Bengali Wikipedia 10th Anniversary Celebration Bangladesh/Divisional Workshop reports
Bengali Wikipedia (https://bn.wikipedia.org/) has completed 10 Years on March 2014. To celebrate this historic milestone the Bengali Wikimedia Community from Bangladesh is hosting and organizing a series of activities throughout Bangladesh to celebrate the anniversary as well as conducting outreach programs and university workshops throughout the country. The event is sponsored by Grameenphone and Wikimedia Foundation and organizing by Wikimedia Bangladesh (WMBD).
Bengali Wikipedia has stepped into its 10th year and has gradually become the largest Bengali website on the internet with about 35000 articles. On the occasion of tenth anniversary of Bengali Wikipedia, a massive outreach program is being held on seven divisional cities of Bangladesh along with edit-a-thons and workshops in an attempt to increase contributors.
With the help of Grameenphone the program has already been inured through a press conference on November 24, 2014 at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro in Dhaka. The press conference was covered by most of the television channels and newspapers in Bangladesh. It was announced at the event that WMBD will arrange university workshop and photowalk at 7 divisional cities in the country. It was also announced that three best Wikipedian from 7 divisions of the country would be selected for the Best Wikipedian award. The best three Wikipedian from across the country will be rewarded at the 10th anniversary conference to be held in February 2015. Outreach Workshops and edit-a-thons in 6 (out of 7) divisional cities and Photography contest has already been completed as part of this event.
Workshops and Bengali wikipedia contributors' meet
In every workshop, at the very beginning there were Guests arrival & Registration procedure then Grameenphone made a presentation on the importance of internet. There was training on Bengali Content enrichment in Wikipedia, donation of photographs on Wikimedia Commons and another presentation on Internet Safety. At the middle of the program there was training on Bengali Content enrichment- contribution in Wikipedia process through mobile devices. A quiz competition also held among the trainees and the winners were awarded certificate by WMBD and Grameenphone. Breakfast, Lunch, T-shirts and other logistics were also provided each of every participants attended on these day long events. The goal of the workshops were to introduce Wikipedia (especially Bengali Wikipedia), and show the attendees how to edit the articles and contribute photographs to Wikimedia Commons. Usernames were collected from each and every event so that we can reach out to the attendees in future.
As a part of seven divisional outreach program the very first event was held at Independent University, Chittagong on November 29, 2014. Along with local wikimedian from Chittagong WMBD, community outreach director Nahid Sultan, Tanweer Morshed and Sufe were presented from Dhaka. Altogether, over 60 participants attended on the workshop. The event was opened with a opening speech by Prof. M. Nuruzzaman, Dean, engineering department of CIU. The event is circulated by local and national dailies.
The second divisional outreach program was held at Metropolitan University, Sylhet division on December 3, 2014. Along with local wikimedian from Sylhet the president of WMBD Mr. Munir Hasan, Community outreach director Nahid Sultan and Moheen Reeyad were presented from Dhaka. Altogether, over 70 participants attended on the workshop. The event was opened with a opening speech by Bangladeshi author of science fiction and children's literature Prof. Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, head of the department of electrical and electronics engineering at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. The event is circulated by local and national dailies.
The 3rd divisional outreach program was held at University of Barisal, Barisal division on December 9, 2014. Along with local wikimedian from Barisal, Community outreach director of WMBD Nahid Sultan Dhaka University campus ambassador of Wikipedia Zahid Hossain Khan and active wikipedian Nabil Neazee were presented from Dhaka. Altogether, over 65 participants attended on the workshop. The event was opened with a opening speech by Mr. Faisal Ahmed, head of the department of computer science and engineering of BU. The event is circulated by local and national dailies.
Barendra University, Rajshahi
The 4th divisional outreach program was held at Barendra University, Rajshahi division on December 13, 2014. Along with local wikimedian from Rajshahi, Community outreach director of WMBD Nahid Sultan, Treasurer of WMBD Ali Haidar Khan and active wikipedian Rafaell Russell were presented from Dhaka. Altogether, over 45 participants attended on the workshop. The event was opened with a opening speech by Mr. Nurul Hossen Chowdhury, vice chancellor of BU. The event is circulated by local and national dailies.
The 5th divisional outreach program was held at Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Khulna division on December 15, 2014. Along with local wikimedian from Khulna, Community outreach director of WMBD Nahid Sultan, Tanweer Morshed and Active wikipedian Golam Mortuza Rahman were presented from Dhaka. Altogether, over 60 participants attended on the workshop. The event was opened with a opening speech by Prof. Dr. Md. Nurunnabi Mollah Dean, Faculty of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, KUET. The event is circulated by local newspapers.
The 6th divisional outreach program was held at Carmichael College, Rangpur division on January 5, 2015. Along with local wikimedian from Rangpur, Community outreach director of WMBD Nahid Sultan, active wikipedian Golam Mortuza Rahman and Shahriar Mishu were presented from Dhaka. Altogether, over 55 participants attended on the workshop. The event was opened with a opening speech by Head Mistress of Carmichael College. The event is circulated by local and national dailies.
Along with these previous events and 10th anniversary celebration program which scheduled to be held at the end of February will mainly impact Bengali Wikipedia. Apart from Bengali Wikipedia, the program will also impact other Bengali language Wikimedia projects: Bengali Wiktionry, Bengali Wikisource, Bengali Wikibooks and also the Bengali related contents at Wikimedia Commons and will create a awareness among the students about enriching Bengali content on the internet. The programs will support increased reach and participation through engaging a broad and diverse audience. Bengali Wikimedia projects will be publicized through mainstream media, social media and direct outreach also.
The 10th anniversary conference will give an opportunity to the Bangladeshi Wikimedians for organizational development. The experiences from these programs will help them in the future to hold better events and programs. This will also result in the increase of local Wikimedia community and volunteers. The main two days conference will also help exchange of ideas and know how between contributors active in different Bengali Wikimedia projects.
After successful completion, the project will have the potential to be replicated successfully by other individuals, groups, or organizations. By organizing a self running contest, a hand guide/report of the contest that can be translated and a minimalistic international Wiki meetup, we hope to set a format that other small Wikipedias can follow. It will be a good example for most of the Indic and other language Wikipedias that will celebrate 10 years.
Measures of success
For the 10th anniversary programs, we've considered the following as measures of success: Bengali Wikipedia had an article count of only 18,000 in January 2012 which is about 33,000 now. We had about 40-50 active and 6-7 very active editors back then, but now it is 100+ active editors and 15-16 very active editors. Number of articles in January 2012 was about 21000 and in august 2014 it was 32000.
For the 10th anniversary programs, we've considered the following as measures of success:
- We have considered a baseline of 1000 articles during this workshops/conference (from 24 November, 2014 to 31 February, 2015). As of 22 January, 865+ new articles have been created. However, It is practically not possible to count how many pages are edited during this period. If you go through the recent changes page you'll see how quickly the changes are made.
- Enhanced number of active users (both readers and editors). In most of the cases, we had to organize the divisional events in class rooms/lab and the number of participant were limited (maximum 60) due to logistic support for the attendance in each of the programs. That means, we've reached around 360 students from 6 divisional workshops. But according to Bengali Wikipedia's new user creation list more than 1,500 new accounts are locally created as of 22 January from 24 November, 2014.
- From December 22, 2014 to January 22, 2015 We've more than 200 active contributors. At least 100 of them are totally new to wikipedia.
- Reflections from the participants by way of blog posts and other social networks like facebook, twitter etc. we have focused on reaching to as many people as possible. We are using social networks for outreach. Our Bengali Wikipedia facebook page has 58,000+ fans and Wikimedia Bangladesh facebook page has around 4000 fans and twitter page has 8,000+ followers.
- Follow-up events: Over the period, we have developed communities in most of the 7 divisions of Bangladesh. We have already organized events in 6 of the 7 divisions in Bangladesh where local community members played the key roles. Our next target through these events will be the empowerment those communities so that they can organize outreach programs in their locality on a regular basis.
- Added participation in each succeeding events of tenth anniversary celebrations of Bengali Wikipedia and our expected number of participants will be something like 8000 to 10000. We hope the the main conference will be open to all unlike the university workshops.
- Lack of time - WM BD executive committee members and the 10th anniversary committee, both consists of people who voluntarily works. Currently WM BD has no full-time or part-time employees. So organizing such a big program by volunteers may cause some problems as not everyone can work full-time.
- Mitigation: We have already officially started recruiting volunteers for WM BD, so new volunteers could be useful for organizing the events. We have already made program plans with opinions from the new volunteers.
- Low participation in the workshop and contest - There is also a risk that past contributors or workshops attendees will no longer participate in the workshops or the contest will have low number of participants.
- Mitigation: We have planned to reach a larger audience than in past years programs with announcements in media, thus increasing our chances for new participants. The photography contest, University programs, Best wikipedian awards has already been published in some newspapers and we have informed various photography communities and Bengali bloggers. Furthermore, the anniversary programs officially launched with the press conference, where medias were briefed about the programs.
- Not being able for partnership - In the past, we have experienced some difficulties in making partnerships with some universities for organizing workshops.
- Mitigation: We have recruited and still recruiting volunteers from different universities across Bangladesh, who will be potentially helpful for making partnerships with their own universities as they can closely approach their university authorities.