Hi Amir,

It isn't too late to ask about the utility of welcome messages, but be aware 
that there are reasons for their evolution over the last decade. Your email 
almost implied that this has been an unreviewed area  for the last decade.

There was some research a few years ago that concluded that welcomed editors 
were more likely to stay, despite many welcomes being of the "welcome your 
article has been tagged for deletion" variety. If someone fancies digging 
further it would be good to compare welcomed  and unwelcomed editors among the 
75% of newbies who edit existing articles and also among the 25% or whatever is 
left of that who come here to create new articles.

I think that now would be a good time to develop tailored welcomes for mobile 
and V/E newbies. I'm conscious that the Welcome I usually use assumes that 
newbies who do good edits are using the classic editor and contributing with 
something bigger than a tablet. So sometimes I leave newbies unwelcomed rather 
than give them a potentially confusing welcome.

As for getting a welcome message from a wiki where I have visited but not 
edited, I consider that a privacy violation. We normally claim not to log 
anything about our readers, but if a logged in Wikimedian visits arwiki a log 
is created artificially by issuing them a welcome. It isn't a Privacy violation 
that especially irks me personally, but if we allow it we should change the 
global privacy statements accordingly.



> On 30 Dec 2017, at 13:38, wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org wrote:
> Message: 4
> Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2017 10:29:34 +0200
> From: "Amir E. Aharoni" <amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Welcome messages at arwiki
> Message-ID:
>    <CACtNa8vKK+7tnLh=4vkbmvx4woahd3qvgc2n+cui-br8vqg...@mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> 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 E

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