Hi All (cross-posting to make sure I reach as much of India as possible),
As you're aware, we had invited applications for Campus Ambassadors for the upcoming Pune Pilot of the India Campus Program.
The response has been fantastic: we've received ~500 applications/enquiries from across India, ~70 of which were from Pune. This has been really heartening - indicating the desire of many to support the Wikimedia movement. It's also been overwhelming because we need to process all the applications, respond to applicants, etc.!
I think, most critically, it also presents an amazing opportunity for us to introduce new people to Wikimedia projects (especially Wikipedia) - and invite them to join the community. I've interviewed quite a few and there is a recurring theme I hear from many of them. It goes something like, "I've been using Wikipedia for years and years, and I love it. I want to contribute back to it - but I wasn't sure how. Then I saw the banner and decided this was a great way to help." The overwhelming common trait I have noticed in the applicants is that they are bright, well-intentioned and eager to contribute.
Here are some thoughts I had, and I'd love to hear your suggestions/comments on these.
We should respond to every single applicant, and even to those who didn't actually apply but sent emails enquiries (such as "When is the program coming to my city?", etc.) No one should be left behind.
We will prioritise (in terms of sequence of events) the Pune Campus Ambassadors. We need to have a reasonable number available for a training session that we need to conduct before the start of the program. Of the 70 who applied from Pune, we should hopefully get 20-30 Campus Ambassadors.
The important suggestion I had for everyone else (in Pune and beyond) is that we do not "reject" anyone. While some might not become Campus Ambassadors because we don't plan to run the program in their towns/cities right now, or some in Pune might not currently have the desired experience (in teaching and people management), there is no reason that they can't participate in some other roles. Therefore, I don't think we should send any "reject letters" to anyone. No one should be left behind. Instead, we should send them options on how they can participate/learn more about participating. For example:-
i) they could form student clubs in their respective educational establishments
ii) they could form Wikipedia clubs in their workplaces/social groups (as a number of applicants are working professionals, and no longer on campus)
iii) they could become individual editors
For us to try and help realise their potential, here are some thoughts I had:-
i) Invite all the applicants/enquirers to attend the next community meet-ups. This was a suggestion shared by the Pune community. This would give them a chance to interact with the community and understand more about the movement/projects.
ii) Additionally, those who have not been selected as Campus Ambassadors can be reassured by telling them that they can join an "incubation" program. This was a suggestion shared by the Pune community. This would involve them attending meet-ups, learning how to edit, starting to edit - and being supported and hand-held along the way by existing community members. This would help them if they eventually wish to reapply as Campus Ambassadors. Even if they choose not to, they could easily become individual newbie editors.
iii) Invite all applicants/enquirers in a town/city to attend a full-fledged Wiki Academy. This was a suggestion shared by the Mumbai community. This is currently envisaged as a full day session where they are given insights into the movement & projects, taught how to edit, and actually edit articles.
iv) In towns/cities where a full-fledged Wiki Academy is not viable (e.g. if there aren't enough numbers of either participants or volunteers/volunteer time to run a Wiki Academy), then an alternative suggestion is to have a smaller group (3-5) of the applicants /enquirers linked up with a community member who can conduct smaller, shorter groups to explain how to edit and hand-hold them as they edit.
I'd really like to hear your views/comments/suggestions on the ideas listed here.
Also, do let me know which of you would like to volunteer either to help conduct Wiki Academies (point (iii) above) or to manage smaller groups of potential newbies (point (iv) above). Also, it'd be great if we could invite them to your next meet-ups at your respective towns/cities (point (i) above).
Another aspect I'd like to get suggestions from you on is how to manage the process of inviting them to these events. We could, for example, share the contacts of these applicants with the respective communities could reach out and invite them. Alternatively, if you wish this to be done for you, that also can be arranged (though it will put some strain on already stretched resources.)
I look forward to hearing from you. (Please note that we have received applicants from every corner of the country - so please don't assume that the applicants are only from Pune or only from large cities or only interested in English Wikipedia. (They are literally from everywhere, and no one should be left behind!)
Wikimedia Foundation India Programs
I am writing to all of you to correct a potential error. As you might be aware, the Wikimedia Foundation has set itself an important objective of supporting the community in India to expand participation. As part of this, India Programs has been set up - and I work for it.
I have put together a plan for India (please see http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_-_India_Programs) - and I had communicated this on the India mailing list. This has generated interest as well as debate and discussion. However, I understand that some of you might not be on that mailing list. I therefore thought I'd correct this by reaching out directly to you and requesting you to have a look at the page and share your comments (on the Talk Page or on this mailing list or directly to me; my contact details are in my signature.) It outines the thinking behind India Programs, key initiatives, milestones, team structure, visit reports, IRC logs, recommendations on office location and some other details. I hope you find it interesting, and I'd love to hear your views / comments / suggestions.
Also, we I have a monthly IRC on India Programs with whoever is interested - on the first Thursday of every month. I'll send out an invite to your mailing list from now on. Do see if you can join in.
I am also going to try and attend as many community meet-ups in as many locations as possible - so I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, as soon as possible. If you would be kind enough to let me know when the next meeting is planned for and on what schedule (e.g. 2nd Saturday, etc.) then I'll work out how to attend asap.
(Do excuse me if you have received this message through other mailing lists, or it's a bit of a duplication if you are already on the India mailing list.)
Wikimedia Foundation India Programs
*The Telegraph , Calcutta : "Regional Wiki"*
*Wikipedia may be one of the most popular websites in the world, but few
know that it can be accessed in 270 languages, including 20 Indian ones.*
*Wiki Bangla has been around since January 2004, but with little awareness
about its existence there have been few contributors. A workshop and
brainstorming session was organised by NGO Sanhita along with Wikimedia
Foundation at the Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre recently to
introduce Bangla Wiki to academicians and NGOS and invite contributions on
women’s right and gender-related issues.*
*“The Bengali section of Wikipedia has hardly any information on women
rights and laws. If we can enrich this section it will benefit many women in
rural areas, especially those who are not conversant in English,” said Soma
Sengupta, the director of Sanhita.*
*Women’s rights activist Vishakha Dutta represented the Wikimedia
Foundation. Professors of women studies departments of various colleges were
encouraged to select students who can contribute for this section. Some of
the participating colleges included Sreerampur Girls’ College, Basanti Devi
College, Jaiprakash Institute, Lady Brabourne College and Shibnath Shastri
P.S. The story is short, but I think it appears on the front page of
Apologies for this big delay in reporting - between work, travel and the
rest of my life, I've been in a spin.
As previously announced on this list, Sanhita, a gender resource centre in
Kolkata had offered to host a half-day session on 'Gender, Information and
Technology' to explore, understand and plan how women's studies departments
in Kolkata's colleges might create content related to 'gender/women's
studies/women' on Bengali wikipedia, for use by colleges across West Bengal
(and of course, by anyone else).
The workshop was held on 18 March at the Seagull Media Resource
Kolkata wiki10 celebrations had been held in January - Sanhita
took on the venue rental and snack costs. Sanhita currently works with 18
women's colleges in Kolkata and West Bengal: it creates and distributing
information resources in Bengali on women/gender. It would like to
collaborate with a technological platform such as Bengali wikipedia to
further its goal.
Biswarup Ganguly, Jayanta Nath, Arnab Dutta and Rimi Chatterjee were the
wikipedians from Kolkata who led this workshop, along with Soma Sengupta of
Sanhita. I was invited along to bridge the gap between gender studies and
wikipedia. The entire workshop was conducted in Bengali; there were 30
participants - 28 women and 2 men, quite the gender reverse of other
workshops I've attended. Please see the
Biswarup took to get a visual sense of this.
Each of the 30 participants used English wikipedia - only 1 knew of Bengali
wikipedia; none used it. All the participating teachers are not necessarily
intending to edit wikipedia themselves in Bengali, but are 'gatekeepers' to
students. So they were more interested in a conceptual understanding of
wikipedia during this preliminary planning session, than a hands-on editing
Given the academic nature of participants, the first question was about the
authenticity of articles. How is this established? Along with talking about
the need for references and citations and the no original
research/verifiability principles, two examples [1}  were shown. The talk
page on Babri Masjid  was also used to demonstrate one aspect of the
editing process - how authenticity is constantly challenged and
renegotiated. The page on Begum Rokeya  attracted considerable interest,
since she was a pioneering figure in undivided Bengal to whom this group
could relate. The lack of citations about her was brought up, and the oral
citations project  was cited.
In a similar vein, the following pages were also discussed in detail:
Feminism portal , Gender Studies category  and Gender Studies project
page  - to see if something similar could be launched in Bengali
wikipedia with those present and others who had expressed interest via
Since some of those present saw themselves as advocates, we clarified that
wikipedia is not an advocacy platform, it is a knowledge platform - and
discussed NPOV etc in this context.
There were questions about how to take this knowledge to colleges in the
state without access to the internet or to computers. We discussed the
creation of offline CDs and PediaPress books, using online content.
All in all, there was great excitement around the prospect of
collaboratively creating gender-related content on Bengali wikipedia - Arnab
and Jayanta demonstrated this. Rimi spoke about how she uses wikipedia with
her students, while Biswarup did a quick demo of Commons.
All of us felt "a positive energy" (to quote Rimi), specially about the
"practical concrete questions about next steps" (Jayanta). One disability
rights activist from an NGO called Sruti had suggestions for improving said
page in Bengali wikipedia - and
Sanhita confirmed that several participants emailed back the next day with
Hopefully, with this optimistic start, this will now go places - and
contribute not just to Bengali wikipedia, but also to reducing the overall
gender gap. A special thanks to Jayanta, Arnab, Biswarup, Rimi, and Soma for
excellent coordination, planning, camaraderie and teamwork to make this
workshop a grand success.
On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 9:24 PM, Srikanth Lakshmanan <srik.lak(a)gmail.com>wrote:
> Hi all,
> Just when we were having discussions on urls, here comes
> ""Experts say companies will try to race to book their names under all
> seven languages to prevent the misuse of their names and trademarks.""
> Can the foundation / chapter block Wikipedia domain names in all these
> languages as soon as they come to prevent misuse?
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
With Warm Regards,
আসুন পাইরেসি মুক্ত ভারত গড়ি,সবাই মুক্ত সফ্টওয়ার ব্যবহার করি [image:
O:-)],অন্যকে ব্যবহারে উৎসাহিত করি।
Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
যারা উইকিপিডিয়ায় বিভিন্ন নিবন্ধ যোগ করে অবদান রাখেন, তাদের জন্য সবচেয়ে সহজ
এবং নিরাপদ উপায় হচ্ছে ইংরেজি বা অন্য কোন ভাষার উইকিপিডিয়া থেকে সরাসরি নিবন্ধ
অনুবাদ করা। সহজ এবং নিরাপদ এই জন্যে যে উইকিপিডিয়া অনুবাদের ফলে অবদানকারীকে
তথ্যের উৎস এবং কপিরাইট নিয়ে চিন্তা করতে হয় না। কারণ সকল উইকিপিডিয়াই একই
লাইসেন্সের আওতায় নিবন্ধ প্রকাশ করে। একটি উইকিপিডিয়া লেখা ছাড়াও বিভিন্ন ছবি,
উইকি মার্কআপ, ইনফোবক্স, রেফারেন্স এবং বিভিন্ন ট্যাগ দিয়ে নিবন্ধটি বিন্যাসিত
থাকে। সাধারণভাবে এগুলোকে অনুবাদক বা অবদানকারী নিজেকেই খেয়াল এবং রক্ষণাবেক্ষণ
করতে হয়। তবে একটি বড় এবং ভাল মানের নিবন্ধকে অনুবাদ করতে একজন অবদানকারীকে
নিবন্ধের সকল বিষয় খেয়াল রেখে অনুবাদের কাজ করতে বেশ কষ্ট করতে হয়। অনেক সময় যা
প্রায় দুঃসাধ্য হয়ে পড়ে। ফলে অনুবাদের কাজটিও অনেক সময় মান সম্পন্ন হয়ে ওঠে না।
গুগুল ট্রান্সলেশন টুলকিট ওয়েবভিত্তিক এমন একটি অ্যাপ্লিকেশন যা উইকিপিডিয়ার
জন্য অনুবাদকারীকে অনুবাদ কাজে এসব বিষয়ে সহযোগিতা সহ আরও বেশ কিছু সুবিধা দিয়ে
থাকে। এ অ্যাপ্লিকেশনটি অনুবাদ কাজকে আরও সহজ এবং সাচ্ছ্ন্দময় করে। আমার
ব্যাক্তিগত অভিজ্ঞতায় এটি উইকিপিডিয়ার জন্য যে কোন অনুবাদে বেশ কার্যকরী। আমার
অভিজ্ঞতা থেকে অ্যাপ্লিকেশনটি কিভাবে উইকিপিডিয়া অনুবাদে কার্যকরীভাবে ব্যবহার
করা যায় তা আমার ব্লগে শেয়ার করছি। ব্লগটি হয়তো আপনাদের উইকিপিডিয়ায় অবদান
রাখতে আপনাদের সহযোগিতা করবে।
ব্লগ পোষ্টের লিঙ্কঃ* http://wp.me/pcRF1-ad*
Knowledge is universal
...so share it.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?
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