Just a quick update on recent Tamil Wiki outreach efforts:

In the last 60 days, Tamil Wikipedians conducted 7 workshops / meetups. 

1. December 28, 2010 - Mattakkalappu, SriLanka. First organized Wiki meetup in SriLanka where Tamil is an official language and has millions of Tamils.

2. January 15, 2010 - Chennai, India. On the occasion of Ten Wiki.

3. January 16, 2010 - Toronto, Canada. The city has Srilankan Tamil population in lakhs. There were smaller / informal Tamil Wiki intros in this city even before this. Two of the most active Tamil Wikipedians reside in Canada. 

4. February 6, 2010 - Chennai, India. 

5. February 20, 2010 - Trichy, India. 

6. February 20, 2010 - Puduchery, India. First Wiki event in this Union Territory of India. Tamil is an official language here and has Tamil population in Lakhs.

7. February 26, 2010 - Coimbatore, India. (Students only event)

The next workshop is planned for March 6, 2010 near Trichy, India. 

Pictures from these events can be seen at the sidebar links at 


Some thoughts:

* Malayalam Wikians had such series of workshops all over recently and that was certainly an inspiration for us. And that is the reason we share our experience now for others. 

* First few workshops happened in 2009. It was hard to arrange and frequency was less. But once we start doing, we learn things, share resources and get more people involved. 

* We can't expect that every new workshop will bring immediate editors. I have seen people starting editing after they keep hearing about Wiki everywhere and often. So, this can be approached like an ad campaign. No one runs to shop after seeing the ad. But it works later. Infact, we got a very active editor after he listened to the event's audio recording posted. He was in Mumbai and the event happened in Chennai. So it is always good to document the events as much. 

* Besides attracting new editors, it helps build rapport among existing editors. New editors who attend the event are delighted by the friendship / collaborative spirit by other editors. This gives them a sense of ownership / belonging for the project and start editing more and taking part in organizing future events. One of our most active editor now is an English Wikipedian who participated in a Tamil Wiki workshop. In his own words, after seeing people's happiness to have content in Tamil, he started editing Tamil Wikipedia more. 

* People want to see faces and hear words directly. They are convinced in person even if we have the same FAQ in Wikipedia website. When we give the demo, they also learn that it is not so easy to edit as they thought.

* People who attend these workshops get impressed and invite us  to conduct workshop in their colleges / city and they arrange the venue and other resources too. So, even though arranging first few events may be difficult, later more people help.

* Participating in bigger events like book fairs, internet fairs, FOSS fairs can only give limited scope to introduce in a very basic way to fast moving crowd. But it is a good opportunity for Wikimedians to network with key people working in other knowledge forums and certainly helps in promoting the Wikipedia brand. More on this later. 

* 2010 is a significant growth year for us and the growth rate in terms of daily edits, new editors, active editors has almost doubled in last 6 months. We believe that these workshops and other outreach efforts done before helped us achieve this in some way :)