Wikivoyage talk:Arrivals lounge

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Do not edit this page other than to discuss the workings of the arrivals lounge itself.

Wikivoyage mentors[edit]

Hi all.

I've had an idea which may help to increase our rate of retention among newbies - what if we were to set up a one-to-one mentoring/buddy programme whereby more experienced Wikivoyagers could register their willing to help new editors?

Anyone who looks through Special:RecentChanges on a regular basis will know that there has been an upsurge in new accounts created since the highly successful editathon, but many of those editors don't stick around beyond a few days or weeks. We don't know why this might be, but one possible reason could be that new editors don't really know what they're doing and find our Manual of Style and policies too confusing or overwhelming. Maybe they have had their work undone by one of us on Recent Change patrol and have felt disheartened or unwelcome. Maybe they find the prospect of posting in the pub for help, in front of the whole community, intimidating, and just want a 'friendly face' (of sorts) they know and trust whom they can turn to if in difficulty. This is where a Wikivoyage mentor could be useful.

So, how would it work? Obviously if the community thinks this is a good idea in principle, but don't like my vision, we can change the details, but my vision is as follows:

  • There will be a new page called something like Wikivoyage:Mentors. On this page, experienced Wikivoyagers* who are willing and able to offer mentoring will be able to write their username. This would be a bit like the list of admins willing to answer questions, which has apparently stalled. A potential mentor can also state how many mentees they are willing to take on and indicate their current availability.
  • The welcome message sent to new users' talk pages will be modified to include a sentence pointing the user to the Mentor page.
  • New users will be able to contact available mentors at their user talkpage and ask them to work with them more closely.
  • The mentor role will be a supervisory one. They will keep track of their mentee's edits, offer advice when they think it's needed, and tell or show them the correct way of doing a number of daily Wikivoyage tasks (using article templates and standard headings, adding and using listings, inserting images and banners, formatting and wikicode, signing comments...)
  • The mentor will also be that mentee's first point of contact when (s)he has a question, problem, idea, concern, or is in a dispute with another editor.
  • The mentor/mentee relationship will be entirely voluntary, and not subject to nominations.
  • Either mentor or mentee will be able to terminate the agreement at any point.
  • The mentor will not be in charge of the mentee or their edits, nor will they be responsible for any misdemeanours committed by the mentee.
  • In the case of a dispute, it will not be the role of the mentor to take the side of their mentee, but simply to advise them and make sure that policy is upheld.
  • The mentor will be responsible for letting their mentee(s) know when they are going to be unavailable, either temporarily or permanently.
  • In the interests of safeguarding, both mentors and mentees will be encouraged to keep their communications on Wikivoyage, and not share personal details about themselves beyond what they disclose on their userpage.

*We will have to decide what "experienced Wikivoyagers" means. I suggest that anyone willing to be a mentor must have at least a year's experience and/or a certain number of edits to their name before they are eligible to put themselves forward. I would be against restricting the opportunity to be a mentor to certain user groups such as admins.

Any questions? Comments? Thoughts? Problems? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:51, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea, and I think it has been done somewhat in the past. I'm biased, but I think perhaps "experienced Wikivoyagers" could be decided by someone being an autopatroller perhaps, as an alternative to your idea? Because while policy isn't super difficult, it's tough at first, and it is sometimes hard for the more experienced Wikivoyagers to understand why new editors are doing things that don't line up with policy. ---Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:12, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
As a new contributor, I fully support this idea. While I have made many edits and additions to the project, I want to be certain that such edits are in line with WV policy. Having a mentor to occasionally coach and give advice in that regard would be helpful. Americannomad1776 (talk) 17:14, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
The w:en:WP:Teahouse approach (a well-advertised talk page specifically for new contributors) scales better. A couple of mentors can help a hundred new editors a month, and the risk of getting a "dud" mentor, or your mentor going on vacation just when you need to ask something, is significantly reduced. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:18, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
I think both a teahouse and mentors would be a good idea, mentors for one-on-one help and the teahouse for more general questions. ---Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:58, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
As someone who has been here since the Wikitravel days, I am happy to do whatever I can to help. The dog2 (talk) 19:35, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
So are there any objections to creating a "Teahouse" of some sort? If not, should we go ahead and create a page? What should we call it? --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 20:02, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
The Departure Lounge (because it's a starting point?) Ground Zero (talk) 20:06, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────But that makes it sound like they're leaving the site! --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 20:11, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

It would be the Departure Lounge for their Wikivoyage, not from Wikivoyage. Ground Zero (talk) 21:00, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I too would like to see (if mentors become a thing, that is) a combination of Teahouse and one-on-one mentorship. Regarding the issue of mentors going on a vacation: I, as well as other members here have a overview of previous and upcoming vacations and get-aways. We could always give mentors the ability to refer to a different mentor that isn't on vacation while they are and who is willing to help the mentees whose mentor is away should they have any pressing and urgent questions. General questions can instead be asked in the Teahouse.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 20:18, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, since the importance of this mentors thing should be the 1-on-1 help from an experienced Wikivoyager. Mentorship should be long-term (for several months), so 1 week on vacation shouldn't really be a huge issue. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 20:42, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Also, when it comes to naming the teahouse: what about calling it the "Learners' Pub" or the Learner's Lounge". --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 20:44, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

It's really great to see the enthusiasm for this idea from several Wikivoyagers both old and new.

Another idea for the teahouse name, riffing on GZ's suggestion, which I do like: the Arrivals Hall.

So we can either copy the 'pedia template of their teahouse, or model it after the Tourist Office. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:12, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

I like the "Arrivals Hall" name (or even "Arrivals Lounge"). IMO, we should model it after the tourist office. I'm not to keen on Wikipedia's Teahouse design. I'd like to see it get started as soon as possible.
One another thing: you know the welcome template? Could we expand the welcome message to include a link to the new page? --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 21:18, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, here's the current "welcome" template:
Hello, user! Welcome to Wikivoyage.
To help get you started contributing, we've created a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style, as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page. If you need help, check out Help, or post a message in the travellers' pub. If you are familiar with Wikipedia, take a look over some of the differences here.
We could surely add a sentence to it, mentioning the new page. Also, how easy would it be to add a link to this new page from Wikivoyage's sidebar? Otherwise, the page might get more or less abandoned. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 21:20, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
@ThunderingTyphoons!: I quickly drafted this based on the text found at the top of this page. Feel free to add to it if you want. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 21:31, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for starting that :-) To be honest, I don't have any ideas for the Arrivals Lounge; if I get any, I'll be sure to write them down. On the other hand, I'm happy to take charge of setting up a mentoring scheme.
Now we have established that there is some interest in the idea, could I trouble people to offer feedback on the 'rules' I set out in the original post? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:50, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, so I'll move the "Arrivals lounge" page to "Wikivoyage" space, and then I'll consider your above "rules" for the mentorship, which IMO should be separate from the Arrivals Lounge. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 23:06, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I've moved it to WV space, so new users can now go to the arrivals lounge and ask questions. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 23:12, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Excellent. I've kicked things off with a question to get it going, and sprinkled links to it in various places new contributors may be looking for information. I like the name, too. Ground Zero (talk) 04:41, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is a good idea. Something else to keep in mind, is that most news users don't get any welcome message. If you look at Special:ActiveUsers, you will find a very large of number of editors that have made a few small but net positive contributions to Wikivoyage over the past 30 days who however, have never been welcomed in a standard way let alone guided or mentored. It becomes very difficult to find them once their most recent edit was more than 30 days ago. I sometimes go on a welcoming spree and add a personal touch to each message at the end (usually thanking them improving the coverage of a particular part of the world) but I could never complete the list as such. I found it took a long time to welcome someone properly. You have to go through all of their contributions and make sure their edits are positive or at least in good faith and then send a partially tailored message as a minimum. You can also find touting or vandalism that has flown under the radar. Gizza (roam) 23:12, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Yes, I like the mentor idea and the rules that TT has created, and I don't see anything wrong with them. We seem to have pretty widespread agreement over this, so I'd like to see it go ahead. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 23:21, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm happy to mentor people too, if you don't mind that I'm not an admin, and I have no desire to be an admin. The dog2 (talk) 04:04, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

A new welcome template mentioning the Arrivals lounge[edit]

So I've created a new template in my userspace (if I've done it wrong, feel free to correct it) with a slight change to it mentions the Arrivals lounge. This is what I intend for it to print:

Hello, user! Welcome to Wikivoyage.
To help get you started contributing, we've created a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style, as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page. If you need help, check out Help, or post a message in the arrivals lounge. If you are familiar with Wikipedia, take a look over some of the differences here.

Compared to the current:

Hello, user! Welcome to Wikivoyage.
To help get you started contributing, we've created a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style, as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page. If you need help, check out Help, or post a message in the travellers' pub. If you are familiar with Wikipedia, take a look over some of the differences here.

The difference is subtle: just a different link near the end, leading to the Arrivals lounge instead of the Pub. Is everyone okay with this? If so, could they edit the template so this becomes the standard? Thanks. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 01:52, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I just noticed that Ground Zero made a welcome template mentioning the arrivals lounge as well. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 02:01, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Of course newbies are welcome to post in the pub, but I think it makes more sense to direct them to the Arrivals lounge where their questions with be handled with more care because it is clear that they are newbies. I think our approach is that each senior editor uses their own welcome message, instead of their being a standard one, so that it is more personal. I would also encourage editors to mention the Arrivals lounge when welcoming new users. Ground Zero (talk) 02:15, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, good idea.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:30, 2 September 2018 (UTC)