Welcome back from Wikimania 2015!
Wikimania 2015 Mexico City: Learning Report of Thamizhpparithi Maari
As others, I was a person habitually referred Wikipedia to enrich my knowledge and used Wikimedia knowledge for my development. Wiki Conference 2011 held at Mumbai is turning point in my life; there I have learned about the overview of Wikimedia and Tamil Unicode input and other editing practices of Wikipedia. The speech of Jimmy Wales enlightens me to share my knowledge with the community members. Then I have most eagerly shared my media files for “Tamil Wiki Media Contest” and won the continuous contributor prize. Now editing of Wikimedia projects, outreach of Wikipedia is my regular hobby. I have reached MexicoCity on 12.07.2015 and attended the Hackathon on 15.07.2015. During Hackathon I have interacted with language Engineering experts. I have cleared my doubts in the areas of adding spell check, predictive text and find and replace facilities in Wikimedia project pages. Mr. Santhosh Thottingal has helped me and guided me to widen my knowledge on computational linguistics. He sent me a nice Tamil font published under Creative Commons 4.0 SA license (https://github.com/santhoshtr/meera-tamil/releases/). Then he gave me a demo on how to use the find and replace tool available at ta.wikisource.org.
I am working as an Assistant Director (Web Admin.) in Tamil Virtual Academy, we have already published above 4500 eBooks in the public domain, shortly those books will be released under Creative Commons ShareAlike 4.0. Then we are going to donate this book to Tamil Wikimedia Community, then the books will be uploaded in WikiSource. I interacted with Mr. Dineshkumar Ponnusamy about adding find and replace tool in Wikisource as well as spell check facilities. Mr. Dineshkumar Ponnusamy has given input on the strategy of adding Tamil spell checker.
I was given an opportunity to share my open knowledge, experience and tales with Mr. Victor Grigas. I am strongly supporting the movement of open knowledge sharing and documentation. Mr. Victor Grigas has guided me how to document stories and the impacts.
I had a discussion with Mr. Asaf Bartov on the Tamil Virtual Academy’s initiatives on Digitization of books and GLAM activities. Mr. Asaf Bartov has guided and facilitated me to derive strategies to Mass digitization and outreach works in Tamil Nadu. He enlightens us to strengthen the digitization movement led by Tamil Virtual academy with the support of India Chapter of Wikimedia. Mr. Ravishankar Ayyakkannu (Ravidreams), Program Manager of India Chapter has extended his support to organize this meet with a couple of Indic community members.
This visit has opened the window to interact with the global Wiki friends. I have visited the booths of various country Wikimedia chapters and other partners who have interest with open source and community driven knowledge sharing. The official media partner of the event has interviewed me and given a chance to share my experience with Wikimedia projects.
From 15th – 19th of July 2015 I have spared my time with the Indian chapter of Wikimedia booth. The global friends of Wikipedia inquired about the Initiatives of our chapter and amazed about the multicultural, multilingual set up of India. Iván Martínez, Wikimanía 2015 coordinator's inspiring speech was wonderful. The cultural performance of Mexican team was excellent and good cultural sharing. I have attended sessions on “How we made Visual Editor faster” this session gave a clear idea of faster visual editing. I have attended the session on “Growing a Wikipedia Library Branch in Your Own Language”. This helped me to form a sustained digital library in Tamil Nadu.
I have attended the session on 7 Amazing Facts about Wikipedia Readers. This session given a wonderful idea to visualize reader’s perception and attitude.
On July 17, 2015 I have attended the Indic meet up; this was a special opportunity for me to meet the global Indic Wiki Contributors. This meet up enabled me the chance know each other Indic Wikipedians. During the discussion we have discussed about the challenges of Wikimedia movement in India. We discussed about the strengthening of India Chapter. As a result of this meet we had a plan for organizing WikiConference India 2016 (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiConference_India_2016)
During Hackathon Mr. Rashiq Ahmad Zahid enabled me to learn about Kiwix, http://www.kiwix.org/wiki/Content_in_all_languages. This may help to convert above 4500 Tamil eBooks to convert in offline content and share with the student community and https://github.com/kiwix/gutenberg. Mr. Rashiq Ahmad Zahid extended his support to convert online content into offline and he has given a demo also. And he facilitated me to know about OpenZIM. The openZIM is a project proposes offline storage solutions for content coming from the Web. He explained the process of making the eContent creation. I had a chance to interact with the Germany Wikimedia chapter. They have published wonderful booklets on content creation and CC. I have attended the survey conducted by the research team on Mobile App and its impacts.
On the 18th of July I have attended the Wikipedia Library Meetup. Mr. Jake Orlowitz guided me to for the sustainable digital library project. During this Meetup I have discussed the work plan to digitize the rare books in Tamil Nadu. I have discussed about the possibilities of digitization capacity building, technical support and sensitization programmes for Digital library.
On July 19 I have discussed with Mrs. Smriti Gupta, to explore the possibilities of having a partnership with the Wikimedia foundation on, mass digitization of Tamil books, GLAM activities of the Tamil Virtual academy, Wikipedia Zero and its scope in Tamil Nadu.
This trip has enabled me to contribute more to the community led documentation and sharing of open knowledge. I am thanking the Global chapters of Wikimedia foundation they have shared the knowledge with me. The Wikimedia Foundation has given me a wonderful opportunity to participate Wikimania 2015, Mexico City. This scholarship is an evidence of encouraging the community members to share their knowledge and experience with the global forum. I have attended the social Meetups and visited The National Anthropology Museum and Museo Soumaya. I took above 400 good quality photographs. Now I am translating the museum content from Spanish to English, shortly I will upload these images in Wikimedia Commons and I will create pages in Tamil Wikimedia.
I personally visited the French Mayors Museum and Mathematical model museum after the language translation I will upload the photographs in Wikimedia Commons.
The Wikimedia Foundation offered me a remarkable chance to know the open knowledge system, free knowledge, culture and community driven documentation and sharing. I am once again thanking the Wikimedia foundation to help me to participate in Wikimania 2015, Mexico City. The help extended by the Wikimedia Foundation is adding wonderful color to my association with Wikimedia.
This scholarship enabled me to get the international partnership to digitize rare Tamil books and digitization of GLAM in Tamil Nadu and wonderful opportunity to share the open knowledge across the global friends. We are having a plan of importing knowledge to the students on coding and conducting outreach programmes.
Without the scholarship awarded by the Wikimedia foundation, I cannot attend this global event. It is a very rare opportunity I have got. I remember this sweet memory and it’s guiding me to facilitate the community driven knowledge documentation, sharing and preservation. The museums in Mexico City, insisting the value of history and cultural preservation. Once again, I am thanking the Wikimedia Foundation and Mexico chapter for the wonderful arrangements. Long live free culture, free knowledge and community led documentation. I have shared photos on social media and I will share my experience With Tamil community and other social media.
With ever lost Wikimania 2015 México memories, Thamizhpparithi Maari