Hello Asaf

It seems like there might have been a little bit of confusion. I will help in the way you said below, but I won't be available to act as an trainer. My time is very limited, so I will help with the administration and so on, but can't also commit to being a trainer.

I must say that the idea to postpone it and plan things in more depth sounds like a good idea. I am sure that I will be able to recruit potential judges, but this will only be for Afrikaans. Stellenbosch are not really that big on the other African languages. You can take them as a subject, but in the time I have been here I haven't heard much of it. Maybe I just didn't keep my ears on the right places. :)

We, here at Stellenbosch, talked the other day about an outreach activity. Like using the student paper, the student radio station, official university blogs and so forth. I am sure that we can make the challenge part of that outreach events. I think that the two will support one another nicely.

I am happy to hear that you are so eager to start and work on this. Maybe you could listen in and give us some advice regarding what we plan to do here at Stellenbosch? Keep in mind that almost everything I have mentioned above is only what I do here at Stellenbosch, this is not necessary executed by the chapter itself. I don't want it to sound like the things I do here at the university is done in the name of our chapter.

I was also contacted a while ago by AfricaCentre, which helps with WikiAfrica, and they also showed interest in supporting us with outreach and so forth. Initially they actaully wanted help with uploading images, and then we started to talk briefly about WikiAfrica. I am planning to meet up with one of the people that work there next week, and I will then definitely ask them about what support they are willing to give us.

Kind regards

From: Asaf Bartov <abartov@wikimedia.org>
To: wikimediaza@lists.wikimedia.org
Sent: Wed, June 22, 2011 12:14:03 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia ZA] Google's Wikipedia Challenge 2011

Hello again, everyone.

Thank you for your valuable feedback.  Special thanks to Lourie for volunteering to help concretely with Afrikaans and a venue at Stellenbosch, as well as volunteering to be a trainer.  We also have veterans of the Kiswahili Challenge happy to train (in English), so we are probably well covered for trainers.

I have given this much thought, and I have come to see the original plan is not set up for success.  I therefore suggest to POSTPONE the Challenge by at least 2-3 months, and see if we can improve both our plan and the situation in the projects before we embark on the challenge.

I would be _delighted_ if some of you would join me in thinking about this and planning for a successful Challenge.

Let me describe my current thinking and how I propose to proceed, with your help:

* The editing communities in isiZulu[1] and Setswana[2] seem moribund.  All the recent edits are by bots or manual dumps of interwiki links.  None of the editors who have ever contributed significantly seem to be around.  In short, the projects are stuck.  This means there is no one at hand to support the Challenge newbies in guidance and article refinement.
* Potential judges for the Challenge can probably be recruited from among linguists, academics, cultural agencies and the like -- but all would be entirely unfamiliar with Wikipedia and its platform, requiring some orientation (even if we don't expect them to actually edit a wiki).

* Plan and execute targetted outreach activities on campuses (and high-schools?) to recruit a fresh group of contributors to isiZulu and Setswana Wikipedia -- through lectures and workshops, unrelated to the Challenge.
* Reach out to formerly-active isiZulu Wikipedians[1] and tell them about the Challenge.  Perhaps they would be interested in resuming their contributions to zuwp given the infusion of energy and material from the Challenge?
* Likewise for Setswana[2].

The WMF itself has no presence in Africa, so WMZA activists are naturally the ones best positioned to carry out such outreach.  The WMF can and will, however, support such activity through funds, training materials, merchandise, and any other resource it can effectively put at WMZA's disposal.

Your opinions most welcome.  If there are any takers, I'd love to start collaborating on a plan for campus/school outreach immediately.


   Asaf Bartov
   Wikimedia Foundation

[1] http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaZU.htm#wikipedians
[2] http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaTN.htm#wikipedians