Submissions/Rewards for good work - The statistics of a Merchandise giveaway program

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

After careful consideration, the programme committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Rewards for good work - The good, the bad and the math of a Merchandise giveaway program
Type of submission
Author of the submission
James Alexander
Country of origin
Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
Personal homepage or blog
Since November 2012 the Wikimedia Shop has worked to hand out, for free, as much merchandise as it can to local Wikimedians. In this talk we go over the program (the good, the bad and the ugly) and some lessons learnt from it and then dive into a qualitative and quantitative analysis of how it affected those who participated and look at how we can continue it in an scalable manner (if we should). Did their edits increase? Happiness? Did they 'pass it on'? Did they just shrug and move on? These questions and more crammed into 25 minutes.
Detailed proposal

The Wikimedia Shop was set up in 2012 with an express focus on trying to get free or reduced price merchandise to community members while using the public sales to help pay for the giveaways. Since November 2012 the Wikimedia Shop has worked to hand out, for free, as much merchandise as it can to local Wikimedians. Much of this went to local groups around the world who requested it for events but there was also a focus on an experiment to give t-shirts directly to individuals who had done well and been nominated for a shirt by their peers.

That experiment started on the English Wikipedia and has gone (with some breaks) straight up through Wikimania. When the giveaway program was initially set up we did a very small amount of advertising on the enWP Village pump (and it was picked up by the signpost) but did not push it beyond that. However the interest grew rapidly with a large collection of editors nominating editors from all over the project and, almost universally, heaping only praise on the user rather then the traditional Wiki mix of attacks. Since that first tiny publicity push nothing else has been officially done but the list has continued to grow at a speed roughly equal or greater to how quickly names are removed from the list.

Because the list required manual processing there were times when it fell into disuse when the staff member involved grew busy with other areas of the work. Different options for volunteer processing have been thrown around and ways to make it easier technically have been pursued and we'll talk about some of the issues and hopefully the solution found during the talk.

The breaks in processing also allowed us to see the trends in editing on the project page that came quickly whenever action was detected both from those who received notice that they would be getting something and from others who were apparently watching from their watch list. That led to a desire to do a more through review of the consequences of the t-shirt and how it was received by those who got one. The meat of this presentation (and likely the Q&A) will focus on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the experience of nominated users before and after they received their t-shirt. This information is derived from surveys of participants and analysis of their edits before and after the events involved.

WikiCulture and Community

Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes
Language of presentation/talk
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  1. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:12, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
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