My time as a Fellow of the Wikimedia Foundation has been divided between the Bookshelf Project and the Account Creation Improvement Project. But now my Fellowship has taken a new and exciting turn.

Since I started, the Bookshelf Project has grown steadily. We have more and more people helping out, and the number of translations is increasing every week. The brochure “Welcome to Wikipedia,” for instance, has been translated into five languages, most recently French, and it has been a popular handout for the newcomers in the Public Policy Initiative.

The Bookshelf pages have also become more easy to navigate. I have filled the pages with many of the videos and books and handouts that have been created previously, beside the new materials. In total, around 100 different works have been collected and organized on those pages. Hopefully these pages will become the go-to library for anyone who wants to find out more about Wikipedia and its sister projects. The address is easy to remember: http://bookshelf.wikimedia.org. If you have more material that you think fits in the Bookshelves, feel free to add to them.

But most exciting is this third piece of news:

Starting today, we will help you spread the Bookshelf materials. Go to the Bookshelf pages, select any material that you want to give out at a conference or event – and apply for printing money from the Wikimedia Foundation! We have a simplified grants process. See more details here: http://meta.wikimedia.org/Bookshelf Grants. With this grant we hope to help you reach out to many new individuals and inspire them to edit.

Lastly, in the upcoming weeks, the new Wikipedia Cheat Sheet will be finished. It is right now being designed and printed. If you want to translate it, we will make it very easy for you. Then you can get a grant and have it printed in just a few weeks.

This marks the end of my full-time engagement in the Bookshelf project, but I will still check in on it now and then, and I love to see what happens with it in the future.

What happens next?

One of the proposed designs for the new account creation processes.

One of the proposed designs for the new account creation processes.

With all of these milestones reached, my Fellowship changes. I will concentrate fully on the Account Creation Improvement Project. After having performed surveys and tests of the account creation process, we have discovered that this project can have a real impact on the number of people with new accounts that actually start to edit. So with a few volunteers and support from the tech staff, I have started working on an approach to the next tests. First we have set up a new tracking system. Now we are working on creating two high-quality account creation processes that are significantly different from the existing process. We will start testing these very soon and see how many more new users we can get to the point of starting to edit.

After about a month of testing, this will lead to an increased understanding of what we can do to get the new users to stay. Of course, we would love to have your input and ideas.

Lennart Guldbrandsson
Community Fellow