouse questions page, spamming F5 and waiting for new questions, for five hours each week." And it's not like we actually keep tabs on who is doing their five hours and who is not, so it's not as who should say "cast iron". The point is that we want people who are designated as "hosts" to be pretty active; we want new guests to see the profile on the front page, go to the questions page, and link the answers with the face they saw in the profile. We don't want one set of users with profiles, and another, completely separate set of users actually in the trenches answering the questions; that totally defeats the purpose of providing help with a more personal, human touch.
That's not to say that only people with profiles are allowed to answer questions, of course. Indeed, I myself started with the Teahouse by coming across it through TPS, answering a few questions on my own time, and then gradually becoming more involved and getting a host profile. What the 5-hour rule is basically saying is that, if you're going to make a profile and attach your name to being a host, please try to be active in actual hosting. If you can't provide that, but still want to help out, go for it; you just won't have a host profile. Not a big deal, really; having a host profile isn't all it's cracked up to be.
re your concerns about the complications of inviting (or at least, what I think you meant; could be wrong): sadly, there's not really an easier way to invite people. As I said in a thread above, no amount of procedural, simplified rules is going to replace due diligence in this case; if we could simplify it to "Invite users who have X contribs, with Y% in different pages, and no more than Z warnings," we would just write a bot and be done with it. But, as always, it's not that simple, and if there's anywhere where the error rate in such a process is unacceptable, it's in new user greeting/helping. New users are going to be the most easily scared off by strange things and weird orange banners at the tops of all the pages, since they don't know what's going on yet and (presumably) don't have an emotional investment yet keeping them here. We need informed discretion and judgement, which unfortunately means that initial complications and data overload are going to be inevitable.
re your criteria for whom you invite: those are all quite reasonable criteria, I think. It's definitely good to reach out to people who have been hit by deletions and non-vandalism warnings. I'd just like to point out that we don't have to be limited to nurturing long-term contributors (although that is our main goal, and a laudable one); even just helping people to understand how to improve an article they're passionate about and letting them ride off into the sunset afterwards improves the encyclopedia.
JM2C. Writ Keeper 13:53, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Thx for your comments, WK. ""You must sit on the teahouse questions page, spamming F5 and waiting for new questions, for five hours each week." – it does look like that. I've asked a few wikifriends to become hosts, and they've responded that it all looks like too much of a hoopla. "even just helping people to understand how to improve an article they're passionate about and letting them ride off into the sunset afterwards improves the encyclopedia." – given the shortage of hosts who invite, I'd say the invitations should be rationed to those who are most likely to stay on. I don't answer questions – not yet, anyway – since that part seems to be well-served. I must say, I though one-to-one mentoring would take up more of my time here; as yet, it has taken up, let's see, zero minutes. Tony (talk) 04:59, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Hello people. It's good to hear what people are thinking at this stage; I was planning on writing my thoughts too. I'll try to keep it short and sweet. Essentially, I think the Q&As bit works really well - there are loads of us and questions do get answered very quickly, so that seems to be working. However, that does mean that hosts have very little else to do (besides inviting - I'll get to that in a moment). The 5-hour rule is really unnecessary, as there is nothing like five hours worth of work to do here. It seems to me that, with the number of dedicated hosts we have here, there is certainly scope for the Teahouse to offer additional services (perhaps a place where new users can ask for advice about good places to start editing, for example). That's not a biug issue, though - this is still very new and additional services will surely come with time. My main concern is the inviting process. This is not about whether or not it's working (I don't have the stats to hand), but whether it is right for the hosts. As far as I can tell, a small number of hosts seems to be doing most of the inviting; that does not surprise me. Inviting hosts is a menial, time consuming task - it involves finding names, checking their history, making a decision, then pasting a template (or a pre-written message if desired). Although some editors do enjoy tasks like this (we have plenty of WikiGnomes on Wikipedia), the application process was designed around ensuring people could interact well with newcomers. We were asked whether we are good at communicating, not whether we are good at doing repetitive tasks. Though I started by inviting people regularly, I've stopped doing that (I do no similar tasks on Wikipedia) and now only contribute to the Teahouse to answer questions (which is what I enjoy and am good at). I'm not quite sure what the solution is, but it seems that we have a system where the primary workload of hosts is more or less the opposite of what we signed up for. Sorry if that sounds overly critical - there are lots of good things, but I'm looking at what can be improved so we can improve it. Let me know what you think. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:06, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I guess I agree with a few of the comments...obviously I was more worried when I signed up that we wouldn't have enough helpers for the Q&A part, or that I wouldn't be able to give five hours there...instead, it's really been the opposite. This is great for the newbies (there's no lack of hosts to answer them), but how Rosie hasn't burned out yet is beyond me. I really hope that this situation (having to send out thousands of invites to get a few guests) is just because right now it's the only reliable method of bringing newbies. I don't know exactly, but other than the invites and a few plugs by hosts, the Teahouse is still new and not quite fully integrated into the community. Put it this way: if you searched "wikipedia help" in the collective minds of the community, the Teahouse might not pop up until the second page, if that makes sense. Once the Teahouse is in the top three, I doubt that these massive amounts of invites will be necessary. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 22:04, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
At first, I was concerned about the 5 hours, too, but that hasn't turned out to be an issue. I wondered if there would be enough of us to not only answer questions, but to give multiple answers as there are multiple way to skin a cat (really bad analogy as I love cats!). It appears that this isn't a problem, either, as lots of hosts and other experienced editors are giving great/fast responses. Inviting newbies is a fun task for me. I enjoy its repetitive nature (gnomish work) and I like the idea of being the first (or one of the first) editors to leave a positive message on someone's talkpage, but I wouldn't keep up this pace forever as it cuts into my content writing time. The only other responsibility that hosts have, I think, is some sort of follow-up or mentoring, though not much has been mentioned about that short of leaving a tb template. One thing I'm not sure about is if we're inviting enough people. For every person I choose not to invite, I wonder if I made a bad decision. Last, I'm not convinced about whether the Teahouse invite should include the welcome template (and which one of the many welcome templates is best), or just Teahouse invite by itself. I've done it both ways. --Rosiestep (talk) 02:17, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
First, the 5 hour limit is relevant because it's similar the online ambassador program. They actually request that ambassadors participate in a certain amount of time each week during the "busy" part of the semester. This is a pilot, and honestly, before the Teahouse launched we expected the Teahouse to be busy as all get out. Well, it isn't as busy as *I* had hoped. Hence where the five hours comes in again - we need help inviting, and sorry folks, that's just the truth of it all! And yes, Rosie and I enjoy doing it, we're gnomish in those special ways, but, we can also use the help. So, while you're doing more enjoyable larger edits, do some invites between those edits! It'd help us out a lot and you never know who you could invite. Until the Teahouse is welcomed into the community past the pilot, we're limited on how we can let new editors know. So..any help we can get, that's great. As long as you are tracking your invitations and/or using the invite templates. (And if you are emailing, please track regardless.)

And also, Rosie did mention the importance of further mentoring when needed. For all the emails I send, I get a number of emails back, from grateful new editors who are so happy to have the welcome. It's really powerful, for me. I also get a lot of friendly messages on my talk page, and I also follow up with some editors. This makes a huge difference, and when time permits I encourage you to do the same. Sarah (talk) 02:55, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Hmm, very interesting. It seems that Rosie & Sarah have illustrated the only big issue I have with the Teahouse: inviting is gnomish work. That is great for our gnomish hosts, but not all hosts are WikiGnomes. I'm certainly not a WikiGnome - I find things like that tedious and I get bored quickly; my favourite activities on Wikipedia are researching and writing articles, and talking with, working with and helping other editors (the latter is why I signed up as a host). I think we have a great team of hosts in respect to their friendliness, ability to clearly explain things, etc; we have only a few willing to invite new users. The skills required for inviting people to the Teahouse (ability to make judgements on editors, attention to detail, and willingness to do repetitive tasks) are completely different to the skills required to be a good host (friendly/welcoming nature, good communication skills, and patience with newer editors). It seems odd, therefore, that hosts (who were selected according to the second skill-set) are being asked to invite editors (and at pace), when there is no reason that they'll be any good at this. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:12, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Aside from gnomish work, I don't think either of them require certain skills that are so dramatic that inviters and Q&A people can't do the work. Rosie and I both answer questions on the Q&A board (I don't do it as much, as I'm also a co-coordinator of this entire project). To be honest, I don't really know what the big deal is about the different tasks. We had people apply to participate because we wanted the nicest, friendliest and most informed people on Wikipedia. I think we got them, and yes, there are more than those who applied, of course. The reason that we don't have enough questions is because we don't have enough people asking them. Like I said, I thought we'd be blowing up Teahouse wise, and we're not (yet?). And it's not like people are being punted for not inviting, and we're not in need of more hosts per se. It'd be cool if anyone wanted to invite more people, having 5 people invited a day is better than no people. Sarah (talk) 19:59, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
One of the things that has been great about this project so far is that there are so many people available and interested in answering questions in the Teahouse! When we were thinking about the project at first we didn't know that would be the case, and we'd worried about having enough people to respond to new editor's questions quickly and thoroughly. This has not been an issue, hooray! I think its an interesting and useful point being raised here that many hosts are motivated to sign up because they like the personal interactions part of the work, and don't like the more tedious invite part of the work. Makes total sense, I just hadn't thought about it that way before. Agree that this could be THE long-term issue for the Teahouse, because Sarah and Rosiestep won't be able to keep this up forever (though as Sarah says, even a few invites a day from each host is really important to keep guests coming in during the rest of the pilot). If this pilot is successful, and it seems like people are already feeling it is an exercise worth continuing, I've been wondering how hosts are thinking about keeping the project going for years to come. I think it will be great to see how Teahouse becomes part of the community consciousness after the pilot period, and hope it can move up to page 1 of a Wikipedian's mental list of help resources :-) Anything we can do to help make that possible? A few ideas we could work on together, if there is interest:
  1. trying a link to the Teahouse in welcome templates, so that anyone who enjoys welcoming new users in any Wikipedia capacity can help spread the word about the Teahouse too
  2. adding links to the Teahouse from other features that new editors are most likely to encounter, like a main Help landing page, or from a landing screen after someone gives Moodbar feedback, or somewhere in the Account Creation Process (I tend to think this last one is the least good place, because so many people create accounts but never edit at all...but maybe I'm wrong!). Knowing which are the places that the community feels these are most appropriate would be really helpful.
  3. continuing to improve how-to-guide and processes for personally inviting new editors to the Teahouse - personal invitation does make a difference for some editors, after all, there will always be good new editors who don't find the Teahouse and it would be a shame if the Teahouse didn't continue to find them. :-)
  4. what else?

Sbouterse (WMF) (talk) 19:28, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for those interesting responses. Sarah, I probably over-exaggerated the difference between the rules; however, it is not necessarily the case that everyone who is good at answering questions will want to spend much (or any) time inviting new users. At the moment, you and Rosie are doing an amazing job but, as had been said countless times, having just you two inviting for the whole Teahouse cannot be a long-term solution. Therefore, I think we either need to find ways to make it easier for gnome work-averse hosts to invite, find more gnomish hosts or (as Sbouterse suggests) find additional ways to bring people to the Teahouse. I like the idea of putting links in places where new users are likely to see them - especially the feedback tool and account creation (I don't think many people read the links on welcome templates, so maybe not there). That should prevent over-reliance on only two (albeit two very good) hosts. Additionally, it is likely that you'll be inviting some people who already seen links to the Teahouse, allowing a personal invitation to reinforce what they have already seen. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:59, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I mentioned it before, but I think it's worth bringing up again. The tedious work of inviting new editors could be done by a well designed bot. There, I said it. Let the machines be the gnomes and the friendly helpers be friendly helpers. I have some ideas on what such a bot might look like, although I can't code it. Ocaasi t | c 23:27, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
The problem with that: it's one of the perennially-denied bot tasks. Remember that we'd have to get a BRFA for such a thing, and that's number one on the list of frequently-denied bots. Seems that the community at large has already spoken about their opinion on welcoming bots (which, when you get down to it, is what this would be). I don't particularly agree with it, but that seems to be the frequently-tested, frequently-confirmed consensus. Of course, we can always try it anyway; we should just know what we're getting into. Writ Keeper 03:06, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Personally I like the idea of a bot to invite new users to the Teahouse, though I fear Writ Keeper's point is probably correct. It may be that, as it will be doing a specific Teahouse job, there may be more sympathy towards it, but I'm not sure. Short of that, I think we just need to find more gnomish users willing to be hosts - we have two who do a great job, I'm sure there are more out there. I see no harm in inviting people based on their gnomishness, provided they are also friendly and good natured. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 21:21, 31 March 2012 (UTC)


Hi everyone. I removed User:20thtryer's latest drama from the Teahouse. I'd appreciate if the hosts would, if you even have interest in being involved in that can of worms take it directly to his talk page and remove his dramatic ramblings from the calm and "user friendly" space of the Teahouse. Perhaps I'm being too bold but I'm tired of my watchlist blowing up over this. I've pinged him on his talk page and asked him to stop. You can read it here User_talk:20thtryer#Please_stop_bringing_your_drama_to_the_Teahouse. Thanks everyone. Sarah (talk) 15:25, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, Sarah. Looks like it's going to take more than a couple polite interventions to fix this. Sigh. - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 19:17, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
The poor guy placed a retired tag on his user page last night. I've got a feeling that he was never an admin, he just wanted to stir up trouble. Sigh. Thanks, Nathan2055talk 14:20, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Err, I'd be pretty shocked if he actually turned out to be an admin. Regardless, you can't win em all... Nolelover Talk·Contribs 01:39, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
He was certainly not an admin. We're pretty sure we know who the sockmaster was; suffice to say he was no admin. Writ Keeper 02:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)