Dwindling numbers of Wikipedia editors and the dramatic underrepresentation of women as well as whole regions of the world in the Free Knowledge community are major concerns for all of us. As an Editor in Communications at Wikimedia Deutschland, I am particularly interested in finding new ways to utilize our blog, social media, and means of digital communication to encourage diverse participation. How can we make the community more accessible and break down barriers to participation? How do we create a sense of community spirit when most collaboration takes place online? Sharing individual stories, community members' motivations for volunteering for the ideal that Wikipedia and the sister projects represent, and drawing attention to the knowledge gaps may help to combat the misconception that Wikipedia is "already complete" or only in need of experts' knowledge. But how do we make the next step and motivate people to get involved? Digital communication can only play a small part in combating wider structural barriers, and yet it has an important part to play. What barriers to participation have you identified? Which means of communication can help us reach new audiences?
We will come away with a better understanding of how means of digital communication (blogs, social media, videos, etc.) are used by different chapters and individual Wikimedians to encourage participation, particularly from underrepresented groups of editors. We will exchange concrete ideas, tips, and current issues in reaching new audiences. Participants particularly from emerging Wikimedia communities are encouraged to share their challenges and exchange ideas on the place of storytelling in motivating volunteers.