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WikiConference India 2011/Submissions/Content Synergy

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17:20, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Title of the submission

Content Synergy: The need for a smarter Wiki with maximizing available content by coherent system-wide language translations

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, or presentation)


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Abstract (maximum 500 words)

Smarter browsers have brought about a significant and far reaching change to the daily Wiki experience of a reader. It is with this notion I put forth the concept of ‘Content Synergy’ as the next big thing for Wikipedia. The familiar welcome page with a globe and languages mentioning the respective number of articles needs to make way for a cohesive yet homely Wiki experience, that people have become so used to.

The new and sometimes surprising feature introduced in browsers of today is “auto/dynamic translation” of webpages on the fly. This makes the reader oblivious to the foreign origin of the article and makes him at home by automatically and instantly translating the page to the default system language. Hence, a reader from India when opens a page in French, he does not hesitate to read the page, which was automatically translated, to English. The crossing of this language barrier has now changed the future of web browsing forever.

There are immense articles on Wikipedia in various languages, yet, there are many articles that are only updated/edited in only one primary language. The other languages are shown as options on the left but don’t usually provide as current or added information as the article in primary language. This fragmentation leaves a gaping hole in the concept of accessibility for all. Since only some information is available readily in one particular language, there is a great amount of untapped user base that is reluctant to use Wiki because of this barrier.

In this context, I propose the concept of ‘Content Synergy’, or a new cohesive atmosphere for Wiki readers and contributors so that they have the option to contribute in their preferred language, while automatic translation and synchronization algorithms, translate what they contribute and make it seamlessly and instantaneously available to readers of all languages. With the added help of expertize in the field of translations, auto-correcting and learning translators for a vast number of languages could be easily developed. This should significantly increase the number of ‘unique’ articles in a language and make the experience of using wiki, in any supported language, a rich and informative one.

Detecting locations of access by using publicly available server locations, and providing a ‘location optimised’ welcome page, written in the language of the locale, can provide an instant increase in the time a particular user spends on Wiki. Another question that needs to be addressed with this issue is the number of “supported” languages that provide access to this ‘complete’ database of articles. A list of common and readily available translators shall provide tools for covering greater than 90% of reader base. Eventually, Wikipedia can become a hub for providing/distributing/sharing open tools for multi-lingual real-time updates.

Synergizing the future of Wikipedia to provide a unified yet locale-based user experience promises to make way for a more knowledgeable, comprehensible and dependable global encyclopedia. It shall no doubt make the whole world smarter but also bring it closer!

Track (Community/Knowledge/Outreach/Technology)


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