I think that your ideas sound great and I would certainly suggest that when
the group looks at the first initiatives or plans for the Chapter that meet
the chapters objectives, this type of issue would be key.
Might be great to hear from other Wikipedians about this ... ?
* * * *
director, The African Commons Project
email me at: kerryn(a)africancommons.org
phone me: +2711 486 0211, cell: +27 82 334 6165,
skype me: kerrynmac
On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM, Lourie Pieterse
I am Lourie, as Kerryn already introduced me. Currently I am studying
physics at the University of Stellenbosch. In my extra time I work on
various projects, such as competing in the Google X Prize. In the past I
contributed on a regular basis to Wikipedia and later worked as a developer
on the Toolserver. Unfortunately I am currently too busy for even one these
activities. That’s why I don’t contribute anymore to Wikipedia or the
From the beginning of this year I started to look into the possibility to
include Wikipedia in the university curriculum in some manner. Currently all
the first years has a course that handles about *scientific communication*.
One of the many aspects we are focussing on is the correct use of
references. As David said; the fact that people doesn’t understand or know
how to use references are a great problem. I started to chat with the
coordinators of these courses, with the idea to incorporate Wikipedia.
Unfortunately the head coordinator was in a car accident this holiday, so
things are going slower than usual. My idea was to implement the concept at
Stellenbosch and then spread it to the rest of the South African
universities. Currently we and Potchefstroom (and probably some other
universities) are already using the same sort of information for this
course. That’s why I thought that if I could get Wikipedia implemented at
Stellenbosch, it would easily spread to the rest of South Africa.
As Kerryn said in the one email; most of the people in South Africa has a
completely wrong idea of Wikipedia, and the other Wikimedia projects. If we
succeed in starting the South African Chapter; it would be great if this
could be one of the initial projects handled by the chapter. Not only will
we get the academia involved at contributing to articles, but we may even
succeed in promoting the quality of Wikipedia articles. This way we could
even encourage the rest of the South African population to contribution to
Wikipedia and make use of its information. That way we could address issues,
such as the tiny amount of Afrikaans and other African language articles on
Wikipedia. People like to read articles that are in their home language, so
we might improve the popularity of Wikipedia this way.
I literally wrote some of these ideas down as they went through my head. So
please do make comments and say where we could improve on them. I am really
excited to see you all at the workshop. I believe that if we could get all
the correct people together we could make a great success of the South
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