Effects of Receiving Personalized Welcome Messages on French Wikipedia
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Description: The process of learning about a community and how to participate is a question with pragmatic importance to communities and scientific importance in the study of people's involvement in groups. On French Wikipedia, where over five hundred new accounts are created per day, the work of supporting newcomers is an essential if time-consuming task. In this context, can automated messages offering human mentorship increase newcomer participation? In a field experiment involving 57,084 new user accounts, we tested the effect of such messages on whether people contributed to Wikipedia and how much time they spent once they did. Consistent with field experiments on other language Wikipedia communities, we did not find an effect. We discuss this finding in light of other studies on automated welcoming systems on Wikipedia and meta-analyze the results to confirm this null result.