Odia is one of the official languages of India. It is the official language of Odisha and the second official language of Jharkhand. Odia is also spoken in parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. By 2011 census there are 3.6 crore Odia speakers across the world. Literacy rate of Odisha is 73.45 per cent (82.4 % male, 64.36 % female). https://www.silakaari.com/top-wear/long-kurtas Majority of the computer users in Odisha were on MS Windows platform. Windows did not have a stable Odia language support until the release of Windows Vista. This would have forced majority of the computer users prefer English on Odia for internet communication. As per the 2011 census only 5.1 per cent of the 9,661,085 households of Odisha had computers and 1.4 per cent (357,460 households) of the households had access to internet. Odia Wikipedia has only 13 active contributors  who are based both in and out of Odisha and contributed to 3715 articles. Low computer/internet penetration, lack of promotion/outreach of Odia Wikipedia are some of the major factors which resulted in low Wikipedia participation. Odia Wikipedia celebrated its 9th anniversary on January 29, 2013 which is marked to be the date of its first edit in 2004.  The project was inactive for about 8 years until February 2011. Community building process slowly started by February-March 2011 by some of the active Wikipedians in Bengaluru and gradually in six other cities in and out of Odisha. The community so far has organized 18 meet-ups, 10 workshops and worked on a major media donation project on Wikimedia Commons, six on-wiki projects on various subjects and rolled a Wikipedia education program.
|No. of Editors/Contributors (2011-12)
|No. of Editors (2012-13)
|No. of Active editors (2011-12)
|No. of Active editors (2012-13)
|No. of Articles/entries (2011-12)
|No. of Articles/entries (2012-13)
|No. of Page views per months
This section gives a broad idea of the challenges for community/wikipedia growth for which there is a need of programatic and technical intervention.
Lack of awareness
Lack of media presence
Mainstream Odia language media is still unaware of the presence and importance of Odia Wikipedia. There is a need for wider media coverage about Odia Wikipedia.
Lack of focussed meetups/outreach events due to dispersed community
Outreach events and meet-ups have not been customized for the target audience and have been done in a low scale because of the small community dispersed in six different cities. Physical meet-ups often have been more on technical issues and not much focus on designing strategies for growing content and community. Experienced Wikipedians conducting outreach need to be trained properly to conduct productive outreach events.
More city centric communities
Majority of community members are located in three major cities; Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Nalconagar. This has resulted in outreach events being more delimited to these three cities only. There is a need for taking Odia Wikipedia to more cities.
Target age group for outreach
Till date the targeted audience for outreach are mostly engineering/other students based in cities where English is predominantly the language of communication in terms of written/computer communication and partly verbal communication. Many of the elderly masses are unaware of even the existence of Odia Wikipedia. More of young professionals, elderly and retired professionals need to be involved in the outreach.
Lack of Unicode usage
Printing industry professionals still use non-Unicode fonts for typing. There are at least three major different typing schemes and font categories used across the industry (includes book/magazine/newspaper publishers, print/digital media). Font converter tools of high accuracy are needed for easy conversion of such available content and using them as primary resources.
Lack of support in typing schemes
Those who are experienced in typing schemes other than the ones used on Odia Wikipedia (InScript, Transliteration, Phonetic) often fail to adapt the typing schemes of Odia Wikipedia. There is a need of new typing schema for simplifying typing in Odia.
Lack of Open-Source culture
There is very little presence of the open source methodology across academia, media industry and public and private sector organization. A lot of resources produced are either not digitized and distributed or copyrighted. This has been a road block to the Wikipedia community to make use of any kind of archived and digitized resource. Wikipedians need to be connected to more open source communities, exchange ideas/information and spreading words across other communities.
Lack of resource dissemination because of support
Some of the digitized resources are not being distributed because of shortage of manpower and resource. A book digitization project initiated by Srujanika faced many hindrances during distribution including copyright issues, hosting and manpower for support. Such resources need to be gathered and distributed for community use.
Role of experienced wikipedians:
There is a need of more experienced wikipedians coming forward to take the lead of projects along with their primary contribution for articles. Wikipedia could be a platform for them to reach out to more people who are in the domain of knowledge dissemination and language resource building.
Currently there is very less updated information available online in a concise and encyclopedic manner for villages/panchayats/blocks/towns in details. This project is aimed to create articles about places of Odisha.
A detailed project page with the list of villages/panchayats/blocks/towns, census data about population, demographic details, postal/telephone and other such necessary details would be put up on the project page. A simpler template would be created to be usable for editors. The primary role for a set of experienced editors would be wikifying articles created by new editors, categorizing, creating lists (e.g. list of villages of XYZ panchayat). Social media campaigns and hack-a-thons would be used for large scale content generation by engaging new wikipedians.
Mass content creation on villages/panchayats/blocks/constituencies by engaging new wikipedians and turning moderately active wikipedians to active wikipedians.
Odia Wikipedia contains a list of core/essential articles. This projects aims at creating the non-existent articles and improving the quality of existing articles. Many users are skeptical about the authenticity of Wikipedia and low quality articles create a feeble image of the entire Wikipedia which demotivates some of the potential editors. It is noticed that most new editors are excited about creating an article on Wikipedia rather than expanding/improving an article. This would involve active participation of experienced wikipedians as mentors and new editors would be engaged in creating new articles.
Srujanika, a Bhubaneswar based organization which primarily works on science education for schools and worked on a major digitization process of more than 500 useful old books (Science, History, Literature, Dictionaries, Lexicon and Encyclopedias) have agreed to support in providing primary resources for this project. Community would use the digitized resources released by Srujanika on various subjects to create new articles/edit and enhance existing articles.
Generation of high quality articles in Odia which would be used to spread the word about Odia Wikipedia in media. This could be made available in the form of offline Wikipedia. Good quality content would certainly attract more readers and potential editors.
Supporting existing community
Train the trainers
Many of the key and experienced wikipedians need support with ways of effective presentation, documents, advance training on technical aspects and conduct hand-on training for new editors. Majority of the Odia Wikipedians are based as small clusters in three cities, in the similar kind of profession (students and professionals) and are technically decent. These three communities could be trained together based on their potential skill and online and offline availability. The program is aimed to strengthen the key wikipedians who would conduct workshops and edit-a-thons on-the-ground and roll social media new-editor incubator campaigns and sharpen their skill to take the lead of outreach and community projects. When these key wikipedians from different cities meet they could set agenda for exchanging their learning of the training program instead of meet ups for general discussions.
A2K team would provide audio/video/personal training programs focusing on capacity building for individual/group of experienced wikipedians. They would be facilitated and supported with outreach training, outreach materials and logistics and work along with the Wikimedia India chapter for offline outreach programs. About 15-20 wikipedians from five different cities would be trained for this program.
Empowering experienced wikipedians based in at least five cities to take lead and organize more outreach events (workshops and edit-a-thons) independently. This would include training the experienced wikipedians and supporting with documents, tutorials, FAQ?Typing booklets, logistics, merchandize, etc. for outreach.
|No. of cities
|Total no. of editors
|Total no. of online experienced editors
|No. of outreach per quarter per city
Cultivating new Editors
Reviving online outreach
The editing trend of Odia Wikipedia shows a sheer hike of the number of editors during the months when Facebook campaign was actively rolled out. Online outreach is found to be more effective as most of the editors are young, active on online media and has the freedom of teaching anytime in a day. This would be revived by guiding to invite new editors onboard and train them to edit Wikipedia using onine media.
Designing tutorials, program and training the existing wikipedians regarding rolling out the campaign.
Engage Odia users who more or less handy with typing and are already adequate with using computers.
Offline outreach in smaller cities/towns:
Smaller cities and the cities where there is no community but has good potential because of the presence of educational institutes and good computer and internet penetration have to be tapped. If each of the smaller cities could have at least one active wikipedian he/she could be trained to conduct outreach. Even existing and experienced wikipedians from nearby cities could support in both capacity building and outreach.
Finding one or two organizations with adequate internet lab set up, training any of the experienced Wikipedians to conduct outreach workshops. If few of the participants continue to contribute they would be supported and trained to conduct follow up workshops for other participants. The A2K team would facilitate such training and logistics for the Wikipedians to organize training, meet-ups and workshops.
|Number of cities
|Number of institutions
|Total number of editors
|Total number of trainer wikipedians
|Number of outreach per quarter per city
User Interest Groups (UIG):
Setting up smaller special interest groups by tapping into existing virtual (Facebook pages/groups, bloggers communities, other open source groups/mailing lists), and physical communities and supporting key wikipedians to bring new wikipedians on board.
Reaching out to online Odia and Odisha related bloggers, Photo communities, Video communities, web portals and popular Facebook groups on Odia/Odisha and popularizing adding information about topics being discussed in such groups.
List of few potential user interest groups:
& Contact person
|Area of work
|Srujanika (Nikhil Mohan Patnaik, Pushpashree Patnaik)
|Children Science, Sky watching, Book digitization project, FUEL, FOSS, OCR related discussions
|# Digital Reference library for encyclopedic books
|Voluntary Health Association (Shishir Ranjan Dash)
|National Institute of Technology, Rourkela
|Technical institute worked on digitizing and hosting old books in collaboration with Srujanika
|Hosting of digitized books, making the catalogue of books available in NIT library, Bibliographic support
|Odisha Computer Application Center (OCAC) & C-DAC, Bhubaneswar
|OCR, Font Converter, Designed fonts, Word processors for Odia typing
|Dovetailing in existing or older projects and making some of the technology available for further enhancement
|Answesha Tribal Arts and Crafts, Bhubaneswar
|Social organization working for selling traditional art and crafts of tribals from Odisha
|Photographs, documents on tribal culture, tribal lifestyle - Odisha Products
|Indian Institute Of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal
|Mass Communication Undergraduate programs
|Involving students in editing Wikipedia and Plans for using WikiNews as a platform for cross-spreading daily bilingual newspaper "The Reporter"
|University undergraduate and master programs on language, literature, humanities, arts, commerce, history and science
|Student-researchers' projects on various subjects, Potential short term projects with student groups to use Odia Wikipedia for dissemination of their research work.
Libraries of most of these universities listed could be explored for available resources and digitization projects
|Newspapers and Publication houses:
|Online portal on Odia language, movie, culture of Odisha, current news
|Online promotion of Wikipedia and Odia Wikipedia.
|Photography community, food/ photo/youth blogging
|Photographs useful for Wikipedia (people, places, objects, food, events, etc.), promotion by blogs
|Popular facebook groups/pages:
|Art, Culture, language related news
|Promoting Odia Wikipedia, Announcement of events organized by the community
OdishaLive (Nilambar Rath, Founder-Director)
|Video production of cultural, social events, interviews of eminent personalities, photography collection of people, places
|Releasing cotent in CC license that could be reused for Wikimedia projects
Bringing diversity of editors and content on Odia Wikipedia especially based on the discussions going on in the groups.
|No. of Editors
|No. of New editors
|No. of Active editors
|No. of Articles
|No. of Outreach Events
List of contributors
We are grateful to the following list of Wikipedians who have engaged with the A2K Team and contributed to the development of this work plan with their ideas and inputs:
- Aditya Mahar
- Gorvachove Pothal
- Jnanaranjan Sahu
- Kamalakanta Sahu
- Manoranjan Behera
- Manoj Sahukar
- Mrutyunjaya Kar
- Sambidhan Mohanty
- Sailesh Patnaik
- Shitikantha Dash
- Shisir Sahu
- Srikant Kedia
- Subas Chandra Rout
- Wikimedia stats. January 2013
- Odia Wikipedia statistics
- Article on Odia Wikipedia.
- Tinu & Shiju's report on Wiki Community development in India grant
- Indic language Wikipedias Statistical report 2011
- Odia Wikipedia meetups
- Odia Wikipedia WikiProjects Portal
- Odia Wikipedia Education Program, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal
- Digitized books hosted at NIT-Rourkela