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Latest comment: 12 years ago by Hisham in topic India Program(s)

All excellent suggestions. A few thoughts below.

  1. Maybe we could do a Wikipedia starter pack (download, CD et. al.) for multiple operating systems that has the requisite input systems and fonts? AFAIK, this is one stumbling block people face when trying to edit Wikipedia in Indic languages.
  2. I think the newsletter is incredibly powerful and it's something that we should find a way to be read more widely.
  3. Maybe the HRD ministry, if they ever do (and I think they will at some point) get their low cost tablet/pc, working might find it interesting to pre-load Wikipedia on to it?
  4. I think the video plan is a great idea. Have you seen what Video Volunteers does? http://www.videovolunteers.org/ Might be an interesting model too?
  5. Mobile is hugely important - if nothing else, from a consumption point of view. Maybe Opera (who are pretty much the only ones who support Indic languages on lower end phones) would be interested as would operators to provide access to Wikipedia at lower cost or free. Some already do. A data point I just found: http://www.medianama.com/2011/03/223-airtel-mobile-services-president-atul-bindal-on-indic-interfaces-app-stores-telco-billing-exclusive-rights-bundling-personalization/
  6. Social Media - how did envisage this being used? As part of outreach?

Gautam John 04:18, 11 March 2011 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, Gautam. Need to understand the Wikipedia starter pack better from you. Have referenced technical solutions for Indic languages, but not directly your pont. Agreed on the newsletter. Haven't incorporated into the plan and will reach out to understand ideas on how to. Yes, must be ahead of the curve on the HRD low cost PC tablet/PC project. Saw the video volunteers and think it's a great model too. I think it'll be useful way of further propagation, but suggest that we need to catalyse it by starting of by producing material ourselves. What do you think? Referenced mobile, and agree with you. Yes, social media was as part of outreachand have changed terminology to reflect this, and incorporated it into a broader "digital outreach" section. Hmundol 10:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)Reply
The Wikipedia Starter Pack could be many things - a browser with all the add ons needed to read/edit Wikipedia in Indic languages including whatever other things are needed by the operating system to make it all work. And some PDFs or similar documentation. Maybe the PC magazines in India will carry it on their DVDs they distribute? On the video, completely agree that we need to start but to scale might have to find partners or community members.

Gautam John 10:36, 4 April 2011 (UTC)Reply

Interesting point, Gautam, on the Starter Pack. Maybe something that we can do in partnership with someone like the Mozilla Foundation? (...because it sounds like something more beyond offline Wikipedia access) Hmundol 22:27, 4 April 2011 (UTC)Reply
Yes. Indic essential & wikipedia editing addon collection with firefox can be branded as a Firefox : Wikipedia starter edition. It will be good to ask Mozilla Foundation to promote that collection on their indian user's visit to addon page. also we can approach computer magazines like PC Quest/Digit/ Linux For You to carry its offline prebundled firefox , free of cost (they are looking for such stuff to fill their DVDs) as a part of their CD/DVD distribution with magazine. --AniVar 11:56, 11 April 2011 (UTC)--AniVar 11:56, 11 April 2011 (UTC)Reply

A chicken and egg dilemma[edit]

Great job - and lovely to see so much planning already.

One question to be thought about - the yin yang circle of readers and editors for the indic language wikipedias. Should we build new readers or new editors for Indic language wikipedias? I think we need to do both; not an either-or. Many of the indic language wikipedias are hamstrung not just by too few editors, but also by little awareness that they exist at all, which translates into low usage. We need to get people to start using and relying on them everyday, the way many of us use English wikipedia. Building their readership is essential for many reasons:

  • as an end in itself to ensure use of each language wikipedia
  • to ensure that greater readership also subtly translates into greater pushes for quality and credibility(both externally on the part of readers demanding better quality and more quantity - and internally as editors take pride that what they are writing is being read and used and so perceive its value even more)
  • to increase the editing base. I doubt anyone has ever become an editor before being a reader (atleast a one-time reader).

This may be somewhat obvious but just want to make sure we don't miss the woods (readers) for the trees (editors). Bishdatta 16:22, 14 March 2011 (UTC)Reply

Fully agreed, Bishakha. Have addressed this in the Strategic Thinking section. Hmundol 10:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)Reply

Indian content on English Wikipedia[edit]

More information related to the comment: "...en-wp has 3.5 million articles, but how many are of “India-centric” topics is unknown"' The WikiProject India on English Wikipedia is a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to the Republic of India and the history of the Indian subcontinent. There are more than 81,000 articles related to India on en.wiki identified as a part of this project. This might not be accurate as new pages are added every day and may go unidentified and you can consider 5-10% tolerance. Just FYI.-- Tinu Cherian - 05:19, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply

Corrected, Tinu. Hmundol 10:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)Reply

Seeding Indic Wikipedias[edit]

Really glad to see the India initiative get off the ground.

One of the problems expressed with Indic Wikipedias is that not enough people go to them (as readers) because there's not enough there to read, which is because there are not enough editors - the chicken and egg problem described above.

While I think that some of the translation projects underway are working well (e.g. WikiBhasha) and certain other unnamed translation projects not so well, there are certainly other routes to 'seeding' Indic Wikipedias. If the problem that editors on Indic Wikipedias face is momentum, i.e. the ball is not rolling fast enough to follow, then perhaps engaging with state governments to look at Indic language encyclopaedia donations might be a way to go? Kerala (as usual) has kicked the ball right out of the field on this one, by appropriately licensing and then contributing a state-funded (and produced) encyclopaedia to Wikimedia via Jimmy and Sue in 2008 (see http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Report,_December_2008 - among other reports). The update from Shiju Alex is that Malayalam Wikipedians are currently working on transferring the donation into a usable form.

Why encyclopaedic material? Well, for one thing, each entry comes with a ready made citation (the encyclopaedia itself, like those from out of copyright Britannicas on EN - they rarely have sub-citations). For another, the material itself is likely to be more local and therefore more useful than generic (English) encyclopaedic material; i.e. more tuned into the state/language/region, for e.g. in this case Kerala/Malayalam/South India, thereby making it useful even in translation to English, meaning that some of the material at least is unlikely to exist as 'English knowledge.'

Why seeding? I don't have stats to back this up, but I'd wager that editing an article that already exists (to expand it, make it more contemporary, complicate it) is easier and more attractive than starting an article from scratch.

The advantage we have in India (over, say, the west) is that printed encyclopaedia production in Indian languages is still a function of the state - it is rarely, if ever, a viable commercial enterprise. State = public funds, so it means we have a strong argument on the licensing front, and though strong arguments don't nec. work in this country, there are enough interested governments (WBengal? Tamil Nadu? for starters) and enough central bodies (like the Knowledge Commission) who we can convince to make this happen.

I'd love to know how the Malayalam encyclopaedia donation is progressing vis-a-vis Wikimedia, and whether there are other examples of such work here.


Thanks, Achal. I agree fully and I think there is strong case for approaching the State govs. and the Knowledge Commission armed with the strong Kerala case study. Let me add that to my to-do list. What I could do is work with Shiju and craft the story line and throw it up to the Community to see who might have contacts where and they could take it to those people? Hmundol 22:27, 4 April 2011 (UTC)Reply
I second Achal's idea. And I agree a good story about the Kerala donation would really help. Is there a timeline for that work? Ijon 14:13, 12 April 2011 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Strategy[edit]

Enduring use of wikis as a collaboration tool can happen only when the various initiatives match the goals and objectives of the audience. Emails, facebook and twitter serve the need of the audience. They do not need to focus on creating content contributors, editors, or training for email writing, facebooking or tweeting. When wiki's can allow the audience to focus on their need, not on becoming editors, they will thrive with equal speed and volume.

As discussed offline with several wikimedians, here is an outline of the various user need based initiatives that need to be driven across the country:

  1. Increase the wiki based content on different projects of Wikimedia through:
    1. Initiatives at the 501 universities in India to undertake wiki-based curricula development at their universities.
    2. Initiatives at the grade x and xii (equivalent to k12) curricula for the central board based wiki.
    3. Collaboration with the youth activities of the vernacular publications to capture community contributed news.
    4. Initiatives at the research and development labs and professional societies across India collaborating on scientific research/content.
    5. Initiatives with the local, state and national government departments to allow stakeholders to participate in governance.
  2. Double the outreach of wikimedia through:
    1. Launching mobile sms (texting) based participation in contributing and receiving content.
    2. Launching geographical/gis interfaces mapping content to geographies.
    3. Launching wiki based solutions for easy collaboration for meetings, project management, course design and delivery, proposal development and execution etc..
    4. Launching wikis that are a directory of educational institutions, businesses, government offices and NGOs.
    5. Launching user-driven auto-translation possibilities for content.
    6. Launching wiki initiatives for educational and community projects.
  3. Increase the quality of content through
    1. University boards of studies and academic councils participating in rating content pages and suggesting improvement areas.
    2. The central and state education boards participating in rating content and curricula pages and suggesting improvement areas.
    3. Collaboration with the professional societies to rate content and suggest improvement areas.

Anupam Saraph

"readership through SMS"[edit]

This is in early stages but we are looking at technology solutions for this. Shall post on this as soon as there are any developments. 06:34, 6 May 2011 (UTC)Reply


The allusion to Verizone tracpromo is not understood. Please elucidate. AshLin 18:17, 8 May 2011 (UTC)Reply

Vandalism, Its been reverted. Thanks.Theo10011 20:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)Reply

Wikipedia India Education Program[edit]

Hi, now that India Education Program is running well, any thought on how to integrate the new editors to Wikiproject India or any interested projects to them --Naveenpf 03:25, 3 September 2011 (UTC)Reply

I'll be a little cautious in saying the program is running well. It showings amazing potential for sure, but there are a whole host of challenges that Campus Ambassadors, students and faculty members continue to work on - many related to newbies figuring out editing. We are encouraging students by referring to their articles on the the respective subject area project pages, asking Campus Ambassadors to proactively reach out and also do lightning refresher sessions in class to reinforce the editing workshops, going on to the help IRC channels (references in the WP:INDIAEDU) and just asking them to reach out for help whenever required. We're working on additional support that we'll shortly be proposing on the mailing lists. Hmundol 05:47, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply
I would also exercise extreme caution in assuming that the programme is operating entirely smoothly, as the lengthy discussions here and here will demonstrate. The IEP is a pilot project and has met far greater challenges than were anticipated, especially to the regular Wikipedia editors and admins. Everyone sincerely hopes it will eventually succeed, but there appears to be much work to be done before it enters into a second phase, and can rely on the continued support of the community. --Kudpung 04:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)Reply

Poor hyperlinking[edit]

I must mention here that these pages (for India program and levels underneath that) are very poorly hyperlinked. If one needs to explore and study various dimensions, discussions and language-counterparts fast, it is not easy.

I suggest, let us have some standard hierarchy / categorisztion on these pages so that navigation would be very easy. Thanks ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ) 17:45, 10 December 2011 (UTC)Reply

Seeing as this hasn't been addressed yet, and I see the same problem; I've added a link to the page for All subpages, till someone actually fixes this.--Siddhartha Ghai 06:20, 9 January 2012 (UTC)Reply
All the pages have been properly linked to the main pages and the subpages are linked back to the main pages, we need more suggestions to improve the pages. So, please suggest more here. Subha WMF 14:24, 23 January 2012 (UTC)Reply

India Program(s)[edit]

The content page should contain the names and contact details of the individuals who are currently involved with the Programs. Currently, the information is quite disorganized and a new visitor is unlikely to make much out of this. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 10:59, 14 April 2012 (UTC)Reply

There is tab on the top right-ish corner of the main page, below the logo, that leads into the team page. Can you suggest any other way, or better still, request you to make the changes? Hisham (talk) 03:00, 16 April 2012 (UTC)Reply