Talk:CIS-A2K/Work plan July 2015 - June 2016/Marathi

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I have reviewed the page/proposal and here are a couple of high level observations/opinions --

1. I think this initiative is long time coming and I am glad that this is happening. On behalf of Marathi Wikimedians, I'd like to thank CIS-A2K for putting this together.

2. The plan is too ambitious.

Given that there is only one co-ordinator (albeit with support from CIS-A2K,) the number of projects seems to be way too diverse and unfocused. For example, the plan is trying to address wikisource, wiktionary and Wikipedia along with contributions to commons, working with multiple types of content in one fell swoop. From my experience, it will be distracting to have so many irons in the fire at the same time.
I'd propose that the plan focus on two or three things to begin with --
Community building - Marathi community is woefully short on active editors. There are several reasons for this and addressing as many as possible is imperative to building strong projects. A strong community will not only grow the projects, it will also contribute immensely to the very end CIS-A2K is trying to reach with this effort. Without a strong community, excellent projects with noble intentions have fallen flat and will continue to do so. I'd recommend looking beyond Mumbai/Pune for community. While these two metros are vital in building a community, rest of the state, country and world has much more to offer.
Rules and guidelines framework - Almost as important as the community is a framework within which it will operate. In any crowd-sourced project, sparks begin to fly as soon as more than three people get together (especially Marathi people! :-]). A coherent operating framework will ensure that all that energy is channeled properly and minimal time is wasted over trivial arguments. Bits and pieces of this framework have already been developed by the existing community. First order of business in this regard would be to gather that up and organize it. From then on, new guidelines, properly vetted and agreed to by the community and a fall-back strategy/plan to resolve disputes are equally important.
Focus on one knowledge area - Until the community is strong enough to take on challenges of co-ordinating with multiple, diverse sets of partners at the same time, it should work with a set of partners that have a common goal. Social institutions, research institutes, libraries or even schools/colleges are examples of such partners. This will allow CIS-A2K and the community to channel their time/effort and show meaningful progress. With a "shotgun approach", it's quite possible that we'll make a little progress in many disciplines but none will be enough to be showcased as an achievement of this effort.

3. Online does matter - While a lot is to be said about the value of offline activities that promote Marathi Wikimedia projects, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. If all the offline activity does not result in online artifacts (articles, content or even significantly increased readership), all that work done away from the projects will have come to naught. Online/offline activities must be synchronized and cross-promoted to realize most bang for the buck and increased visibility across the globe.

I'd like to reiterate that this initiative is a good thing for Marathi Wikimedia projects and the above observations are intended solely to increase its effectiveness and are not simply criticism for criticism's sake. I have been active on w:mr for almost a decade now and always willing and available to offer my perspective as well as all kinds of help that I can provide.

I'd be willing to sit down with CIS-A2k and others to brainstorm some of the ideas presented above as well as in the original proposal.

Let's work together to make Marathi Wikimedia projects much better than what they are now.


अभय नातू (talk) 17:24, 13 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Dear अभय नातू, thank you very much for closely engaging with the proposed Marathi plans. Sorry for this delayed response. Appreciate your support and active engagement with CIS-A2K's efforts. Some more thoughts below in the same order.
  • Our core focus will be on Marathi Wikipedia. We would like to assure you that the proposed activity plan is put together based on our experience of working in other language areas, interaction with some of the Marathi Wikimedia community members (including you), and institutional partners. The role of CIS-A2K will be more of a catalyst in nature and thus we feel we could under take these wider set of activities with a single language anchor. This has been our strategy in the other language areas too.
    • That said your suggestion to focus on building a robust active editor community and look beyond Mumbai and Pune are well taken. We will give this more priority. Any specific suggestions on this are very welcome.
    • Could not agree more. We would need the wisdom and experience of long term Wikimedians like you. We would be happy to work further in implementing this framework with your help.
    • Our experience tells us that in working with institutional partners 1 or 2 out of 10 actually click and take off. So the intention in putting up the list is not to spread ourselves too thin but to increase our probability of success with couple among them. We will keep the community informed on the progress with these institutions and would like to work together.
  • Yes, most certainly! This is our intention too.

Thank you for these suggestions. We would be more than glad to flesh out these ideas in more detail with you and others in the community. Thank you for extending a helping hand to work with the Marathi community. --Visdaviva (talk) 11:29, 24 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for your response.
I'm ok with the approach if it's been vetted in other projects. There may be minor adjustments needed for each language/project sure you're already mindful of that.
I can see the reasoning behind approaching multiple institutions. It probably makes more sense to do so than to rely on 1-2 only to have them drag their feet.
Thank you again for kicking off this initiative. Hope to see great things come from it.
अभय नातू (talk) 18:43, 27 April 2015 (UTC)Reply