Audience As Family

In a wiki, the idea of a TargetedAudience or even TheAudience itself is not accurate. We look for other ways to look at the relationship between the audience and the author. Perhaps we should consider OurAudience as a family. We are family. Cue the Sister Sledge track.

There are a couple of different ways to look at this. If the audience is viewed as a family, then it is more of a democracy rather than a dictatorship. After all, it is CollaborativeWriting. In a ConventionalFamily, there is the idea of the "head of the household", but that notion is disintergrating as time goes on. In this, there may be a first contributor or a more consistent author, but there is no definitive leader. Everyone works together to create a strong page (family bond).

The wiki follows this new-generation idea of a family. Family doesn’t have to be someone you are blood related to. A more universal term for family is a group of people who they connect with and share their life with. There are connections between the members of the wiki, as there are within a family, since they are working together for a common ideal. The audience is seen as a family because the audience is supportive. They have the author’s back and if the author needs help, the audience can step in and lend a helping hand. OthersWillContribute because sometimes the person just can't do it alone.

Just like any family, people have disagreements. Someone might not like what someone wrote or how something is being done. A wiki is a place of compromise and opportunities to talk ideas out. You might get mad at your family, but at the end of the day, you respect them and care about what they have to say. Sharing a wiki space might sometimes feel like sharing a bathroom with too many people, or having too many cooks in the kitchen. Sometimes reading through ThreadMode, feels like family reunions where everyone is talking all at the same time and it’s hard to know who to listen to or where their story is going. OrganizationIsKey. CommunicationIsKey. Like a family, wikis are not perfect. They are constantly changing, adding people, losing people, people being honest (sometimes brutally so) and can sometimes just be a hot mess.

Other Theories
For those that don't buy into the new generation theory - is that the wiki is more like a commune rather than a family. Everyone is interrelated as far as the wiki and the work put into the pages goes, since building a wiki is a communal effort. Everyone has a common goal, and everyone is on the same level. But one thing to remember is that someone had to set up the wiki in the first place. Technically, if someone is not following the implied code of conduct on a wiki, enforcement measures can be taken. So although there is no traditional family structure, a wiki could be seen as a clan. The members are all equal, but there can be someone to enforce the rights and responsibilities of those using the wiki if or when it becomes necessary.

Perhaps the idea of the wiki AudienceAsFamily isn't quite accurate after all. But what is a better term? AudienceAsCommune? AudienceAsClan? Something else? Whatever the conclusion, perceiving our visitors in a different way will no doubt help with GainingAnAudience.


Other considerations:
Thinking of the audience as a family, remember that some things you might not want to share. Like the old saying goes, “Don’t put anything on the internet, that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.
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