Jenga Wikipedia ya Kiswahili/Report 2019-20

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Activity report of Jenga Wikipedia ya Kiswahili for 2019/20

Jenga Wikipedia ya Kiswahili continued as a small group to communicate and coordinate development of Swahili Wikipedia. Generally our work is less event centered but rather continual communication and coordination of admin work. We could have some meetings in person as members Kipala and MuddyB are presently both based in Dar es Salaam; Kipala could assist Riccardo twice working with the ongoing wikipedia club at Alfagems Secondary school in Morogoro and ChriKo could meet with Kipala at Nairobi.

The wikipedia Club at Morogoro continues to be enabled by Riccardo and Kipala could join him twice in 2019/20 for workshops with new editors. MuddyB and Kipala continued to help with the Wikimedia User Group Tanzania in Dar es Salaam with advice and some edit training.

During 2019 and into 2020 all active admin roles in Swahili wikipedia were still held by the members of our group. We discussed ways to broaden that base which was finally executed in 2020 as can be shown in the report for the following period.

A continuing challenge was quality control in the ongoing development. We were pushed to recognize that we have to be more aware of spam edits; we had to deal with activities of international wikipedia admins patrolling pages on swwiki and deleting spam content they discovered. In the beginning this led to mutilation of some articles as the non-Swahili-speaking admins deleted parts of article text connected to links they identified as spam while operating only with abbreviations which none of us was familiar with. After some misunderstanding in the beginning this goes on better as we are more aware of the problem. Following up on the deletes from outside we could discover a commercial spam enterprise in Kenya which was advertising for positioning commercial links in swwiki. We shared the problem with wikipedians in the Tanzania user group.

We continued discussion with University of Dar es Salaam about the dictionary of astronomy (WMF assisted workshop in 2018 in cooperation with University of Dar es Salaam and Astronomy Assocition of Tanzania) but this came to a standstill so far because of unresolved questions of finance at their part, combined with an open question about copy rights status raised within their administration. We see that our past project was still very useful as the topical set of articles prepared for the dictionary is online at swwiki and has good view numbers (over 700 daily views for the 330 revised articles, which is a really good number for popular science texts in Swahili language).

In May 2019 we tried to get funding for Grants:Project/Rapid/Kata - Wards of Tanzania Photo competition as a project aiming at getting useful material for articles; this was strongly supported in the community, unfortunately the application ended in some kind of dead end; we received an email that the idea needs discussion with “auditors and finance team “ and that we will be kept updated which never followed, just another notice that our application had been put on hold. So we took it as buried in the red tape corner of WMF. As we see now (2020) that the foundation has given just the type of prices we wanted to use then (airtime support to active contributors) we should try to go for it once more.

Generally viewership for swwiki content has kept going up, and as far as the country view figures in stats can be used for a small wikipedia like ours, we see a growing percentage of readers from East African countries which speaks for the relevance of content. We see also a substantial rise in active contributors, which we attribute largely to the continued and active work of Wikimedia User Group Tanzania, whose work we could assist through edit training and quality advice. So far it was also still our few members who did a large part of edits but we are happy to note that we have see very substantial edit work from User Group Tanzania, but also some from the Morogoro school group.

Dar es Salaam, 30.10.2020 Ingo Koll user:kipala