Ian is absolutely right. Although the workshops them selves tend to create
a number of articles creating a community of dedicated editors for
Xhosa language Wikipedia will be a very big challenge that I think will
take a long time. On the up side people are very eager and interested but
on the down side, as Ian has mentioned, there are still problems with basic
computer literacy and access to computers/internet. I suspect that it will
take a number of workshops followed by some sort of program such as one
(and this is only an idea right now) whereby teachers use Xhosa Wikipedia
to test their students translating abilities thereby creating a self
perpetuating process that continually exposes new people to editing that
As I mentioned to Ian on Saturday I think that a big part of creating a
healthy community of editors on Wikipedia is finding enough people with the
right type of personality that is at home using a computer. I think that
is as much a numbers game as anything else which means spending a long time
exposing as many people as possible to the idea and process of editing
Wikipedia. A process that is made harder by relatively low rates of
computer literacy. But then again we must start from some where I suppose.
Either way, more work and support is needed and so long as I have free
time and am in Cape Town I am happy help.
P.S. Thanks for checking the stats Ian. To be frank I am delighted that
one extra substantial edit was made since the workshop on Saturday. That
in its self is a 0.7% increase! :-D
On 14 February 2012 00:02, Heather Ford <hfordsa(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Thank you so much, Ian. Appreciate it.
On Feb 13, 2012, at 1:15 PM, Ian Gilfillan wrote:
Great :) I'd be really interested to know whether people continued to edit
after the workshop if you could share.
To try answer Heather, the article count went from 125, which it has been
stuck at since at least November 2011, to 131 during the class, and there
has only been one substantial edit from any of the participants on the
weekend (a new article, increasing the count to 132) since the workshop, so
the answer seems to be no.
The workshop was 2 hours, and, briefly, we hoped to teach creating a user
account, creating or editing (via translation from English) an article,
adding links, adding a picture, and I wanted to add interwiki links to the
list as well. Everyone created or edited an article, and most, if not
everyone, added links, though only some could create a user account due to
IP limits, and very few got to adding an image or interwiki links. Douglas
goes into more details in his post.
It's more complicated to add links in Xhosa than in English due to the way
prefixes are used in the language, so quite often an article may exist, but
the link doesn't point to it, and there are already duplicate articles for
There is still such a barrier with basic computer use, that I found a
substantial portion of the class was showing people how to maximize and
minimize windows, how to open a new tab or window, etc, and I got the sense
that there wasn't always a real understanding of why the various steps were
being performed, which reduces the chances of them being repeatable outside
of the class.
The one article that was created afterwards is an orphan, with no incoming
or outgoing links.
There was a lot of enthusiasm, so hopefully having a followup quite soon
will keep the interest and momentum going, but I would expect there to be
not much sustained activity as a result of the workshop alone.
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