Dear Indian Wikimedians,
I want to share with you the job description  we have developed for
the Wikimedia Foundation's National Program Director for India. This
position is among the first steps we are taking to implement our
five-year strategy aimed to support all of your work to strengthen and
grow the Wikimedia projects in India. We are very excited to make our
first global investment in India and are optimistic about the potential
for success of this pilot initiative.
As you will see in the position description, we envision a range of
possible activities that the Wikimedia Foundation might undertake in
India. However, we will not specify the work fully until we have the
opportunity to develop joint plans with the India chapter and with other
community members in India. In my coming trips to India, I will engage
with as many of you as possible to help shape an effective role for WMF
that complements and supplements your work.
In terms of the search for the Director, we have hired Egon Zehnder's (a
highly regarded international search firm) with a strong Indian team to
help us manage the search. Two of their partners in Mumbai and Delhi
will manage the search. We are looking for an outstanding individual
who has a deep commitment to our mission and to community-building in
India. Ideally, our candidate will have the ability to work effectively
with a wide range of Indian society and it would be great if (s)he were
a Wikimedian. Our plan is to advertise the position widely in India and
around the world. For Economist subscribers, you will see the position
advertised this weekend along with other positions we are hiring for.
Feel free to drop me a note with any suggestions or questions you might
Chief Global Development Officer
Tel: +1-415-839-6885 x. 634
Last week I had the opportunity to share some thoughts on the Wikimedia
Foundation's upcoming work in India with a reporter from TimeOut, who
had interviewed Bishakha Datta on the WMF Board.
While the activities of the WMF in India have yet to be fully defined, I
thought the responses to the reporter would be interesting to share with
you all. They are appended below. Happy to discuss any aspect of the
responses that might not be clear.
In addition, I am in the process of planning my visit to INdia from
20-24 Sept. I will be in Mumbai on 20-21, Delhi on 22 and Bangalore on
23-24. My objective for the visit is to spend time with community
members and the chapter representatives to discuss ways WMF can work
with and along side the chapter and community to advance our shared
mission in India. I will also be meeting with friends and advisors of
Wikimedia and I may be conducting interviews for possible staff roles
with Wikimedia in India. More on this soon.
I hope to have the opportunity to spend time with as many of you as are
available during this visit.
*Responses to questions from Time Out India, Aditya Kundalkar*
*Prepared by Barry Newstead, Chief Global Development Officer, Wikimedia
*August 19, 2010*
*Why was India chosen for Wikimedia Foundation's office?*
We selected India as a priority country for investment during our
five-year strategic planning process that we completed in collaboration
with the Wikimedia community. India is a great fit for a number of
reasons, including the large and growing population of Internet users,
the existence of a committed and growing community of Wikimedia editors
and volunteers in India, and the potential to better-understand
important issues that would advance the Wikimedia movement globally.
These areas for learning include the challenge of growing language
projects that are currently small, the question of how to enable a
richer mobile experience, and how to provide access to Wikipedia for
people without Internet access. We see India as a great place to both
advance our mission and learn.
*It is the first office outside of the US, isn't it?*
Yes, it will be our first office outside of the US and we are excited
that India will be at the forefront of our global development
activities. We are also looking forward to the official formation of
Wikimedia India, an independent, local chapter, which was recently
approved by our Board of Trustees and is awaiting regulatory approval.
The local Wikimedia India chapter will be a close partner of ours.
*Do you feel that there are too few Indian editors as compared to Indian
users of Wikipedia? *
It is very clear that there are too few Indian editors today, even
though we do not have the data on the exact number. Wikipedia is one of
the leading websites in India and while there is great knowledge
available to our Indian readers, our projects are nowhere near their
full potential. For example, there are 230 million speakers of Bengali
worldwide, yet there are only 21,500 articles in the Bengali Wikipedia.
Hindi is spoken by 550 million, yet there are only 59,300. The same is
true for most of the languages of India with the exception of English.
For comparison, the English Wikipedia has over 3 million articles. I
would also imagine that there are many important topics of interest to
Indians that are not yet well covered in the English Wikipedia, despite
its size. We're interested in increasing participation from Indian
editors --not matter what language they speak--English included. Our
main focus in increasing the diversity of voices to the encyclopedias.
*Why is that so?*
We believe that the reason why we don't have enough editors is
multi-faceted, but resolvable through the concerted action of our
community with the support of the Wikimedia India chapter and the
Wikimedia Foundation team. The number one opportunity is to make people
aware that they can edit Wikipedia and help them learn how. We also have
some technical challenges with Indic languages, like many websites, that
we want to solve with the community to make it easier to work with.
*Internet connectivity and the will to contribute seem to be the two
most important things for Wikipedia's success and growth. What are the
challenges you face here in India to ensure that these two factors stay
We are optimistic that the Indian community will continue to grow and
thrive, though we think the recipe for success will probably differ
somewhat from the US or Western Europe, where Wikimedia is very mature.
Our core approach of volunteer-driven editing is working in India and
our focus will be on expanding that through outreach efforts to build
awareness and partnerships with educational institutions, ICT programs
Internet connectivity is very important, of course and in India (and
much of the world), we are going to have to figure out how to make
editing possible via mobile devices. This will be a development priority
for our technology development community and staff. Mobile editing will
open us up to many new editors and a wide range of innovations.
*Do you see greater potential for donations coming in through the India
We hope that Indians will make donations to support Wikimedia's work. We
already have donors from India and we hope that more Indians will learn
about our work and be inspired to donate as we grow our projects.
Wikimedia is largely funded by thousands of small donations from a
broad, global community, over 250,000 people last year. This helps keep
our projects safe, sustainable and growing.
*Is there a perception among Indians (especially potential users of
Wikipedia, not editors) that something that they're getting for free is
not as valuable or trustworthy as something they pay for?*
We think of Wikipedia as a living, evolving public service-- a free
resource providing readers the information they need to
better-understand the world around them. And although I can't speak for
the people of India in terms of trustworthiness and value, but it seems
that their actions speak for themselves -- we are a top ten website in
India according to comScore - and over 375 million people all over the
world access Wikipedia monthly.
What's really exciting for us is that we know the integrity of our
encyclopedias only increase when more, diverse people participate and
contribute. That's a principal driver in seeking to invite more people
to edit the projects. And the great thing is that if there are mistakes,
anyone can fix them and as more people edit, this process helps create a
valuable and highly trustworthy encyclopedia. Our movement aspires to
make highly valuable and trustworthy Wikipedias available to everyone -
in India and around the world.
Chief Global Development Officer
Tel: +1-415-839-6885 x. 634
I am planning to start a twitter account posting one DYK fact related to
India everyday and a link to the article using a script.There are currently
1200+ DYK articles related to India and i have wrote a script to parse the
talk pages and got around 800+ DYK hooks (my script's regex can be improved
and am working on that to get all 1200+ hooks). I need your help to further
format the hooks to 120 chars, so that it fits into twitter limit and
maintain the tweet queue(just like DYK queue), so that my script can post on
twitter without manual intervention.
I think this could give a boost to visibility and page views of DYK articles
having good content which otherwise recieve fairly low page views which
happens only through search since quite a few of them are poorly linked.If
this is successfull we could probably even use it over free sms service.(now
that GPRS is getting cheap and penetration is increasing) People following
get to know trivia and also might give some sort of satisfaction to the DYK
If you could spare some time in helping with maintaining the tweet queue,
please mail me offlist, we could work on that.
Thoughts / Suggestions on the idea is welcome. Suggestions for the twitter
account name is also welcome. :)
we're experimenting with geolocation tools. For the purpose of
supporting the coordination of meetups and events, we want to add
functionality that will make it easy to run banners in a particular
region (e.g. a city and surrounding area).
To do so, we need to license a database that will allow us to look up
a person's presumed location based on their IP address. Before we do
so, we want to gather some reports from around the world about the
quality of the information provided.
To help out, please visit:
And then report your results at:
Thanks for any and all help,
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
CIS has informed me that they have anathor event ( their board
meetings) on the same day of our meetup ( Aug 15) .
So what do we do ? Postpone for next weekend?
Thoughts & urgent replies requested.
N.B. I may be out of station, next weekend.
It gets the city wrong in the case of Antwerp, Belgium. Updated results on
the site. Wonder if this is an isolated problem only with me, cos I was
accessing through my Uni. But, if it happens even outside then it is off by
about 50+ km!
Have updated the meta page with the results.
> > Hello all,
> > we're experimenting with geolocation tools. For the purpose of
> > supporting the coordination of meetups and events, we want to add
> > functionality that will make it easy to run banners in a particular
> > region (e.g. a city and surrounding area).
> > To do so, we need to license a database that will allow us to look up
> > a person's presumed location based on their IP address. Before we do
> > so, we want to gather some reports from around the world about the
> > quality of the information provided.
> > To help out, please visit:
> > http://www.maxmind.com/app/mylocation
> > And then report your results at:
> > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/MaxMindCityTesting
> > Thanks for any and all help,
> > Erik
> > --
> > Erik M?ller
> > Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
> > Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
> > Wikimediaindia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
Good idea. It identifies Bangalore and Karnataka correctly. Can you click on the link and verify whether it shows Kovai correctly?
Sundar from mobile
On Wed Aug 11th, 2010 11:15 AM IST Ravishankar wrote:
>Can this be used to display banners country wide or state wide?
>Many Indian Wikipedian users don't even know about the existance of regional
>language Wikipedias. So, if we can display a banner at the top giving links
>to regional Wikipedias, it will greatly boost the awareness about them.
>Sites like WordPress.com do this already.
>On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 9:39 PM, Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> we're experimenting with geolocation tools. For the purpose of
>> supporting the coordination of meetups and events, we want to add
>> functionality that will make it easy to run banners in a particular
>> region (e.g. a city and surrounding area).
>> To do so, we need to license a database that will allow us to look up
>> a person's presumed location based on their IP address. Before we do
>> so, we want to gather some reports from around the world about the
>> quality of the information provided.
>> To help out, please visit:
>> And then report your results at:
>> Thanks for any and all help,
>> Erik Möller
>> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
>> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list