On Aug 26, 2011, at 1:23 PM, Hari Prasad Nadig wrote:
About the Foundation update,
The number of students involved sounds great and sets up huge expectations about the
program. There has been tremendous publicity for the program. Like mentioned on the
update, it does require great deal of effort to retain this enthusiasm in the campuses --
however the addition new staff, Shiju and Nikita should boost the efforts. I personally
would like to see more people like Srikeit (who's presently helping out with the
program) who've contributed immensely on Wikipedia, and have known the community for
quite sometime being given opportunities to help steer this program. I met Srikeit during
Wikimania and he was mighty excited about his role where he could put to use his long time
experience being part of Wikipedia.
Absolutely. The more Nitika and I look at the program, the more we are convinced that
full time Fellowships (maybe of a 3 month duration) will be required when we move to other
cities. Getting this kind of a program going is back breaking stuff and requires enormous
co-ordination and follow-up. Experienced Wikipedians can make enormous contributions.
I would be extremely keen to know more about the conversations happening between the
mobile companies and the Foundation. What is the current picture? As more and more people
increasingly access information from mobile here, this is going to be an important channel
worth exploring rigorously, and with focus on Indian languages.
I'll be keeping the community posted on this, as always.
And the independent public trust -- I know that
I'll be hitting a sensitive topic by even stirring this, but I can't help but
wonder how the dual power house model would work. A common Wikipedian from here would have
several unanswered questions, and few very simple and obvious questions like whether two
different entities are actually required for the same region, or about whom to approach
for help in improving projects in the region or for assistance of any kind. It sort of
puts up good deal of confusion for the community. Between just the chapter and the
foundation's office (transformed into a legal entity of 'trust'), while
there's just too many things to be done in this nascent community, isn't
co-ordination going to be unnecessary overhead and something that is eating up into each
of your's time? How do you plan to address these? And when the chapter was
established, it was decided to go for a 'society' model for obvious reasons, and
for of how democratic it would be.
The potential in India is massive - and so is the effort required to realise this
opportunity (as you indicated.) It will require resources and capabilities and the
Chapter and Foundation will both contribute. As far as who should be reached for
assistance of any kind, do reach out to whoever and however many you want to reach out to.
(An email to this mailing list for example is a great way - or feel free to reach out to
the Chapter directly or to me directly or both!) Co-ordination between the Chapter and
the Foundation is not an overhead; we need to do it and it will be well worth the
investment of time and effort.
There are several more questions that would prop in the minds of Wikipedians who've
seen times when there was no chapter, no WMF assistance during the earlier years (2002 - )
to the years now of conspicuously towering interest in the region. There were times when
we put our own money to organize Wikipedia related activities, not having anyone here to
help. So, this change is welcoming, the kind of interest we're seeing now in India is
huge for every Wikipedian from this country. However, there is uncertainty about where
this is headed.
Loud +1 to Gautam's point on this.