Access to Knowledge Work Plan: Synopsis of Feedback by Wikipedians

Posted by Nitika Tandon at May 20, 2013 06:00 AM |
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The Centre for Internet and Society's Access to Knowledge team shared its annual work plan with the larger Wikipedia community. Over the last one month, Access to Knowledge team members were involved in receiving feedback from community members over mailing lists, private emails, Wikimedia Meta, IRC, and one-on-one conversations. In this post, we are sharing a brief summary of the feedback received.

Odia

by Arjun Rao C.
Village/Block/District project in Telugu Wikipedia was not useful for growing Wikipedia, as even five years after stubs were created using a bot, large percentage of articles never grew into regular articles. It is better to take the top down approach of district articles and then based on that experience, expanding to include Block/Village articles.

Kannada

by Arjun Rao C.
Recently we had a press- Wikimedia panel discussion as part of Telugu Wikipedia Celebration in April 2013 at Hyderabad. I also made attempts to do wiki academies for Jouranlists in the past few years in Telugu and Kannada. Based on what I understand, journalists are always pressed for time and while it will be useful for them to know about Wikipedia, they may not turn out to be editors. At best they will be able to provide a good coverage for Wikipedia events. It is better to target journalism training schools and incorporate Wikipedia during their course, as a way to hone their skills while helping Wikipedia. Also my experience with engineering colleges is not that great for promoting Non English Wikipedia’s. Engineering colleges provide is good computing infrastructure. If we can get the non-engineering students to utilize that infrastructure or provide alternate computing infrastructure that can be very helpful.

by Sharihareswara (WMF)
One additional institution to perhaps partner with: the Mysore Folklore Museum.

Konkani

by Frederick Noronha

  • There is definite interest in a Konkani Wikipedia, but we seem to have hit an air pocket due to lack of interest.
  • There is a need to build two communities (i) the literary community, who has the content (ii) the tech guys, who can sort out keyboard and other issues -- or popularise available solutions being used by other same-script groups. As of now, there is no bridge between the two.
  • Volunteering needs some priming. Maybe we should work with a handful of volunteers who are willing to convert the basic strings needed to set up a Wikipedia. I've already been working (at the personal level) with Isidore Dantas, urging him to help with it... and he has been doing a good job (Romi-script Konkani).
  • Instead of getting caught up with contentious issues like which script is official or the most suited, in my view it would be helpful to build Wikipedia for at least the main three scripts (Kannada, Roman and Devanagari) and let all coexist. The dialectical differences that exist between different scrips makes for difficulties in machine translation and differing comfort levels to use scripts which one is not used to.
  • Some institutions have been approached too by various quarters (Goa Konkani Academy, Dalgado Konkani Academy in Panjim, Goa University staff) but unless we get something actually going to show, it would be hard to convince people to start volunteering. For a number of reasons, I'd think that Konkani writers are often less computer-savvy than writers of other Indian languages... It's now changing, but still...

Konkani

by Outofindia
Please add St Aloysius College Managlore as an institution where we could consider having workshops like we did at the Nirmala Institute in Goa. I will help set it up. As Frederick suggests, we could have all the three script tracks (Kannada, Roman and Devanagari)and working together in a physical space will probably be helpful.

Bangla

by Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay
<http://tagoreweb.in/>, SNLTR's hosted instance and <http://sarat-rachanabali.becs.ac.in/> are limited in their utility that they provide no means of using the text as a corpus or, trainer. These are efforts worthy of appreciation. However, providing the means for others to re-use the content as opposed to passive browser based viewing is equally important.

I hope your assessment included that fact. Plus, I am always wary when I read statements like "SNLTR has established that Unicode 5.0 and above as the standard that can be adopted for different e-governance applications and is also in parity with the international practice and standard". In my limited understanding of how standardization does happen, this is not the case.

by Ragib Hasan
That's a nice plan. One thing I'd recommend is to get media involved (perhaps you already have that in the plan, sorry if I'm just repeating it). In particular, you need to get the local Bengali language media (newspaper, TV) involved so that they publish news reports on Wikipedia.

In Bangladesh, it was not easy at the start to get people interested. It took a good media campaign in Bengali language newspapers to get people interested. Also, you should get in touch with the Bengali language blogging community in India (if there is one) and try to get them involved.

By the way, the number of native speakers cited at the start of the article is vastly underestimated .... Bangladesh alone has 160 million native speakers, plus at least half of that in West Bengal.

by Dwaipayan Chakraborti
As Ragib mentioned, local media is important. Do we have any plan on this already? Anyone in touch with media? Or knows anybody? Jayanta nath may be of help.

by Jayanta Nath
English news media had already reported about Bengali Wikipedia few times. But Local Bengali news media (Anandabazar, Bartaman, Eisomy, Pratidin, Ajkaal,) no response at all and no interest about Bengali Wikipedia. I had tried with my personal level of contact. All Bengali news print media want business from Wikipedia, then only they can report about Bengali Wikipedia. Anyone in this mailing list in touch with Bengali media for fresh contact?

Overall Languages

by Abhinavgarule
Concept of Wikipedia Student Partners:- Wiki Student Partners are students from colleges who will help students in solving their queries and keeping follow ups of “How to edit on Wikipedia?”  Can we start this wiki student partner concept?? In this pilot project??

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