Draft Recommendation #3: English is important to Indian Wikipedians
Last edit: 15:09, 5 February 2010
Surprisingly (or not) English is the secondary official language of India - the primary official language is Hindi. Why is this important? Firstly, to record that English is an Indian language. Secondly, to note that as far as Wikipedia and sister projects are concerned, there need be no reticence in claiming that English is an important Indian language - after all, according to the 2001 census [] there are about 225 million people in India who are fluent in English (on a global scale, this figure is second only to the US in terms of English language speakers nationally).
While not denying that native Indian languages are of tremendous importance to Wikipedians, it is perhaps prudent to note the continuing importance of English to us. This impacts Wikimedia work in India to the extent that activities and projects related to English on Wikipedia and sister projects are given equal importance to those in our native languages. - Achal Prabhala
When the English language is considered to be important for India, it needs to cover India in the same way as it does the United States, Great Britain, Australia or Ireland.. This means that India should at least be visible. This means in my opinion that featured articles, did you knows and featured pictures should be part of this visibility.
English is very important to Indian language wikipedians. It is the common language of communication for different language wiki communities. Hindi is not a preferred for this. This is one of the main reason why I have requested here, to use only English while communicating with multiple language communities. As mentioned by GerardM, this fact needs to have an impact on English wikipedia also.
Draft Recommendation #5: Develop innovative, community-based ways to bring Wikimedia "home"
Last edit: 15:43, 7 February 2010
Utarshraj Atmaram [] was so inspired by the Britain Loves Wikipedia project that he went ahead and set up this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_India/India_Loves_Wikipedia.
Getting Indian Wikipedians (and potential Wikipedians) involved in a fun, interesting and practical exercise such as this is an excellent way forward. One of the big problems with being Indian and being a Wikipedian is that there's not enough on Wikipedia and it's sister projects that reflects our immediate physical world. A New Yorker, for instance, would instantly feel at home by the sheer depth, range and quality of information on/around New York City that is available. Not so for a user from an average Indian city. To a large extent this is chicken-and-egg; to some extent it's because of a relatively more prevalent internet and a different history of interaction with the internet in rich countries as opposed to not-so-rich ones. But - to mix metaphors - someone needs to set the ball rolling, and it has to be us.
Obviously, there's no sense in pigeon-holing Indian Wikipedians to topics that are explicitly "Indian." Yet, there is real interest among many to contribute on topics that are, and there is a way in which we as a community can facilitate this. Adding photographs to Wikimedia Commons is just one such way. Projects can be devised that tap geographical identification (increasing information on cities in India, or specific states, among other ideas). Projects can be equally about getting people with a common professional purpose together to describe their world (doctors, historians, nature enthusiasts, etc.) or about having people with an interest in archival literature find out-of-copyright texts and add them to Wikisource. The possibilities are limitless.
Developing innovative, community-based ways to bring Wikimedia "home" could be something that an Indian chapter integrates into it's broad mission, but it's also something that the Wikipedian community at large could take up at any point, precisely in the manner described earlier.
Way Forward --- Prioritizing the recommendations
Draft Recommendation #6: Explaining Wikimedia projects usefully in India
A few months ago, at a Wikipedian meet-up in Bangalore, Hari Prasad Nadig [] who works on Kannada Wikipedia, pointed out that the state government of Karnataka was about to launch what press reports described as their "own version" of Wikipedia, in Kannada. The information we had was what we read in the papers: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/39326/kannada-portal-launched-today.html. Further reports suggested that the government of this state had earmarked an amount of Rs 2 crore (appr. US$ 500,000) for it's development.
It is not clear that the Karnataka state government was aware of the existing - and vibrant - Kannada Wikipedia. While there is no indication that there would have necessarily been a confluence of interests between the work of Wikipedians in Kannada and the interests of the government, one cannot help wonder as to what the outcome would have been had there been a greater degree of awareness in government as to what Wikimedia was already doing with and for and in the Kannada language.
In general, it is safe to say that a variety of individuals and institutions within India have the desire to augment public knowledge on the internet in some way or the other. In some cases, the values expressed in the giving might not match those of Wikipedia and related projects under the Wikimedia Foundation; in other cases, they might. In all cases, however, it seems worthwhile that Wikipedians are engaged. This idea could be incorporated in soft focus - which is to say, we - Wikipedians, the India chapter, information activists at large - could stay attuned to possibly interesting developments and intervene as and when necessary.
See my last reply for the draft Draft Recommendation #2: Wikipedia Academies across the country. Some of the points mentioned there are relevant here also.
Government officials and some of our leaders should have some idea about the free software and free society movement and the power of free society. If we have some one there to enlighten our rulers the benefits of free software culture, this is possible. I know that we have people like Pavanaja in Karnataka who can enlighten the officials of Karnataka government about this. But apart from the four south Indian states, how many ther Indian states are really interested in these type of initiatives.
Actually, the point I was trying to make was that it's not at all clear that government administration is capable of running a large contribution-based content operation of any kind; and that state resources devoted to increasing the breadth and depth of public knowledge might be better utilised by distributing them to existing communities, one of which would be us - Wikipedians. Therefore, the more that public organisations recognise that communities and avenues like ours exist, the better for them and us. _ Achal
Draft Recommendation #7 :Wikipedia browsing kiosks in public libraries will help spread wikipedia
As there are only about 8 million broadband users end of 2009, and the broadband access is expensive, use of wikipedia kiosks in public libraries will be useful to many people.
The underlying idea is that not enough Indians have access to the internet; what if we modified this recommendation to be something like this: "Find low-cost, innovative ways to create public access to Wikipedia in key venues such as public libraries."
Can we try CSC to have online or offline Wikipedia contents ? . There are about 60000 CSC across India as per the site.Since it is govt it will be difficult.
I think the original idea by Arjun is not feasible. As Aprabhala mentioned change it to "Find low-cost, innovative ways to create public access to Wikipedia in key venues such as public libraries."
A further point. Whether Wikipedians should care about the offline world has long been debated, and the debate carries special significance in a country like India, where at generous estimates, between 5%-10% of its total population is online. I'd suggest considering the problem a little differently. India has approximately 80 million online []. Sure, that still leaves appr. 1 billion people offline, but the fact is, 80 million is a huge number, a number bigger than all the people in several countries in Europe.
So, given that Wikipedians like us have limited resources in terms of time and money, might it not make sense to first try and reach the low-hanging fruit - i.e. people who are online? Sure, we can encourage partnerships with people (and organisations) who can take us offline, but I'm not sure whether that should be a primary focus of ours. For instance, there are folks who are working on all sorts of devices that (with occasional online refreshment) carry all of Wikipedia - on a pen drive, or a privately manufactured device []. Additionally there are NGOs and institutions devoted to teaching, who might well be interested in utilising a print version of selected Wikipedia pages, or even something off Wikibooks [] and then further spreading that physically to students.
All of this is possible without ourselves actively engaging in these processes. Wikipedians in India tend to be largely urban-based, as are the majority of Indians online. If we were to recast the recommendation inherent in Arjuna's original suggestion to reflect this, I think we are better served. For e.g.
While Indians who have access to the internet will remain the primary target of Wikimedia's work in India, organisations who wish to utilise Wikipedia and the content of sister projects offline are encouraged to do so. - Achal
Draft Recommendation #2: Wikipedia Academies across the country
Last edit: 15:09, 5 February 2010
A Wikipedia Academy [] is at its simplest, an event that gathers a group of people with some common purpose together, who are then taken through the basic building blocks of a Wikipedia entry. In general, people have no difficulty reading Wikipedia, but several people seem to benefit from some understanding of how to edit.
In India, there are several ways by which Wikipedia Academies can be staged. Informal discussion suggests that there are yet several gaps that internet users have as to how exactly a Wikipedia entry is created and modified. Wikipedia Academies can help answer those questions, as also, spur people to edit. Groups of people who may be interested include: (a) employees of organisations in the public and private sectors - for e.g. as part of a 'club' activity, or in the course of professional training, (b) specific citizen groups, such as retired people, residents of a particular locality, members of an existing club or social community, (c) open Wikipedia Academies, where the event is set up in a particular location and anyone is welcome to join, etc.
What obstacles do people who would like to stage a Wikipedia Academy in India currently face? 1) The lack of official authority, i.e. "who are you exactly?" - which a Wikimedia India chapter could help erase 2) The lack of money to cover costs - while Wikipedians might be happy to donate their time, it is hard to stage a Wikipedia Academy without a suitable venue and the requisite hardware (several internet ready computers). An India chapter could help with this in terms of contributing to costs. 3) The lack of a central organisation/ mailing list whereby volunteers can send on information about Wikipedia Academies to people who may be interested, which is to say, Wikipedians might be hesitant about setting up an academy without knowing who to invite to it. The Wikimedia India mailing list and chapter can be of help here; simply as places to disseminate information and connect enthusiasts to each other. - Achal Prabhala
True... we must have more wiki academies across in India , it will definitely help. Also support the initiatives like these  from govt, to teach wiki style editing to students. In 3 months(from 2010) it has created more than 1000 articles  ----Naveenpf 18:57, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
India chapter need to focus more on different Indic language wiki communities rather than on English Wikipedia. Many Indian wikipedia advocates are talking about going to international schools/convent schools to introduce wikpedia (read English Wikipedia). But how many of these Wikipedia advocates are actually interested to go to a Kannada/Tamil/Hindi medium school (for example) to introduce wikipedia or other sister wikis. The India chapter needs to take initiatives to setup Wikipedia community in each Indian state to promote WikiMedia Foundation's different Wikis.
The wiki for IT@Schools (Kerala/Malayalam) is a laudable initiative, which can mould young people towards sharing through Wiki. We should promote similar initiative in each of our states.
Lot of Professional colleges offering B.E/B.Tech/MCA with Internet/computing infrastructure are available in the country. Wiki academies can be introduced to these college students as a first step. See a report on such a event (in Telugu)
http://schoolwiki.in is fantastic: since I don't read Malayalam, can you tell us if the 1000 articles created are usable on Malayalam Wikipedia? The license they're using is the GFDL, so there can't be a legal reason not to use them, but it's not clear immediately if the project is designed to create it's own Wiki-based knowledge pages or if it's to create things that would work on Wikipedia.
No. School Wiki is not started as a competitor to Malayalam Wikipedia,
School Wiki is started to develop the culture of collaborative learning among school childeren of Kerala state. It is launched under the aegis of IT@School project of Kerala Goverenment.
It is not a competitor to Malayalam Wikipedia. In fact, some Malayalam Wikipedians (including me) have assisted the government officials to setup the wiki and I am a Sysop in schoolwiki. Still School Wiki officials are taking advice from us to enhance the school wiki experience.
Basically, school wiki is a database of schools in Kerala.
The school student of each school in Kerala are editing the school wiki to enter information about the school, statistics, alumini association, teachers, images, and so on. It also has some projects associated with each school page. Some of the projetcs are School newsletter (പ്രാദെശിക പത്രം), Local encyclopedia (നാടോടി വിജ്ഞാനകൊശം), My Village page (എന്റെ ഗ്രാമം), under the guidance of teachers. These project pages are created as sub page for each school. So the content as a whole is not useful for Wikipedia. But the information from the project pages associated with each school will be useful to Malayalam wikipedia in future.
I have some other related information to share with you.
- In 2008 December (One year back), Kerala Government has donated the entire content of its prestigious encyclopedic project (Sarvavijnjanakosam - http://www.sarvavijnanakosam.gov.in/about-us.htm) to Malayalam Wiki community (link). They have released the content of Sarvavijnjanakosam in GFDL license. Kerala government is even helping us by digitizing the content. We are exploring different ways to use that content effectively in Malayalam Wikipedia and Malayalam Wikisource. When the content from sarvavijnjankosam is used wisely the quality of our wikis will go up. We will do it soon.
- In 2008 June/July Kerala government has decided to move to Unicode. It has started using Unicode Malayalam in all the Kerala Government websites. I do not know whether any other Indian state did that.
As I already said, school wiki is not a competitor of Malayalam Wikipedia. In fact Kerala Government is indirectly creating future wikians for Malayalam Wiki projects.
Draft Recommendation #4: Indian languages on Wikipedia deserve individual focus and analysis
Shiju Alex [] has been compiling monthly reports that encapsulate statistics from major Indian-language Wikipedias:
October 2009: http://shijualexonline.googlepages.com/2009_10_Indic_Lang_Wiki_Statistics.pdf November 2009: http://shijualexonline.googlepages.com/2009_11_Indic_Lang_Wiki_Statistics.pdf December 2009: http://shijualexonline.googlepages.com/2009_december_en.pdf
Ravishankar from Tamil Wikipedia reports that Wikipedians who work on Tamil language pages are tracking their internal quality statistics, among other measures employed across Indian language pages at large.
There are several interesting conclusions one can draw from broad trends across different Indian languages. Mostly, these have to do with quality and quantity. Given that these language Wikipedias have an underlying representation of anywhere between 10 and 200 million language-speakers, it seems only appropriate that each language be treated as an individual entity. Certainly, there are common issues - such as working with Indian scripts - but by and large, existing differences in quality and quantity trends suggest that there is significant difference too.
To assess and grow Indian language Wikipedias, it might be prudent to: (a) assess each individual situation in terms of what's working, how and why, (b) develop specific strategies to address what's not working and to augment what is, (c) build Wikipedian language communities through outreach, nationally and beyond.
Report on Telugu wikipedia and related telugu wikipage shows the active wikipedians (5 or more edits per month) is average of 30 people, out of a registered wikipedian base of 332. This is about 10%. As the bloggers are much more, we need to encourage bloggers to contribute to wikipedia more.
...each language be treated as an individual entity...
is a very good recommendation. Instead of treating all the Indian Wikis as one entity, special treatment is required for each indian language Wiki.
Since I am following the growth of most of the Indian language wikis for the past 3 years, I can very well say why separate treatment is required for each Indian language Wiki. I will take the classic example of 2 Indian Language Wikipedias.
- Odia (Oriya)
Punjabi has 88 million speakers world wide and it is the First Indian language Wikipedia. It is started way back in June 2002, much before Hindi/Tamil, Malayalam, or any other Indian language wikipedias. And with out saying, you might be knowing the internet penetration among Punjabi people worldwide. But surprisingly, it is one of the Indian Wikipedia with very less number of articles. Even though Punjabi Wikipedia is in existence for more than 6 years now, It has only 1500 articles.
In the case of odiya language, it has 31 million speakers. And oriya wiki was also started much before Hindi/Tamil/Malayalam, or any other Indian language wikipedias. But still the number of articles is less than 500. That wiki is in existence for more than 6 years now.
You should also note that, even ancient languages like Sanskrit and Pali language wikipedias have more active users and number of articles than Punjabi and odiya.
So it is NOT the number of speakers or the internet penetration is deciding the growth of a wikipedia. There might be individual and specific reason for each language.
Draft Recommendation #1: Wikimedia India chapter needed
Last edit: 15:08, 5 February 2010
Given the discussions held so far, this would seem to be a no-brainer. There have been discussions to set up an India chapter as far back as 2004. Subsequent visits by Jimmy, and particularly a recent 2008 visit by Jimmy and Sue, significantly helped this effort get off the ground. The partnership of an Indian organisation that is interested in internet culture (Centre for Internet and Society: www.cis-india.org) catalysed the efforts of a group of people to undertake the process of chapter formation.
The reasons why India needs a chapter are self evident. Currently, a chapter is the only 'official' affiliation available to Wikipedians in any given geography. A chapter does not presume that it owns or coordinates all Wikimedia-related activity in a geography; rather, it is a means by which certain kinds of activity (e.g. fundraising, events) can be coordinated. The benefits are several: (a) local Indian donors who want to support Wikimedia might find it easier to give to an organisation registered in India, (b) official affiliation can help Wikipedians in India provide reasonable solutions/answers to programmes in the country that seek to augment/ support the work of Wikipedia and sister projects (c) it provides a platform by which people who would like to run activities (such as, say, a Wikipedia Academy) the means by which they can reach out to people in their area, and even be supported for costs.
The status of the Indian chapter that is currently under development is this: After about seven months of working with the Chapters Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as a Bangalore-based accountant who is working on the appropriate mode of registration of the entity, the team that is putting together a chapter is almost done with it's work. A formal announcement will be made shortly; the ensuing chapter will at first consist of a legal entity alone, but we hope will soon be expanded by the participation of every interested Wikipedian in India, along with their thoughts, ideas and actions. - Achal Prabhala
Last edit: 15:07, 5 February 2010
This is a little later than planned; however, on the suggestion that draft recommendations of a concrete nature might be useful, here are those that I have been able to collect on the basis of conversations outside of the strategy project - on email, on the Wikimedia-India mailing list, and in discussions with Wikipedians who are currently trying to establish an India chapter. Please contribute and add to them - as well as follow the strategy team's guidance in understanding whether it is better to discuss recommendations here or on the strategy task force pages. (Some guidance appreciated!) - Achal Prabhala
Proposed Strategy Task Force
Over the past few weeks, there's been some great discussions about the task force recommendations. There's some great energy here on this wiki, and I want to start moving toward completion. That includes:
- Integrating the feedback into the existing recommendations
- Filling in gaps (areas such as movement roles, expanding content, and reader conversion)
- Evaluation and prioritizing the recommendations
- Writing a draft plan
To get this work done, I'm proposing the creation of a Strategy Task Force. I hope that you all will read and help refine the proposal, and I especially hope that many of you sign up for the Task Force. Let's also move the discussions there so that we can have a central place to discuss next steps for strategy. Thanks!
Technology As An Obstacle
Firstly, sorry it took me so long to get started.
I've always wondered whether the current limitations on font encodings and display and more so, input methods, were a systemic cause for a relative lack of content within Indic language Wikipedias? From what I know, this high barrier of entry makes it difficult for people to contribute outside of those who have the technical skills to deal with the input issues. Would a transliteration tool, a la, Google Transliterate, make it easier?
That said, it remains to be seen, and I look forward to hearing from you, whether this is a de-facto problem.
The blurb for this task force starts off with the assertion that "Wikimedia is under-penetrated in India despite the fact that the majority of India's online population speaks English and the presence of Wikipedias in languages prominently spoken in India."
I'd just like to ask if this is actually true. "Under-penetrated" compared to what? The penetration of Wikimedia in India is obviously lower than penetration in the United States, but several people elsewhere on this discussion page have noted that private Internet usage (and the pricing thereof) is distinct between the two countries.
My own experience on English Wikipedia is that it has a noticeable and growing impact in India. To take the example of the "In the news" section on the Main Page, we got more than 60k hits for the story on the 2009 Indian general elections: that might not sound a lot in proportion to the 5 million hits a day the Main Page gets, but it is more than any other election story in 2009. Our current story on the death of Jyoti Basu is getting far more hits than the usual for a politician's obituary. Checking some of the India-specific news stories which didn't make it to the Main Page last year also shows healthy hit rates.
I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't be doing more to help Wikimedia and Wikimedians in India, but surely we should also recognise the base that we already have.
What's working and how?
I'm trying to understand how India currently figures in the Wikimedia World. I know we have the baseline statistics to figure this out: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Regional_Analysis/South_Asia but the questions I am interested in are a little more complex, and I think they will help our task.
Shiju, I know you have been interested in analysing the numbers, so would you (and others) be interested in the following questions:
We have an idea of what the pages vs. quality/ depth vs. editors situation is like. In terms of number of pages, the top 3 are: Telegu, Hindi, Marathi. In terms of quality/ depth, the top 3 are: Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam. In terms of the number of active editors, the top 3 are: Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil.
Question 1: Is it worth understanding why there are so many Marathi (and Hindi+ Telegu) pages that apparently lack quality and depth? (Are these translations? Stubs? Are we misreading density of the article for quality in the case of these languages in a way we shouldn't be?)
Question 2: I'm interested in understanding how Telegu Wikipedia (which tops numbers) is different from Tamil Wikipedia (which tops quality). The reason I am is to try and understand what it is that is working for each of these attributes (numbers, quality) in each case. Does Telegu Wikipedia have a lot of translations? Is Tamil Wikipedia skewed to current events? I understand that no one (not even those who closely work with both languages) will have a definitive answer, but I think it's worth our while to understand if there are a few key things that make up the Wikipedias in these languages. As a practical exercise, we could try and think of key words that describe the style and content of Tamil and Telegu Wikipedias (words like; popular culture, film, current events, traditional encyclopaedic entries, etc. etc.)
Question 3: English: other than the generally felt assumption, that most internet users in India read (and edit?) pages in English more than other languages, I'm wondering if we know - or should care - how exactly English is working in the country and environs. Emotions aside, strictly from the perspective of what works and how it works, what's the feeling (and empirical basis of the feeling) for what English Wikimedia projects mean for South Asia?
Speaking strictly as a native speaker from the U.S., I think the quality of writing in English in South Asia is variable. I sometimes get annoyed when my marginally grammatical prose gets hacked up by someone who clearly doesn't know what they're doing. This is just the way things are with Wikipedia to some extent, however I usually find that articles I write about the U.S. only get edited when someone has something to add or my syntax really is off. There's less editing that seems to be purely driven by the thrill of seeing oneself in print or whatever.
So I'm wondering if partnerships would be helpful in general for assisting writing by people in second languages. It might improve the quality of articles where unpartnered writers and editors are getting in over their heads; at the same time benefiting from the local knowledge of writers who are inhibited about setting off on their own.
Another issue would be catching "Americanisms", peculiarities of Indian English, Britishisms that don't necessarily travel well, and so forth to move toward a more international style. "The Economist" may be a pretty good example. It's written for audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and probably doesn't grate on anyone's sensibilities. This is something Wikipedia could strive for too.
It's certainly true that there's lots of writing left to be done about South Asia! I've done a modest amount of writing about Nepal. There's a much higher density of writing about the Everest region, Kathmandu, and a few other places than other parts of the country. Many place articles seem to be of the "mailmerge" type with a few census variables plugged into the same invariable matrix. Obviously local folks in other parts of the country haven't involved themselves yet. 22.214.171.124 00:36, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Some initial ideas
Greetings everyone, and welcome to the strategy discussion for India. My task is to facilitate this discussion, and I'm delighted to be talking with you. Firstly, some clarifications: we have members here who work on languages from South Asia and are not necessarily from India - a special welcome to them, and we look forward to working on common areas (and common interests in Wikipedia) together. Secondly, I'm going to start with a few thread suggestions that I think are worth pursuing. Please feel free to add to the discussion, either by moving forward the specific discussion suggested, or by adding new areas that we can work on.
The goal of this exercise is to come up with 2 to 4 strong recommendations backed up by analysis and a plan and process for execution. In keeping with the general theme of things, I've been told we can think big, and I guess that means we should, well, think big :)
As we're all new to this, I thank Philippe, Eugene and Sarah in advance for watching this discussion and steering us back on course should we veer off.
I've been a bit late in getting this off the ground, but hopefully, we're be on track now.
Fantastic! I look forward to seeing what comes of this task force.
Hi Achal, we wikipedians in Bangalore are conducting wiki meetups once in every month from past 8 months. There are lot of issues in local language wikipedias. We are helping the Sanskrit Wikipedia through Samskrita Bharathi. If you are in Bangalore, Can you come for the next Wiki meet which is planned on Feb 14 --Naveenpf 17:52, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Question: Should the Wikimedia Foundation invest in on-the-ground resources in India?
"Owning" Wikimedia projects in South Asia
Out of curiosity, some time ago, I looked at the depth of city information for New York - and compared it cursorily to the information on Bangalore. There's a world of difference, of course. Practically every street (and a number of individual houses even) have their own Wikipedia page, each lovingly tended to, whereas Bangalore is lucky to host a few major sights. I'm not saying that there is equivalence between Bangalore and NYC; but I am saying that for a city of probably 1 million internet users, it's representation is much less than it should proportionally be for having 1/6th of New York's internet user population.
This is of course, chicken and egg. But do you think it matters to how people perceive what they can do in/to/with Wikipedia? And how do you think we can jumpstart some of this depth and breadth?
Are there other ways in which we can symbolically change the way Wikipedia seems to look? (i.e. somewhat Western?) What would these ways be? (Note: an Indian chapter will be up and running shortly, and it should go some way in creating this symbolic connect; i.e. people who live in our postal codes representing Wikimedia projects).
Achal, I am not answering your question here, just sharing a good article I read recently that supports your basic premise --- that Wikipedia suffers from systemic bias. URL and snippet below:
An analysis of Wikipedia entries reveals the world's knowledge deserts – which may provide a second wave of activity for the online encyclopedia
Are Wikipedia contributors running out of topics to write about? Recently, much has been made of the fact that the growth in the number of new Wikipedia articles has been gradually slowing and the number of volunteers apparently falling. But Wikipedia still has much to do: the map above suggests there are still whole continents that remain a virtual "terra incognita" and the next explosive growth in the online encyclopedia will come from places that have not previously been represented.
The map represents the roughly half million geotagged Wikipedia articles that fall within the boundaries of any one country. These geotagged articles are either about distinct places (such as cities, buildings, forests) or about events that occurred in distinct places.
There is clearly a highly uneven geography of information in Wikipedia. The United States has the most articles about places or events (almost 100,000), while some smaller countries such as Tonga have fewer than 10.
But it's not just size that is correlated with extremely low levels of wiki representation. Almost the entire continent of Africa is geographically poorly represented in Wikipedia. Remarkably, there are more Wikipedia articles written about Antarctica than all but one of the 53 countries in Africa (or perhaps more amazingly, there are more Wikipedia articles written about the fictional places of Middle Earth and Discworld than about many countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas). ....
Hi Ms. Gardner, I think its also a matter of Reflexivity. Wikipedia above all other places follows the rule of Reflexivity, Under or Over-representation on any one area or topic generally has a direct co-relation with the interest generated in that very area. The country-wide usage stats would provide ample evidence of this in most cases, the fact that many countries in Africa are poorly represented would mean a low interest in topics or searches related to them or generated from those locations, while fictional places or even distant uninhabitable places like Antarctica for that matter would have more interest since users from different countries and backgrounds with different languages might be interested in them (generating searches, editing, correcting would all be co-related) even more than some real places.
Some trivial things
I think some of the trivial things are :
- What if we could implement offline contributing system..
- Since the band width is expensive(most will be using limited internet connection plan) and , the Internet is not readily available ..everywhere .are there any offline wiki editing tools?..that should be simple enough ,that may help increase the no of editors(I mean the one that even could check the wiki syntax and so on ..)...else create awareness about that if such tools if available ...else why don't we think we can make it of our own ??
- What if we could display top 10 contributors (user names) on the main page of each language?
- that may result in more competetive editing trends I think
- Distributed contribution ?
- There can be so many very old books or collections whose copyrights are not clear and thought to be in the public domain(we can have a copy of them in Wikipedia or Wikibooks) ..some of the books may be in our attic , we can make a group so that they will be given some pages of the scanned copy of the book they will be typing it out(Text recognition is poorly supported for South Asian Languages)so we can finally construct a book ..may be good for Wikibooks ..but typing 100 pages may not be that easy for the single man ..Tom Swayer says "Work Can be Fun" if shared ...:)
Can these trivial matters be the part of our proposals ??
I would encourage you to make sure the offline task force knows about the offline suggestion above, and not worry about making that part of one of your 2-4 proposals. Same with the top 10 (that sounds like the reader conversion and/or quality task forces). I'd like to see your proposals solidly focused on India related things directly.
I'm starting a thread around Wikipedia Academies (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Academy) simply because they're an easy and powerful way to communicate the ways of the Wikimedia World to people yet to enter it. They've been staged in the past both by the Wikimedia Foundation (and by it's chapters) as well as by individuals with no official affiliation.
This seems like an easy way to get started in South Asia.
Absolutely. Recently, we (along with User:HPN did a 'sorta' Wikiacademy in Mangalore. It was attended by quite a few college students in Mangalore and the interest we could generate among them was amazing. One of the topics that came up actually was smaller town articles of India and we did publicly 'reveiw' some of the articles for content accuracy etc. I really dont know how many of the ones who showed enthusiasm during the event went on to content contributions, but I am convinced that this is an effective way. Hopefully the India chapter could encourage wiki academies in smaller towns and institutions.
In the same line, I strongly feel that there are a number of subject experts, librarians and others with access to literature and books who can and want to play an active role. Most of them are unsure how to do this and such wiki academies if held in bigger research institutions such as IISC, Bangalore would be helpful. One good way to begin is to create a resource base and materials pool that volunteer wikipedians could use to conduct small-scale academies in their towns and cities. We also need to immediately have access to the contact details of editors who would make themselves available for such an event.
I want to join the task forcce for South Asian Region
I had written my name on the list ..but it was removed by the person with IP 126.96.36.199 at the time 19:32, 20 November 2009 ..and his whois info is
inetnum: 188.8.131.52 - 184.108.40.206 netname: ABTS-KK-DSL-147713-blr descr: ABTS (Karnataka), descr: 1st Floor, Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road, descr: Amarjyoti Layout,Domlur descr: Bangalore descr: Karnataka descr: India descr: Contact Person: M K Chaitnya descr: Email: descr: Phone:080-41115364 descr: Date of allocation:17-jul-07 country: IN admin-c: KK828-AP tech-c: KK828-AP mnt-by: MAINT-IN-TELEMEDIA mnt-lower: MAINT-IN-TELEMEDIA mnt-routes: MAINT-IN-TELEMEDIA status: ALLOCATED NON-PORTABLE changed: 20080725 source: APNIC
route: 220.127.116.11/24 descr: BHARTI-IN descr: Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited descr: Class A ISP in INDIA . descr: 234 , OKHLA PHASE III , descr: NEW DELHI descr: INDIA country: IN origin: AS24560 mnt-by: MAINT-IN-TELEMEDIA changed: 20081208 source: APNIC
person: Network Administrator for ABTS KK address: ABTS address: 1st Floor, Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road Amarjyoti Layout,Domlur address: Bangalore,Karnataka country: IN phone: +91-080-41115294 e-mail: nic-hdl: KK828-AP remarks: ----------------------------- remarks: Send abuse reports to remarks: remarks: ----------------------------- mnt-by: MAINT-IN-TELEMEDIA changed: 20081208 source: APNIC
Since it is Vandalism
- Can you please put a block on that IP for further editing.. plese refer the page http://strategy.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Task_force/India&action=history
or Can I revert the page back to the original ???
Hi Saroj, my bad - we were in the process of trying to ensure that this task force has adequate representation. So, firstly: welcome! And secondly, I'd be pleased if you didn't deem my IP address worthy of blocking :) Look forward to your contributions.
Saroj, you're welcome to join with the task force's work. I'm sorry your name got removed. I also wouldn't tend to block for that, I'd think a simple revert would work well. :)
Are we going slow ?
Is India task force going too slow ? and also no discussion is started yet here.Mahitgar 14:43, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Well Shiju Alex seems to be busy in real life almost since 9th oct there is no contri from his side not an issue , but I am feeling more of lonely fellow for that matter I update mailers to India mailing list besides few under represented indian language wikipedias identified most editing users I left messages to them about strategy wiki ,To that I got atleast enrolment from Mr.Vyas of Gujrati langugae wikipedia.Besides on my request most editing editor from Marathi Languge wikipedia Mr.Abhay Natu participated in answering the questianeer.
Besides I sent an emailed interview format to one Mr. of Chanakya Pariwar at my native town en:pune India.
Secondly , I personally went on to meet and took sample feed back from principal of local eminant Master of social work college Dr.Deepak Walokar of Karve Institute of Social Services .I woill be sharing that feed back in detail here (need a little time to do that)
One good suggession I liked from him was visitor trafic coming from India to en wikipedia should show other Indian languge main page options at the otp of the main page itself.Mahitgar 15:02, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I have given thought to adding few more my own recomondations and proposals , I need two things one is some time for myself and second is more particiaption .Best strategies would fail without adequate public intrest Mahitgar 15:04, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
May be I do not know what public needs Mahitgar 15:04, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Hi Mahitgar- Thanks so much for all of your active participation. It will definitely be important for other members of the task force to start to engage in some of the material. If you are not getting responses on liquid threads it might be a good idea to to e-mail them directly. Some taskforces are using IRC chat as a way to start there work. One other comment- I have posted a template Template:Recommendations for your team to use in writing up the strategic recommendations. It would be great if you and the other people on your task force could take a look at it, give me any feedback as to its usefulness, Ed start filling it out with some of your hypotheses around what strategic recommendations would be best and what analysis would be needed to support those recommendations. I am hoping that this template helps people to organize their thinking and analysis. Any ideas or comments on it would be very helpful to me. Sarah476 18:56, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes I liked Template:Recommendations and I noted a positive feed back some where about it but I was not signed in then .Thanks for your support .
At meta we have a page that takes note of users who edited more than 1000 times in different indian wikipedias , besides I active user lists of various wikipedias and user participating in discussions at en:Wikipedia talk:Noticeboard for India-related topics also can be spammed for supporting strategy wiki discussion.But first I need support in having a good spamming message and then may be bot support to spam their talk pages . Mahitgar 05:16, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Still no comments from India Task force people ?, I will come back in the evening to make some contributionsMahitgar 05:18, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Hi Mahitgar. Sorry about the slowness. The other Task Force members should be finalized this week. I skyped with Achal Prabhala (the facilitator of this Task Force) this morning, and I think this is going to be a very good group with active discussions. Thanks for your contributions and patience so far!