CIS-A2K/Indic Languages/Kannada/Discussions/2011

This page documents the discussions I have had with few Kannada wiki community members. For these discussions, I reached out to everyone I knew and tried to connect with some I didn't through Email-user facility/talk pages. I have created this page based on those interactions. Since then, some community members whom I couldn't contacted earlier have asked to share their views. I request you to share them directly with me personally at shiju@wikimedia.org. I request you NOT to post directly on this page. (In the cases below, I have removed personal details to protect privacy, any personal remarks to try and keep the learning focused and the discussions constructive.) And most important is, all the initial discussions that happened in 2011 were to get the community started sharing the ideas. This will continue in 2012 and in coming years also. Please post your comment/opinion/views regarding the below discussions on the talk page of this page.



2011 Assamese Bengali Gujarati Hindi Kannada Malayalam Marathi Nepali Odia Sanskrit Tamil Telugu Summary of discussions


Editor1Edit

1. How you reached Kannada Wikipedia?

I like the concept of building free knowledge and I also like Kannada more than any other language since that is my mother language. Having contributing to Kannada Wikipedia fulfils my both needs, sharing knowledge and contributing to kannada



2 What kind of topics you usually edit?

I basically modify the mistakes. Doesn't matter what kind of topic it is :). Mistakes like spelling, formatting, links etc. I remmeber I was usually editing science related and language related articles. I usually stay away from rest... bit selfish I know :)

When I find any mistakes, I tend to correct them. Be it the people I interact or the articles or blogs.. When I find a mistake, and if I'm sure that it's wrong, I correct them. Same thing got into Wiki also



3. What has been your experience in adding content or encouraging content on specific topics? I am generally asking about your interaction with rest of the kannada wiki community

Except a few wikipedians, most of the edits in Kannada are anonymous edits and in those few wikipedians, I know some personally. Apart from that, there is no much interaction



4. From your part is there any initiate to improve the interaction between Kannada wikipedians

I edit just out of my interest, to contribute.. There is no intention of gaining popularity or reach out to people. Hence there are no proactive initiatives from my side



5. Can you share any and all ideas - small or big, sucessful & not-so-sucessful - that you think can help drive Indic language projects?

We need to reach out to schools.. may be from 5th to 10th (not colleges). There's not much use by telling people who've already grown up. you can't change their interests

Editor2Edit

1. How you reached Kannada Wikipedia?

  • Through English wiki I reached Kannada wiki.
  • I came to know about wikipedia through article in kannada news paper "Samyuktha karnataka" describing it as "Free & Open" Encyclopedia.


2. Why you decided you must contribute to Kanndawikipedia?

  • I did my first edit just to check "Is it really open" :)

Later I found there are many topics where I can contribute & add missing content.


3. How active are you? What kind of topics you usually edit? Not active now (Very few edits per month). Most of my edits are in:

  • Templates (More suits my profession ha ;) )
  • Scripts to manage wikiedits (Am very lazy to do mechanical task... so I go for scripts... linked on my user page)
  • Help files (Eg: Transliteration)
  • Page layout (Eg: Kannada wiktionary main page)
  • Mark for deletion (Oops..! have done for it to extent, I have a script to do the same)
  • Wiki markup correction (I wont expect all editors tobe 'educated' to use it. Media wiki should comeup with simple & thin editor)
  • Create New articles of "Hot-News" (red links on main page doesnt look good... )
  • Last, But NOT least... My Profile :)


4. Why you edit?

Coz, It is 'Free' & I like open source :). I just want to improve quality of articles whenever possible by

  • Creating new articles
  • Cleanup wiki markups
  • Cleanup irrelevant information


5. Have you attended or conducted outreach sessions?If yes, what was the outcome? What were the positives and negatives from these outreach programs?

NO


6. Have you attended or organized community meet-ups? What was the outcome? What were the positives and negatives from these meet-ups?

NO



7. What has been your experience in adding content or encouraging content on specific topics?

I have good experience with Kannada wiki editing. I was greatly discouraged by 'no-response' attitude of sysop/Admin of kannada wiktionary when I raised few change requests. Very few of them are considered after repeated followups & I stopped working on it because of lack of response.


8. How are the technical challenges/issues been for your language? Now, is it easy for a new user to start contributing in wiki easily. How about interface translation and other things.

Technical challenges,

  • Numbering in bullets needs to be implemented in kannada (As this feature is supported only in Firefox browser, there is a need to change mediawiki markup which will render to unicode numbers)
  • Lack of Spell-check utility (As a long tern project, there is a possibility to implement using wiktionary as datasource. For time beeing, I have implemented a AJAX script to fetch meaning from wiktionary)

Now it is it easy for a new user to start contributing. But help files needs to be updated. Interface translation is good enough.


9. How is the interaction between Kannada wiki community members? Is there is enough interaction?

In my opinion, there is nearly ZERO interaction between Kannada wiki community these days.



10. Could you share any and all ideas - small or big, sucessful & not-so-sucessful - that you think can help drive Kannada and other Indic language projects?

As I mentioned above, All indian language wikis needs to be integrated with corresponding wiktionary.

Editor3Edit

1. How you reached Kannada Wikipedia?

Through the languages bar on the left side of some english wikipedia article.



2. Why you decided you must contribute to Kannada wikipedia?

In the beginning, it was mainly because I was in a foreign country and wanted to keep practicing writing in my language. Gradually, I came to believe in the value of knowledge being accessible in every language and kept contributing towards that end.


3. How active are you?

I am not active at all anymore. I stopped more than a year ago when I started to become extremely busy in my career and had no time for any other activities.


4. Have you attended or conducted outreach sessions?If yes, what was the outcome? What were the positives and negatives from these outreach programs?

No.


5. Have you attended or organised community meet-ups? What was the outcome?

No.


6. What has been your experience in adding content or encouraging content on specific topics in Kannada wikipedia?

For a long time it was a lonely endeavor. Slowly some others started to stick around and edit for some time.


7. How active are the sister projects (Wikisource, wiktionary, and other projects) in Kannada?

Before, I used to take a passing interest in them. Now I haven't visited those sites in a long time.


8. How are the technical challenges/issues been for your language? Now, is it easy for a new user to start contributing in wiki easily. How about interface translation and other things.

When I started, there was no auto transliteration tool. Since I implemented it in the wiki, the contributions seemed to increase.



9. What are the challenges you see in growing a wiki community for Kannada?

This is a hard question. I still don't know why so few Kannada language speaker contribute.


10. How is the interaction between Kannada wiki community members? Is there is enough interaction? Do you benefit from the discussion with other community members?

Have not interacted for a while - so can't answer this question.


11. Could you share any and all ideas - small or big, successful & not-so-sucessful - that you think can help drive Kannada and other Indic language projects?

I think that in the end every wiki needs a small core of dedicated, patient and technically knowledgable individuals who can encourage new comers, curate the content and guide the community. Unfortunately Kannada wiki has never had such a core. I wish I could think of ways to encourage that - but I can't....

Editor4Edit

1.How you reached Kannada Wikipedia?

I think i reached kannada wiki through a interwiki link on an article in english wiki.


2. Why you decided you must contribute to Kannada wikipedia?

Initially it was just the fun of editing (could not do this in english wiki because of many rules and regulation there) and then an opportunity to better my kannada skills which i had rarely used for writing after school. But later on i saw that there were a lot of good articles in the wiki and i thought that i can contribute to this so that kannada in not lost on the web and this becomes a knowledge base in kannada.


3. How active are you? and What type of topics you usually edit?

At the moment i am not active at all. When i was active, the topics i used to edit were geography, biographies and maintenance and administrative tasks.



4. Have you attended or conducted outreach sessions?If yes, what was the outcome? What were the positives and negatives from these outreach programs?

No.


5. Have you attended or organised community meet-ups? What was the outcome? What were the positives and negatives from these meet-ups?

No


6. What has been your experience in adding content or encouraging content on specific topics in Kannada wikipedia?

Adding content on wiki has been really nice experience personally but lack of active editors has resulted in little collaboration on the articles. It has been mostly a single editor working on a single topic. Also the google project which translated huge number of articles has discouraged editors due to lack of quality.


7. How active are the sister projects (Wikisource, wiktionary, and other projects) in Kannada?

Other than wikipedia, only wiktionary is active now. There is a wikisource and wikiquote project but both are largely inactive.


8. How are the technical challenges/issues been for your language? Now, is it easy for a new user to start contributing in wiki easily. How about interface translation and other things.

After the installation of the kannada typing tool in the wiki, the editing itself has been largely easy. But its been very difficult to translate technical terms to kannada as the resources available are scarce for techincal terms. Whenever we were unable to find suitable translations, we used literal translations and changed later when we found suitable terms for them. For new users, it would be much easier to start editing if we have more help pages translated in the wiki.


9. What are the challenges you see in growing a wiki community for Kannada?

From time to time, there has been spurt in activity in the wiki but could not be sustained due to lack of interaction among members. We need some special projects (photo contests, article creation drive, wikiprojects etc ) to sustain the interest of the editors.



10. How is the interaction between Kannada wiki community members? Is there is enough interaction? Do you benefit from the discussion with other community members?

The interaction b/w community members is largely through talk pages on wiki. There is a kannada mailing list but is largely inactive. There is a need to build up community and encourage more interaction among members both off and on wiki.



11. Could you share any and all ideas - small or big, sucessful & not-so-sucessful - that you think can help drive Kannada and other Indic language projects?


For the first time in history, certain Indic scripts can be expressed as text on a non-Indic keyboard, thanks to software written by Wikipedians in India.