Wikimedia Armenia/Reports/2019-04

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Rostelecom and evening computer classes for elderly persons[edit]

During March-April, 2019 Wikimedia Armenia was part of a very interesting and unique project. Rostelecom Armenia, the internet partner of WMAM initiated a computer literacy classes called “Internet Alphabet” for elderly people. The aim of the project was to teach the adults the main computer programs and work with internet. Wikimedia Armenia hosted the event for several weeks, provided the space and computers. Ayb school students were teaching the programs, and the WMAM team joined them in the last two classes to introduce the new computer users the Wikimedia projects. The elder people were very enthusiastic about the Wikipedia and sister projects, especially with the fact that they can learn different things and also contribute to their enrichment.

International Civil Society Week 2019[edit]

Graphic recording of International Civil Society Week 2019

On April 8-11, 2019 the Executive Director of Wikimedia Armenia Gayane Vardanyan participated in the International Civil Society Week - 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia organized by CIVICUS International and Civic Initiatives (Serbia). Gayane was invited by the Armenian General Benevolent Organization (AGBU) as the WikiClubs project manager implemented with the support of AGBU Bridge for CSOs program and as a long time civil society activist and practitioner. She was a speaker in one of the sessions and presented the work that Wikimedia Armenia is doing through WikiClubs in the regions of Armenia. She also had a possibility to talk about the role of Civil Society in the Velvet Revolution and the challenges it faces now after the revolution.

Participation in this large scale event was a great opportunity not only for presenting the work done and creating new ties for further cooperation, but also for increasing the visibility of Wikimedia Armenia and the Wikimedia Movement in general, as around 900 participants were presenting all continents of the world and they got knowledge about the Movement and affiliates in their countries. Gayane and the Capacity Development Lead of Civicus International Anna Avagyan agreed to establish cooperation in future and promote Wikimedia Platforms for sharing information about the fields of activities of its member organization.

Separation of Western Armenian Wikipedia[edit]

On April 1, 2019, Western Armenian Wikipedia attained its own platform with the following url: Following to this, all articles and content in Western Armenian were transported from the Eastern Armenian Wikipedia to the new platform.

On this occasion, a Press Release was prepared and disseminated to the media in Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora. Several media outlets published the press release and developed news pieces dedicated to the event.

Moreover, the Armenian Public Radiօ broadcast an interview with project coordinator Azniv Stepanian. The interview focused on the new platform, as well as the steps that will be taken to further support the strengthening of Western Armenian Wikipedia.

Following creation of the separate platform, already experienced Western Armenian Wikipedia editors are working on creating and improving templates and other technical content (such as guidelines and policies) that are needed to increase the functionality of the platform. With the goal to further improve the quality of engagement of the experienced editors, we are planning to host several of the most experienced and active editors in Armenia in summer 2019 to discuss operational details relevant to the further development of the Western Armenian Wikipedia and its wiki community.

Western Armenian Wikipedia edit-a-thon, April 25-26[edit]

Edit-a-thon for Western Armenian Wikipedia, April, 2019.png

On April 25-26, the second Western Armenian Wikipedia edit-a-thon of 2019 took place. It included four topic ranges dedicated to the 150th anniversary of four significant actors of the Armenian culture (Komitas, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Levon Shant, and Yervand Otyan).

Moreover, within our attempts to further improve the quality of existing content, a list of Eastern Armenian Wikipedia articles were provided for enrichment. During the edit-a-thon over thirty articles were either created or improved.

Wikimedia+Education Conference, report by Lilit Tarkhanyan[edit]

"WikiClubs from creation to success" presentation

On April 5-7, 2019 I participated in the Wikimedia+Education Conference 2019 organized by the Basque Wikimedians User Group in San Sebastian, Spain. The conference has gathered together educators and Wikipedia education program leaders from different countries. After a long break I got an opportunity to interact offline with my international colleagues, to learn from them and share my experience with them.

The conference was well organized, which gave an opportunity to move from one session to another very smoothly. The program was comprised of different interesting presentations and talks, which were useful for me to adapt and use some ideas in my education program.

At the conference I had a presentation “WikiClubs: from creation to success” during which I introduced the audience the whole process of establishing and maintaining a WikiClub, the events and educational initiatives organized in the WikiClubs, and the methodology the WikiClub coordinators use working with their students. I also briefly introduced the results of the research carried out recently by WMAM on WikiClubs impact on the students' education and life. The audience asked to talk also about our WikiCamps. Based on the questions and reactions of the audience, I can say that they were impressed by WMAM projects and the amount of hard and fruitful work carried out by WMAM team.

I was also invited by WMF Education team to participate in the panel “Bridging knowledge gaps through mother language” during which I talked about how our school system is set up for teaching in Armenian, the importance of Open educational resources for Media literacy education, what barriers we face to get our language represented online and on Wikimedia projects, and how our programs have made a difference for education in our community.

Edit-a-thon dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Hovhannes Toumanian[edit]

In February 2019, Wikimedia Armenia developed and implemented a new editing event to increase effectiveness of WikiClubs and to support integration of WikiClub participants to the Wikimedia Movement.

This month, on April 13-14, Wikimedia Armenia hosted an edit-a-thon at WMAM office, as part of the CS Bridge and Eurasia Partnership Foundation's CS Bridge program funded by the European Union. The edit-a-thon was again dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian. Three members from the Alaverdi, Goris, Koghb, Vardenik and Spitak Wikiclubs participated in the event. During the event, participants edited articles about the works of Hovhannes Toumanian. They also proofread works of Toumanian on Wikisource.

Unlike the previous event, this time the participants created articles using the data and info provided in Toumanian's academic edition. The necessary materials were acquired within the framework of cooperation between Wikimedia Armenia and Hovhannes Toumanian Museum. 14 articles were created and 150 pages were proofread during the event.

To further develop editing skills, participants played two wikigames - "Structure of the article" and "Free and Copyrighted Images". Unlike the previous event, participants in this edit-a-thon managed to arrange the cards more quickly and accurately.

The edit-a-thon also features its educational and cultural events. During the event, the participants visited Yeghishe Charents Literature and Art Museum, where they got acquainted with separate pieces of Armenian literature and art, as well as with the personal belongings of the Armenian famous people and related stories. The participants were impressed, especially from the Shadow Theater. The visit to the Blue Mosque in Yerevan was impressive for the club members, where they were introduced to the historic largest mosque in Yerevan. All participants were involved in Islamic culture for the first time.

Wikimedia Armenia will continue holding similar edit-a-thons because the results and impressions from this event are evidence of the proper selection of the format and the impact on the participants’ educational process.

Community Weekend[edit]

On April 19-21, the second Community Editathon of 2019 organized by Wikimedia Armenia took place in Tsaghkadzor's Alpina resort. 22 members of Armenian Wikicommunity participated in the event. On the second day of the working day, Mher Bekaryan presented to the participants the role and importance of Wikidata, usage areas and applications of available data. Participants also learned the best ways to transfer data from Wikimedia projects to Wikidata.

Community Weekend

(April 19-21)

Number of participants Wikipedia
participants 22


edits 568
bytes (net sum) 1 200 000

Workshop at the Faculty of Philology of Yerevan State University[edit]

On April 4, Mher Bekaryan conducted a workshop with the students from the Chair of Translation of the Department of Philology of the Yerevan State University. Eight students participated in the workshop. The goal was to present the skills of editing in Armenian in Wikipedia. During the workshop, students were introduced to the editing of Wikipedia, sources, references and details on how to use them in articles. With the guidance of Mher Bekaryan, the participants added information to the articles. Lecturer A. Kamalyan encouraged students to continue publishing and editing articles in Wikipedia.

WMAM donation website[edit]

Several months ago Wikimedia Armenia initiated the creation of a donation platform ( to fundraise and collect donations for its projects. The page provides readers and potential donors four fundraising projects - WikiCamps, WikiClubs, Dissemination of Cultural Heritage (including GLAM), and Western Armenian project. There is also an option and page to donate for the general activity of Wikimedia Armenia. The website is fully editable, which enables us to add or remove, modify the project as we want.

In every project page, the short history, description and importance of the project is given. There are also a lot of supporting media - high quality images and videos, to make donors' experience more productive and impactful. In addition, in the blog section we tell our donors and readers interesting highlights and stories from various WMAM projects, such as Education Program, GLAM, etc. To reach out potential donors from abroad the platform was also translated into English.

Illustrating Wikipedia brochure[edit]

When assessing community needs we noticed that newcomers lack information about images and their usage on Wikimedia projects. They usually ask similar questions regarding the usage and types of files used in Wikipedia and the ways editors add and edit them. In addition, guidelines on Armenian Wikipedia about images are sometimes outdated and not comprehensive for newcomers. In order to cover topics mentioned above and provide editors a comprehensive guide on Wikimedia Commons and images, we decided to translate and adapt “Illustrating Wikipedia: A guide to contributing content to Wikimedia Commons” brochure.

Illustrating Wikipedia: A guide to contributing content to Wikimedia Commons, is a brochure to introduce newcomers to Wikimedia Commons and how they can contribute to it. The brochure covers several topics such as how to upload files, add media in Wikipedia pages, what is Creative Commons and public domain. The brochure is made by Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Commons contributors.

We have taken the content of English version and translated it into Armenian. Meanwhile for the design and layout we have chosen the brochure made by Basque Wikimedians User Group. The adaptation and translation was made by Wikimedia Armenia staff members Davit Saroyan and Lilit tarkhanyan. The final version was uploaded to Commons, as well as will be distributed in a printed form.

Armenian Sign Language (ArSL) Project[edit]

In November 2018, with the aim to disseminate free and accessible knowledge on the Internet, Wikimedia Armenia has launched a video recording of Armenian Sign Language words. Armenian Sign Language (ArSL) is a language isolate, unique sign language used by Armenians with hearing loss. Little research has been done on this language, very few online resources are available. The few online resources for ArSL are copyrighted, some are not available for free. We were committed to cover this gap though Wikimedia Projects. This would impact on the preservation of ArSL, serve as a free education resource as there are no courses available for people, who want to learn ArSL.

The first steps of the project included specification and collection of all words in the Armenian Sign Language. The main basis for this step was the only comprehensive collection of ArSL words - "Talking Hands: The Armenian Sign Language Dictionary" («Խոսող ձեռքեր․ Հայկական ժեստերի լեզվի բառարան»). To make the video-recordings of ArSL words Wikimedia Armenia has invited Armenian Sign Language Certified Interpreter Gohar Melikyan for collaboration. A native speaker of ArSL, she has a long experience in translation and works as an interpreter at the Armenian Public Television. More than 1210 gestures were recorded during the 2 days. Because the main source dictionary has been printed years ago and also contains obsolete signs, the interpreter has slightly changed the signs by presenting their contemporary and modern forms.

All recordings are now available on Wikimedia Commons. We have created a separate page on Wiktionary - The ArSL Dictionary where we placed all signs in alphabetical order. We also plan to insert video recordings to the corresponding entry pages on Wiktionary. To ensure non-Armenian speakers understand the videos we have also added English translations.

In fact, the dictionary created in the result of Wikimedia Armenia's "Armenian Sign Language Dictionary" project, is now the only comprehensive ArSL dictionary with almost all available signs. This educational resource will be widely disseminated through online media, educational institutions and through civil society organizations.


WikiClubs statistics[edit]

Community population New users Active users male/female ratio Edits on Wikipedia and Wiktionary Proofread pages in Wikisource Uploaded files Average daily views of created and improved pages
Alaverdi WikiClub 13100 5 30 45/21 564 0 6 210
Arevatsag WikiClub 821 0 43 70/53 1433 19 0 827
Gyumri WikiClub (KASA) 121976 0 9 0 5
Goris WikiClub 20300 5 24 44/10 457 260 1 152
Ddmashen WikiClub 2806 1 37 42/35 1572 171 1 779
Lernapat WikiClub 1661 2 47 132/145 2016 350 8 545
Koghb WikiClub 4530 3 16 45/21 403 30 0 317
Hatsik WikiClub 1044 1 13 22/13 1042 90 0 650
Mrgavan WikiClub 1606 0 30/28 481 2 173
Spitak WikiClub 13100 1 30 45/38 129 320 0 109
Stepanakert WikiClub 55309 5 19 165/58 91 32 1 27
Vanashen WikiClub 2364 0 12 38/10 667 53 0 523
Vardenik WikiClub 9880 2 30 42/21 991 35 0 576
Togh WikiClub 700 1 21 45/29 19 146 0 8
Karvachar WikiClub 500 1 32 51/46 1475 180 5 1121
NET sum 249697 27 354 0 11349 1686 24 6022

Saturday workshops[edit]

Every Saturday Wikimedia Armenia organizes open workshops-edit-a-thons at the WMAM office where new editors are taught how to edit different wiki projects. Anyone interested in wiki projects, Wikipedia, wiki editing and needed assistance, as well as wiki editors, who want to edit in pleasant atmosphere participate in these workshops-edit-a-thons.

Saturday workshops
April 6 April 20 April 27
participants 7 3 7
created/improved articles 1/16 2/2 4/6
edits 32 11 33
bytes (net sum) 7900 53500 94900

This month in numbers[edit]

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0 20934 3154 250 30 306

articles recorded for
the Spoken Wikipedia

pages digitized for the Digitization

words pronounced for
the Wiktionary

vital articles improved for
the I create a vital article

new editors involved
in all projects

I create a medical article campaign