That was great summary to read. On a lighter vein, it seems en.wiki needs
some "encouragement/focus" in Marathi land, i couldn't see it being
discussed at all, but for translation.
On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 12:01, Mahitgar from Marathi Wikipedia <
Dear Wikimedians ,
Thank you all for the overwhelming response to the 2010 Sept 18th Pune
Wikimedia meetup. 17 people had attended this meet. Special thanks to HOD &
staff of Women’s Studies Centre, University of Pune and visiting media and
open source movement fraternity for their active participation and guidance.
Mr Vijay Sirdeshpande (Mahitgar from Marathi wikipedia) and Ms Bishakha
Datta (trustee, Wikimedia Foundation) jointly chaired the meet . Ms. Datta
introduced herself . She talked about Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia
Foundation’s plans in India, the Wikimedia India Chapter, and difficulties
faced in completion of its registration process. She also talked about
Bangalore wiki meet-ups. She stressed the need to conduct wikipedia
academies and informed about the upcoming visits of Jimmy Wales to Mumbai at
the end of October. Other Wikimedia Foundation staff visit India in
December, includes Sue Gardner (executive director), Erik Moeller (deputy
director) and Danese Cooper (chief technical officer).
Then wikipedians introduced themselves. Mr. Amit Yadav raised the topics of
need for and lack of adequate references on Marathi wikipedia, quality of
content, and outreach. He was for most of the discussions to take place
online rather than offline. He stressed the need for initiative and
self-learning process for making contributions on part of wiki-admiring
people.On quality of content front, the success of Malayalam wikipedia was
discussed. Mr. Vijay explained the difference in the initial focus, and said
that now the focus is on making Marathi wikipedia reader-oriented. Everyone
agreed that for bringing better quality we need more active users. Mr.Vijay
also informed that Marathi wikipedians can request for various features and
get various features adopted in the user interface, including page rating
etc. for improvement in quality.
Mr.Amit Yadav suggested that Marathi Wikipedians wherever necessary can
refer to English language wikipedia but need to do more original writing
than merely translating from English wikipedia and Good number of attendees
supported this idea. One atendee asked whether it is right to give
references of Marathi language sources apart from the English language
Mr. Amit was of the opinion that those people who use old technologies for
writing can share their documentation online and rest of the people can
support them in uni-coding the texts for wikiprojects, whereas opinion of Mr
Ajay Garg was that we can support these people technologically and we need
to do so. Mr.Sudhanwa Joglekar was of the opinion that it is important to
involve senior citizens. Mr.Vijay informed that we do have already good
support and contribution from working professional and senior citizens
categories; but academic and student categories,women and economically
weaker and rural sections are under-represented in contributing and
interaction with wiki projects.
On media support, Mr. Samrat Phadnis (esakal.com
) and Mr. Nilesh Bane (
) assured support from their respective media houses. At the
same time, Mr. Nilesh said that wikipedia in itself is the biggest medium.
On this, Mr.Vijay stressed the need of diverting en wiki traffic using
geo-location and asking for mother tongue while logging in and diverting
users to their respective mother tongue wikipedias.Secondly Mr. Vijay also
requested for a call center facility if possible from the foundation side
(to help contributors all over India instantly).Meeting also discussed
importance of inter-wikilinks in spreading awareness among English language
Wikipedia’s Indian visitors aware of Marathi language Wikipedia.
Mr.Sudhanwa and Vijay highlighted that Pune would be a good location for
the Foundation’s proposed India office, since it is a major educational hub.
Mr.Nilesh Bane took up the subject of Marathi language used on Marathi
wikipedia - he felt it should avoid usage of new difficult Marathi words,
and highlighted the importance of usability and simplicity in the user
interface. Mr.Sachin Venga seconded Mr.Nilesh on his points.While agreeing
with his points Mr.Samrat Phadnis (from esakal.com
) suggested giving
preference to the language used by people from rural and small cities, since
readers across Maharashtra constitute the major share of Marathi wikipedia’s
target audience. Mr.Sudhanwa Joglekar briefed on the process of language
terminology standardisation through FUEL (Frequently Used Entities in
Localisation) sessions. In this context, the views of Mr.Mahesh Kulkarni of
CDAC and Rachna Pradhan of Bhasha Sanchalanalay were brought to notice and
the need for previous(Swa.Savarkar time) debates related to Bhasha
Shuddhikaran Movement and Balbharti's Dictionary becoming available online
were also discussed.
Mr.Nilesh Bane expressed his dismay over delay in (Govt.) Marathi
Wishvakosh becoming available online.
Mr.Ajay Garg promised to support wikipedians on technical and software
special font conversion issues while Prof.Subhash Pawar was enthusiastic in
supporting usage of Marathi on computers. It was agreed that there is a need
to separate co-ordination by interested wikipedians team with promoting
volunteers and technical support on font usage.
Mr.Kaustubh Samudra informed the meeting that media wiki software is
translated to Marathi and where people deem it fit to change the usage and
correction of Marathi, the correction process is very simple and interested
people can help themselves. Besides wikipedia, this software as content
management system can be used by the Marathi web developer fraternity since
localisation of the Media Wiki software is almost complete.
Prof. Shriniwas Hemade shared his experience and the need for public
awareness for utility of encyclopedias. He was enthusiastic in sharing his
own write-ups with wiki projects and requested for technical support on font
conversion front. He said the best benefit of the meeting is to bring
together people in need of technical support like Prof Shriniwas and
software experts like Mr. Ajay Garg.
On the subject of increasing contributors and contributions, Mr. Amit was
of the opinion that involving post-graduate (PG) level students will ensure
better quality and reliability of content. Mr. Vijay was of the opinion that
wiki volunteers need to reach 10th standard onward students, journalism,
law, Marathi language, Engineering, Computer hardware and software, and
botany-related students on priority by way of wikimedia academies and
PowerPoint presentations. Mr.Amit promised to take active part in updating
PPTs while Mr.Ajay Garg promised to share his expertise in making
presentations easily available. Mr.Sudhanwa Joglekar brought to notice the
difficulty in approach the student community, asking what would motivate
students? Mr. Amit said that a percentage of students would get awareness
and factual benefits to themselves by using the same. Mr.Samrat Phadnis
assured support with eSakal. Prof Shriniwas also assured support in writing
article for Marathi media .
Ms. Bishakha Datta requested support to the Women’s Studies department,
University of Pune - they are very interested in contributing to Marathi
wikipedia, but need handholding and technical help. Mr. Amit assured his
support on this account.
Mr.Omkar Khair, Mr.Gawande, and Mr.Paresh Mhetre expressed their support to
On the subject of outreach to the people volunteering for presentations at
colleges, Prof.Shriniwas Hemade was of the opinion that future meetings
should preferably have a pre-decided agenda. Mr. Amit Yadav was of the
opinion that future meetings, if any, should have three distinct teams: one
for usage on Marathi plus basic training on wiki usage.Mr.Vijay suggested
Marathi Usage on comp promotion and new user wiki-edit help, Content and
outreach group, Techsavy and higher experience level user guidance group,
And language wise group of people for non Marathi if more than 5
Thanks to Ms.Bishakha Datta for supporting in updating this
writeup. Looking forward to feed back and openions about points raised
during this meeting.
Thanks and Regards
-Mahitgar from Marathi Wikipedia
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