Proposal:Welcome all useful new users, if necessary by a bot

From Strategic Planning
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The status of this proposal is:
Request for Discussion / Sign-Ups

Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation

If not English, in what language is this proposal submitted?:


I was welcomed when I first joined the community, and on this wiki and on commons and meta and so it saddens me when I see redlinked talkpages for people who've done a dozen or so good edits over a couple of years.


If a new editor has not been welcomed manually within 7 days of their first edit thats not been rolled back as vandalism, welcome them by bot.

To make this a little more clever the bot could run a little routine to test out different welcome messages in terms of the proportion of newbies welcomed by that message who go on to edit more, and preferentially use the more successful welcome messages. One of those tests would need to be leaving users without a bot welcome, as some users suspect that a bot welcome may do more harm than good.

If we want to really make this really fly we should:

  • let the bot analyse the message by geolocation, gender and whether the newbie edits existing articles or creates new articles and test out new messages accordingly. So if it turns out that American female editors prefer a plate of cookies with their welcome, Indian editors prefer plates of Somosas, and European men prefer a picture of Jimbo, after a while the bot should pick that up.
  • Program the bot to tell the user about wiki projects whose articles they've edited.


Welcomed users are more likely to feel part of the community, and they may even read some of the links in the welcome message and do some of the things we suggest.

Key Questions

Would people stop bothering to personally welcome newbies if it was automated, and if so would the place become less personal?

Potential Costs

Nominal - commons already has a functioning bot.


Community Discussion

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