There have been numerous outreach sessions organized all across India, so we decided to organize a WikiWorkshop of our own in Ahmedabad. :)
We decided on the Electronics and Communication Engineering department at LD Engineering College as the venue a couple of weeks earlier. This was mainly because Harsh was confident that we would be able to obtain all the permissions to use a classroom in time. The date was pretty convenient since it was a state-wide holiday due to Parshuram Jayanti.
We had also invited Hisham to be a part of the event during Office hours on 19 April 2012. Hisham accepted our invitation to fly in and help us conduct the workshop. Nitika followed up with the presentations and offered to help us with event planning. Arnav Sonara, a Gujarati and English Wikipedia volunteer translated parts of Nitika’s presentation into the Gujarati language.
We received confirmation of participation from 42 students through a Google Docs based sign up page created by me. This was very heartening and we expected at least half of the students to actually turn up for the event. ;)
Hisham landed in Ahmedabad at 8.40am and was available at the venue around 9.30am. Anirudh and I joined in later. Hisham guided Harsh and I through the presentation he was carrying so that Harsh could use them later for future workshops in the city.
The time period before the scheduled time for the session was spent discussing ideas with regard to the purpose and objectives of outreach. Hisham opined that it is important to keep pursuing the newbies after they attend outreach sessions and workshops, while Anirudh said that was probably not the best use of scarce volunteer time, which could be better spent contributing to the projects themselves, and helping those editors who approach the veteran contributors on their own accord. We are interested in learning from the follow-up work that the WMF India team has done with regard to the programs it has run in the past and its direct success with the recruitment of new editors. We hope this will start a useful discussion.
Seventeen people turned up for the workshop. This included Vyom Majmudar, a veteran Gujarati Wikipedia and a frequent Wikisource editor and Karthik Mistry, a Debian geek and FOSS advocate.
I commenced the session by introducing Hisham to the participants. Hisham then began with his presentation. The agenda of this workshop was to acquaint the participants basics of Wikipedia editing - five pillars, notability guidelines, followed by a short editing session.
Hisham guided the participants through the first four pillars of Wikipedia but did not speak about the fifth pillar ([[WP:IAR|There are no firm rules on Wikipedia]]). He told me that it would be a bit too advanced for new editors to understand, and then asked to explain it to the participants. Anirudh also elaborated on the third pillar of Wikipedia ([[Wikipedia:Wikipedia is free content]]) that Wikipedia not only provides content free of charge, but that the users of the website are free to edit, use, modify and distribute the content. Free as in free beer, and free as in free speech and free markets. :)
After the presentation was concluded, eleven people stayed back in the workshop out of which five were completely new to editing. We edited both the English and Gujarati Wikipedia projects. [[w:gu:User:Shaildve]] created three stubs while being guided by Vyom. [[User:Chirayu.Chiripal]], who, by the way, does not speak Gujarati, has started contributing to Gujarati Wikipedia by making templates. \m/
The City Bhaskar covered the story on the workshop. Many thanks to Noopur Raval for connecting us with the journalist.
Overall, we think there is scope for improvement in the way we present Wikimedia projects to new users. Some of the topics we touched and discussed such as notability guidelines, referencing and the five pillars could have been presented in a more coherent manner. These are some of the things we will be working on in the near future and would really like to take help from more veteran Wikipedia editors to promote our projects in the state of Gujarat. (Ashwin, are you listening? :P)
TL;DR: The Ahmedabad workshop was organized by Konarak Ratnakar and Harsh Kothari on 24 April 2012. Seventeen participants attended the event. Anirudh Bhati (Wikimedia India) and Hisham Mundol (WMF India Programs) were also present. Hisham addressed the new users initially with a presentation, and later the experienced contributors trained and answered the newbies. It was great to have two veteran contributors like Vyom and Anirudh around, who helped out greatly during the sessions. There is a lot of scope for improvement in the quality of our outreach sessions and each and every one of these events contributes to their constant improvement.
Konarak Ratnakar (with inputs from Anirudh Bhati)
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ભાઈઓ અને બહેનો, આવતા રવિવારે આપણી આગામી વેબ ગોષ્ઠિ યોજાશે. આપ સહુને અનુરોધ
છે કે શક્ય હોય તો રવિવાર ૫ મેની સવારે ભારતીય સમય મુજબ ૧૧ વાગ્યે સ્કાયપ પર
ઓનલાઈન થઈને આ વેબગોષ્ઠિમાં જોડાશો. આ ગોષ્ઠિની જાહેરાત
કરવામાં આવી છે. જો આપ ભાગ લેવાના હોવ તો ત્યાં જણાવશો અને તેમાં
ઉમેરેલા મુદ્દા સિવાયના કોઈ મુદ્દા આપ ચર્ચવા માગતા હોવ તો પણ ત્યાં જણાવવા
Dear all, next Sunday, 5th May, we will be having our next web meeting. If
possible, please join us on skype at 11 am IST. The same has been announced
on Gujarati Wikipeida's meetings
If you are attending, please let us know before hand. Also, if you have any
additional issues to discuss, apart from those listed there, pelase add
શક્ય હોય તેટલા વધુ સભ્યોને મળવાની આશા સહ,
વેબ ગોષ્ઠિ ૫ (રવિવાર, ૬ મે)
Web Meeting 5
Sun, May 6, 11:00 – 12:00 GMT+01:00
on skype user id 'gu.wikipedia'
You have been invited to the following event.
Title: વેબ ગોષ્ઠિ ૫ (રવિવાર, ૬ મે)
Web Meeting 5
When: Sun 6 May 11:00 – 12:00 London
Where: on skype user id 'gu.wikipedia'
* dsvyas(a)gmail.com- organiser
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Greetings from Ahmedabad!
I am here sitting with Konarak Ratnakar and Harsh Kothari, very
enthusiastic contributors to English and Gujarati Wikimedia projects. They
have organized a Wikiacademy at LD College of Engineering, scheduled on 24
April 2012. The main focus of these event is training potential users of
our Gujarati and English Wikipedia projects. We have received confirmation
from around 34 students of the college, and we expect the numbers to go up.
Please sign up if you are interested in joining the event. Computers are
available at the venue, but they are most likely to be occupied by students
from the college, so it's best if you can get your own computers!
Hisham, you are specially invited to join us for the event. :-)
Reminder about the IRC today (9pm IST on Thursday April 5th) Do join us using this link: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#wikimedia-office.
Here is what we would like to discuss today - which we shall do for the first 45 minutes and then throw it open for 15 minutes for any other topics that anyone wants to discuss related to India Program.
You may have noticed that we are increasing our emphasis on Wikisource. Please see Shiju's post on using simple technology to support digitazation (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Program/Indic_Languages/Digitization_o…) and Noopur's story of the Gujarati Wikisource (http://blog.wikimedia.in/2012/04/04/realizing-the-dreams-of-communities-3-y…)
In addition, Shiju has been engaged with other communities on how to start or accelerate their respective language Wikisources.
Wikisource has some very important characteristics that make it attractive.
> It's a (relatively) easier way for newbies to start contributing than the respective Wikipedia
> It's a great way to reach out to language lovers - and love for a language is an important motivator for contribution (on this and other projects)
> There is a much lower gender gap on Wikisource, and it's easy for a wider age group to contribute
> It's more "accessible" as an entry point to newbies because it has less policies than other projects
> It's can act as a gateway to other projects
In today's IRC, we'd like to talk through the work that's happening on Wikisource by many communities, discuss best practices and provide a channel of support for anyone interested in joining the project from any language.
Dhaval, that is just awesome news. When you do finish these books, I
suggest each of these be publicly released by a prominent personality. This
will give publicity to this most important of ventures, help you recruit
more editors and encourage other organisations to release more texts to
On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM, <
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> 1. http://gu.wikisource.org/ (Dhaval S. Vyas)
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> Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 01:17:05 +0100
> From: "Dhaval S. Vyas" <dsvyas(a)gmail.com>
> To: Wikipedia Gujarati <wikipedia-gu(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> Cc: Wikimedia India Community list
> <wikimediaindia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>, Wikimedia Ahmedabad
> Subject: [Wikimedia-IN-AMD] http://gu.wikisource.org/
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> Hi All,
> For the Gujarati language it is one of those golden days today. We have got
> our own Wikisource created at http://gu.wikisource.org/. it has been a
> journey and took just over 3 years for the subdomain creation. We had
> created request on 5th March 2009 and it has been created Today on 27th
> March. This 3 years has brought many of us, Gujarati wikip(m)edians close
> and lastly, many of my fellows from Gujarati Wikipedia became active there.
> We had set our first benchmark of creating 1000 entries, which was achieved
> early last week. As soon as we achieved that goal, we started creating
> first complete book, and selected Mahatma Gandhi's Rachanatmak Karyakram
> (???????? ?????????). User Sushant Savla came up with an idea of
> collaborative project and 6 users participated with zeal. Sushant very
> coordinated the entire project and we completed the small book in just 5
> days. Attracted by the success of this project, now we have started Mahatma
> Gandhi's autobiography - ?????? ??????? ???? ???????, and this project is
> being coordinated by another user Ashok Modhvadia. It must be noted that
> both, Sushant and Ashok are very old Gujarati Wikipedians, we all started
> around the same time (myself in late 2007 and they both in 2008). This
> time, we have 2 additional users contributing in this project and 1 more
> from the previous task is about to join very soon, making the total count
> of 8 users.
> I take this opportunity to thank all of my Gujarati Community for
> cooperating us, right from the supporting our request through to
> localisation of messages and to the contributions till date. I pray that
> they all and myself remain active always on wikipedia and its sister
> projects and serve to our mother language and we continue bringing more and
> more literature from the public domain into gu.wikisource.org tirelessly.