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Wikipedia is encouraging newcomers with nudging features

— Wikipedia is rolling out features to encourage newcomers overcome editing obstacles.
— The features include a Newcomer homepage, Newcomer tasks, and help panel.
— Wikimedia is reporting positive outcome of the tools.

Wikimedia Foundation is launching improved editing tools for Wikipedia that would automate several of its processes. The company announced the changes in a post, explaining that it is doing so because of newcomers, who struggle to edit content on the platform.

According to a report by The Verge, the foundation has been testing the features since 2019 and is ready to roll it out to all its users. The features are: Newcomer homepage, Newcomer tasks, and help panel.

Wikimedia says that the newcomer tasks feature is the main component that it is banking on to increase the number of newcomers who make their first edit, those that come back to make more, and the volume they make.

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“Newcomer tasks is a workflow that suggests articles to edit, shown to users via the “suggested edits module” on the newcomer homepage. Newcomers are able to choose from different types of edits (based on maintenance templates) and filter to topics of interest (based on ORES models). They then can choose from a feed of articles to work on. Once on an article, the help panel will provide guidance on how to complete the edit,” the company said.

Meanwhile, the newcomer homepage will hold the newcomer tasks workflow and other modules. It is the first stop for users who have just created their account. For now, the page contains a mentorship guide, suggested edits module, help module, impact module, and emails.

The final feature is the help panel, which guides newcomers while they do suggested edits, lists links to commonly visited help pages, allows newcomers to search for other help and policy pages, and ask a question directly to the help desk. Newcomers can open the help panel box while they are editing.

Wikimedia says that it has been seeing positive results since it began testing the features including thousands of newcomers who embrace it.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.