Wikimania05/Paper-RS1

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The Indonesian language Wikipedia[edit]

  • Author(s): Revo Arka Giri Soekatno
  • License: GFDL
  • Slides: {{{slides}}}
  • Video: {{{video}}}
  • Note:
About the author:
A recent picture of Revi, taken in June 2005.
Revo Arka Giri Soekatno, M.A. (Revo or Revi) was born on August 2, 1975 in Ambon, Indonesia. However, both his parents come from Surakarta in Central Java. He is a wikipedian since 2003. He was first known as Revoarkagiri but later as Meursault2004 because he was unable to log in at one time. Therefore he made a new account. He is a bureaucrat on the Indonesian language Wikipedia and a sysop on the Javanese and Malay language Wikipedia.

At this moment he is a researcher on Old Javanese literature and philology pursuing a PhD degree. He is conducting research on a so-called Middle Javanese text titled Kidung Tantri Kadiri written somewhere in the 16th or the 17th century AD. This is a Middle Javanese rendering of the most celebrated Indian Pañcatantra, which was originally written in Sanskrit. He plans to submit his thesis by the end of 2005 at the University of Leiden, in the Netherlands.

Although he is as such connected to the University of Leiden, he doesn’t live in Leiden. In the past three years (2003-2005), he was most to be found in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Abstract

The Indonesian language Wikipedia is a Wikipedia, which has grown rapidly in the past two years. On top of that, the Indonesian language Wikipedia is one of the bigger Wikipedias that contains more than 10,000 articles, while most of the speakers of the Indonesian language live or come from the Third World. If the Mandarin language Wikipedia weren’t to be counted, then the Indonesian language Wikipedia would be the biggest Wikipedia, which has come from the Third World.

As for the Mandarin language Wikipedia it is no surprise since Mandarin language speakers form the greatest number of speakers of any language. Furthermore many speakers of Mandarin live in the Developed World or at least in countries with adequate and widespread Internet access. Seen from that angle the achievement of the Indonesian language Wikipedia is more remarkable.

The interesting question would now be how the Indonesian language Wikipedia, which is an open content (web based) encyclopaedia, can experience such a growth in the past two years. That question is the central question in this paper.




Outline of the presentation[edit]

  • Some information on the Indonesian language and its speakers.
  • The dissemination of (encyclopaedic) information in the Indonesian language before there was Wikipedia
  • Our Wikipedians and their backgrounds
  • Why joining the Wikipedia community
  • The sources for the articles in the Indonesian language Wikipedia
  • What kind of articles gets the most page views?
  • Which issues are important for our Wikipedians? And how do they deal with problems on the Indonesian language Wikipedia, especially regarding vandalism and edit war?
  • What are needed for maintaining and possibly even expanding the community of the Indonesian language Wikipedia?
  • Conclusion

Presentation[edit]

'for Wikimania. Frankfurt am Main, August 5, 2005

The Indonesian language Wikipedia is a Wikipedia, which has grown rapidly in the past two years. On top of that, the Indonesian language Wikipedia is one of the bigger Wikipedias that contains more than 10,000 articles, while most of the speakers of the Indonesian language live or come from the Third World. If the Mandarin language Wikipedia weren’t to be counted, then the Indonesian language Wikipedia is the biggest Wikipedia, which has come from the Third World.

As for the Mandarin language Wikipedia, it is no surprise since Mandarin language speakers form the greatest number of speakers of any language. Furthermore many speakers of Mandarin live in the Developed World or at least in countries with adequate and widespread Internet access. Seen from that angle the achievement of the Indonesian language Wikipedia is more remarkable.

The interesting question would now be how the Indonesian language Wikipedia, which is an open content (web based) encyclopaedia, can experience such a growth in the past two years. This question is the main question in this paper. To answer this question several other questions need to be posed:

How was the dissemination of (encyclopaedic) information in the Indonesian language before there was Wikipedia?
Who are our Wikipedians and what are their backgrounds?
Why have they joined the Wikipedia community; what do they get?
What are the sources for the articles in the Indonesian language Wikipedia?
What kind of articles gets the most page views?
Which issues are important for our Wikipedians? And how do they deal with problems on the Indonesian language Wikipedia, especially regarding vandalism and edit war?
At last what are needed for maintaining and possibly even expanding the community of the Indonesian language Wikipedia?

Before discussing these questions, first some background information on the Indonesian language will be provided. Subsequently these questions will be dealt with and a conclusion will be drawn.

Background information[edit]

Bahasa Indonesia or the Indonesian language is the official language of Indonesia. It is a remarkable language in several ways. To begin with, only a tiny fraction of the inhabitants of Indonesia speak it as a mother tongue; for most people it is a second language. This language can be regarded very modern in certain sense: officially it came into being after the Second World War as the official language of the newly declared Republic of Indonesia. This language is a dynamic language that is constantly absorbing new loanwords, not only from the native (Austronesian) tongues spoken in the realm of the Republic of Indonesia, such as Javanese, but also from foreign tongues such as Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese languages (especially Hokkien), Portuguese, Dutch and English. The Dutch language has a special status as this was and to some still is the window to the Western World. Via the Dutch language, the Indonesian language receives many loanwords from other European languages such as Greek, Latin, French, and German.

For many foreigners learning Indonesian can be a rewarding experience, as phonology and grammar are relatively simple. The basic knowledge that is necessary for simple everyday communication can be picked up in a few weeks.

Indonesian is based on Malay, an Austronesian language that had been used as a lingua franca in Southeast-Asia for centuries. As such Indonesian is a modern Malay dialect. With the independence of Indonesia after World War II, it was elevated to the status of official language. It is essentially the same language as Malaysian Malay. The most significant difference is the vocabulary. It is spoken as a mother tongue only by 7% of the population of Indonesia and 45% of the population of Malaysia, but all together perhaps some 250 million people speak it as the first and a second language with varying degrees of proficiency; it is an essential means of communication in a region with more than 300 native languages. Furthermore, because of the open structure of the Indonesian language, it is proved highly successful as a unity language between inter-ethnic and inter-religious communities.

Dissemination of encyclopaedic knowledge in Indonesian before Wikipedia The speakers of Indonesian are mostly found in Indonesia and East Timor. In addition to that, many speakers are found in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Before the creation of the Indonesian Wikipedia on November 7, 2003, there wasn’t any comprehensive electronic encyclopaedia. There were only MS-Encarta and Encyclopaedia Britannica in English. However, as piracy is a serious problem in Indonesia, no doubt pirated editions were and are available. But this still doesn’t change the fact that the majority of Indonesians do not understand English quite well.

In Indonesian the three most well-known and most important encyclopaedias available in printed form:

  1. Ensiklopedi Nasional Indonesia (The National Encyclopaedia of Indonesia)
  2. Ensiklopedi Islam Indonesia (The Islamic Encyclopaedia of Indonesia)
  3. Ensiklopedi Gereja (The Encyclopaedia of the (Catholic) Church)

Just one of these three encyclopaedias can be used as a general reference work. The Islamic Encyclopaedia of Indonesia is based on the teachings and the philosophy of Islam, while The Encyclopaedia of the Catholic Church is not for general use. Most of the lemmas are connected to the Christian or specifically the Catholic faith.

On the other hand, on the Internet, encyclopaedic information in the Indonesian language was practically non-existent2. But with the creation of the English language Wikipedia project in 2001, a new opportunity emerged to present a comprehensive encyclopaedia in the Indonesian language. It is to be hoped that the Indonesian Wikipedia will be able to complement information not covered in these three encyclopaedias as well to offer an alternative of perhaps a more neutral point of view.

Timeline of the Indonesian Wikipedia[edit]

Below an outline of the history of the Indonesian language Wikipedia is provided:

May 31, 2005 – 10,000 articles
December 6, 2004 – 5,000 articles
May 4, 2004 – 2,000 articles
March 16, 2004 – 1,000 articles
March 4, 2004 – 500 articles
February 13, 2004 – 100 articles
November 29, 2003 – Main Page
November 7, 2003 – First article on the Indonesian language Wikipedia conceived, which is by the way appropriate in the context: DNA (Asam deoksiribonukleat)

The Wikipedians of the Indonesian language Wikipedia[edit]

On July the 25th 2005, the Indonesian language Wikipedia contained at least 1439 registered users. Of these 1439 users according to Erik Zachte’s statistics http://www.wikipedia.org/wikistats/EN/TablesWikipediaID.htm, there were 49 active contributors, which were active in the past 30 days (stand May 21st 2005). Additionally there were 20 contributors who were active before the past 30 days. So totally there were 69 contributors whose names were recorded. Twenty users from these 69 contributors were interwiki users and bots. So after they are subtracted we are left with 49 users. Two of these users are sock puppets as a result the actual number is 47. Please note that these 47 users are not the total amount of users who ever submitted an article but just a sample, which is considered representative as it deals with 79,3 % of the edits3.

Below, these users will be dealt with. In the following table the usernames and their background will be presented. Please note once again that this list is based on Erik Zachte’s statistics, which was last updated on May 21, 2005. As a consequent, many Wikipedians who were registered and became active after this date are not listed. Other data not available in Eric Zachte’s list are taken from the users’ personal pages or their profile in the Indonesian language mailing list.


User name
Age*
(Presumed) nationality or ethnicity
Domicile
Profession
Activity
First Edit
Wiki-Id**
Any edit in the past 30 days?
1
  • drew
19
Indonesian
Singapore
Student
Very active
3-11-2004
+
2
AFP
15
Indonesian
Indonesia
Student
Very active
25-3-2005
+
3
Alvi198
29
Indonesian
Indonesia
ICT
Occasionally active
14-7-2004
+
4
Andika
39
Indonesian
Indonesia
ICT
Somewhat active
13-10-2004
-
5
Andrecht
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
-
Somewhat active
13-4-2005
+
6
Array064
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
-
Occasionally active
28-11-2004
+
7
Aurora
-
Malaysian
Malaysia
-
Active
6-10-2004
+
8
Bennylin
20
Indonesian
Indonesia
Student
Active
5-12-2004
-
9
Bery Wijaya
-
Indonesian
-
-
Occasionally active
24-4-2005
+
10
Cogito
58
Dutch
Holland
Civil servant
Somewhat active
10-4-2004
-
11
Djoko and AutoHumanTranslation
-
Indonesian
Singapore
Student
Very active
12-3-2004
-
12
Dwichandra
31
Indonesian
Australia
Lecturer/ICT
Occasionally active
19-2-2005
+
13
Edsmedia
19
Indonesian
Australia
Student
Very active
3-7-2004
-
14
Erwinzs
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
ICT
Occasionally active
20-4-2005
+
15
Faithtear
22
Indonesian
Indonesia
Student
Active
16-4-2005
+
16
Femmy
27
Indonesian
Indonesia
Editor
Somewhat active
29-12-2004
+
17
Hanoman
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
-
Somewhat active
15-10-2004
+
18
Hayabusa future
19
Indonesian
Australia
Student
Extremely active
13-8-2004
+
19
Homo soloensis
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
-
Occasionally active
1-5-2005
+
20
Indoboy
14
Indonesian
Indonesia
Student
Somewhat active
30-3-2005
+
21
Jacinta
25
Indonesian
Indonesia
Editor
Somewhat active
30-11-2004
+
22
Kandar
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
ICT
Very active
16-3-2004
+
23
Kisti
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
-
Very active
10-12-2004
+
24
Kolomonggo
29
Indonesian
Indonesia
Lecturer
Very active
30-4-2004
-
25
Komunitas
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
-
Occasionally active
26-7-2004
+
26
Leo Cahyadi
-
Indonesian
-
-
Occasionally active
19-4-2005
+
27
LouCypher
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
ICT
Very active
25-11-2004
+
28
Maglev
-
Indonesian
-
-
Somewhat active
5-5-2005
+
29
Mesa
15
Indonesian
Indonesia
Student
Occasionally active
1-5-2005
+
30
Meursault2004 and Revoarkagiri
29
Indonesian
Holland
Indonesia
Researcher
Extremely active
4-2-2004
+
31
Midori
-
Indonesian
-
-
Somewhat active
9-3-2005
+
32
Nasikan
40
Indonesian
Indonesia
Lecturer
Occasionally active
29-4-2005
+
33
Nikai
-
Austrian
Austria
-
Active
30-4-2004
+
34
Pboy2k5
-
Indonesian
-
-
Somewhat active
8-3-2005
+
35
Prass
-
Indonesian
-
-
Somewhat active
21-10-2004
-
36
Pyurio
-
Indonesian
-
-
Somewhat active
25-3-2005
-
37
Rintojiang
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
Engineer
Somewhat active
30-12-2004
+
38
RizKinHead69
15
Indonesian
Indonesia
Student
Occasionally active
29-4-2005
+
39
Roscoe x
25
Indonesian
Taiwan
Student
Very active
14-11-2004
+
40
Taman kodok
-
Indonesian
-
-
Very active
18-6-2004
+
41
Tengku syariful
-
Indonesian
Indonesia
Medical doctor
Extremely active
12-10-2004
-
42
Vyasa
-
Indonesian
Holland
Student
Somewhat active
25-10-2003
-
43
Wiwit
31
Indonesian
Germany
Researcher
Somewhat active
19-1-2005
-
44
Wkuncoro
-
Indonesian
-
-
Occasionally active
10-5-2005
+
45
Yopohari
40
Polish
Germany
Lecturer/ICT
Somewhat active
14-12-2004
+
46
Yosri
-
Malaysian
Malaysia
-
Very active
12-11-2003
+
47
Zaini Suherly
25
Indonesian
Indonesia
Student
Very active
6-12-2004
+


Articles edit

0-20 Occasionally active

21-100 Somewhat active

101-250 Active

251-1000 Very active

1000 Extremely active

  • By May 21, 2005
    • Day/Month/Year

Statistical overview[edit]

As is visible, the absolute majority or about 90% of the Indonesian language Wikipedia users come from Indonesia or have the Indonesian nationality. However, the number of active users with other nationalities cannot be neglected either: there are five users or about 10%. Three from these five users are active and very active users.

As for these users with the Indonesian nationality, about ten of them reside or have resided abroad. Relatively ten out of 42 (= 47 total users – 5 foreign users) is 24% or about one fourth. Furthermore, six out of the ten Indonesian users who reside or have resided abroad are very active or extremely active. Here a preliminary conclusion can be drawn that users who are in the category active to extremely active reside abroad. Probably this has something to do with the more sufficient connectivity to the Internet abroad as opposed to Indonesia.

Profession As for the profession of the users, the following data can be deduced:

Student/Researcher: 14
Lecturer: 4
Information and Computer Technology specialist: 5 (+ 2 part timers)
Editor: 2
Engineer: 1
Medical doctor: 1
Civil servant: 1
Unknown: 20

Two lecturers are also active as ICT specialists, but what is dealt with here is their main occupation. A preliminary conclusion that can be drawn here is that about 30% of the contributors are students or researchers. Additionally people with an ICT background are also well represented with some five of them or about 11%. But if the two part time ICT specialists are added to this figure then we will get 14%. Unfortunately the professions of the other 20 contributors are not known. But probably they follow a similar pattern.

If these 20 users are subtracts, then the relative number of each profession will be:

Students and Researchers: 52%
Lecturers: 15%
ICT: 18% 
Editors: 7%
Other: 8%

Age The age of 22 out of 47 users can be traced. The youngest known Indonesian language Wikipedia user is 14 years old while the oldest known is 58 years old. The age of the users can be divided in three different categories. Below a table with the percentage of the users is provided:

Category               Amount   Percentage   
Adolescent (<18)         3         6,4 %
Young adult (18 – 35)   15        31,9 %
Middle aged > (35)       4         8,5 %
Unknown                 25        53,2 %
Total             47         100 %

Relatively, the category young adult is the biggest with its 31,9%, next to the category of unknown. If the users of which the age is not known are subtracted, then the following figures emerge.

Category             Amount    Percentage   
Adolescent (<18)        3         13,6 %
Young adult (18 – 35)  15         68,1 %
Middle aged > (35)      4         18,2 %
Total                  22          100 %

It appears that about 2/3 of the users of the Indonesian language Wikipedia are in the category Young adult (between 18 – 35 years old) according to this categorisation.

Ancienneté Below a table with the ancienneté of the number of users is provided.

Period Category Number of users Relative number of edits To March 16, 2004 Pioneers 5 28,17 % To August 13, 2004 Settlers 8 24,37 % From August 13, 2004 Migrants 34 26.76 % Unknown Unregistered and occasional visitors. Unknown 20,7 % Total


100 %

The total number of contributors is divided into four categories in analogy to the colonisation of a country. The pioneers are the most ancient or senior users who explored, cleared, and prepared the area, prior to the coming of the settlers who are laying the basic infrastructure. The migrants are the contributors who registered after the basic infrastructure has been constructed. The anonymous or unregistered users and occasional visitors such as interwiki users and bot belong to the fourth category.

It appears that the relative number of edits is more or less evenly distributed among these four categories. The contribution of the pioneers is still the greatest however which means that the Indonesian language Wikipedia is still in its formative period.

Anonymous users Eric Zachte’s statistics also show the IP addresses of ten anonymous or unregistered users based on their number of edits. The author of this paper was able to track the provenance of most of them using IP-locator.

Table[edit]

User Location Edits 203.130.255.177 Malang, East Java 207 202.162.208.70 Sidoarjo, East Java 155 222.124.10.51 Jakarta 107 203.130.226.203 Jakarta 75 144.132.104.206 Melbourne, Australia 73 202.78.195.13 Unknown 65 24.18.214.196 Seattle, USA 61 202.146.241.9 Jakarta 47 61.94.172.203 Earp, California, USA 44 202.155.120.225 Jakarta 43

These IP addresses are dynamic addresses, which were probably used by different users. A caveat must be inserted here; a portion of these are cases of vandalism or user testing the MediaWiki software. At least the provenance of the users can be traced.

Until May 21, 2005, the total number of the top ten of the anonymous edits was 877. From these ten addresses, six are certainly Indonesian, two are Americans, one is Australian and one indefinite. But if one looks into detail, the edits which came from Indonesian addresses have a 72% share. A conclusion can be drawn here that most of the anonymous contributors come from Indonesia.

Joining the Indonesian language Wikipedia Some of these 47 registered contributors expressed their reason for joining the Indonesian language Wikipedia on their personal page. A selection of these is presented below.

Aurora This user is actually a native speaker of Malaysian Malay. But he (she?) likes to contribute here as he thinks Indonesian is a sister language of Malay.

Edsmedia The hope of this user by joining Wikipedia is to help the Indonesian language Wikipedia to grow further, especially today in this information age. It is more than reasonable that speakers of Indonesian must be able to find information easily in their tongue. It is necessary for this website to grow, especially for the need of students who are doing research work.

Femmy This user is a translator and an editor. She thinks Wikipedia offers her the opportunity to sharpen her skill in translating English articles into Indonesian, especially the Translation of the Week project. Furthermore as an editor she is very fanatic in issues connected with the official spelling of the Indonesian language. As such she is fond of the Wiki principal because she can correct the misspelling of users unlike in ordinary websites.

Hayabusa future This user is also a sysop of the Indonesian Wikipedia and more than active user. His main activities on Indonesian language Wikipedia is to categorise articles and to translate existing articles into Indonesian from English language Wikipedia. Since it is much easier and less time intensive to do, than doing his own research and writing his own article.

Kandar Kandar is a sysop of the Indonesian language Wikipedia. He is fond of the Wikipedia as it enables him to translate technical web related items and interface into Indonesian.

Komunitas This user’s only intention is to watch articles on the Indonesian Wikipedia in order to be neutral as much as possible.

Rintojiang This user who is also active in the discussion forum Chinese-Indonesian wants to share the information available to him. Furthermore he also wants to discuss and to present information on Chinese culture in Indonesia and Chinese history in the Indonesian language.

Tengku syariful This user was interested in joining the Indonesian language Wikipedia after reading an article about Wikipedia on Majalah Tempo, one of the most renowned weekly news magazine of Indonesia.

Most of the reason explained here are linguistic, ideological, sharing information and especially in developing and in presenting information in the Indonesian language.

What's more it needs to be stressed here that there are several users who aren’t actually (native) speakers of Indonesian but who have joined the Indonesian language Wikipedia and edit some articles, probably in order to learn Indonesian. These contributors are Nikai from Austria and Yopohari from Poland but who currently resides in Germany. User Cogito doesn’t belong to this category as he is of Indonesian descent. On the other hand, user Femmy might belong to the same category as a person who wants to learn or to maintain knowledge of foreign language by joining Wikipedia.

As for user Hayabusa future, who fluently speaks English, chooses to translate existing articles in English language Wikipedia into Indonesian just because they are available. This is quite different reason than Femmy’s reason.

Sources for the articles of the Indonesian language Wikipedia An interesting question would be to ask where the sources of the existing articles in the Indonesian language Wikipedia come from. After being observed by the author, it appears that most of the articles do not mention any references regarding the sources. Only a small minority do so. However, many of the articles are clearly translation of other languages Wikipedia articles, especially from the English, but also from German and Dutch language version. Therefore it is safe to postulate that a substantial part of the Indonesian articles are translation from the English ones. Several users on the Indonesian language Wikipedia also mention the fact that they often translate English language articles into Indonesian. These users are among others: Djoko, Femmy, Hayabusa future, Jacinta, Meursault2004 and Roscoe x.

What kind of articles gets the most page views? The list of the 100 most viewed Indonesian language Wikipedia pages is to be found on http://www2.knams.wikimedia.org/logwood/logwood.php?site=id.wikipedia.org. A version was retrieved on July 25, 2005.

These articles can be categorised, below the categories are presented in a table:

Table[edit]

Categories Amount Religion 5 Recently in the news 13 Astronomy 3 Language and literature 6 ICT 4 Indonesia 17 Chemistry 2 Geography & Topography 10 Sport 2 Portal 14 General science 11 History 1 Wikipedia 12

100


Fourteen out of 100 pages are so-called portal pages, which link to other articles. Furthermore twelve pages are specific Wikipedia related pages. For the sake of our analysis these 26 pages should be left out. After that the total number of pages is 74. Out of these 74 pages, seventeen pages (23 %) are related to Indonesian things and thirteen (18,9 %) are related to articles, which are recently in the news. Together both account for 42 % of all articles and as such stands far above the rest. So a conclusion can be drawn here regarding the most popular pages among the visitors of the Indonesian Wikipedia. Most of these articles are translation of articles, which were originally in English.

What issues are important to the users of the Indonesian language Wikipedia? In order to find out what issues are important to our Wikipedians, the author has conducted a survey in the Warung Kopi (the discussion forum, the Indonesian equivalent of the English Village Pump) and the mailing list of Indonesian language Wikipedia. Polling has also been conducted among the users of Wikipedians; several of them have reacted.

Warung Kopi From beginning of 2004 until mid 2005, 91 topics have been discussed in the Warung Kopi. These topics can be divided further into nine categories: announcements, articles, bots, language and literature, lay out of Wikipedia and community issues, Mediawiki software related issues, NPOV-disputes, and Wikipedia events.

Below the relative number of each category is presented:

Categories Amount Announcements 11%

Articles 12%

Bots 3,30%

Language and literature 38,50%

Lay out of Wikipedia and community issues 23%

Mediawiki software related issues 4,40%

NPOV-disputes 3,30%

Wikipedia events 4,40%

100 %


Out of these categories, the category “Language and Literature” stands far above the rest with its 38,5 %. In the second place stand the discussions about the Indonesian language Wikipedia and other community issues which number 23 %. Furthermore discussions about articles and announcements are respectively 11 % and 12 %.

Mailing list of the Indonesian language Wikipedia The other forum of discussions is the Yahoo based mailing list of the Indonesian language Wikipedia. This is to be found on the following address: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wiki-id/. In this mailing list forum, the discussed topics are different than in the Village Pump. Most of the posted messages resemble chat box conversations. However, several community issues are discussed as well as issues concerning the proper use of the Indonesian language.

Interview Consequently, in connection with Wikimania, a separate page was created about this event and several questions are raised, among others; what issues do the users consider most important. Several users have reacted; their reactions are listed below:

Roscoe x: This user considers the presentation of facts as important. Furthermore he thinks articles regarding Medical sciences and physics are the most important to be presented to the general public.

Kandar: This user is a sysop on the Sundanese language Wikipedia and he thinks that the dissemination of the Sundanese language (which is a minority language) and also of the Indonesian language on the Internet as very important. He also points out the remarkable fact that although Internet connection is relatively still expensive in Indonesia, the Indonesian language Wikipedia has grown fast in the past two years.

Barfoos: This new user who just recently joined the Wikipedia community, thinks that the NPOV (neutral point of view) principal as the most important issue. He also finds that this principal has been applied relatively well on the Indonesian language Wikipedia.

Out of these three users, Barfoos has expressed a point which hasn’t been discussed earlier, namely the NPOV principle. Barfoos’ opinion takes us to the next topic that will be discussed. That is the interaction between the users of the Indonesian language Wikipedia or specifically the question how they deal with problems.

Problems in the Indonesian language Wikipedia The Indonesian language Wikipedia as a forum or a community where a large number of visitor gather, evidently show the typical character found in large gathering of people as in real life. But the problems faced by Wikipedia as a free content encyclopaedia are specific. Three problems, which will be dealt with in this occasion are: 1.Vandalism 2.NPOV-disputes 3.Edit wars

Vandalism. As any other Wiki project, the Indonesian language Wikipedia has suffered acts of vandalism. But the community of the Indonesian language Wikipedia is already a cohesive one. So any acts of vandalism will be dealt with quickly. Anonymous users who have been blocked by the sysops are relatively seen not so many, especially in comparison with other Wikipedias, none has been blocked indefinitely. None of the registered users have been blocked. However there isn’t yet any efficient counter vandalism mechanism, such as for example in the Dutch language Wikipedia. No doubt when the Indonesian language Wikipedia will grow even larger, such a mechanism will be implemented.

NPOV-disputes. The Wikipedia project is able to stand because of its NPOV principle. Although many has criticised this principal, none has done so on the Indonesian Wikipedia. This principle has also been applied relatively well here. Violations of this principle of course do happen, especially in articles regarding religion and politics. It has to be acknowledged that in the past ten years, there has been many inter communal conflicts in Indonesia, where the largest concentration of Indonesian speakers live. It is certainly unavoidable that aspects of real life trickle down in the electronic medium on Internet such as the Wikipedia. However these disputes never escalate. Most of the times, these disputes can be solved with discussions and consensus. But when they do escalate, they will be dealt with discretely by deleting the articles concerned without much ado.

Edit wars. Edit wars happen when different individuals with different points of view work on the same articles and none will concede. Both will then revert each other’s edit continuously. Of course this kind of behaviour is not conducive to the development to Wikipedia in general. Surprisingly until now edit war is practically non-existent in the Indonesian language Wikipedia. There has only been one case of edit war concerning the article about Surakarta (Solo). At this moment Surakarta is an important city in Central Java. But in the past this city was even more important as it was once the capital of the Javanese kingdom New Mataram. This edit war occurred in April 2005. An anonymous user has edited this article and used an unusual lay out while a template for Indonesian cities is already available. In addition to that, there are possible cases of violation against the NPOV principle, as this anonymous user tends to promote the causes of certain group. Then user Meursault2004 expressed his objections. Another user, user Hayabusa future then decided to edit this article in order to render it more acceptable conform Wikipedia standards. This anonymous user disagreed and reverted any changes. Ultimately a discussion took place and a compromise was taken. For the time being two articles concerning the same subject are tolerated. This decision has been taken in order not to escalate the problem as the number of registered users is still comparatively low and harmony between users is more than desirable. However, when similar acts do happen in the future, a more drastic measure will be taken. The page in question will be protected and the anonymous user will be banned.

The community of the Indonesian language Wikipedia is proven to be quite mature in dealing with problems. Consequently escalated problems are as such prevented.

What are needed for maintaining and possibly even expanding the community of the Indonesian language Wikipedia Finally some thoughts on the necessities in maintaining and expanding the community of the Indonesian language Wikipedia will be presented here. One of the things, which haven’t been done by the community of the Indonesian language Wikipedia, is to organise a meeting up. This has been put forward implicitly by user Kandar. He takes for example the fact that the Sundanese Wikipedia has been discussed in the International Congress of the Sundanese language, which has taken place in the end of June 2005. Accordingly it will very favourable to organise a specific meeting up of the Indonesian language Wikipedia, possibly simultaneously with the Malay, Javanese and Sundanese language Wikipedias. This event undoubtedly will tighten the cohesion between the members of the community. Ideally this meeting up, besides being informal should also contain a workshop.

Another possibility, which could be a follow up of the meeting up and deserves a consideration in promoting the Indonesian language Wikipedia, is to promote its use among pupils of schools. Team of Wikipedians could be visiting schools and universities and promote the Indonesian language Wikipedia. Contributors could even be paid, for example Rp 5.000,- (€ 0,50 or US$ 0.50) for each articles. An article-writing contest could also be organised. If these activities prove to be successful, similar activities could be organised for Sundanese and Javanese language Wikipedias. Non-existing Wikipedias in other yet regional Indonesian languages with a large number of speakers such as the Balinese, Batak, Madurese and Buginese languages could even be set up. Articles from the Indonesian language Wikipedia could then be translated into these languages as this will be easier for most of the users than directly from English or let alone other foreign languages.

Conclusion[edit]

In this paper the question was raised how the Indonesian language Wikipedia can experience a phenomenal growth in the past two years while this language is largely spoken in the Third World. To answer this question, other questions have been posed here as well. Below the answers to this questions will be presented.

Before there was an Indonesian language Wikipedia, encyclopaedic information in the Indonesian language was restricted and exclusive and then only in expensive printed form. There was not yet an electronic version available. Only English language electronic encyclopaedias such as MS-Encarta and Encyclopaedia Britannica were available. But with the creation of the Indonesian language Wikipedia, it is estimated that this need is fulfilled. Furthermore the information available is gathered in a central place and not fragmented and dispersed in several places.

The majority of the users and contributors of the Indonesian language Wikipedia come from Indonesia. However, the most active contributors are living abroad. This is one of the factors that contributed to the phenomenal growth of the Indonesian language Wikipedia. Because the internet infrastructure is not yet fully developed in Indonesia. However, the users and contributors from Indonesia itself cannot be neglected. On the contrary, although Internet connection is still relatively expensive, Indonesians in particular and speakers of the Indonesian language in general have a thirst for information and knowledge. These factors proved to be conducive in making the Indonesian language Wikipedia a success. Furthermore most of the contributors are young and to be found in age category 18 – 35 years old. Most of them are students or researchers.

The majority of the users have joined Wikipedia because they want to share knowledge and information with other speakers of the Indonesian language. Most speakers of the Indonesian language are not well versed in English or other foreign languages. Consequently, they prefer to use Indonesian. Please note that the Indonesian language itself is a second language for most of its speakers. For those who are well versed in English, they chose to translate articles from English into Indonesian instead of largely contributing articles in the English language Wikipedia in order to help other Indonesians who are not well acquainted with the English language. This fact can be clearly seen on the number of the most popular pages. Out of 100 most popular pages, 36 % of them are articles connected to Indonesian things and topics that were recently in the news. Most of these articles are translation of articles, which were originally in English.

A substantial number of the articles in the Indonesian language Wikipedia is based, or translated from articles in the English language Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia at this moment already has more than 650.000 articles. Therefore this is a plentiful source, which can be mined at any time. Needless to say not all articles in the Indonesian language Wikipedia come from the English ones. There are also plenty of original works too.

In the Wikipedia forums Warung Kopi (Indonesian counterpart of the English Village Pump) and the mailing list, most of the issues discussed are about the Indonesian language. Most of them are about Indonesian equivalents of English words and Indonesian terms. This factor is very stimulating for the understanding of both the Indonesian and the English language.

The Indonesian language Wikipedia can also be regarded as a model Wikipedia because the users act towards one another in spirit of brotherhood. The principles of dialogue, consensus and NPOV are held in high esteem. This has been proven by the fact that in the last two years there has only been one known example of edit war. This conflict was even concluded with a compromise, which was rather satisfying for everybody.

Finally it is important to organise a meeting up for the Wikipedians of the Indonesian language Wikipedia, possibly in cooperation with the Wikipedians of the Malay language Wikipedia in order to maintain the community as well to promote the use of the Indonesian Wikipedia.

At last the main question why the Indonesian Wikipedia was able to experience a phenomenal growth despite the fact that most speakers of the Indonesian language do live in the Third World, is the strong sense of community between the users and the contributors. Many of the most active users live abroad in the Developed World, yet they chose to write articles in the Indonesian language in order that the speakers of the Indonesian language who don’t contribute can use their work in general. However, the contribution of the Indonesian users in Indonesia itself cannot be underestimated. Although Internet access is still relatively expensive, the Indonesian users who do have a thirst for knowledge and information still visit Wikipedia.

References[edit]

Websites:

Publications[edit]

  • Abdul Mukti Ali and Harun Nasution (ed.), 1993, Ensiklopedi Islam Indonesia. Jakarta: IAIN dan Departemen Agama.
  • Ensiklopedi, 1988 – 1994, Ensiklopedi Nasional Indonesia. Jakarta: Cipta Adi Pustaka
  • Adolf Heuken, 1991 – 1995, Ensiklopedi Gereja. Jakarta: Yayasan Cipta Loka Caraka