Wikimania is the annual conference for all Wikipedians across the globe! Every year hundreds of participants from different countries come together to deliver talks, presentations and discuss the Wiki projects they contribute to. Wikimania 2012 was held in Washington D.C and was attended by 1,400 people approximately. You can read more about it here.
While at Wikimania, we all had a small India – Nepal team meet up. Here is a brief summary of what we discussed. All the Indian and Nepali Wikimedians were enthusiastically gathered by Malayalee Wikipedian Viswa Prabha in the ballroom.
Since it was an informal meet up, we had the opportunity to discuss anything and everything! It was awesome to see Wikipedians of all ages, from various places in India and Nepal, all coming together to discuss the stuff they were doing! Actually, the first team meet happened on the plane itself – somewhere above Russia!
From mobile to Indic languages, GLAM, outreach in states of India, OCR for Indian languages to some ideas that could make communication between communities and entities easier as well as IEP, we truly learned the best practices that have been tried and tested by fellow community members.
OCR for Indic languages:
Kul, Viswa Prabha, Dr Rajasekhar and Ganesh from the Nepali community had discussions on whether OCR could be integrated and functional for Indic language Wikiprojects since that would make the work a lot easier for many editors. Viswa Prabha is currently working on something and his energy is really infectious!
Anyone interested can take lead for their communities as well. This would also help the Malayalam education program in its next phase to get more student editors on Wikisource.
Reviving Offline/CD project:
Harriet, who has been involved with OLPC was also present and asked questions about the offline/CD initiative and whether the project had an India specific section. It was suggested that although there is no scalable tech solution to filter content appropriate for children depending on their age groups, it could be done manually depending on the age group we’re looking at.
By this time we all agreed that there are so many small and big projects are happening across communities! Bishakha suggested there should be a more central place to list out new announcements and more importantly contact details of people who can help out with various activities. This could be done on Meta ideally.
Using social media to keep vandals at bay!
There was a brief discussion on how social media can be utilized more effectively. Viswa Prabha weighed in saying how these social network platforms could be avenues to deal with vandalism as well as diverse discussions while keeping Wikipedia related discussions focused on talk pages.
GLAM national coordinator:
Wikimania had a panel discussion on GLAM coordinators following which it was also discussed whether India community or chapter should have such a position in order to guide and coordinate and help out new folks who want to start GLAM projects. Similarly, for WLM or such photo events, I do recall there being a talk for valid press cards that could be given to SIGs to help folks out in case of police trouble.
Last but not the least, Yuvi suggested how hackathons could be an excellent way of outreach (citing the Bangalore and Chennai examples). Nitika also gave an update on the British Council Wikiclubs. User:Rangilo_Gujarati who was also present there has volunteered to help with the British Council in Pune.
It was heartbreaking to see that a lot of our fellow members could not make it due to visa problems but hopefully, we’ll have bigger meetups soon! A special mention to Viswa Prabha for winning the Raffles! Let us hope that these ideas and problems discussed at the team meet help us solve them and start newer, bigger projects!