[Wikimediaindia-l] Recent Tamil Wiki outreach efforts

Ravishankar ravidreams at gmail.com
Mon Feb 28 09:39:04 UTC 2011


Just a quick update on recent Tamil Wiki outreach efforts:

In the last 60 days, Tamil Wikipedians conducted 7 workshops / meetups.

1. December 28, 2010 - Mattakkalappu, SriLanka. First organized Wiki meetup
in SriLanka where Tamil is an official language and has millions of Tamils.

2. January 15, 2010 - Chennai, India. On the occasion of Ten Wiki.

3. January 16, 2010 - Toronto, Canada. The city has Srilankan Tamil
population in lakhs. There were smaller / informal Tamil Wiki intros in this
city even before this. Two of the most active Tamil Wikipedians reside in

4. February 6, 2010 - Chennai, India.

5. February 20, 2010 - Trichy, India.

6. February 20, 2010 - Puduchery, India. First Wiki event in this Union
Territory of India. Tamil is an official language here and has Tamil
population in Lakhs.

7. February 26, 2010 - Coimbatore, India. (Students only event)

The next workshop is planned for March 6, 2010 near Trichy, India.

Pictures from these events can be seen at the sidebar links at


Some thoughts:

* Malayalam Wikians had such series of workshops all over recently and that
was certainly an inspiration for us. And that is the reason we share our
experience now for others.

* First few workshops happened in 2009. It was hard to arrange and frequency
was less. But once we start doing, we learn things, share resources and get
more people involved.

* We can't expect that every new workshop will bring immediate editors. I
have seen people starting editing after they keep hearing about Wiki
everywhere and often. So, this can be approached like an ad campaign. No one
runs to shop after seeing the ad. But it works later. Infact, we got a very
active editor after he listened to the event's audio recording posted. He
was in Mumbai and the event happened in Chennai. So it is always good to
document the events as much.

* Besides attracting new editors, it helps build rapport among existing
editors. New editors who attend the event are delighted by the friendship /
collaborative spirit by other editors. This gives them a sense of ownership
/ belonging for the project and start editing more and taking part in
organizing future events. One of our most active editor now is an English
Wikipedian who participated in a Tamil Wiki workshop. In his own words,
after seeing people's happiness to have content in Tamil, he started editing
Tamil Wikipedia more.

* People want to see faces and hear words directly. They are convinced in
person even if we have the same FAQ in Wikipedia website. When we give the
demo, they also learn that it is not so easy to edit as they thought.

* People who attend these workshops get impressed and invite us  to conduct
workshop in their colleges / city and they arrange the venue and other
resources too. So, even though arranging first few events may be difficult,
later more people help.

* Participating in bigger events like book fairs, internet fairs, FOSS fairs
can only give limited scope to introduce in a very basic way to fast moving
crowd. But it is a good opportunity for Wikimedians to network with key
people working in other knowledge forums and certainly helps in promoting
the Wikipedia brand. More on this later.

* 2010 is a significant growth year for us and the growth rate in terms of
daily edits, new editors, active editors has almost doubled in last 6
months. We believe that these workshops and other outreach efforts done
before helped us achieve this in some way :)

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