Hello Amir,

I think what you are questioning is right. And it is necessary to ask such questions. In my day job it is my duty to ask and discuss such questions with my customers.


But, with the time I sort of see that these pure utilitarian questions are not the only questions that we need to consider. I start to ask questions that are beyond or below (according to the perspective) these pure utilitarian questions. I find the answer Meno25 gave on Meta a very interesting one in this respect. In his answer he was not arguing about if the welcome-bot is useful or meaningful. He said it is their custom to do so. What he is pointing to is culture. See, why do we hug, shake hands, nod, or rub noses, or kiss? From a pure utilitarian point of view these behaviors are not only meaningless, they are even potentially dangerous for our health. If we just want to meet other people and talk to them why do we not just directly talk about what we want to talk about and make it behind us?


And this is why in my opinion it is good that every project has its own way to handle welcome message: Because the welcome message is not only a utilitarian thing, there is culture beyond or below it. There is culture encompassed from the societies where the project community is embedded in and there is culture that was created and developed by the project community.


This is why in my opinion as long as the message is not malicious how every community handles this is their own thing.


Greetings

Ting



Am 30.12.2017 um 09:29 schrieb Amir E. Aharoni:
It's a good opportunity to step back and discuss a little something.

The existence of pretty much every bot is a reason to think of a missing
feature in the site's software. The same goes for templates and gadgets.

Why do many wikis have custom welcome templates and bots that send them?
The intuitive answer is "to send a personal message to a new user", but if
it's done by a bot, it's already not personal. What does the bot actually
automate? The placement of a template? But what is the actual purpose of
the template?

Is it to say "hello and welcome"? The notifications feature already does it
nicely.

To send people a list of useful links? I heard many times that new users
actually do find them useful, and it's a good thing. But it's nevertheless
an anecdotal claim, and smarter questions should be asked:
* How many people actually read these messages?
* Are all the links useful? Do people actually click them?
* Could some be removed? Could some be added?
* Why is it different in every project? Could at least some parts be reused
across languages in a robust and properly localizable manner?
* Is the talk page really a good place to do this?
* How useful is it for people for people who come from another language and
have an account auto-created?

And so on.

Welcome templates have been a part of our sites for well over a decade, but
it's never too late to ask fundamental question about what purpose do they
serve, and how could this purpose be served better.

Happy New Year :)

בתאריך 29 בדצמ׳ 2017 11:21,‏ "John Erling Blad" <jeb...@gmail.com> כתב:

Users on other projects are complaining about the welcome messages at
arwiki. A bot at that project are welcoming people that has no activity at
that project at all. The bot operator claims the activity is valid, but I
can't see that this is a well-behaving bot at all.[1]

I suspect the bot is welcoming every user it can find, but using user
accounts from central login and not users that has local contributions at
arwiki.

Can someone shut down the bot until the user fix the spam problem.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Meno25#Welcome_messages
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