I am writing to share with you a very inspiring initiative regarding health
and medicine articles on Wikipedia. Crores of Wikipedia readers read up
about health related issues either when they or their loved ones fall ill
or before or after they have consulted doctors or when they are curious
about a particular disease or drug. In fact, quite a few doctors and
nurses also read up these articles to improve their knowledge.
Wikipedia's medical articles have 15-20 crore page views every month. The
top 300 articles are viewed more than 1 lakh times every month. The
challenge is that the majority of these articles are only available in
This initiative (
has been conceptualised by WikiProject Medicine, Wikimedia Canada and very
interesting organisation called Translators Without Borders. It seeks to
translate a set of 80 of the most important health care articles into as
many languages as possible.
Given the state of our health care system as well as the increasing
readership of Indic language projects, there is huge positive impact that
we can have if we participate in this initiative and have these articles in
all Indic languages. The project page (referenced above) includes an
outline of the project, FAQs, useful links and a sign up for interested
The ways that we can participate are as follows
- English Editors to improve articles on en-wp
- English Editors to convert articles into simple English Wikipedia (so
that non-English editors who don't have a medical background can also help
- Indic editors to help translating either by themselves or by helping
the translators at Translators Without Borders
Remember, you don't have to be a health care professional to help out. All
you have to do is simply care.
I am really happy to note that 5 editors from 5 Indic languages have
already signed up<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Medicine/Translation_tas…>
this wonderful project. Of these 2 languages - Assamese and Malayalam -
have already started wiki project and started working on articles (really
big comprehensive articles) related to Medicine.
Assamese wikipedia medicine project page: ৱিকিপিডিয়া:ৱিকিপ্ৰকল্প
Some of the articles created:
- কৰ্কট ৰোগ<http://as.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%A6%95%E0%A7%B0%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%95%E0%A6%9F_…>
Malayalam wikipedia biology project page:
Some of the articles created:
- ആസ്മ (Asthma) <http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asthma>
- ന്യുമോണിയ (Pneumonia) <http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumonia>
- മസ്തിഷ്കാഘാതം (Stroke) <http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroke>
Please note that this project do not involve machine translation or bots.
It is really happy to note that both in Assamese and Malayalam wiki these
projects are run by doctor (or medicine students) wikipedians :) Yes, Indic
wikipedias has editors from all wakes of life.
There is so much potential on the articles related to medicine both in
Indic and English. I encourage interested wikipedians to join this project
by adding your name
I welcome and invite everyone to join in.
I think there are 3 issues that this newsarticle raises.
The first is the is the desperate urgency for community building.
Community building is a combination of:
- increased community communication (in increasing order of importance:
events, mailing lists, talk pages, meet-ups and village pumps)
- stronger community collaboration (small wikiprojects starting of with
even 2 editors and on virtually any topic of interest whether it is a
subject area like health articles or a task like translate articles
- more frequent and impactful outreach (including targeting the most
suitable audience profile for outreach, combination of classroom & hands-on
editing experience during the workshop, staying in touch with newbies after
the session, hand-holding newbies during their first 100 edits and
integrating newbies into the existing community)
- reaching out retired editors - which is a particularly severe problem
in Kannada (and Telugu) because active editor numbers have declined (or not
grown) over the past 1 year. This is particularly alarming given the small
community size. Also, the reason why these editors retired is not because
of technology but a whole host of other reasons (including changing
personal circumstances, lack of an adequate sense of community, lack of
collabaration inside wiki, lack of pride of projects, over usage of bots,
and so on.
The second is that while there are very real issues that the Google
translate project created (some of which were outlined below), the biggest
problem is that it focuses on content and not community. This is a similar
problem to using bots to create content - which has been shown time and
time again to downright harmful to projects and hence to communities. On
the specific issue of Google translate project, it also represents a solid
opportunity to get existing editors (and maybe some newbies as well) to get
involved with the clean up. Some editors in Kannada wikipedia have already
started preparatory work on this - and there is great potential in this.
It is a great way of building the community through collaboration around a
The third issue is on technology. I know that - historically for PCs -
there have been issues around fonts, browsers, OS, and so on. However, I
think these are becoming less critical as technical developments have
resolved many issues. (This is evidenced by the increased Kannada presence
in the blogosphere as well as on sites like facebook and twitter.) Having
said that, editing wikipedia - in any language - does require certain basic
technical comfort especially when one clicks on "edit" and sees the HTML
mark-ups that pop up. To that extent, I would suggest that we don't focus
too much on the technical challenges but place all our emphasis on
community building. According to me technical challenge is not a major
issue for most of the major indic languages (when it come to PCs). And now
it is time for us to come out this excuse and contribute to our own
Omshivaprakash is right when he says that too few knew that they can edit.
To address this, a combination of outreach and press coverage is essential
to convey this message. On press coverage, it is tempting to put out
stories that a particular language has achieved a milestone (for example,
10,000 article milestone.) is great but the even more useful ones are
stories that mention that anyone can edit, give the very basics of editing,
suggest specific areas where readers might be interested and give them
contact details in case they are interested.
In all this, do keep in mind that readership of Indic language wikipedias
is growing exponentially. The audience is there now! We need to get the
community built so that the can edit the content.
On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM, Ashwin Baindur
> As a person working in the relevant field, we would welcome Shiju's
> comments on the article, its facts, proposed steps by the editors mentioned
> and what Kannada Wikipedia needs for revival.
> Warm regards,
> Ashwin Baindur
> On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM, Tinu Cherian (Wikimedia India) <
> tinucherian(a)wikimedia.in> wrote:
>> *The Hindu : "The struggles of keeping Kannada Wikipedia afloat"*
>> *In the world of online Kannada content, blogs may be thriving but
>> Wikipedia is struggling. The reasons vary from technology barriers to lack
>> of contributors, say Wikipedians.
>> While there has been a surge in Kannada content in the last two years,
>> contributors to the language have been grappling with technology barriers.
>> After floundering for years, the Kannada Wikipedia picked up with font
>> availability, said Hari Prasad Nadig, a Kannada Wikipedian. The software
>> to add to Kannada Wikipedia is not so user-friendly, and only geeks can
>> edit it properly.
>> Unlike English, which has a large community, technology issues are
>> glaring in smaller communities. “Growth is slow with respect to technology
>> in smaller communities,” he said. The lack of a good Unicode font has been
>> a persisting problem so the reader ends up seeing boxes instead of Kannada
>> text. After trying to write using the ‘Thunga' font, which had problems
>> with vowels, besides other bugs, today, ‘Kedage' is the most complete font,
>> though issues remain with this one too, Mr. Nadig said.
>> Besides, various operating systems provide different levels of support
>> for the script. “All these small factors together discouraged people from
>> contributing. It's not that people don't want to use Kannada on the Net.
>> Traffic on the Net is very high; there is Kannada on Facebook and Twitter
>> too,” he said.
>> Another challenge is writing and adding quality content. “The community
>> has to grow if Kannada Wikipedia is to grow,” he said. The quality of
>> content also matters. One person adding thousands of ‘stubs' on, say,
>> Kannada films, does not help the reader, and in fact, drives them away from
>> the site. Also, Kannada Wikipedia needs “starter” articles, to get people
>> reading before they can start adding content, he said.
>> In order to grow, Kannada Wikipedia requires an active, organic
>> community, which is not imposed through a catalyst of paid content
>> creators. Once, Google started a tool that had machine-translated content
>> improved by manual translations. Yet the Kannada content was “looking like
>> spam. They (manual translators) didn't understand markup, templates; (it
>> was) all malformed”, he said.
>> An observation about contributors is that people in metros prefer writing
>> to the English Wikipedia though they know Kannada and are tech-savvy.
>> “Bangalore has less than 10 people writing to Kannada Wikipedia,” he said.
>> Omshivaprakash, Chair for Kannada Special Interest Group for Wikipedia,
>> said people are not aware that Kannada Wikipedia now has simple tools to
>> add content. He said “Wiki academies” would be set up to train people on
>> adding Kannada content. “Everyone complains that the quality of Kannada
>> Wikipedia is low, but they do not know that they can edit it themselves,”
>> he said.*
>> Tinu Cherian
>> Important Note : Non-commercial reproduction for informative purposes
>> only. The publisher ( The Hindu ) of the above news article owns the
>> copyrights of the article / content. All copyrights are duly acknowledged.
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Wikimedia
>> Chapter, India Member's Group.
>> To post to this group, send email to wmin-members(a)googlegroups.com
>> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
>> For more options, visit this group at
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
*The Hindu : "The struggles of keeping Kannada Wikipedia afloat"*
/In the world of online Kannada content, blogs may be thriving but
Wikipedia is struggling. The reasons vary from technology barriers to
lack of contributors, say Wikipedians.
While there has been a surge in Kannada content in the last two years,
contributors to the language have been grappling with technology barriers.
After floundering for years, the Kannada Wikipedia picked up with font
availability, said *Hari Prasad Nadig*, a Kannada Wikipedian. The
software to add to Kannada Wikipedia is not so user-friendly, and only
geeks can edit it properly.
Unlike English, which has a large community, technology issues are
glaring in smaller communities. "Growth is slow with respect to
technology in smaller communities," he said. The lack of a good Unicode
font has been a persisting problem so the reader ends up seeing boxes
instead of Kannada text. After trying to write using the 'Thunga' font,
which had problems with vowels, besides other bugs, today, 'Kedage' is
the most complete font, though issues remain with this one too, Mr.
Besides, various operating systems provide different levels of support
for the script. "All these small factors together discouraged people
from contributing. It's not that people don't want to use Kannada on the
Net. Traffic on the Net is very high; there is Kannada on Facebook and
Twitter too," he said.
Another challenge is writing and adding quality content. "The community
has to grow if Kannada Wikipedia is to grow," he said. The quality of
content also matters. One person adding thousands of 'stubs' on, say,
Kannada films, does not help the reader, and in fact, drives them away
from the site. Also, Kannada Wikipedia needs "starter" articles, to get
people reading before they can start adding content, he said.
In order to grow, Kannada Wikipedia requires an active, organic
community, which is not imposed through a catalyst of paid content
creators. Once, Google started a tool that had machine-translated
content improved by manual translations. Yet the Kannada content was
"looking like spam. They (manual translators) didn't understand markup,
templates; (it was) all malformed", he said.
An observation about contributors is that people in metros prefer
writing to the English Wikipedia though they know Kannada and are
tech-savvy. "Bangalore has less than 10 people writing to Kannada
Wikipedia," he said.
*Omshivaprakash*, Chair for Kannada Special Interest Group for
Wikipedia, said people are not aware that Kannada Wikipedia now has
simple tools to add content. He said "Wiki academies" would be set up to
train people on adding Kannada content. "Everyone complains that the
quality of Kannada Wikipedia is low, but they do not know that they can
edit it themselves," he said./
Important Note : Non-commercial reproduction for informative purposes
only. The publisher ( The Hindu ) of the above news article owns the
copyrights of the article / content. All copyrights are duly acknowledged.
Cross-posting to other mailing lists. Kindly ignore if you have read
this on another mailing list.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [WMIN-Members] New Wikimedia India Portals
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 08:18:34 +0530
From: Naveen Francis <naveenpf(a)wikimedia.in>
To: Wikimedia India Community list
We are pleased to formally announce the launch of the following new
Wikimedia India Portals:
http://wikimedia.in/- The new landing page will be the gateway to the
various Project pages and Wikis.
http://wiki.wikimedia.in <http://wiki.wikimedia.in/>The public wiki is
now revamped with an all-new look and lots of information. Feel free to
add more information to the wikis.
http://members.wikimedia.in <http://members.wikimedia.in/>Wiki for India
http://blog.wikimedia.in/Wikimedia India Blog - to post a blog, contact
Arjuna Rao Chavala or Tinu Cherian
We are pleased to introduce the following new Wikimedia Project gateways
for the various Indic languages:
The planned landing page for http://wikipedia.in is available here
Efforts are currently underway to obtain control of a few more important
domains and announcements will be made as and when we get them. We
sincerely believe this initiative will help drive more traffic to Indic
language Wikimedia Projects.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Wikimedia CH /
Switzerland Chapter and Manuel Schneider (Wikimedia CH / Switzerland)
for hosting our websites and portals at no cost.
A number of people need to be thanked, who helped in the this initiative.
Rajesh K Oayanchal who designed the portals and Jyothis E who gave his
webspace for the testing purposes. Anirudh, Noopur Raval, ,Surya,
Radhakrishna, Omshivaprakash, Debanjan, Saroj, Swaroop, Abhishek
Suryawanshi and others have helped in translations .
Tanvir Rahman , Tinu Cherian and Arun Ram helped in revamping the public
We hope that you will find these portals useful and informative.
Please do get back to us with your feedback and suggestions.
Wikimedia India Chapter
Thanks Radha Krishna for the detailed report.
May be other cities can also make utilize of the Watch list Geo Notices for
future meetups .
Put a request here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Geonotice
and notify me or one of the admins on English Wikipedia.
On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM, RadhaKrishna Arvapally <
> Dear all,
> The 42nd Bangalore Wikipedia Wikimeetup was held on 12 Feb
> 2012, at Wikimedia India Chapter office ( The Centre for Internet and
> Society), Domlur.  Five Wikimedians attended the meetup.
> This time, we introduced GeoNotice on English Wikipedia for
> announcing the meetup on the same morning in the Bangalore area . A
> geonotice is a notice similar to a sitenotice, but it is displayed only to
> users who are physically located in some subset of the Earth. This is only
> a watchlist geonotice , appearing on the watchlist page of logged in
> users. May be we should try this at least a week ahead, next time, to catch
> enough attention of regular Wikipedians, and possibly on other Wikipedias
> Arun Ramaratnam gave a talk and demo on How QR codes work, How
> QRPedia (http://qrpedia.org/) used this technology in an innovative way.
> QRpedia is a mobile Web based system which uses QR codes to deliver
> Wikipedia articles to users, in their preferred language. When a user scans
> a QRpedia QR code on their mobile device, the device decodes the QR code
> into a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) using the domain name "qrwp.org"
> and whose path (final part) is the title of a Wikipedia article, and sends
> a request for the article specified in the URL to the QRpedia Web server.
> It also transmits the language setting of the device  The crowd
> discussed on the possible ways of implementing QRPedia in Indian contexts
> and museums in India. We discussed about the current limitations and how
> they can be improved.
> We discussed on how to take forward the Wiki Loves Monuments
> initiative in India . Naveen Francis announced the registration of
> wikilovesmonuments.in We discussed about the MoU with National
> Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, New Delhi . It was decided to follow up
> and close the loop in signing the MoU with the Museum. Radhakrishna
> Arvapally also discussed about a possible partnership with Brain Museum of
> NIMHANS, Bangalore (Only Brain Musium in India). Arun talked about his
> earlier interactions with the Government Museum of Bangalore . We need
> to complete this list of Museums in India.  and identify volunteers to
> work with them.
> The Meetup was adjourned with the customary group photo sessions.
> You can find more photos here . The next Bangalore Wikimeetup ( Meetup
> 43) is to be held on Sunday, 11-March-2012 Time: 3:00 PM IST. 
> 1) http://wiki.wikimedia.in/WikiMeetups/Bangalore/Bangalore42
> 2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Geonotice#Bangalore_Meetup_42
> 3) Source : Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QRpedia
> 6) http://wiki.wikimedia.in/List_of_Museums_in_India
> 8) http://wiki.wikimedia.in/WikiMeetups/Bangalore/Bangalore43
> Thanks to Tinu for help !
> Thanks & Regards,
> Wikimedia-in-blr mailing list
ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಸದಸ್ಯರ ಸಮಾಗಮ ಈ ತಿಂಗಳು ಐ.ಆರ್.ಸಿ ಯಲ್ಲಿ :- ಇಂದು ಸಂಜೆ ೮:೩೦
ನಿಮಿಷಕ್ಕೆ (ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ ೧೬, ೨೦೧೨)
IRC channel on freenode: #wikipedia-kn
ಐ.ಆರ್.ಸಿಯನ್ನು ಇದುವರೆಗೆ ಬಳಸಿ ಅಭ್ಯಾಸವಿಲ್ಲದವರು ಈ ಕೆಳಗಿನ ವೆಬ್ಚಾಟ್ ಲಿಂಕ್
*ಸಮಾಗಮದ ಮುಖ್ಯ ವಿಷಯ - *
*೧) ಕನ್ನಡ ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ ಸುತ್ತ ನಾವು ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದಾದ ಕೆಲಸಗಳು *
ಅ. ಗೂಗಲ್ನಿಂದ ಲಿಪ್ಯಂತರಗೊಂಡ ಲೇಖನಗಳ ಪರಿಷ್ಕರಣೆ
೨) ಕನ್ನಡ ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ ಇಂದಿನ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಗತಿ
೩) ಕನ್ನಡ ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ ಸುತ್ತಲಿನ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮಗಳು
Omshivaprakash H L | ಓಂಶಿವಪ್ರಕಾಶ್ ಎಚ್.ಎಲ್ | ॐ शिवप्रकाश् एच्. एल्
Wikimedia India Chapter
[image: File:Wikimedia India logo.svg] <http://wiki.wikimedia.in/>
I have compiled the, statistical update of the Indic language Wikipedias
for the year 2011. In this report, my aim is to provide an *analysis* as
well as *my perspectives* on the health of various Indic language
communities as well as the state of various Indic language wikipedias for
the year 2011. (The period of analysis is editor contributions between 2011
January 1 and 2011 December 31). As always, a lot of the data for this
report and analysis are based on the statistical data published at
http://stats.wikimedia.org. Thanks to Erik Zachte for compiling all this
I must also point out that this annual update contains a number of insights
*that are derived not only from this data but directly from community
members* who have shared a very real-world picture.
Read the annual update here:
I welcome your comments on this annual update. Please discuss it on the
talk page. You can also reach me at shiju(a)wikimedia.org