Firstly let me begin with tons and tons of apologies as I am terribly late
with this report and in no way can I justify being such late.
Unfortunately, due to various reasons primarily studies and traveling, I
could not come out with this faster.
Wikipedians in Kolkata met for the 10th time at Atmabikash Samiti on the
19th of Hamy, 2012. There was a large number of members upto at least 10
people, my memory is a bit clouded now. Incidentally, being a bengali and
well as being born and brought up in Kolkata, this was my first meetup with
the Kolkata community. I had just met Jayanta da at WikiConference 11 where
we shared our stories of Wikipedia.
To be honest, it was one of the warmest welcomes I've received. The meetup
started with informal introductions, as I knew none and other than Jayanta
da, none knew me. I told them my story of IEP student to Campus Ambassador
to editor and promoter of the Wikimedia movement, while they each told me
theirs. The date on which it was held, 19th May, was also special, which
was unknown to many of us and this was highlighted by guest of honour, Dr.
Mohit K Ray, who has a Ph D in Engineering and is an Environmental
We all know about 21st February
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_21>which started the Bengali
Language Movement <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_Language_Movement>,
now celebrated as International Mother Language Day. However, it is unknown
to most of us that an event of equivalent importance occurred on the 19th
of May also in our country. The event which was not initially on Wikipedia
and has now been added reads, "1961 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1961> –
11 bengali martyrs gave up their life in a police firing in
Assam <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assam>, while demanding state
recognition of bengali language in the Bengali Language
Dr. Ray highlighted how little is know about such an event within our own
country. He also discussed the growing separation in linguistic differences
between the bengali language spoken by Indians, (i.e. West Bengali) and the
bengali language spoken by Bangladesh.
He also cited how the history of Bengali language is bifurcating into two
streams based on these differences. However, after and intense discussion
as to what then should be the future of Wikipedia, Jayanta da pointed out
that till date, other than a few spelling disputes, there have not been too
many arguments between Indian (Bengali) Wikipedians and Bangladeshi
Wikipedians regarding Bengali Wikipedia. In fact the collaboration that
both countries enjoy is unique in its own in that the two countries are
united by bengali wikipedia sharing common goals and interests.
Other than this pivotal topic, other topics discussed brought forward by
both Jayanta da, Kalyan da, myself as well as everyone present were:
1. How Bengali Wikipedia is increasing day by day.
2. How it the need of the hour is to increase Indian editors in Bengali
Wikipedia as Jayanta da pointed out in WCI 11, (95% contribs are from
3. How to engage various institutes and libraries into putting content into
4. How to engage the already interested youth of West Bengal into editing
Wikipedia. (As in previous instances, they have already showed a lot of
energy and interest).
5. How to better conduct meetups, and spread the news about the meetups.
However, each of these topics required vast discussions and as such, it was
decided to put these on the agenda list for the next meetup. We all shared
a cup of tea and the meeting was put to a close.
I've tried to keep this report as short and simple as possible. My
experience with the Kolkata community was truly wonderful and am proud to
be part of such a bunch of warm loving individuals who accepted me into
their inner circle without having to jump too many hoops. I hope I can keep
on contributing to their efforts in every which way I can in the future.
Wish the Kolkata community all the best for the next discussion.
Just a few points of observation (my two paisa):
1. The discussions need more control and organization. Most of us generally
started on the same topic but the discussion kept on spiraling to a whole
bunch of different topics which Kalyan da kept on mentioning.
2. Due to the absence of a laptop, we could not do any online editing.
Though this was the result of confusion, maybe we could have a rotating
system of who brings the laptop in time.
3. We need to plan more frequent meetups so that as a community we can
4. If possible have online editing sessions, because as a community only a
handful of the people were really experienced with editing, most of the
people present were very new with just a few edits clocked in. If we want
to be taken seriously, everyone must edit and build up their own
experience, otherwise we will never figure out what exactly are the
problems that need to be addressed going forward.
- Lets make this world a better and more informative place*
I wanted to share an update of a fantastic weekend in Delhi.
Saturday morning, 8 community members (3 existing and 5 new editors) on
Hindi Wikipedia met up at Crafts Museum to meet each other and collaborate
on Crafts GLAM project. The meeting started with a round of introductions,
including short talks from the existing editors of how they got introduced
to Wikipedia and what keeps them motivated to edit and what kind of
articles they edit. There's a separate blog post about the Crafts Museum
GLAM project that's coming out shortly - but a quick summary of the meet
up. 4 of the 5 new editors edited. They improved the articles on a type
of sari, a kind of metal handicraft, a class of textile and added content
to the Crafts museum page on Hindi Wikipedia! Pictures are uploaded
User: अनिरुद्ध, User:Siddhartha_Ghai and User:Roboture inspired and guided
the new editors. User:Anilbhardwajnoida, a Museum staff member, was
specially congratulated for his really good contributions (after starting
to edit only a couple of months ago.)
Saturday afternoon, 17 community members (2 existing and 15 new editors) on
English Wikipedia met up at the British Council. This was the meeting of
the British Council Wikipedia Club members and this was a follow-up session
to the initial Wikipedia introduction sessions conducted a little while
earlier. 10 of the new editors edited - including creating a new article
of a locality in Delhi and Indian chewing gum brand, improving the articles
of a famous Delhi landmark and a Delhi school as well as building on the
articles of an Indian architectural element and a kind of darshan dating
back to Akbar's time! They also added content on a couple of local food
items and a couple of pictures on Commons! User:Theo10011 & User:Hisham
helped new editors on a whole host of queries they had.
Sunday morning, 5 community members (2 existing and 3 new editors) on Odia
Wikipedia met up at Hauz Khas. A WikiWorkship was conducted. A journalist
who attended covered it in the The Political and Business Daily.
Additional WikiWorkshops and press coverage were planned in Delhi.
Pictures are uploaded
A new editor created an article about a traditional Odia food.
User:Rashmirparida and User:Psubhashish conducted the session.
Sunday afternoon, 14 community members (2 existing and 12 new editors) on
Malayalam Wikipedia met up at Hauz Khas. A WikiWorkshop was conducted for
the participants who included 3 women, 1 school student and 1 retired
person. They also discussed a potential partnership with the Malayalam
Mission in New Delhi, as well as follow-up outreach session. This meet-up
was covered in the leading Malayalam newspapers, Malayalam Manorama and
Mathrubhumi. Pictures are uploaded
User:Subeesh Balan and User:Shijualex conducted the workshop.
I hope there are more meet-ups in more languages in Delhi and other cities.
*Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!*
I was thinking of experimenting conducting online outreach. I want to try out if we can do an effective outreach event using a google+ (video) hangout. Virtual outreach has a number of advantages:
* No investment of time/effort/cost in travel
* Personal attention to each participant (because of individual video/screenshare facilities.)
* No complications of no laptops available at the venue or a limit on creating user names from a single IP address during the event
* Lower dependency on institutions/college fests to organize an event for us.
* Not limited by physical presence. Sitting in Kanyakumari, one can conduct outreach for interested folks in Kashmir!
This is just a trial to test if online outreach is effective, doable and manageable. This could be one of the ways forward! (Potentially, we could have more community members doing more events with a more diverse audience.)
I'm really excited. Fingers crossed!
Dear Indic community members,
I am writing to share to share with you an update from the Malayalam Wiki community. The Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme - a partnership between the Malayalam Wiki Community and the Government of Kerala's IT@School Project was inaugurated on June 4th in Anchal, Kollam. There are inspiring pictures of the function on Commons.
This has already been covered in a very nice way by the press in this article.
Shiju has posted a blog about this Programme. There are some useful tips for all Indic communities who might be interested in education programmes. These include a focus on importance of local content as well as the crucial involvement of community members who are teachers and students as new editors. There is also an example of how to build strong partnerships with education authorities with support from community members involved in education.
Do join me in congratulating the Malayalam community, in wishing this project the very best of success, in welcoming the students as new editors and in looking forward to fantastic content from the beautiful Kollam region of Kerala.
In last couple of weeks, I am getting server error frequently shown in the
attached image. I had never experienced this in the past.
Can somebody help me in this. Is any technical team is working on this
issue? When it will get resolved?
Mandar V Kulkarni
Just to remind you, today is the third anniversary of the third Wikipedia
Meetup in Bangalore, and the first of the monthly meetups.
You can view more details here:
It was during this meetup that the Proposals for The Chapter,
WikiConference and Wikimania originated.
Two of those three have been achieved, so congratulations to the community.
A special thanks to Tinu Cherian who hosted the meet in his house that day.
These three years have seen the Wikipedia/Wikimedia movement go from a
fledgeling to what it is now.
While we still have a long way to go, let us congratulate ourselves for
what we've done till now.
P.S: Check out the pictures and various blogposts about it.