Papat Limpad (English: Fantastic Four) is a seven months writing competition in the Wikipedia Basa Jawa (Javanese Language Wikipedia). The purpose of this competition is to revitalized the "barely alive" Javanese Language Wikipedia.
Javanese language Wikipedia started in January 2003, in mid 2006 it began to have a more regular contributors and begin see its golden era for seven years in 2008. However the activity decreases and return to 2006 status with only 2 to 1 regular contributors for the last two years. The Javanese language Wikipedia rank 71 in the number of page being viewed by 1,2 million viewers a month (before intervention). Wikimedia Indonesia believes that Javanese Language Wikipedia has an untapped potential growth and an untapped potential editor that needs to be reach.
On December 2010, Javanese Language Wikipedia sysop and co-founder of Wikimedia Indonesia Prasetyo proposed to use one potential University in Semarang, Central Java Universitas Negeri Semarang (Public University Semarang) also known as UNNES, as location and resources of this pilot project. UNNES met the rationale that Semarang is a location where Javanese Language population reside, and the university also have a Javanese Language major specific. The success of Free Your Knowledge 2010 competition in Indonesian language Wikipedia are hoped to be replicate in Javanese Language Wikipedia. However, lesson learn from the competition proves that after 72 days of competition, none of the participant return to edit further - this result is not acceptable in Javanese Language Wikipedia, considering the high cost where the trainee need to be flown regularly from Jakarta to Semarang. Therefore it is decided to have a seven months competition to compensate the cost.
In January 2011 Wikimedia Indonesia's Papat Limpad team begin the trip from Jakarta to Semarang to introduce the initiative "Papat Limpad". Papat Limpad is an intervention project to Javanese Language Wikipedia natural declining stage by introducing a competition system in writing for Javanese Language Wikipedia to UNNES, using the same competing system in Indonesian Language Wikipedia known as Free Your Knowledge System (FYKS).
As incentive to 100 students that will compete writing in Javanese language Wikipedia for seven months, four laptops will be given to top writer contributors, while one laptop will be given to the head of Javanese Language Academy Major.
On February 2011, Wikimedia Indonesia began an intensive training to Semarang committee, the training include project management, competition monitoring, documentation, and reporting. Five people are selected with task distribution of coordinator and member of the commitee.
After one month committee training, the competition began on March 21, 2011 and ended on October 13, 2011. Exactly during the celebration of "Language Month" (October).
What lessons were learned that could help others succeed in similar projects?
Media coverage - the perfect bait for University officials cooperation - we tried almost everything to have the University engage in the Javanese Language Wikipedia, from asking the university to contribute for the prize in the form of one semester scholarship (failed), to paying the teacher to evaluate the article result by written by the participant (their own student). However our most precious lesson learn was, the most important factor in University cooperation is NOT the 1) language survival in digital era, 2) the culture and Javanese wisdom it preserve, 3) the increase knowledge of their students in internet era, 5) trainings! and 6) collaboration work - BUT the university's name flashing as headlines in media both local and national, fortunately for us (WMID), we're good at it.
Jealousy is the our best currency (and secret weapon for silent outreach!) - other side effect from the media coverage is, once the word is out - it's an instant jealousy program outreach for University in Semarang area with Javanese language program major. Currently we receive one request to do training and competition in other university, and since the request come from within the university official, there's no need for Wikimedia Indonesia to beg and do further bureaucratic penetration, a simple program with a win-win solution can be achieved. Upon hearing about this future cooperation between Wikimedia Indonesia and other University, UNNES, instantly jealous and launches it's own Javanese Language Wikipedia program and added additional wi-fii hot spot for the students *devilish grin*. Although all the above information are a nice addition, we believe this progress still need to be escorted by Wikimedia Indonesia, it's too early to let go all this wonderful intention, it could lead to great progress or stop dead at lip service (it happened before).
Page view increase - although not part of the goal that it try to achieve. Javanese language Wikipedia already shows a significant readership jump from 1,1 million readers to 2,2 million readers per month during the competition. However this "jump" is not unexpected. Based on Free Your Knowledge and Beacon of Theology 2011 project result once a Wikipedia are flooded with content, five months after the project ended the readership went up significantly. This result of course based under the assumption that there are a large number of native language speaker and there's no barrier to access the information through internet by the native speaker.
Participation: At first the University's officials regret Wikimedia Indonesia intention to open only for 100 participants, the University elaborate the possibility to include all 700 students for Javanese Language major only. However considering that all the committee for Javanese Language Wikipedia is newly trained and consist only five people, 700 people is overwhelming. In the end 70 participants shows up for the first training and 11 participants completed the competition.
Coordination with Wikimedia Foundation staff: On January 15, 2011 an email is sent to Tim Starling Cc Fred Vassard as a request to open User account throttle for Wikipedia Javanese and Sundanese Language (to unlock new user account). This effort is based on previous experience where Wikimedia Indonesia do Wiki Academy outreach (and didn't went well if it hits user account throttle). This email request is never replied, and resulting a quite disastrous event where around 80+ people couldn't make a new user account in a competition training. One whole day worth of training is wasted, four trainee flown to Semarang from Jakarta for the particular effort couldn't do anything but watch all participants frustrates that they couldn't log in. The second day of training is better, however the amount of people interested to continue dropped from 70 people to 40+.
Culture clash : although not serious, it is noted that there are some culture clash that happened during eight months of training and mentoring re: Jakarta working ethic (fast pace, more direct) vs Semarang (slower pace, not direct). After sixth months and a lot of communications, we started to get used to each other and embrace our Semarang colleague and (confidently) vice versa.
Avoid one university only intervention - similar to Beacon of Theology experience's - one university only intervention is actually bad for motivating participation or nurturing the competitive nature of the participant. Granted that at the time Wikimedia Indonesia doesn't have the resources to do more than one university approach, however, we note that two experiences strongly suggested that even from the planning stages we must have minimum of three universities next time.
Invest more funding for more universities, instead of using a safe one university approach.
Drop zone based on the committee input the biggest contribution to the drop of the participation in the first month of competition are
Wikimedia Indonesia Free Your Knowledge Ambassador movie starChristian Sugiono. Christian appearance in the launching draw a lot of female participants which didn't continue to compete afterward.
Another input is because the participant training is free of charge, therefore people showing up doesn't feel obliged to continue since they didn't loose anything to begin with.
Login throttle people who do show up to be trained couldn't login
Wi Fii is relatively difficult, many of the participants and some of the committee who stayed at the University's dorm went online after midnight to avoid slow connection.
Once Wikimedia Indonesia learn that the dropped in the first months are so significant, we (panicked!) launches the second wave of competition, and snatches the one laptop prize intended for teacher. Making a total of five laptops as prizes for student participant only. Interestingly the statistic shows that without intervention program there's no way Javanese Language Wikipedia could continue to grow. The "jump" (see picture on the right) on the new wikipedian relies solely on the competition and (suspectedly) future offline event.
The winner from three out of four competition using FYKS system is women.
The biggest barrier to contribute is the effort to write in Javanese language (surprisingly it's not technical barrier/ coding problem).
Shock therapy-student - according both the committee and the participants they were shock of the amount of things they need to learn and master in order to stay in the competition.
We don't know about internet much, and suddenly this (competition) happened. We need to learn about wiki, email, being online, and we have target that we need to achieve in order to stay in the game (competition), it's too much. -Sigit
Shock therapy-teacher - during the competition University officials (teachers) are paid to evaluate the student's writing. To their surprise, according to them, the Javanese language writing ability of their students are very poor. This is due to the competition design that disable the student to do paste and copy or merely translating. Fortunately their student writing quality increases during the seven month competition.
Papat Limpad has successfully increased Javanese Language Wikipedia very active users (>100 edits/ month) from two contributors (average) in 2010 to 13 contributors during seven months competition.
Papat Limpad has successfully increased Javanese Language Wikipedia active users (>5 edits/ months) from nine contributors (average) in 2010 to 44 contributors during seven months competition.
The participant (both that finishes and dropped out from the competition) contributed more than 2,269 short and long articles using Wikimedia Indonesia competition standard within 7 months competition.
Posters of article results by top five participants are spread in three different universities in Semarang, increasing the awareness of Javanese Language Wikipedia exsistance.
For taking the time to review the grant request and a prompt funding transfer that enables this time sensitive project to happened (1&2). James Owen and Sue Gardner (3&4) for taking the time to administratively help certificates signing as an appreciation for the winners and committee and sending them back to Indonesia to be distributed.