I am a Wikimedian and have been for a very long time. Check my record and
you will find that I have always been involved in both language support and
projects like Wiktionary, OmegaWiki, Wikidata, Reasonator.
Today new functionality has gone life on Wikidata that was expected for
over half a year. Because of this the Marwari language is now supported in
Wikidata. I blogged about this . Other languages will follow soon. This
policy was discussed with people from India in the past and they saw it as
an appropriate strategy to start building information resources in a
language prior to a Wikipedia or another WMF project.
India is big and it is foolish to forget context and not seek support and
second opinions when people in India are likely to benefit directly. On the
other hand, you can bring a horse to water, you cannot make it drink. When
I blogged about an enhancement to the search functionality on the Telugu
Wikipedia , it should be obvious that added value will only be found
when people add labels in Telugu to Wikidata. It is gratifying that labels
have been added. This is not an experiment as traffic details from the
Tamil and Persian Wikipedia indicate it as a successful strategy.
I am not involved in Indian politics. Obviously. I am however improving
information about the current members of the Lok Sabha. I added that Mr
Modi is the incumbent prime minister of Gujarati state in Wikidata. I have
blogged about one member of the Lok Sabha and I am likely to do so again.
My objective is to get labels in all the languages of India for all of them
and I will not be the one doing that. My hope is that information is
readily available on Indian politics and its politicians.
What we will gain out of it is a better understanding on how such projects
work. A much bigger challenge are the elections of South Africa. What we
may gain out of it is that Wikidata becomes a platform where this type of
information is available. Much of the information in Wikidata finds its
origin in Wikipedia. It is because of the hard work in the English
Wikipedia that we are able to add information. The point however is that
information can become available in every other language. That is not an
experiment, it is a fact.
On 30 April 2014 10:00, Ravishankar <ravidreams(a)gmail.com> wrote:
As I engaged in the discussion regarding CIS grant proposal for the last
two weeks, I had this recurring theme echoed from various corners.
"India is big. India is diverse. India is unlike other countries. So,
experiments (call it innovation) need to be done".
For the love of Wiki God, may I request all the global people to stop
experiementing with India?
*People from outside have no clue of India. And the people they hire in
India have no clue of the Wikimedia movement. *
Ultimately, it has become like few blind people describing an elephant.
Heck, all the community members know it is an elephant and know it takes
time to grow an elephant. The growth of an elephant can only be on par with
the ecosystem within which it is present.
No amount of systematic intervention is going to change a donkey into an
I am tired of seeing experiments being done in naive and tiny Indic
communities and the "lessons learnt" being implemented in Brazil, Egypt and
Arab world. Be it Google or be it WMF or its avatars.
May I request that you do your experiments elsewhere for a change and
implement things that work for sure in India organically?
The reason why English Wikipedia community flourishes in India, Tamil /
Bengali / Malayalam communities do well relatively are complete socio
economic and political. No amount of intervention is going to change this
in other parts of the country. This is like providing rice bags to the poor
of the third world without fixing their primary socio political issues.
Wikipedia doesn't exist in isolation in a web ecosystem. It is the
culmination of scholarly activity of highest order that you can imagine.
When languages that are official languages of states and countries, have
two decades long web presence, have a thriving local print / visual media
and academic network have a problem growing their Wikipedias, I can't
understand what the h*ll is being done in Wikipedias that are not even out
of incubators, Wikipedias that don't even have a writing system in order.
Few years back Google dumped paid translated articles done with the aid
machine translation tools in many Indic language communities and sermoned
us that these will bring us a community. Now, WMF's programs are sermoning
us that their attempt at seeding communities will bring articles for us. I
am 100% sure that both approaches are futile.
I really miss the once thriving Indian Wiki community that organized the
world's biggest Wiki conference.
I really miss the cross-wiki activism like
I really miss the spirit of the Wiki community getting replaced by
confusions brought because of top-down paid interventions.
The only hope I have is that at least few mature communities will take
stock of the situation, stay autonomous and self-sustaining as they were
and continue to enjoy the pleasure of Wiki activity instead of getting
drowned in numbers, goals, targets and dream targets.
Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit