Target audiences (Bookshelf)

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The Bookshelf Project target audiences are those groups the Wikimedia Foundation has identified as high priority for (1) expanding its active user (editor/writer) base, (2) getting clarity about Wikimedia and its culture, and (3) facilitating the outreach and recruitment efforts.

Potential new editors[edit]

  • computer literate (comfortable user rather than highly technical)
  • educated
  • online
  • subject-matter expertise
  • women
  • men and women older than 35, including retired professionals
  • Attract & entice
  • Encourage to participate
This is the primary target group for the Bookshelf project. This group can be defined as the current primary writing/editing group with the additional characteristics of trending toward female and trending older versus the current primary writers/editors. Additionally, this group is not technical, even though they are very comfortable with using computers and the Internet.
The core characteristics of current Wikimedians are relevant, even essential, for being a Wikimedia editor. By adding gender and age diversity, Wikimedia will tap into a huge new resource pool who will bring expanded subject matter interest and expertise, thus expanding content and in turn attracting more new users.
Design Considerations
Tone and information should be less technical and more conversational than materials would be for the current core user group. Inviting, informative and demystifying. The KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principal should be a major guideline (cf. Google's Librarian Central – Tools).

Secondary and Higher education ("the fuel of Wikimedia")[edit]

  • Teachers (Junior High School, High School)
  • University lecturers/professors
  • Students
  • Encourage the use of Wikimedia as a teaching tool (specify opportunities, overcome prejudices)
  • Enable teachers to use Wikimedia as a teaching tool
  • Enhance the students' media literacy
Like Wikimedia, this audience's mission is education and there is a natural synergy that can be leveraged between the two communities. Also like the Wikimedia community, this audience is characterized by a combination of goal orientation and exploration for the sake of learning. This audience is demographically diverse, is curious, dedicated and directed.
The formal education domain provides a rich opportunity to enhance Wikimedia's legitimacy, particularly in terms of accuracy. This audience is also a rich source of new editors, with the students becoming habituated contributors and the teachers/lecturers having access to a new crop of students each year.
Design Considerations
The materials must include sample lesson plans, at least one plan each for secondary and university levels. Consider whether to reference Wiki projects throughout Wikimedia (for example Wikiversity, Wikisource, Wikibooks) in the lesson plans.


  • People who have to deal with Wikimedia in their daily professional lives
  • Inform, explain, enlighten
This group is the secondary target audience. They are fast moving, need information “yesterday”, require reliability and clarity.
This group often disseminates information about Wikimedia so it is essential the information is accurate and that the group has ready access to the information. The Bookshelf materials will reduce the pressure on Wikimedia staff, chapters and volunteers by providing reliable, clear “go to” resources to answer their questions.
Design Considerations
Simple, easy to navigate, straight to the point

Corporate communications personnel[edit]

  • People who edit/create Wikimedia articles for professional purposes such as supporting a particular organization, company, person or agenda
  • Enable these people to be successful contributors to Wikimedia
  • Enable these people to make corrections and additions to articles in tune with the Wikimedia culture so that entries perceived as valid are not reverted
  • Enable these people to create articles that adhere to the Wikimedia guidelines
Integrating this group into the Wikimedia community will build goodwill for the Wikimedia mission, as materials about current organizations and living people will be less controversial and will be of higher quality.
Design Considerations
Materials must be sophisticated, helpful, and honest. They should not be condescending. This audience is already actively using the tools, but they need support and education about how to use them appropriately. Consider using a case study in the materials, perhaps a humorous one. The case study should have universal appeal for localization purposes. (For example, Why Friedrich Engels would have difficulties editing the Karl Marx article)

Wikimedians interested in the upcoming WikiProject Screencast (train the trainer)[edit]

This audience is quite different from the other audiences. The members of this audience are already active Wikimedians so we do not need to convince them to become active. Instead this audience is part of the Bookshelf project because they can facilitate the outreach and recruitment effort.

  • Tech-savvy
  • Educated
  • Online
  • Subject-matter expertise
Encourage and enable Wikimedians to produce screencasts to support the Bookshelf mission
The Wikimedians are our core users, are experts in all things Wiki, and enjoy making things.

Rationale: This group is the most able to make the screencast materials scalable in terms of localization and integrating new interface elements that will need to be incorporated into the screencast materials to keep them current.

Design Considerations: The materials will be designed and written by the core development team and then released to this group to implement as screencasts.