Wikipedia talk:Video and Interactive Tutorials

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Phase I: Funding and Material Collection[edit]

Phase II: RfC on Subjects[edit]

On April 22, 2013, a request was submitted to request comment via the Wikimedia-l mailing list. Please propose subjects for tutorials and a brief justification for why you feel that subject should be eligible for a video and/or interactive tutorial, below.

Proposed subjects for tutorials[edit]

  • Yes check.svg Done STiki is important because it provides a valuable, efficient GUI for counter-vandalism efforts. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 20:27, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • AutoWikiBrowser is important because it provides a valuable, efficient GUI for many grammatical and counter-vandalism efforts. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 20:27, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • English Wikipedia is important because it is the largest Wikipedia in the Wikimedia Foundation and is used as a resource for information around the world. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 21:02, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Simple referencing tutorial I'd like to see a tutorial on basic referencing. Like adding a {{findnotice}} to an article's talk page to aid in searching newspapers, books an other reliable sources. Perhaps also using a {{cite web}} template to format a reference. Justification: References are probably the most important part of building a reliable encyclopedia. (talk) 05:41, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Advanced referencing tutorial It would be great if we could get an advanced referencing tutorial also. One that shows how to use both WP:CS1 and WP:CS2 citation sytles. It could also include a section on using list-defined references and using the References segregator tool. Justification: Same as above. (talk) 05:42, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Manual of style tutorial Another suggestion is a tutorial on our style guidelines starting with WP:MOS. It could also include MOS:BIO, MOS:FILM, MOS:LIST, blah, blah, blah. Justification: because I want it, no, strike that. It would be nice if we could get more people working on improving the quality of the encyclopedia since we currently have 2,300,000 stubs which desperately need improving. Thanks. (talk) 06:10, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment These tutorials are important, so I've waited for others to list their suggestions. Since nobody else has listed anything, I'm going to list the ones I think are important. Everybody is free to remove them if they think I'm taking up too many suggestions. (talk) 04:35, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Image placement tutorial A simplified, trimmed down version of WP:PIC that shows just the basics. Justification: This was a very common question asked by new users at Special:FeedbackDashboard (see WP:NEF for reference) when that special: page was active. (talk) 04:49, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes check.svg Done Image upload tutorial A tutorial showing how to upload an image to Commons. It should probably include something about free images only and perhaps a short note about copyright, something like Wikipedia:Plain and simple non-free content guide#Copyright. Justification: This was another very common question asked by new users at Special:FeedbackDashboard. (talk) 05:01, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    • How to create an article tutorial A tutorial on how a new user can create an article at WP:AfC going through each step at WP:WIZ. Justification: This was another common question that new users ask. (talk) 05:07, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Table tutorial a tutorial for tables similar to Help:Table/Introduction to tables that shows the basics of creating a table. Justification: This is not a commonly asked question, but editors often get confused by tables and do it wrong. (talk) 05:13, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Infobox tutorial a tutorial on how to add an infobox to an article. Something similar to Help:Infobox#Adding an infobox to an article that shows where to find the proper infobox and how to add it. Justification: So we can reduce the backlog at Category:Wikipedia articles with an infobox request to something manageable. (talk) 05:24, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Checking for copyright violations A tutorial that shows how to use tools:~earwig/copyvios to easily check an article for copyright violations. It should also show how to use {{copyvio}} to blank the offending text. Justification: Because copyright violations get us in trouble and need to be taken care of ASAP. And especially because there's always a massive backlog at WP:CP and nobody helps... Ever... A sad situation. (talk) 05:58, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Talk page tutorial Use of the user's talk page and an article's talk page. An example of the orange bar, how to sign a message, and how/why to indent a reply. Justification: A sub-segment of new users seem to be confused by talk pages so a short video tutorial would seem to be justified. (talk) 08:28, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Cheatsheet tutorial I'd like to see several very short videos showing the various items on Help:Cheatsheet. Justification: We have a cheatsheet, so it must be used by somebody. (talk) 08:43, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Getting help tutorial A video showing how to use the WP:HELPDESK and the Reference Desk and the differnce between the two. How to place a {{helpme}} note on a talk page and where the WP:TEAHOUSE is and how to use it. Justification: since the videos are for helping, we may as well show how to get help in other ways. (talk) 09:00, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Some topics... - This seems like a project with a lot of potential. Here are a few ideas:
  1. Doing...Wikimarkup - Bold, italics, pictures, comments, etc - basically Wikipedia:Tutorial/Editing
  2. Etiquette within Wikipedia - Civility, Talk page conventions, etc
  3. Good article criteria - Explain best practices for a good'(or even featured) articles
  4. Dispute resolution - Explain the processes within WP:Dispute resolution (WP:RFC, WP:DRN, etc).
  5. Citations and footnotes - WP:Citing sources and Help:footnotes
  6. Anything with a WP "Help" page - see Help:Contents/Browse
--Noleander (talk) 13:02, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Doing...'How to edit an article'. The first thing we need is a tutorial on how to actually edit the article, like clicking on the "edit this page" tab, clicking on the "edit" link on sections, and how to save your edits. This is extremely basic, but it needs to be done, so that have the confidence to actually start contributing. The other ideas here are also very good, but I think we need to start small. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 07:26, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
  • How to make a simple gadget. Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation Engineering Community Manager (talk) 18:56, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • How to submit a code improvement using Git and Gerrit (see existing video -- watch as a developer fixes a bug, including investigation, git commit, getting it reviewed and merged, and closing the Bugzilla ticket). Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation Engineering Community Manager (talk) 18:59, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  • How to contest a reversion - when new users are confronted with a reversion or other unexpected changes to their edits, teach them these three things: 1) How to see *who* reverted their edit in the page history and how to interpret edit summaries (making note that an edit summary will usually give a clue as to *why*), 2) How to post a question about this on the talk page of the reverter, and 3) How to post any complaint they may have to a common forum such as the Teahouse when they can't resolve this issue on their own with the "reverting party". Jane (talk) 10:03, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  • In the book I wrote in 2008 about how to edit Wikipedia, there are a number of tutorials (step-by-step instructions) that - in hindsight - really should have been screencasts. In my defense, I'll say that (a) the publisher didn't propose that approach to me; (b) e-books weren't a huge market in 2008; (c) it's not clear how to embed screencasts into an e-book. More to the point: you're welcome to create screencasts covering any or all of the step-by-step tutorials in my book, and - since I based the book on the topics covered by the Editor's Index to Wikipedia - I think the book covers a very large percentage of what a beginning to intermediate editor would be expected to learn. (If you'd like me to prepare a list, from that book, of potential screencasts, just drop me a line.) (Also, the book How Wikipedia Works, also published in 2008 - and available in full, free, here - covers a lot of similar ground and thus is a good source to scan for potential tutorials.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 17:43, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Phase III: Create Prototype Tutorials[edit]

  • It looks like the process you're planning is to "shoot" a screencast, as a draft/prototype, and then ask for comments. I think it's great that you're looking for feedback, but do wonder if there is an earlier opportunity in the process to get that. Specifically, if you plan to write out, in advance, what you plan to do in an screencast (sometimes called storyboarding), that could be a very good time to ask for feedback. You could, for example, put your draft/outline/set of notes up for a week, and use a bot to notify everyone that the draft is there; after getting feedback, you'd then do the screencast.

I suggest this because - in my limited experience with screencasts - it can be very difficult to salvage much of what you've done if you change much. If that doesn't apply to you, that's great. Also, if the draft sceencast is "rough" in the sense of lots of ums and backtracking and other distractions, it can be harder to keep editors interested in continuing to volunteer to view these; that's not the case with written notes, which are far quicker to go through. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:51, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Using Captivate, it really isn't that bad (at least in my experience). We'll see what the community has to say, and then maybe I'll bite my words. I want to reiterate how much I've appreciated all of your input into this project, though - it's fantastic!
  • The first prototype is up and posted at YouTube! Comments would be much appreciated! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 05:16, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Phase IV: RfC on Prototypes[edit]


I note that the STiki prototype video is available on YouTube. I will kick off the RfC with my initial thoughts. I will do them a separately signed bullet points so that if people want to reply to an individual point it is easy to just insert your bullet point bellow mine. Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

  • The concept is excellent - Until I saw this video in action I didn't realise how well it would work. Video allows you to show the sort of considerations that a STiki user has to make (like looking at a user's past edits) in a much slicker way than trying to describe it in text. Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Good examples - The diffs used and the things you talk about are good examples of the issues to consider when using STiki. Were these diffs that came up in quick succession or did you record a longer STiki session and then edit down to the best examples? Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
They were pretty much sequential, fortunately. I though that it was important to include whatever might come up; you can't just show the best-case scenarios, but I did get lucky. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Increase the resolution - most of the time the resolution is too low to read the text. I can't say why that is. Does anyone else have that problem? Maybe its my internet connection. But I thought I would mention it. Have the videos been compressed too much? Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
The resolution on YouTube is 720p and looks to me to be okay in full screen, but I realize that's inconvenient. I'm going to talk to WMF to see if I can get the SWF online somehow, rather than having to put this on YouTube; maybe that'll help! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
ClockCI requested permission to get the SWF online at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Request_for_SWF_Functionality. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 04:46, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done on WMF Labs in HTML5 --Jackson Peebles (talk) 21:17, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • WMF branding - It is obviously good that you recognise the funding from the WMF but did they want it to be called "Wikimedia Foundation STiki Tutorial" - this could be taken to indicate a greater degree of involvement by them. Have you discussed it with them? I would probably just call it "STiki Tutorial". I would mention the funding in the video description text (where it currently just says "A tutorial on how to use STiki on the English Wikipedia") Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
ClockC Thank you, that didn't even occur to me. I asked for permission to use the logo, but I should definitely check with them before throwing around their name, etc. You may have just saved me a lot of trouble! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Update: I have contacted WMF and am awaiting a response. It was included in my initial grant request, so I should be good for now. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 04:46, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Already done Agreed. They're already there. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Synthetic voice - The synthetic voice is disengaging. It is especially bad because it pronounces "STiki" in a weird way. Maybe try giving it "sticky" instead. Even better would be to get a human to deliver the script! Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree, but this is actually a pretty complicated issue. I must say, I sound much better than the automated voice. Face-smile.svg In fact, I originally recorded with my voice, and I purchased a headset for use in these videos. However, with that said, translation, which is of paramount importance given the cross-wiki applicability of these tutorials, is extremely easy when using the automated voice and Captivate. I am going to hold off on more comments on this, but I think that I will take your advice to make it say "sticky" instead of "STiki."
I hadn't thought about the need for translation. Good point! Would it be feasible to use your voice for the English-language version and the synthetic voice for other languages? It kinda ticks both boxes. Obviously, it seems weird to give other languages a less engaging product but at least they have something and, given that the video is under a creative commons licence, it is possible that other people will come along later and create new versions using themselves speaking their own language. Yaris678 (talk) 07:39, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for the latency in my comments, but the synthetic voice was my primary point of comment. I think it would be nice to record a human track for the English versions, but leave the option open for easy machine-read foreign translations (and maybe post the script somewhere, so if someone wanted to translate it or independently provide an audio track, they could). While someone might come from the STiki page and be willing to tolerate the voice, I think this might detract from broader recruitment efforts. There are lots of spam videos on YouTube that scrape Wikipedia images (or other generic background), and then feed Wikipedia text through a text-to-speech engine -- maybe this is just too reminiscent of that for my taste. I am sure the WMF would also like to see some use out of that microphone. Thanks, West.andrew.g (talk) 15:15, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Doing...Andrew and Yaris678, I will make this happen. As you know, I'm on a bit of a deadline with this grant, but I think you're absolutely right. I'll preserve the ability to translate (easy to do, I just leave in the text files in the Captivate raw documents while removing them from the export) and record my own voice for the final releases. This will be done. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 04:46, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
  • "Note the two columns in this part of the window, known as the diff browser." - Near the beginning, you mention the two columns but you don't mention where they are. Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Looking into this. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Investigating article history - You haven't mentioned looking at the article history to see if there is any other vandalism near the top. Although not compulsory, some STiki users (including me) like to do that, to make sure they aren't reverting to a version that contains vandalism. Perhaps the best way to broach this issue is to find an example of a diff where there is obviously vandalism on both sides. You could go into the article history and find a version to revert too like I do here. Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
This is a good idea, but I think it's more applicable to a counter-vandalism video rather than one specific to STiki. I will make sure to do this. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Interesting point. Although... there is a STiki-specific aspect in that there is a link to the article history from the STiki interface. Yaris678 (talk) 07:39, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Investigating user talk page history - I liked the fact that you mentioned the IP not blanking the user talk page, but it would be nice to see you clicking on the history tab, just to make sure that there wasn't anything else there that the IP did remove! Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Oops. I did check that on my own, but good point. I'm glad you started this RFC - lots of good suggestions, here.
I guess this is something you could record in a separate session and then edit in later. You could even just record looking at that IP's talk page. That IP's talk page will still be there! Yaris678 (talk) 07:39, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Show a user talk page message - It would be quite nice to go to a user's talk page after a message has been sent so that the viewer can see that this happens. You can get to this from the "last revert" box in the STiki interface. In fact... drawing attention to the last revert box and how it updates you when the revert is done would probably be a good thing. Yaris678 (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
This will be incorporated into another video, too, but I see where it would have been good to mention in this video. This should be relatively easy to tack on, so I'll get on that! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons Upload[edit]

Wikipedia Uploads[edit]



Phase V: Publish Final Drafts[edit]


Joint Workshop / Hooking up to other Wikimedia video projects at Wikimania[edit]

Hi Jackson, first of all congratulations for this project. It is a great idea and well-planned. I am a german Wiki[m|p]edian and heard about it via Wikimedia-l. Currently I am also engaged in a video project with a different focus, though we have also thought about tutorials as there are plenty people interested in having them. So far we have nobody to do them. All the video activities - from documenting talks and seminars at conferences via doing interviews with contemporary witnesses via freeing video material from other sources or cooperating with public broadcasters to actually produce for TV under a free license to providing training on video editing or how to use professional video equipment - they have all been put under a common name "WikiTV".

There will be a workshop at Wikimania which is open for everyone - meaning that I am not the only presenter but invite everyone who is doing a video project to come and discuss:

My hope is that we can put these video projects under a common "brand", like Wiki Loves Monuments became a globally understood projects. It will be neccessary to define the different areas WikiTV (or whatever it will be called) will be active as this is a broad field. Once the project and fields have been defined it may be much easier to collaborate and maybe even start this as a new Wikimedia project, an international wiki dealing with video content.

So if you are at Wikimania I'll be happy to meet you, otherwise I hope we get another chance to further discuss. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 07:44, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Alas, my application for a scholarship to attend Wikimania was rejected in the second round, but I wish you the best and would be happy to contribute to it; I should have some actual content out by the time Wikimania arrives, and I am in strong support of having a common brand. I am also open to input an greatly appreciate your support! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 16:53, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Interactive versus non-interactive tutorials[edit]

There is a huge difference in the effort needed to create a video tutorial (I'm assuming this is a screencast) and creating an interactive tutorial. The latter requires programming, plus a lot more planning, and it's really difficult to give feedback unless the task being evaluated is very, very specific (which may be seen by some people as simply a trivial task).

I don't think that screencasts require much community input (though some sort of polling as to importance might be useful). On the other hand, interactive software has some many options (how much to cover, for example) and has so much that can go wrong (for example, unclear instructions; unclear feedback) that asking the community of editors to help could be a really good idea.

Maintenance is also something you should really give a lot of consideration to. I speak from experience here: the book that I wrote about how to edit Wikipedia, published in early 2008, was significantly out of date within two years. So you might - for example - break screencast tutorials into as many smaller pieces as you can, with the assumption that updating (replacing) a smaller screencast would be easier than fixing/replacing a larger one.

In particular: Are you planning to show new users how to edit using the Vector skin? I ask because that's supposed to be replaced by a WYSIWYG editor in July of 2013, so any tutorial you create with the older skin might be of relatively little use. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 17:35, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments! I completely agree that there is a substantial difference. This grant is to create screencasts, and it will largely focus on other topics until the WYSIWYG editor is released (if it's ever sufficient - my tests of the beta version have been less-than-positive). However, there's still plenty that I can document until that is released, and the project can be continuous (see above post). I really appreciate your input as a seasoned editor and previous publisher of guide content; perhaps it's a good thing that these screencasts are very low-budget. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 16:51, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Screencast[edit]

See Wikipedia:WikiProject Screencast, for a large quantity of work that was undertaken in 2010, the /How-to tutorial page, in particular. There hasn't been much activity there lately, sadly, but numerous people are watchlisting those pages, and might be inclined to help out in any of the various aspects of screencast production. Plus, you might be able to help refine and update our existing tutorial pages, rather than starting from scratch. :) –Quiddity (talk) 22:57, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Can't believe I didn't find this, before. Alas, Wikipedia is a labyrinth and a constant learning experience. Thanks for the heads-up, and I listed my project on the "related" list. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 17:33, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi. Sorry I haven't had time to check back in much, but I've been watching your project grow via my watchlist, with much happiness! I saw the 3 new subheaders you added recently, and thought that if you need more ideas for content, and hadn't seen them already, there are two good lists at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Screencast#videos requested by Wikipedia Ambassadors and at Wikipedia:WikiProject Screencast/Screencast Factory#Ideas for screencasts. Hope that helps! –Quiddity (talk) 06:30, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

A note on continuity[edit]

This project was initiated and executed by Jackson Peebles. Jackson sadly passed away last year. The tutorials are still available on Tool Labs, but the project has no maintainer currently. If you're interested in taking it up, please reach out to Ijon, who has volunteered to (only) maintain the Tool Labs page for now. Asaf Bartov (WMF) (talk) 20:33, 11 July 2014 (UTC)