Odia Wikimedians User Group/Annual Report/2018-2019

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Executive Summary[edit]

This report includes major strategic planning, and initiatives planned and organized by the Odia Wikimedians User Group (ODW) between Jun 2018 - May 2019. As the ODW mostly consists of contributors to the Odia language focused Wikimedia projects (currently Odia Wikipedia, Odia Wikisource and Odia Wiktionary) apart from contributors to other common Wikimedia projects (like Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons), most of the activities naturally revolved around the Odia-language projects. During this period, the ODW community celebrated the 16th anniversary of the Odia Wikipedia and began video-documenting the success stories of the ODW community and planned to create more video guides for newbies. Many local edit-a-thons and other short-term sprints were planned and launched to grow quality content on Odia Wikipedia. Similarly, ODW community also collaborated and participated in many pan Indian, pan Asian and global initiatives like Indian Independence day edit-a-thon, Wikipedia Asia Month Edit-a-thon 2018 and Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing 2018. All such initiatives saw a growth of content on the focus subject areas and increased community collaboration.

On the technical front, ODW encouraged one of the developers from the Odia Wikimedia community to build a tool for moving relicensed media (under Commmons compatible Creative Commons Licenses) from Twitter to Wikimedia Commons to strengthen a collaboration with the provincial government of the Indian state of Odisha.

Odia Wikipedia, one of key projects that ODW focused on had over 12.5 million pageviews (average >100K per month) with an average active editor count of 21.

List of activities[edit]

Community[edit]

Initiatives primarily focused on the growth of the Odia Wikimedia community.

16th anniversary of Odia Wikipedia[edit]

Group photo of the participants on the first day of the event

As the Odia Wikipedia turned 16 on June 3, 2018, a two-day-long workshop was organized from July 7 – 8 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Both newbies and experienced members of the community gathered to discuss some of the pertinent issues: a) decline of active contribution by previously active and long-time contributors, b) low participation and growth in newbies, and c) larger challenges in the growth of Odia Wikipedia and other Odia-language Wikimedia projects. 16 Wikimedians who participated in this anniversary workshop also engaged to assess the activities of the previous year(s), the success stories and learning from the failures, and planned for the future. Of many emerging themes, the need for short videos — of Wikipedians talking about different aspects of Odia Wikipedia and the importance of new users contributing to it — was discussed, and some video interviews were recorded. The discussions were divided into four major areas: a) community (user group and beyond), b) Wikiprojects, c) technical, and d) community codes, guidelines and copyright (Wikimedia project specific). The technical discussions were focused on features like Flow (currently Structured Discussions), citoid apart from a beginner session on Wikidata. The participants engaged on improving the Manual of style and citation whereas learning from global activities like Wikipedia Asian Month and 100wikidays were shared by some of the community leaders who were present.

The participants also went live on Facebook Live opening the floor for the 5,000 odd followers on Facebook who engaged with the Wikimedians and asked questions related to Odia Wikipedia. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, Katherine Maher, chief executive officer and executive director of Wikimedia Foundation, Ryan Merkley, then CEO of the Creative Commons and current Chief of Staff to the office of the Executive Director at WMF sent prerecorded video messages congratulating the Odia Wikipedians for the 16th anniversary.

The Odia version of the event can be accessed on Odia Wikipedia event page and the summary of the discussion is available (in Odia) on the discussion page of the event page.

LINKS: [ Event page (in Odia) | Social media strategy (in Odia) | Commons category for pictures, videos and other media resources for this event ]

Meetup in Bangalore[edit]

Who writes the Wikipedia articles — a short video guide in Odia for newbies that was recorded during this meetup. This features Soumendra Kumar Sahoo who at that time had gone through a learning curve as a relatively newer community member.

Odia Wikimedians User Group members living in Bangalore gathered right after the 16th anniversary celebration to discuss implementation of the strategic plans that was created during the anniversary meetup. Sailesh Patnaik, then-Community Advocate for Odia at the Access to Knowledge (A2K) program, a Wikimedia affiliate housed at Centre for Internet Society (CIS) also joined this meeetup that was organized at CIS.

Technical[edit]

Updates including creation of new technical tools, features and other such resources.

Twitter to Commons[edit]

Odia Wikimedian Jnanaranjan Sahu was supported with a rapid grant to develop a tool called "Twitter to Commons" (try here, report) to transfer images and videos from Twitter to Wikimedia Commons specifically for handles that have agreed to release all their media content under a Commons-compatible Creative Commons License (CC0, CC-BY and CC-BY-SA Licenses are generally allowed). The need for this tool was born after a community collaboration with the Odisha state government (Odisha is one of the provinces of India) which agreed in 2017 to release content — from several websites and social media accounts that are managed by the government — under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0) License. Subsequently, the Odia Wikimedia community actively discussed for a dedicated tool to bypass the manual upload which is often time and labor intensive.

The tool has been actively used by the Wikimedia community and it can accommodate more Twitter handles if the owner agrees to release content under a Creative Commons License that is compatible for Wikimedia Commons. At the time of reporting, total of 209 successful uploads by 15 users has been possible because of this tool. (archive)

LINKS: [ Grant page | Report | Tool ]

Content[edit]

Content-development initiatives undertaken.

Local Edit-a-thons[edit]

International Mother Language Day Edit-a-thon[edit]

To celebrate the International Mother Language Day, ODW organized a nine-day-long Odia Wikipedia edit-a-thon from February 20 to 29, 2019. Nine Wikimedians participated in the sprint and contributed in creation of 39 new articles and improving quality of 22 existing articles. Most articles were largely related to native languages: including distinguished authors from Odisha and popular Odia-language books.

LINK: Project main page for the edit-a-thon

Edit-a-thon to wikify existing articles[edit]

A major clean-up drive was started by the ODW community to fix quality issues on the existing articles on Odia Wikipedia. This edit-e-thon was planned during July - September 2019. Though it did not see a wider community participation, 95 articles were improved or were marked for deletion.

LINK: Project main page for Edit-a-thon to wikify old articles

Indian Independence day edit-a-thon[edit]

Indian-language Wikipedia communities organized a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to celebrate the Indian Independence Day week (10 - 20 August 2018). The ODW community participated in this edit-a-thon starting from August 13. A total of eight editors actively participated and created 30 new articles and improved 12 articles — all related to the Indian independence movement — over the span of eight days.

LINK: Project main page

Wikipedia Asia Month Edit-a-thon 2018[edit]

Like previous years, in 2018 Odia Wikipedians participated in Wikipedia Asian Month 2018 and during this one-month edit-a-thon, 2 participants created a total of 34 articles.

LINK: Project main page | Article evaluation on the Fountain tool

Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing 2018[edit]

The ODW community participated in the Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing Edit-a-thon 2018 along with eight other Indian-language Wikipedia communities with an aim to create articles related to women health. During 1-31 October 2018, a total of five participants created 17 new articles and improved three existing ones.

LINK: Project main page

Wiki Loves Women India 2019[edit]

Wiki Loves Women India 2019 edit-a-thon was focused on creating and enhancing Wikipedia content on feminism, biographies of notable women and gender-focused-topics — all related to India. The ODW community community participated in the sprint that started on February 10, 2019 and ended on March 31. A total of three participants created 56 articles -- 49 of these are added by one user on the Fountain tool.

LINK: Project main page | Article evaluation on the Fountain tool ]

SVG Translation Campaign 2019 in India[edit]

Three Odia Wikimedians participated in SVG Translation Campaign 2019 in India, a sprint to create multilingual Scalable Vector Graphics in Indian languages, during 21 February – 31 March 2019, and translated around 30 SVG images in Odia language.

LINK: Sprint main page

Wiki Loves Love 2019[edit]

The Wiki Loves Love 2019 edit-a-thon ran from 1 February 2019 to 28 February 2019 to document love testimonials in various cultures and regions of the world. One of the ODW community members became the third Indian participant to participate in this contest and stood in the sixth position worldwide.

LINK: Project page

India Independence Day 2018 Label-a-thon[edit]

The Wikidata community in India initiated a week-long (August 15 - 19, 2018) India Independence Day 2018 Label-a-thon to add labels on Wikidata for entries related to the Indian Independence movement. The ODW community added Odia label to more than 10,000 entries on Wikidata.

LINK: Project main page

Learning from success and failure[edit]

  • Focusing on engaging existing community and video-documenting their stories helps both in encouraging active Wikimedians and promoting Wikipedia online.
  • Creating tools like "Content to Commons" that speed up the use of content from institutional collaborations foster stronger relations with partners while engaging newbies who need less-complicated entry points to Wikimedia projects.
  • Participating in larger sprints and contests are encouraging. What are more encouraging are organizing sprints that are important to the local community. There is often more urgency for such issues and the community has a more sense of belonging.