A Kannada Wikipedia Workshop in Mysore

Posted by U.B.Pavanaja at Aug 13, 2013 02:05 PM |
On Tuesday, August 6, 2013, a day-long Kannada Wikipedia workshop was conducted at the Centre for Proficiency Development and Placement Services (CPDPS), Manasa Gangotri campus, University of Mysore, Karnataka by the Centre for Internet and Society's Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K) team. Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop.
A Kannada Wikipedia Workshop in Mysore

Dr P Nagabhushan speaking after inaugurating the workshop, (by UB Pavanaja, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

The main objective of this workshop was to acquaint the participants about Wikipedia and get them a hands-on experience of editing Wikipedia and also encourage them to contribute to the Kannada Wikipedia. The participants were also asked to reflect upon their experiences and perceptions of editing and contributing to Wikipedia, and identify areas in which they could add more value to the existing initiatives.

Most of the previous Kannada Wikipedia workshops have been well covered well by the leading Kannada newspapers like Vijaya Karnataka, Prajavani, etc.

This generated quite some interest in many people and we began getting requests to conduct more Kannada Wikipedia workshops. One such request came from Prof. Niranjana Vanalli, Director of CPDPS, to conduct a Kannada Wikipedia workshop at his centre. The date was finalised for August 6, 2013. This was announced in the leading local newspapers. As a result, nearly 50 persons registered for the workshop.

Kannada Wikipedia workshop CPDPS Mysore

Above: Dr. Pavanaja conducting the workshop in Mysore

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. P. Nagabhushan, Chairman of Computer Studies, Dept. of Studies in Computer Science, University of Mysore. He said that Wikipedia could facilitate the growth of Kannada language in this digital era. Prof. Niranjana Vanalli welcomed everyone and also did the role of MC for the inaugural program. The workshop was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. started about half an hour late. Initially there were 22 people and as the day progressed we saw more people joining in for the workshop. In the end there were about 60 participants. Dr. Pavanaja spoke briefly and requested Mysore University to re-release their famous Kannada Encyclopaedia under the Creative Commons license so as to facilitate the growth of Kannada Wikipedia.

The inauguration programme was very well covered by media. The Hindu highlighted my request about releasing encyclopaedias under the Creative Commons license.

After the inauguration, all those who were interested in the hands-on session shifted to the computer lab in the same building. Dr. Pavanaja gave a presentation on Wikipedia, then Kannada Wikipedia, and then spoke about its importance. This was followed by some demos on using Wikipedia and editing Wikipedia. The participants created their usernames in Kannada Wikipedia. Very soon the limit of creating 6 new editors per IP address was reached and the remaining people could not create their usernames. Some participants registered using Dr. Pavanaja’s laptop. The rest of the participants watched the demos and promised to go home and register later. Many people did so and have e-mailed their usernames.

Kiran Ravikumar, a young active Wikipedian from Mysore gave a brief presentation about Creative Commons and how to use it with Wikipedia. He demonstrated uploading some image under Wikimedia Commons and linking it from Wikipedia.

Kiran Ravikumar

Above: Wikipedian Kiran Ravikumar making his presentation

Some new editors have begun doing wiki editing. We may need to monitor, and nurture these new editors till the time they become well versed.

We would like to thank Prof. Niranjana Vanalli for all the local arrangements, publicity and and making the workshop to happen.