In light of recent recommendations to set up an SIG instead of autonomous
groups, I was wondering if there is any available documentation on the
process and benefits of doing so?
I was looking at
http://wiki.wikimedia.in/City_and_Language_SIG_subcommittee_chair, the only
page I could find on the topic on the Wikimedia India wiki, but that did
not seem to explain the process and nature of SIGs. (Also, I haven't seen
them defined in Wikimedia India's bylaws.)
What did I miss?
Thanks for your help,
1. Bringing Konkani Encyclopedia in Public Domain
A meeting was scheduled with the Vice Chancellor Dr. Satish R Shetye to discuss the possibility of bringing Konkani Encyclopedia in public domain. As for now the four volume Konkani Encyclopedia is under copyright of University of Goa. Dr. Shetye has gifted one whole set of Konkani Encyclopedia to CIS and is interested to relinquish the copyright to release it under creative common license and digitize it on Wikipedia. In the coming weeks we'll be working closely with Dr. Shetye and his team to digitize this free encyclopedia on Wikipedia.
Special thanks to Goa State Library, Goa University, Dr. Shetye, Prof. Alito Siqueira, Prof. Gopakumar for such a wonderful gift. And a big thanks to Harriet Vidyasagar and Debanjan and all those who helped to pull this through.
2&3. Two Days Wikipedia workshop at Goa University
A two day Wikipedia session was organized for MA, research and PhD students at Goa University on the 12th and 13th Dec 2012.
A special thanks to Prof. Alito Siqueira from Department of Sociology Goa University, Harriet Vidyasagar from OLPC, Prof. Gopakumar from Goa University, Debanjan and Frederick from Wikipedia community and CIS team for making this workshop a huge success. All efforts invested in discussions and planning the workshop over multiple mail trails, conference calls, one-on-one calls paid off extremely well. Over 35 participants attended the two day workshop and throughly enjoyed the sessions.
Most of the participants had already created their usernames before the 1st session, as it was instructed to them earlier, though there were some participants who created their user accounts during the session. Despite creating a ticket for releasing the IP from 7 accounts creation limit we ran into an IP block. This was the second time we encountered such a problem and we'll be looking closely into this matter for smooth operations going forward.
It was pre-decided by the organisers that the 1st session will be theoretical while the 2nd session will be a complete hands-on-traning session. Hence the 1st session started with general introduction about Wikipedia, 5 pillars, how Wikipedia works, brief about Wikipedia community, state of Wikipedia in India etc. The following day participants pre-selected articles that they wanted to edit during the course of the 2nd session. They were taught how to do minor edits, add edit summary, add references, understand view history and page statistics, importance of article and user talk pages.
The 2 day long workshop came to an end with a meeting organised by all the participants to decide what should be their next steps. The workshop created a lot of enthusiasm in the participants and they were already thinking how individual students, researchers and professors will be building up pages on Wikipedia, one page at a time. They also showed keen interest to understand how monthly meet ups are organised in other cities so that they could also organise meet ups in Goa starting 2013 (the proposed date as for now is 16th Jan 2013 - also to celebrate Wikipedia's anniversary).
The feedback received from the participants was extremely positive. In the meanwhile there have been some discussion about forthcoming workshops - we have already received inquires from 5 more institutes to organise similar events in Goa. It seems like the initial seeds have been sown for a flourishing Wikipedia community in Goa.
4. Konkani in Wikipedia incubator - Taking it to the next level
An introductory session was organised in the Konkani Department at Goa University on the 12th Dec 2012. The Konkani staff and students were exhilarated to learn about Konkani in Wikipedia incubation. They have shown keen interest to kick start this project and get the translations done in any or all scripts - Devanagari, Roman, Kannada, Malayalam and Perso-Arabic for Konkani Wikipedia.
We've been in touch with the Director of Konkani Department, Madhavi Sardesai and we are currently discussing the possibility of organising a follow up meeting in Jan/Feb 2013. In the meanwhile, User:Fredericknoronha, one of the Wikimedia Incubator members contributing to Konkani Wikipedia, has been helping us get in touch with more Konkani writers and organising a common meeting sometime in early 2013 to take this project to the next level. To begin with, if we can just get the translations done a lot of things will fall in place and will also help build confidence too.
Some useful links
Konkani in Wikipedia incubator
Some pages contributed already - much work needs to be done to improve quality
List of tasks as viewed by volunteers
An example of a well-translated article, on the "Pinto's Revolt" by Isidore Dantas
Picture 1: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nitika,_Harriot_and_myself_at_Goa_Un…
Picture 2: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nitika,_Harriot_and_myself_at_Goa_Un…
5. Promoting GLAM in Goa
We organised an introductory GLAM session at Goa State Central Library on the 13th Dec 2012. It was well attended by about 45 interested people coming from over 10 different GLAM institutes in Goa. Nitika from CIS and Debanjan from Pune community led the session about Wikipedia and GLAM activities that have been undertaken by our global community since 2010. The talk instilled a lot of enthusiasm in librarians and curators in Goa to start similar programs in their associated institutes.
Some of the institutes attending the session were - Museum of Christian Art, Goa Chitra, Bookworm Library, K.S. Goa State Library, GTL Bicholini, DFLG District Library. Participants had lot of interesting questions about starting GLAM projects in English/Marathi/Konkani, starting point of the project, logistical/financial support required to run a GLAM project etc.
To begin with we'll be meeting Victor Hugos Gomes from Goa Chitra who has shown keen interest to start a GLAM project. Goa Chitra showcases the rich tradition of implements, tools, arts and crafts. Goa Chitra has archived Goa's cultural heritage through documents, books, photographs, handcrafts, electronic recordings, costumes, musical instruments, artifacts. In the coming weeks we'll be following up with Goa Chitra and more institutions to figure out the possibility of starting new projects in 2013.
Here's an audio recording of the entire event:
Picture 1: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lecture_Central_Library_Goa_15.JPG
Picture 2: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lecture_Central_Library_Goa_14.JPG
6. Wikipedia event at St. Xavier's College, Goa
A three hour workshop was organised in the morning of 14th Dec 2012 at St. Xavier's College, Goa. Over 30 participants attended the session. The workshop started with a short introductory presentation followed by learning how to edit Wikipedia. Since there were lesser number of computers participants were divided in groups of 2 or 3 maximum. Each group made at least 3 edits with the help of volunteers present in the room. A follow up session will be organised in Jan/Feb 2013 to organise an edit-a-thon for all the interested and enthusiastic participants.
A special thanks to everyone who helped organising this event - Harriet Vidyasagar, Frederick, Debanjan - all from Wikipedia family and Nitin Volvoikar, Head of Journalism from St. Xavier's.
Picture 1: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Editing_at_Xavier%27s_Mapusa_2.JPG
Picture 2: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Editing_at_Xavier%27s_Mapusa_3.JPG
Gnunify 2013 ( v11 ) is announced. Cfp is open (there does not seem to
be a closing date, but better to register talks early).
Date: 15th, 16th and 17th Feb 2013
Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR),Pune.
System Admin (Networking, security etc)
FOSS - Generic Topics
You have to register as user and then submit talk/workshop.
(try forgot password with mail id, if you registered last year).
*Sheel Sindhu Manohar ( शील सिंधु मनोहर ) <http://ssmanohar.in>
The Wikimedia India Chapter was registered with the Karnataka
Registrar of societies on 3 January 2011. We celebrate our second
anniversary today :)
Initially, the Chapter Executive Committee consisted of seven founder
members. Over time, six of these founder members departed from the
board after each of them made significant and invaluable
contributions. The Executive Committee now bids goodbye to the seventh
founder member, Anirudh Singh Bhati. The Executive Committee expresses
its deep gratitude towards Anirudh for his wonderful contributions
that have helped build the chapter. He becomes the first person to
complete an entire term on the Executive Committee of Wikimedia India.
We wish him well in all his future ambitions and hope he remains
connected to the movement in some form.
The Executive Committee has unanimously resolved to fill the vacancy
created by Anirudh’s departure by co-opting Bala Jeyaraman. Bala is a
distinguished Wikipedian who has been active on English and Tamil
Wikipedia’s, being an administrator on the latter and was one of the
organisers of the recently held Tamil Wiki Photo Contest. He will hold
office until the next general body meeting which would need to approve
Another important step being taken by the chapter is our first
fundraising appeal, which will be announced shortly. A lot of people
may ask why the chapter needs a fundraiser when it has access to WMF
funding. The answer is, we are still ineligible for FDC (we hope to be
eligible for the second round of funding in 2013) and would need to
rely on grants, spending of which is restricted by the WMF. Since
formation, the chapter has relied heavily on the Executive Committee
to take on the burden of running the show. In an ideal world, the EC
would like to take on the role of guiding the chapter rather than
actually be responsible for operations after two years of
incorporation, which should be best done by professionals rather than
volunteers in their spare time.
The chapter has hired an employee (Sowmyan Trimurti, our Executive
Manager) as well as plans to lease its own office premises in
Bangalore. For this, we will soon be sharing a plan and will request
the community for suggestions on the plan. We will also need the help
of those volunteers who are in a position to support us. It could be a
small individual donation or in the form of a corporate donation from
an institution. A small token of support from you could go a long way
in helping us achieving our goals of furthering the movement in India.
Apart from this, we encourage the community at large to engage with
the chapter and request our support wherever necessary without
hesitation for community activities. The chapter has been formed for
the benefit of the community and we will always try our best to live
up to the community’s expectations.
Let me begin with, what I consider to be, one of the most powerful
statements of the Digital Era and the 21st century.
*Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free
access to the sum of all human knowledge – Jimmy Wales 2004*
Every time I read this statement, it stirs up all the excitement and
enthusiasm I have for Wikipedia. It not just presents a potential vision
but also a) opens up un-ending possibilities across multiple realms; b)
enunciates the largest ever human collaboration across all kinds of
boundaries; c) presents an opportunity that was never possible in the human
history; and d) shows the conception of one of the best democratic
platforms of collective-knowledge-building and free-knowledge-sharing. More
importantly Jimmy Wales’ statement succinctly instructs what needs to be
done as PDA2K. Further, the A2K programme work-plan (
has clearly quantified this into measurable milestones.
So I felt it is more productive to not delve too much into the ‘what’
question, but focus more on *how can we achieve this*? Thus the below plan
is more of an *Operational Plan* than a vision statement. Further, it is
not a work-plan as it lacks micro details. What I set out to do below is to
present an outline of the key tasks and strategies that we could adopt to
achieve our collective vision in year 1. It should be noted that I have
deliberately not touched upon some of the activities that are currenly
*Focus Areas:** *There are a number of Wikimedia projects in Indian
languages and about 20 Indian language wikipedias. Given the current size
of the A2K team and the support available it is prudent to identify focus
areas/projects where deeper impact can be achieved. After a careful
examination of the various Indian languages wikipedias it will be useful to
have the following as the primary focus languages. These would be 1) Hindi;
2) Malayalam; 3) Tamil; 4) Kannada & 5) Telugu. Have worked with few
parameters (like current activity, operational convenience, infrastructure,
etc) in making this suggestion and community members are welcome to
question this or offer suggestions. Further, as a secondary focus, 5 more
languages could be identified in consultation with the Wikimedia India
Chapter (WIC) and other community members. Basically the A2K team will have
to focus 70% of its energies on these 5 languages in order to achieve
long-term tangible impact of creating large user and editor base. This will
allow for speedier implementation of pilots/strategies, provide quick
learning and enable cross-pollination of the success strategies in the
secondary focus areas. In the first two months a game plan will be drawn up
for each of the 5 primary languages in consultation with the WIC and the
*Three Nodes:* I perceive three important nodes for the growth of Indian
Wikimedias and Wikimedia in India. First, the one which we all know is the
Community. The second is what I call Knowledge Collaborators (more about it
below) and the third is the A2K team itself. These should not be seen as
watertight divisions as they often complement each other and work in
*Node 1 – Community: *Community is our greatest strength. It is important
to start with the learnings and challenges the Wikimedia communities have
faced in each of the 5 primary language areas. Initially a framework will
be developed to capture the community experience of growing their
respective language Wikimedia projects. Following this A2K team will
collate the collective knowledge of the community members and come up with
a SWOT (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis) analysis, which
will be shared with community. Based on this SWOT analysis the A2K team
will work with the respective community to set Goals (focussing on
community expansion and retention) for the next one year. Following this a
detailed work planning exercise will be undertaken. This work-plan will be
reviewed and reworked on a quarterly basis by the community.
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* 1) Framework/Process for each of the 5
language communities; 2) Collation of collective learning and challenges;
3) SWOT analysis; 4) Goal setting; 5) Commence work-planning exercise
In addition to the regular activities of the Community the following
catalytic community building tools will also be developed and deployed
through the Community in order to amplify the reach and growth of that
respective language Wikimedia project.
*i) Wiki-Community Leadership Programme*
Rationale: Outreach to communities in small cities and towns need a
continuous and consistence engagement.
Objective: Primary role will be community sensitization, mobilization and
expansion and mentoring Grass-root wiki leaders (GWL).
Each of the language community will either nominate or recruit at least 5
Wiki-Community Leaders (WCL), who will be able to physically cover at least
3-4 districts. A2K in collaboration with the WIC will invest on these
Leaders in building their capacities by offering them a) leadership
curriculum; b) public-speaking skills; c) curriculum on community
mobilization and effective volunteerism; and e) necessary technological and
Outputs: 1) 5 WCL to mentor at least 5 GWLs = A base of 150 leaders (i.e.
150 potential editors); 2) Each WCL to organize 1 Perspective Building
Programme (PBP) every week (avg 15 new members per event) = 750 PBPs; 3)
Each WCL to organize 1 Wiki-Outreach and Orientation event every month (avg
10 new members per event) = 300 Wiki-Orientations to reach 3000 members
(may result in 150 editors).
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* 1) Identification of WCL; 2) Curating a
training module for WCL;
*ii) Perspective Building Programmes (PBP)*
Rationale: Don’t start talking shop if you want build community. Build
perspective and focus on enrolment. A group becomes a community only when
it is enrolled into the idea.
Objective: Create an enabling communal context where the Indian Wikimedia
projects find an immediate identification and association.
The majority of educated individuals in non-metro contexts are unaware or
not exposed to discourses about knowledge production, consumption and
availability of knowledge, open source, technology and knowledge, knowledge
industries, etc. In such a context the success rate of a Wikimedia
orientation workshop comes down drastically. Also, there is a need to
generate a larger debate about the above mentioned topics, which will
create conducive atmosphere for the growth of Indian Wikimedia projects and
could break the vicious circle we are stuck in.
Outputs: 1) 15-20 model PBPs each in 5 languages; 2) Possible replication
across other Indian language Wikimedia projects; 3) Public awareness about
Indian Wikimedia (Direct about 20,000 people; Indirect about 60,000 people
and may result in 8000 new users); 4) If successful, possible availability
of a strong Pilot for the Global wiki-community
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* 1) Creating a blue-print for PBP; 2)
Model PBP creation; 3) Testing in 2 locations each across of 5 language
areas; 4) Review
Rationale: Keep four crabs in a box and each one will ensure that no one
will escape. Where there is a community there is bound to be a dispute.
Objective: Instituting a community based conflict resolution body,
especially to avoid edit wars. To be modelled on our good old Panchayt
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* Discuss the modalities of
Wiki-Panchayat with the respective communities and work towards developing
a model. Develop a work-plan to design and roll-out the idea.
*iv) Quarterly Jam Sessions (QJS)*
Rationale: It is important to review and reflect and revise to successfully
meet the goals.
Objective: These mandatory sessions will push the community to physically
and virtually come together and take a stock of how they are progressing
against their own plans. This community based review mechanism will further
foster collaborations; build larger community ownership; enable
peer-to-peer learning; and catalytically contribute to the strengthening of
the community, while celebrating the collective spirit.
Outputs: 1) 4 QJS in each of the 5 language areas; 2) Increased public
visibility to Wikimedia and Indian Wikimedia projects; 3) Possible
replication across other Indian language Wikimedia projects;
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* Discuss the modalities of QJS with the
respective communities and work towards developing a model. Develop a
work-plan to design and roll-out the idea.
Rationale: People are always happy to join-in the celebrations.
Objective: A yearly event that will celebrate and publicly show-case the
growth of Wikimedia projects in 5 Indian languages. Will facilitate greater
visibility, help in building institutional partnerships and raise funding
Outputs: At least 1 Wiki-Caravan organized across 5 language areas; 2)
Increased public visibility to Wikimedia and Indian Wikimedia projects; 3)
%age increase in fund raising of WIC
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* In collaboration with WIC and community
members work towards curating a model Wiki-Caravan. Assess fund
requirement. Develop a work-plan to design and roll-out the idea.
*Node 2 – Institutional Knowledge Collaborators: *As we all know these are
typical domains of Knowledge-Holes and Knowledge-Habitats, where a large
packet of population is formally into knowledge production, consumption and
dissemination. These can be classified as below.
v) Universities and Research Institutions
vi) KINSHIP Groups
*i to iv) GLAM* I think WIC and some members from the Community are already
engaging with GLAM institutions. It would be useful to review our current
mode of engagement with GLAM institutions and the results that have been
achieved. A lot of digitization and preservation work is underway across
various GLAM institution and we need to plug into this network and explore
possibilities of collaborations.
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* Review the current strategy. Develop a
list of GLAM institutions in the five language areas and map existing
networks, digitization activities and projects.
*v) Universities and Research Institutions*
Rationale: With the impending advent of foreign universities and
privatization of higher education there is a lot of out of box thinking
amongst the Universities and Research Institutions to make itself socially
relevant and societally connected. Increasingly these institutions are
looking at technological interface for learning, cutting-edge courses and
developing qualitative regional language resources for higher education.
Objective: There is a huge potential En-Wikimedia and Indian Wikimedia
projects can offer to Universities and Research Institutions in
re-inventing their pedagogic practices. These institutions need to be made
aware that Wikipedia can be the potential open learning and knowledge
Possibilities: Students to put up their assignments and project reports on
the Wikimedia platform. Wikipedia as a potential young researcher’s tool;
Indian language Wikipedias can be leveraged as a potential regional
language resource for advanced learning.
Approach: 1) MOUs with Universities/Research Institutions; 2) Institute 5
Fellowships (quarterly) for Young Researcher in Residency Programme (YRRP)
in each focussed language area with 15 new articles and 100 edits in
respective language Wikipedia and 100 new key words as deliverables. 3)
Faculty Engagement Programme (FEP), 2 in each language for six-month
duration, whereby a faculty is provided support to mentor and manage at
least 5 Young Researchers on an Indian topic; 4) Wiki-Young Researchers
Outputs: 1) MOUs with at least 2 Universities/Research Institutions in each
of the 5 language areas to potentially garner 5,000 users and 250 editors.
2) YRRP directly to add 100 active editors with 1500 new articles, 10,000
edits and 10,000 key words. 3) Indirectly YRRP can have a much larger (3x)
foot-print if executed strategically. 4) FEP to yield at least 100 active
editors and will have the same direct output as YRRP.
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* 1) Devise a draft blue-print for
engagement with University and Research Institutions; 2) Create a long list
of potential partner institutions; 3) Few ice-breaker meetings with faculty
*vi) KINSHIP Groups – These are what I would like to call Groups with
Knowledge on Issues, Niche Subjects, Hobbies and Independent Projects.*
Rationale: There is a huge potential here for knowledge pooling and very
few institutions like Sarai have managed to successfully tap into knowledge
Objective: The biggest advantage is that these groups have tons of passion
for their respective subject and will be more than willing to become
Wikimedians. It is only that we need to identify and reach them. The ideal
strategy would be to initially follow a YRRP model.
Output: 1) Institute 5 YRRP Fellowships (quarterly) in each focussed
language area with 15 new articles and 100 edits in respective language
Wikipedia and 100 new key words as deliverables. 2) Actively link them with
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* 1) Devise a draft blue-print for
engagement with KINSHIP Groups; 2) Create a long list of potential groups;
3) Few ice-breaker meetings.
*vii & viii)NGOs and Foundations – There is huge potential for Indian
Wikimedia to collaborate with NGOs and Grant making Foundations.*
Right now I can only suggest one example of collaborating with Community
Radio Stations across India for content sharing, which they anyhow produce
and submit to Ministry of I&B. They can also be potential grass-root
networks (with technology) to create and cultivate new users and editors.
Similarly sector specific NGOs offer a really big opportunity for the
growth of Wikimedia in India. But it is important to know how to engage the
NGOs and Foundations.
*Deliverable in the first 60 days:* An engagement plan will be developed.
*Node 3 – A2K Team: The A2K team will be an important caveat in this
Operational Plan. Have briefly outlined the activities and could elaborate
if there are any specific questions.*
a. A review of work done so far; Learnings and Challenges (Month 1)
b. Revisiting the Role and Objectives of Team Members (Month 1)
c. SMART Goal Exercise - Personal and Professional Goal setting (Month
d. Work Planning Exercise & Goal Setting (Month 2)
e. Monthly Review (From Month 3 onwards)
f. Budget Planning in sync with Programme Planning (Month 2)
g. Creating Key Result Areas for each member of the team (Month 2)
h. Periodic Public Disclosure and Open assessment of Team performance
(From Month 3 onwards)
We are doing a small MediaWiki hackathon at 8 pm today. Harsh Kothari will
be conducting the hackathon, whereby he will be teaching the participants
some basics of MediaWiki and the ways to contribute to it. Interested
folks, see you at 8 pm :-)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Harsh Kothari <harshkothari410(a)gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 2:43 AM
Subject: [MediaWiki-India] Small MediaWiki Hackathone (Remote)
Pratik Lahoti (User:BPositive) want to learn some basics of MediaWiki and
UserScripts, Gadget. So I will going to teach him and also will show how
all things are working.
So If any one is interested can join on Skype or Hangout or GTalk. Time
will be announce by Pratik. Most probably between 7 to 11 :)
Physical Research Laboratory(PRL).
MediaWiki-India mailing list
Here is something very interesting, motivating happening... :)
I would suggest if everyone can add their token of support to the list
there. not just because it is some sort of a material gift, but a very good
Perhaps the whole page shows an emerging model of sustaining knowledge