One of the aspects that India Program constantly works on is that the the work that your team does for and with our community is based on clear objectives, robust design and relevant progress parameters.
India Program has / is / will be undertaking a series of pilots. Pilots by nature indicate that we try innovative things out sometimes, and we may or may not always suceed. We must be bold and try them out - but we must also carefully build these pilots out and measure progress. On the main India Program meta page, I've created a tab that links to a new sub-page called Pilot Designs - where I have published 3 of these pilot designs. More will follow as they are ready, or as we undertake new work, so do add the page to your watchlists.
Basic Community Building is the work that Shiju is doing with small Indic communities - in this case, Assamese. It will show what steps can be taken to build such communities - from communication to collaboration to outreach. This work is especially relevant to small Indic communities - but there are pointers even for larger communities (including English.)
Story-telling for Community Building is the work that Noopur just announced (and as illustrated by the profile on Netha) - where we want to celebrate the diversity and magic in our community.
Supporting Community Communications Initiatives (Wikipatrika) for Community Building is the initiative just announced by Noopur to support our community's newsletter, Wikipatrika. The attempt is to see how Wikipatrika can become more participative, richer in content and more regular in publication.
Do go through these. Do also add your comments on the respective talk pages.
The constant endeavor of all the work that we do is to help community members who want to take up the various initiatives that we are piloting (with them or with other community members.) Do go through these pilot designs and if you are interested in getting involved, or if you need clarification, or if you want support - please feel free to ask for it on the talk pages or offlist to any of us.
Reminder about the IRC later today (9pm IST on March 29th.) Join in using this link: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#wikimedia-office.
As I had indicated earlier, what we will do going forward is to publish an opening statement - which is below. We'd like to have a rich discussion around these topics for 45 minutes and then throw it open for 15 minutes for any other topics that anyone wants to discuss.
There have been more than 22 outreach sesssions (English + some Indic languages) across India over the past 2 1/2 months. We have been working on constantly every component of outreach.
* Pre-session work - building supporting material (documents, presentations, handouts etc), evaluating different ways of conducting an effective outreach, using different ways to reach out to organisations with the proposal to conduct a session etc.
* Session work - adopting different techniques of doing outreach, how do we get participants more involved during the session, how to filter out the folks so that we do the editing session only with the genuinely interested participants, how to balance between practical and theoretical aspects of training, how much information to give out in one session etc.
* Post-session work - how do we provide editing support to the participants, how do we collect their contact information, how do we keep in touch with them on regular basis, how do we invite them to join other Wiki projects, how do we track their edit count - soon after the session, after 1 and 3 months of conducting the session etc.
We'd like to discuss these. In the IRC, the following will be covered:
* Indic Outreach: How can we do more outreach session in Indic langauges in particular? / Can regional communities work to translate supporting material? / How do we provide more support to different language communities to conduct these sessions?
* More Outreach: If we are doing 7 outreach session in one month right now is there a way of us doing 10 every month? / Can we find more community members who will be willing to conduct these session? / For community members who are interested to conduct outreach sessions but think they lack confidence - is there a way we can help them?
* Better Outreach: Can we find some volunteers who will be willing to "adopt" these newbies and give them support? .
I'd strongly encourage all those folks who have been actively involved in conducting these sessions over the past 2 months to join this IRC. It will be great if you could share your first hand experience with the wider community on what worked, what didn't, what we could have done better etc. I especially do want to ask Indic Wikimedians to join because we desperately need more outreach sessions in Indic languages.
We will also briefly address the early stages of the communications work - which are the storytelling and Wikipatrika support that was announced yesterday. Given it's early days on communications, I'd prefer this IRC stay largely focussed on outreach since there is so much to work through there.
See you all there!
Apologies for sending this note this morning and not last night as I had promised.
p.s. There is a (tiny) possibility that I might be slightly late but you'll all be in Nitika's safe hands. I shall try and my level best to be on time.
*Apologies for cross posting. FYI
To celebrate Women's History Month, I thought it would be really nice to
celebrate an Indian woman editor's story. A short story on User: Netha
Hussain was posted on the WMF
(Netha is an editor on Malayalam Wikipedia, has been involved in women
topics and recently coordinated the first women's
While I was preparing this, I was wondering if we could make story-telling
of this nature a regular feature, and see how it can support community
building. We could do a series of short profiles of editors - in the form
of stories - covering your life as well as your wiki journey. The intent is
to reflect the diversity of our community - language, age, profession,
projects. I am going to try and bring out at least one such story every
month - but we can always try and work on as many more as we can get.
I am already looking for new story ideas and would love to hear from
interested community folks. Here is how it works. I prepare a short set
of questions and points for the story and send it across to you. Once you
reply, I draft out a story and send it back for your approval. After we
make necessary changes to the draft, I can publish it. If you are ok, we
can also look at forwarding these stories to the local media as
well. Please do write to me at nraval(a)wikimedia.org and let's start working
on your story!
Don't forget to go through the Netha's
it's really inspiring!
Dear Indic Wikimedians,
Here is a small blog post about the digitization of books using DjVu (or
about using Proofread extension).
Post is also placed in metawiki at
Few Indic wiki source communities (Sanskrit and Malayalam) are using this
method extensively to digitize the books. Few other communities are not
aware about the use of such an extension. This post is just to share the
best practices from differenent Indic wiki communities.
Going forward I will be sharing these type of best practices and lessons
from various Indic language wiki communities. This is essential since in
most cases challenges, issues, and solutions are similar.
Any way to reach out to them ? Are they on sa-wiki list ?
*Times of India : "Sanskrit makes a comeback, thanks to Wikipedia community"
*Acclaimed author and linguist Umberto Eco once compared languages to
biological creatures. A language, he said, follows an organic lifespan - it
is born, it grows old, and it passes away. If the analogy holds, then
Sanskrit, one of the most ancient of tongues which originated in India,
seems to be living the last of its grizzled and decrepit years.
There has been talk of declaring it a dead language, and some believe that
it is only a matter of time before this language too goes the way of
ancient Greek and Latin. But this is likely only if the labour and constant
endeavours of the Sanskrit community - a body comprising scholars and
students of the language present in Gurgaon and other parts of the country
- fail to bear fruit.
Dr Shreyansh Dwivedi is part of the department of Sanskrit in SCERT,
Gurgaon. According to him, contrary to popular notions, Sanskrit is most
alive today than it has ever been. "The trouble is that most people do not
realize how much is happening in this field," he said.
Attempts have been made to help the language evolve to modern standards.
Haryana Sanskrit Academy is about to a launch a Sanskrit grammar software
for the students of the language. A full-fledged Sanskrit Wikipedia is
online, where scholars like Dwivedi and his colleagues are regular
contributors. And in Gurgaon, preparations for a new seminar and workshop
for the young are under way.
"There is no other language, which is being supported so thoroughly and
comprehensively, not just in Gurgaon, but in other parts of the country
too," said Dwivedi. He added that even those who are teaching Sanskrit in
schools and colleges have little idea about how vibrant this sphere is with
According to officials of the Haryana Sanskrit Academy, young students are
more than willing to go for language degrees in Sanskrit. "Earlier this
month the Delhi Sanskrit Academy held a one-day workshop, where hundreds of
young people turned up. It's only a matter of making the language
accessible, and Sanskrit will find many takers within no time," said an
official of the academy. *
Important Note : Non-commercial reproduction for informative purposes only.
The publisher ( Times of India ) of the above news article owns the
copyrights of the article / content. All copyrights are duly acknowledged.
Dear Sanskrit community members,
I am glad to inform the community about the new logo that was
enabled today for sa-wikisource. Thanks to everybody who were part of the
Thanks & Regards,
Abhiram C (user: sbblr0803)
cross-posting to reach pan-community; apologies if you have already read this from another list.
I am pleased to announce that Noopur Raval ([User:Noopur28] has been selected as Consultant to the Wikimedia Foundation, and will support Communications for India Program.
This position will perform 4 key functions. Firstly, it will support communications with our community. This involves a regular set of updates (such as newsletters) as well as specific communication projects such as story-telling of local community initiatives (to document experiences, celebrate successes and cross-pollinate ideas.) This is not for day-to-day program communications - which is a core part of each of our responsibilities in the India Program team. Second will be to support media & PR for local community initiatives. The single biggest challenge here will to be get more Indic language media coverage to support community building efforts. This will be done directly with community members and also in co-ordination with the India Chapter's Communications Media & PR team. The third aspect is to build and expand existing community social networks (such as WikimediaIndia on facebook) and to help with the use of social networks to support community building. Lastly, there is untapped potential of using digital outreach - to augment existing physical outreach efforts. We need to (very, very carefully) explore if we can reach out to our large and growing reader base and inform, encourage and enable them to become editors using online channels and resources.
Noopur is a community member and has supported outreach activities (in Ahmedabad & Delhi), is a member of Delhi SIG of the Chapter, has participated in community collaborations like Collaboration of the Month and has been actively trying to start GLAM in India.
Noopur is from Gandhinagar and is graduating from JNU with a Master's in Arts & Aesthetics. She has a triple honors Bachelor's in Media Studies, Literature and Psychology from Christ College, Bangalore. She has interned with Radio Mirchi, Times of India and the Centre for Internet & Society (amongst others) - as well as done some teaching assignments. She is an active blogger (including for the India Art Summit, 2011.) She has published a novella and co-authored an anthology of poems, plays & short stories and has co-presented a paper on "Wikiwars" with [User:Srikeit.] She is also an amateur photographer and has contributed to Commons as well as other platforms.
The Communications position has taken a long time to fill. The initial call for selection was in September. I reported back to the community in December that I had failed to find the right candidate and hence the delay. There were a number of deserving candidates and this selection has taken time because of the need to find the most suitable profile for a complex role. This role requires the right mix of an academic foundation in communications, domain expertise as well as adequate familiarity with our community. It also requires adaptability and strong learning skills - because so much of what we are trying to do is pioneering. I am confident that she brings the right level of experience and competencies - and I'm very excited by the opportunity of making a step jump in the impact of communications for our community.
Do join me in welcoming Noopur. She will start on March 12 and will be based in New Delhi.
I wanted to share interesting examples of what two Indic communities are
doing to reach out to speakers of respective language, record its editing
history, improve communication, increase motivation, and inspire
Tamil and Malayalam communities prepare an annual community report. The
2011 report of Tamil and Malayalam communities are available here:
- Tamil Community 2011 annual
- Malayalam community 2011 annual
(Malayalam community's report
includes report of all Malayalam wiki projects (Wikipedia, Wikisource,
Wiktionary, Wikiquotes, and Wikibooks)
Tamil community is maintaining the annual report from the year 2005.
Following are Tamil communiy's report of previous years
- Tamil Community 2005 annual
- Tamil Community 2006 annual
- Tamil Community 2007annual
- Tamil Community 2008 annual
- Tamil Community 2009 annual
- Tamil Community 2010 annual
Malayalam community published previous years report in its mailing list.
But from 2011 Malayalam community also started recording its annual editing
history in wiki itself.
(The above reports are not available in English since its aim was to
communicate to the respective language speakers. It will be good if some
volunteers translate it to English so that rest of the world can read and
understand what happened in the respective wikis)
Personally, I think these reports serve multiple purposes.
- It help the current active community to share with the larger
community (including retired or not current active editors) all the many
things that individual volunteers are doing - which gives a sense of
momentum to a community.
- It help the community to reach out to the rest of the language
speakers and tell them about what is happening in their respective language
- It allows other community members to learn from others' experiences -
and also provides a contact point for any queries they might have.
- It is very useful for media / PR - because it gives a tangible story
for the press which is newsworthy and uplifting
- it documents the editing history of community every year
My main objective behind sharing this is that I know most communities don't
do this. My guess is that many of them don't know that such a thing is
possible. Another concern that you might have is whether there is enough
to fill into an annual report. I think if you just step back and think of
all the many things that are happening in your communities, you would be
amazed by how much is actually taking place. Even if it has not happened
historically, the increased activity in India over the past few months
should reassure you that there is so much to write about. In this context,
I would specifically call out the wonderful activity levels of Assamese,
Marathi, Nepali, Odia and Sanskrit as just 5 illustrations of communities
which have load of stories to share.
If you are interested and need some help, please feel free to ask me and I
will help out.