I am writing - on behalf of the Assamese wiki community (
) - to share some very promising news from the
beautiful land of the Brahmaputra.
Assamese wiki community is tiny and has about 20 active editors now, out of
which 5 are very active editors. Assamese wikipedia has around 1050
articles now. Last year this
wikipedia was having just 300 articles (that were created during the span
of past 8 years) and just 4 active editors (and not a single very active
editor). So during last one year lot of things happenned in the background
which led to the current active status of Assamese. As an Indic wikipedia
community member I congratulate all the members of Assamese wiki community
who contributed to this change of status.
Over the past few weeks the community has been working on basic community
building blocks. As part of this, there are active community discussions
on the village pump, through
, mailing list <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikipedia-as>
was created a few weeks
through various other channels. The community is actively planning for
various outreach programs to increase the number of active members and
there by to increase the number of articles. As a result of this Assamese
wiki community has decided to conduct an Assamese wiki meetup cum
Wikiworkshop in Guwahati on 2012 January 29.
I do not believe there has ever been any outreach sessions in Assam -
though I could be wrong. Atleast this is the first out reach program for
Assamese wikipedia. Over the next one week, there are going to be not 1 but
2 Assamese wiki outreach sessions! One in *Guwahati* and another in *Tezpur*
- Sunday January 29th at Guwahati University (Meetup
- Wednesday February 2nd at Tezpur University (Meetup
Both these session are being promoted on facebook also to attract more
Assamese speakers. Assamese wiki community expect around 20 participants in
Guwahati, and at least 10 in Tezpur (though Tezpur has only just been
posted so this is my guess; it could increase.) I am really excited by
these developments. The Assamese community has realised both the
importance of attracting newbies and also how to work collaboratively on
There are also a couple of other things that I think are worth sharing.
- Assamese community - like many community members in Indic languages -
were struggling with how to go about doing outreach. To begin with, even
something like a venue proved to be challenge and community members
approached me since their resources are limited. I personally wrote to the
Head of Guwahati University's Computer Sciences department, introducing
Assamese wiki community and myself and asking for her help - and she has
kindly agreed to give us a conference room with all the required facilities
free of cost! The reason I am sharing this is, if other Indic wikipedians
are wondering how to go about doing this, it is really simple: Be Bold!
Just write and ask! Once you mention Wikipedia and what we are trying to
do, there is a very decent chance of getting a positive reply. Remember
that while we are doing a wikipedia program for our mother language
wikipedia we are sending a powerful message to the speakers of the
respective language. So be bold and continue to due more such programs for
your respective mother language wikipedia. Language speakers will support
- Assamese community is working on the FAQs booklet and other outreach
materials that they plan to release as part of this meetup. These are being
done in Assamese. I am helping them out. I am sharing this because if any
Indic wikipedians need help on this, please feel free to reach out to me.
I will help you. Also, do keep in mind that the only way things like this
can work only if outreach materials are prepared in the respective
language. Outreach materials in respective language has so much power to
attract the newbies. Also, do share it with your fellow community members
so they can use them.
I want to conclude by sharing an Assamese quote ‘Bhāxār bikāx holehe jātir
bikāx hobo’ which translate into "The nation develops only when the
Do join in me in congratulating the Assamese community for their efforts
and wishing them all the best for their community building efforts.
This is the start of a very exciting journey!