I recently made a "book" via the PediaPress Book Creator prior to my
trip to India, and it has been delightful to use and read on the flight and
in my hotel room here. It had been awhile since I tried to make one, and I
wanted to say great work and good job to PediaPress! Also, the integration
with Kiwix was wonderful, and I love that it now shows up so seamlessly in
my "Library" within Kiwix.
I am not sure if you are aware, but in the recent Readership survey of
Wikipedia readers (from Sept 2011, which is only just now being analyzed),
the *number one request by readers was saving of articles for offline use
(as a PDF): *40% of readers said they would be MORE LIKELY to use Wikipedia
if such a service was available (note: this % is even higher in target
areas like India (50%) and Brazil (52%).* *This is fascinating, for it
shows that we (a) have a broader desire for offline content than just those
without Internet access, and (b) indicates there is great opportunity for
marketing the "Book Creator" tool.
I want to discuss the points needed to get to (b). The Book Creator tool is
great, and I think is the exact right type of tool to meet the needs of our
readers; but there is much room for improvements. Right now, I personally
find the experience getting to and from the Book Creator tool to be not as
straight forward as would be most beneficial. As this service has such a
huge demand, I think there are some opportunities for the refining of the
"book creator" tool and process. I'd love thoughts on the following and
- *Rebranding: *What are our thoughts on the title "Book Creator"? I
wonder if the title itself is a bit confusing, since people are apparently
unaware of the ability to download as PDF at all! Plus, I personally don't
utilize the tools as a means for creating an actual book, though I
recognize this was the initial purpose: I view it as a way to read a couple
specific articles offline. I think using the word "collection," which we do
informally anyway, is likely more appropriate here. Perhaps "Offline
Collection Creator" or "Article Aggregator" (both terrible ideas, I know,
but I'm just throwing things out there:))
- *Website placement: *I think it is obvious the space the Book Creator
takes on the Left Hand tool bar is not enough to draw attention to the
feature. I wonder if we should attempt to have some sort of a "Save for
Offline Use" button on each article, which would then open a new window
into the collection creator screen? This could look similar to the "Share
this" links which exist on most information websites (for Facebook,
Twitter, email, etc.). This could be next to the "Print" button.
- *Marketing: *Once we feel a bit more confident about usability, it
would be great to market the tool. We can do this in three phases:
- Phase 1: emails to different mailing lists announcing the project,
and asking for suggestions and feedback on the tools
- Phase 2: "pilot" testing of the tool, with banner advertising to
- Phase 3: advertise this functionality via a banner at the top of
- *Measurement*: clearly, we should have careful tracking of *books
created* and *downloads by file type* by day. @PediaPress: is this
I have some other ideas as well, but wanted to throw these out there for
some immediate reactions. What are people's thoughts? Any other ideas?
Anyone good with website design who could help with rearranging of the
"Book Creator"?? :)
Looking forward to the discussion (which should be moved onto a wiki soon) -
thanks to the WMF ops team who helped us consolidating the offline lists:
dev-l(a)openzim.org, a low-volume list of openZIM developers has been
merged with offline-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org, a low-volume list of general
offline-related talk of Wikimedia.
Most announcements have been cross-posted between both lists anyway in
the past. The list archives have been merged as well and can be found
While openZIM started as a stand-alone project run by enthusiastic
Wikimedians it became an integral part of the Wikimedia Offline projects
in the meantime. This merge is another step in focusing efforts and
build a common infrastructure.
Wikimedia CH - Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Wikimedia CH - Association for the advancement of free knowledge
Wikipedia Zero is starting to get more attention recently. We could
use set of funny / beautiful / amazing images of it in use, and a
compelling overview page to send people to that mentions how to can
spread the word / get their local distributors or politicians or
schools on board.
Then we should run a little viral publicity campaign. It's really a
very sexy project. We could frame it as something universal: "free
access to Wikipedia on all mobile devices and networks."
This seems to be the main project page for now, so I've been
encouraging people to link to it in their posts.
Samuel Klein identi.ca:sj w:user:sj +1 617 529 4266
I'm particularly interested in availability of Wikipedia on memory cards
and the like. This is for a relatively small language, so extremely
large size isn't the issue.
I'm wanting to know if there is a way to distribute Wikipedia in a small
language on memory cards for android phones. This is for people for
whom data service is not available or cost prohibitive, and who may not
have access to a computer for transfer. Physical distribution of cards
is something that could be done.
We currently spread our offline content mostly online. In the case of
ZIM files, many of them are really huge.
I received today a feedback from Kiwix user in Spain who has downloaded
the full WPES ZIM file (~10GB) over many weeks... at the end he has
discovered that in the meantime we had released a new version of this
file. He was obviously a little bit frustrated.
What do you think about the idea of providing an online share-platform
for ZIM files. A small Web site allowing people to:
* announce that they have a file and are ready to give/copy it for someone
* provide a solution to find thus people with a map
* provide a solution to bring provider and searcher in touch
Does someone knows a software which maybe already does that?