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Purpose of the Welcoming committee

At the Community meeting held on 8 September 2009 the topic of welcoming new contributors was discussed. It was decided that the community needed to be more welcoming and friendly. Starting with Wikipedia's WP:WC as a basic model we need to adopt something like this, but more detailed and hand-holding.

We need people who will act as mentors to new contributors once they've contributed a certain number of edits. These mentors would ask what kinds of things they want to contribute and walk them kindly through stylistic and scope issues. Mentors would also watch the contributions of new contributors so as to gently redirect them in the early weeks/months.

I have made a start but would welcome other to add to, modify and refine these notes for established contributors to refer to when welcoming new contributors. --Steve 09:46, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Steve, I would love to be a part of the Welcoming Committee. I agree that we need to be more friendly and helpful to the new contributor. I have been mentoring some of the missionaries who are wanting to contribute to the Wiki and have discovered some of their frustrations and needs that definitely need to be addressed. Although I am very busy with content, etc., I feel this is one way we can leverage our time to get more content contributed to the Wiki. I will give this whole area of "welcoming" some thought, but if you have anything you would like to discuss with me, we can do it here or on our User talk pages.Jbparker 17:47, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I started working on this last month, but with the influx of new contributors following on from the invitation to add details about local cemeteries I decided I needed to get it to a point where is could be put to some use. I think there is big room for improvement and your experience with the missionaries and their frustrations will be invaluable in understanding where the rough edges are that need smoothing. I look forward to working with you in this endeavour. I think it would be best to use this talk page to discuss the issues about "welcoming". That way others can easily follow the conversation. Thanks again. --Steve 17:58, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me, Steve. Just something for us to consider -- Somewhere in the "welcome" message, we probably need to direct the new contributor to some very basic instructions, tailored to what they have contributed. For example, I have worked with a missionary who has an interest and talent in locating great web sites and wants to provide links from our Wiki to those sites. She didn't realize that there is already some instruction on how those links should be described and linked. With just some basic instruction, she is now happily adding links to the Wiki. While some of the description of those links needs some work, that will come. But at least the links are there. I have another contact who loves to write history. She's a former college professor. With a little direction, she will be a great contributor. We just need to figure out what basic instruction is needed for each type of contributor so as to not overwhelm the new contributor with more than they need to get started.Jbparker 18:29, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
You will have probably seen the {{W-basic}} template that I have created, this is just a start. Following the Wikiepedia model I expect over time that more will be developed. For the range of welcome templates available to use on Wikipedia see Wikipedia:Welcoming committee/Welcome templates. --Steve 10:53, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Steve, Sorry I have been kind of tied up these last ten days, but I will try to give some more time to this Welcoming Committee idea. I will be working on a project where I really need the articles you are proposing, and will be happy to contribute/review/edit articles for our welcoming pages.Jbparker 22:08, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
No worries. We all have other commitments to balance. I've got exams coming soon, but I'm keen to help out where I can. --Steve 22:41, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Steve, This is a great page. Thank you for such great leadership in an area that really needed support.  Are you planning to meet again as a committee? I would like to be informed.  I am sure there are others that would like to be part of this community as well. I have been posting a call for feedback with new users. We would love to hear your feedback as you find time.  Thank you again for all you do! Kara aka CK Whipple 00:26, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi Kara, the welcome committee is a virtual committee that 'meets' via these talk pages. To get involved just add your thoughts and comments here or on the talk pages of one of the other associated pages or templates. I will also contribute my thoughts in the pages (Challenges Facing New Users, What New Users and Contributors Want to Make Wiki Easier & Newbies Priorities) that you have created. --Steve 21:19, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I would like to help. Just let me know what I can do! FamilyJournals 22:45, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

External links

Users with Welcome message

Is there a way to see a list of all userpages that have already had the welcome message added to the page? Fran 17:28, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

At first I didn't think there was as the template is substituted. However a way has it just came to me. Because the welcome message includes a link which is a redirect (FamilySearch Wiki:Introduction) then by looking at the What link here list for the page, you will see a list of user pages that have had the welcome message added. --Steve 19:49, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

A bug in the welcome message template

It appears there is a bug in the welcome message. After the message was added to my talk page, I edited my talk page and now the "Welcome ..." appears with the dotted box around it. Kara (CKWhipple) reported this earlier to me and now I see it on my own page. Fran 19:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

The reason this has happened is that the code from the template when substituted has now been scrunched up and the line breaks that originally existed where removed (see this diff). What this does if cause a part of the template to produce a line that starts with a space. Any line that does this in the wiki is treated as if it is enclosed in <pre> tags. This HTML tag is used to mark-up text that is preformatted, which is useful when wanting to include lines of text, say a poem, where you want the text displayed say as below
       Higher still and higher
         From the earth thou springest
       Like a cloud of fire;
         The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
I have now added a hard break into the code which I believe will stop this happening in the future. --Steve 09:33, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Clarification about the purpose of the welcoming committee

During the Community Meeting held 1 Dec 2009, the Welcoming Committee and the helpme template was discussed after a two week testing period. Several items were raised in the discussion, but the concensus was that further discussion about the welcome message, the helpme template, and the ongoing usage of the committee will be addressed on this discussion page, not in the Community Meeting agenda notes. The unresolved concern is that currently there are several different ways to obtain help in the wiki: Contact Us, Technical Support, Feedback, Tell Us What You Think, and the Help link in the navigation box. The new "helpme" template introduces another way that users can get help. The concern is that with so many ways to get help, the users can be easily confused about which way is the right way to get the help they need.As further development and implementation of the Welcoming Committee progresses, the committee should look at the whole aspect of getting "Help" on the wiki. There are two types of wiki users who may need help: the person needing help with genealogical research and the person needing help with contributing to the Wiki. Fran 22:42, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I think you've made a good case for developing a page similar to Wikipedia:Questions. This would set out the different channels for asking questions and what type of question/request is appropriate for each channel. This is one of the redlinks already suggested for future development. --Steve 09:26, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Training someone new

I just started training someone new to help with the welcoming committee. We went through the steps and made some edits to the main page based on what we found while going through some training. Hope the changes are valuable...? The use of the "helpme" template is an interesting question. I wasn't aware of it until delving into the welcoming committee but realize I really should have been. Is it really something we want to encourage the use of? Is it being checked by anyone on a regular basis? janellv 16:51, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

New alternate template

In welcoming new users, vlfunk and I realized that a lot of new users weren't contributing information but rather were asking questions on talk pages. This may be prompted because of the thumbs up/down mark at the bottom with the invitation to add comments to talk pages. So we came up with another welcome template for those users. We would like to add options for different types of questions, the way the {{W-basic}} template is, such as:

  • Patron wants to get a hold of the contributor of a page
  • Research question - help me find this person in my family
  • Question about the content on the talk page
  • How to contribute something to the wiki

Steve, do you think you could help us edit the template so we could add different options like that?

janellv 17:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi Janell, I see that work has been started on a new template {{W-question}}. I will add some parameters to that template so that you can add wording that fits with one of the four scenarios that you've outlined. --Steve 13:33, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Great, thank you! janellv 13:55, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
OK I have amended the {{W-question}} template adding code to give different result depending on the parameter specified. I'm sure you will want to tweak the wording/formatting, but that should be fairly straight-forward now that the functionality requested has been add. Test it out and let me know what you think. --Steve 17:26, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
That works great! Playing with the wording now, thank you! janellv 16:46, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
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