Talk:Task force/Local language projects

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Could Wikipedia be to slow to load in many countries?1318:17, 11 April 2010
Proposed Strategy Task Force008:51, 3 February 2010
Recommendations221:49, 7 January 2010
Finalizing recommendations114:21, 6 January 2010
Promoting Wikipedia in developing countries and minor languages622:30, 4 January 2010
Cautionary thought on Wikipedia core policies in less technical countries418:57, 3 January 2010
Content erosion and updated (cross-wiki) WikiProjects315:43, 3 January 2010
Which "local languages" are top priority and why?2123:55, 27 December 2009
Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?311:24, 25 December 2009
Most important questions021:49, 22 December 2009
Interesting thoughts from an anon220:06, 22 December 2009
What strategies and tactics are successful in increasing awareness of Wikipedia projects in a specific geographic region and how can Wikimedia empower people to implement these strategies and tactics?1119:58, 22 December 2009
Added a summary of QNA222:26, 25 November 2009
What tools and support are necessary to further build out local languages?309:26, 20 November 2009
Are there Wikimedia policy and procedures that inhibit the development of local language Wikipedias?109:13, 20 November 2009
What 2-4 primary strategic opportunities for investment in growth and community health would help to propel the creation and growth of local language Wikipedias?109:08, 20 November 2009
How can mature Wikipedias like English and German support the development of local language Wikipedias?308:52, 20 November 2009
In what ways do the Wikimedia projects currently alienate "local language" readers and potential contributors, by providing an experience that seems foreign or non-local?408:49, 20 November 2009
Summarizing QNA so far022:59, 19 November 2009
What lessons can be learned from the growth of the successful smaller language Wikipedias?121:07, 19 November 2009
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Could Wikipedia be to slow to load in many countries?

Is there anyone that knows whether bandwidth is something that hinders smaller wikipedias to grow? If Wikipedia is slow to load in many countries this would probably slow the growth and reduce the usage significantly. Could the sites be made to load faster in that case? Should picture sizes be limited on wikipedias where users are likely to have slow connections, and other kinds of media also restricted?

01:22, 26 December 2009

I summed up the sizes of the pictures contained in todays (29th of December) featured article at the English Wikipedia. The total size was about 11,5Mb. I really think that such large article size can prevent usage in many countries where users have low bandwidth.

13:06, 29 December 2009

Are you sure this is correct? The Wikimedia servers serve low res renditions of the images. Firebug gives me 289kb of images as an anonymous user (this includes all MediaWiki icons that are not part of the article content).

17:21, 29 December 2009

No I am not sure at all, I would very much like real data on this. Could you provide data for a couple of pages? I just wrote down this thought here and in the recommendation document to hope to get some answers.

So the Wikimedia sofware scales down thumbs automatically?

17:25, 29 December 2009

Maybe a list over the last 20 feature articles would be a good data set.

17:26, 29 December 2009

Sorry, no time. I recommend you install Firefox and the firebug plugin. Then get the data by fully reloading the page as an anonymous user (that will also load css and scripts).

17:38, 29 December 2009

If I have made everything right I get the following results for the featured articles of December:

  1. 294kb
  2. 526kb
  3. 296kb
  4. 280kb
  5. 357kb
  6. 335kb
  7. 273kb
  8. 283kb
  9. 216kb
  10. 401kb
  11. 403kb
  12. 295kb
  13. 452kb
  14. 253kb
  15. 437kb
  16. 363kb
  17. 343kb
  18. 424kb
  19. 344kb
  20. 349kb
  21. 292kb
  22. 294kb
  23. 270kb
  24. 300kb
  25. 533kb
  26. 351kb
  27. 310kb
  28. 216kb
  29. 482kb
  30. 249kb

The average is 340,7kb per article. Can this be seen as the standard size of a large article? It remaining then to find an expectation of the bandwidth in different regions.

18:37, 29 December 2009

A bigger problem than bandwidth is latency IMHO. 13 stylesheets plus 12 external scripts is a lot of roundtrips. I'm in Australia with a fast ADSL connection, and on an empty cache it can often take 5 seconds or more for the page to start displaying. Mobile networks and PSTN modems add additional latency.

18:17, 11 April 2010

Proposed Strategy Task Force

Hi everyone,

Over the past few weeks, there's been some great discussions about the task force recommendations. There's some great energy here on this wiki, and I want to start moving toward completion. That includes:

To get this work done, I'm proposing the creation of a Strategy Task Force. I hope that you all will read and help refine the proposal, and I especially hope that many of you sign up for the Task Force. Let's also move the discussions there so that we can have a central place to discuss next steps for strategy. Thanks!

08:51, 3 February 2010


I'm a little frightened by the number of recommendations showing on the front page - we're looking for 2-4 high quality recommendations. Can you estimate the number that you'll end up with? Thanks! pb

21:13, 7 January 2010

The nine documents was created to cathegorize the content at an earlier stage. There is at the moment five recommendations. We are now discussing which to keep at the recommendation documents talk page.

21:20, 7 January 2010

Fantastic. Thanks for the clarification and all the hard work!

21:49, 7 January 2010

Finalizing recommendations

I went through and cleaned up some of the content generated by this group. Outstanding job so far, especially Dafer45, of collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing this information! Many thanks!

I see you have a number of draft recommendations -- 8 in total, 9 if you count Task force/Local language projects/Outreach. We're hoping to see 2-4 from each group. Can you start prioritizing and finalizing these recommendations? They're due on January 12.

00:47, 6 January 2010

I tried to clean up the Recommendations and we now have 5 recommendations. Alone I am however unable to judge the relative relevance of them.

14:21, 6 January 2010

Promoting Wikipedia in developing countries and minor languages

(I got asked to sum up some thoughts from the December 22 office hours. I'll post a couple of others while about it.)

What can Wikimedia do to support the growth of slow growth projects?

I have my answer to that question. Well, one of many possible answers.

As a top 5 site, Wikimedia/Wikipedia has weight and strength. If it wants to do something specific and valuable, it has fundraising access, ears and capabilities, and gravitas. Especially, if Wikimedia's goals are about educating and reference information, then one kind of education is educating people in its own resources.

I'd take "educating people about the things this can do for them" seriously. That's how to promote. Educational videos on using Wikipedia, dubbed for less common languages. Show people directly what a local Wiki(project) can be used for in their world and how people in (typically developing) countries can and do benefit and use it. Show them, and don't pull punches.

There are women round the world who learn about cultures where women aren't effectively slaves from the internet, or who learn about home-crafts to increase household income, or where people gain education etc. There are countries where large parts of the population have limited knowledge of other parts of the real world or whose population might benefit from enhanced work skills and "quality of life" skills. Show people what these resources can mean, for them. Dub it into a hundred languages. Make it prominent online.

Enough people in every culture love to learn and to improve their world. Give them the tools, which means in this case, show them what the tools are and how to use them. Look at people who educate on fresh water, subsistence, and the like. They go to those countries and show people, "this is what they have in Vietnam, in France, in Finland, in Swaziland..." "This is how villages in these countries find out about matters that affect them or new ideas" "This is how people learn what's going on in the wider world".

Some will say "these people are starving, they need food not computers". This is commonly disagreed with. In some extreme cases yes. But even there - social structures, ideas, knowhow, knowledge... there's desperate need -- and people aren't stupid. They will understand what it can mean; that all villages in this area can share knowledge this way. We might have issues with getting encyclopedicness 1st time round, but it's a start. India produced one of the worlds top mathematicians. Ramanujan had to learn from 50 year out of date textbooks. Remind people of that. Imagine what Indian children could be if they had access to knowledge on all sciences, all medicine, all mathematics and technology. That's an example right there. Show people what we mean. In many countries the issue is actual quality of life, not just "interesting knowledge for fringe people".

Make one movie. Dub it, subtitle it, and launch "Wikipedia TV" online -- in 100 languages of your choice. An educational channel for making the most of Wikipedia and wikimedia, and Wiki knowledge. Work with local chapters, whose goals are usually to promote wiki based learning locally and who know the countries. Ask chapters feedback how they would use and synergize with it, if such a channel were available online and media versions (DVD) offline. Propose it, do a spec, get chapters feedback, when it solidifies, do a final proposal ("this is what we propose to create and what it'll show" - tell people what they're going to get up font, so no surprises), then create it. Provide a script in English; between local users and chapters a foreign language script and dubbed version are easy

The question was how to increase uptake. The answer is, show people why it matters and that it helps them. Show them people in similar situations are being helped right now by it. That's always how one gains interest.

FT2 (Talk | email)

14:34, 29 December 2009

I used your thoughts to write down this recommendation draft. Would you like to improve it?

01:53, 3 January 2010

Made some edits - any use?

FT2 (Talk | email)

02:49, 3 January 2010

Yes, thank you! Feel free to add more ideas there if you come up with anything more.

15:40, 3 January 2010

Did some review and update on the recommendation. Hope I made it stronger.

19:07, 4 January 2010

Did some review and update on the recommendation. Hope I made it stronger.

19:07, 4 January 2010

I like it!

22:30, 4 January 2010

Cautionary thought on Wikipedia core policies in less technical countries

(This was also in the IRC office log of 12-22, but essentially on a separate point. I don't know if it's been covered here so it may be worth noting.)

Many cultures will be worse at COI and advocacy than ours - sorry for a generalization but its a gut instinct... so be careful to mention "Wikipedia only contains information that is written by selected people and places, to help people like <name> rely on it." Encyclopedicness is hard to explain in simple terms, basically they need that expectation in there up front. Not being a marketer or outreacher I'd suggest using multimedia - show them that point in the movie/video somehow.

Consider how enwiki grew... at the start there was a HUGE amount of tolerance for "original research" and imperfect content. As enwiki got substantial, that tightened a lot. For example when I started editing, there was no cite (<ref>...</ref>) system. The rule was you posted what you thought was right, and someone might ask for a source on the talk page, perhaps. Maybe developing countries' citizens should not be expected to have access to "reliable sources" or education and such? Consider that whole area of assumption.

Or create a Draft: namespace (NOINDEXed) where mistakes and draft content are writable, and tag articles when you think they are ready for mainspace. Maybe thats a model for some places? Get it basically viable, then mainspace it. Better than userspace because its more visible so others can collaborate, patrol, help and review, and the sense of OWNership is less. New content by default created in draft:, moved to mainspace when ready; in the meantime its safe to develop and anyone else can see articles under development and collaborate too. A bit like a formal "sandbox space" rather than a sandbox page. If you aren't sure or you're new, draft articles in the draft space... someone will help when you think its ready. Suddenly, developing articles gets a lot easier, and articles that should never be in mainspace don't get there. Create the namespace and the tools for it, link to it as the default location to create in from "this page doesn't exist, you can create it"but leave its use optional. People'll use it if linked.

FT2 (Talk | email)

14:37, 29 December 2009

so be careful to mention "Wikipedia only contains information that is written by selected people and places, to help people like <name> rely on it." I don't realy understand what you mean here.

Not being a marketer or outreacher I'd suggest using multimedia - show them that point in the movie/video somehow. Do you mean that effort should be put into introducing people to Wikimedia by multimedia instead of assuming that they will read the same information? I think that is a good idea, because I think most people in our culture initialy has become aware of the open content and open source movement through causual conversations rather than having read something about it. In a culture where there is few people that are aware of the philosophy behind such movements it is very unlikely that anyone would ever hear about this from such a causual conversation. Here I realy think a Movie that explains the core principles as well as some technical details about how to edit could be a good solution. A carefuly choosen soundtrack might as well be very important for puting people into the right mood as they watch the video. To put them into a state of mind where they feel that the project is aiming for a good thing and that they are able to contribute to achive this. Involving local celebrities in such a campain would certainly have an effect too.

a HUGE amount of tolerance for "original research" and imperfect content I think this is very important. Policies that are good for larger Wikimedia projects might be counterproductive for smaller ones. I think this can be made as a cautionary comment in the recommendations. Just to make everyone that reads them aware that whether to implement the different recommendations in some cases has to be considered on a per project basis.

Draft namespace Is this not a recommendation that maybe is more important for larger Wikimedia project? For the smaller ones I think the main namespace could be used instead. But to create a draft namespace for each project would probably not hurt, but maybe more draft-like articles should be allowed in the main namespace of the smaller Wikimedia projects while there can be stricter restrictions that discualifies draft-like articles in the mainspace of projects like

00:39, 3 January 2010
  1. Explain the idea of V, NPOV, RS, OR in simple terms - why they matter, what we hope for. There's nothing wrong and everything right with explaining it. Just don't expect to get too much of it or be too demanding of unfamiliar editors in small or new projects. But explain it? Yes :)
  2. People unfamiliar with the benefits or uses will probably grasp the ideas and benefits more by being shown (TV style) than by reading it in text. Even if some like and seek textual information, others will not, and many countries have significant populations with no cultural norm on text-based looking up of data and information. For them, multimedia will convey much more, and much wider.
  3. Yes.
  4. Appropriate for all. A smaller project may not have a culture able to produce high quality content, but there's no reason to avoid developing that approach in other ways. "Create your new article here [= Draft:NAME] then post a link HERE and ask users to add it to the encyclopedia if they think it's good enough" will probably encourage peer review and a bit of a trend to higher standards in a culture that has neither, better than "post to mainspace and wait to see what happens or ignore it".

FT2 (Talk | email)

02:36, 3 January 2010

I think 1 and 2 is covered in the "Promoting Wikipedia in developing countries and minor languages" thread now, 3 should be included as a cautionary thought in the local language recommendation and 4 is something for the quality task force. Right?

15:37, 3 January 2010

Overlapping recommendations are fine; I passed these all your way as requested and because they could be useful there as well. But some equally apply here too.

Overall I think you are right, 4 is more "quality related". It's about how to introduce quality in a wider culture or an editing community that doesn't have that background or is new to wiki, needs leeway to get going, but should aim to begin quality work somehow even so.

FT2 (Talk | email)

18:57, 3 January 2010

Content erosion and updated (cross-wiki) WikiProjects

Last idea from me. In the Quality Taskforce we have developed a couple of key ideas that may be useful in the context of smaller projects. No idea if either of these ideas have been raised here, though. Quick summary:

Content erosion

Content tends to "erode" (we've called this "content erosion"). Good quality articles over time get edited, and those edits can unwittingly lower quality, not just raise it. Cutting edge research is removed by someone who doesn't realize it's relatively new in the field, sometimes the main (often sole) user nursing the page leaves the project, perhaps it's a technical subject prone to common misunderstandings, new users rewrite it but actually it's not so well written afterwards. Either way good quality content tends to erode over time. On smaller projects we suspect erosion is slower but ultimately more damaging, because although the topic is less edited, there are also far fewer users to spot and address it.

Updated WikiProjects

One vehicle for improving quality on a given topic across projects is likely to be by creating what we have called global (or cross-wiki) WikiProjects. These would be a bit like current WikiProjects but where current Wikiprojects are local, ad-hoc, and often a bit amorphous, global projects are not located on any one language wiki, but provide similar help and support on the topic across all wikis.

As such, global WikiProjects don't have a "say" locally; they are an umbrella body for users interested in the topic, across all languages and projects. They have a list of ideas -- "things they could do if they wanted" -- and their aim would be to help support editors and articles related to their topics across all languages.

There are many advantages for smaller projects. For example, a local project's sole expert in pottery would now have an entire community of pottery-interested users for support, to check ideas, monitor article quality, and share information and knowledge between local projects. They aren't alone any more. They can get help on translation, access to users in other countries with up to date knowledge, a sense of support, others of like interest to ask questions or check impressions against. The global project can decide on "local language drives" to improve coverage in Swahili, or "lists of important articles" and useful sources which local users can draw upon, provide help with peer review if the local project doesn't have that level of users, and generally provide topic related support in the same way a current WikiProject does on a local project.

It also helps larger projects too, on a well known geographic coverage issue. The number of users speaking English + another, or German + another is large. But the ability for knowledge to spread between two languages that are not so well spoken (Czeck and Swahili? Urdu and Flemish?) means that coverage of Indian towns is better in an Indian wiki than in an English one; coverage of Scotland is (probably) better in enwiki than in jpwiki. Global WikiProjects would mean that editors working on Scottish towns, or Indian politicians, would be able to find collaborators from those places and languages, or who have worked in those areas elsewhere. They wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, or write it all from scratch. If they don't know something there will be others in the same WikiProject from that culture or place or language; they can ask for help, sources, or specialist information.

We see this as a way that all projects can help but especially a way that smaller projects and their editors can benefit.

Copy of a post on it, explaining the details:

Right now WikiProjects are an informal (local) good idea that often achieves a lot on content. This proposal sets them up on a global basis, and gives them a structure of "things they can aim for". Again, amorphous structure tends to get lesser results than a formal list of "you can achieve this". With Wikipedia growing so large and in so many languages, WikiProjects have the scope to become a major mechanism for quality and quality sharing across all projects.

We've seen the WikiProject idea can work, but I don't think we're using the idea to anything close to its full possibilities for topic improvement and quality work.

The more involved editors there are the more they thrive. The more we set them up cross-wiki, the better we allow knowledge sharing, local knowledge diffusion, a central point for refereeing and quality review, facilitation and support -- and do so on all language wikis, not just the big ones.

There's a separate thread that lists an outline schema for global WikiProjects. Look at what we've conceived they could be doing, which individual projects could use as inspiration or a template of ideas to work from. It's greatly more than most projects imagine they can do at the moment, and setting up global projects like that, based on the local ones we know, would have a profound effect on content quality, and would help to balance and share the work of individuals and local projects.

Consider these a bit like "current WikiProjects updated and made Wikimedia-wide".

Current Wikiprojects form locally and ad-hoc. Global Wikiprojects would form outside any specific language's wiki, and be accessible as resources and support to all editors on any wiki, with an interest in that topic. They have no formal "powers" over any local project's articles (which is how current Wikiprojects work) but their aim is in principle to assist, support, pay attention to, and develop the topic area, and support editors on the topic, across all our projects.

As such they provide a Wikimedia wide resource for the topic, as a Wikiproject does locally at present. They provide a larger (hence more rich and lively) team, a venue to discuss priorities, provide central topic related services like resources, peer review, collaborative places to spread quality and discuss latest research needing to be reflected, users from multiple countries or cultures (richer user mix is good on any topic), they might contain teams who focus on "which language shall we have a drive on this month", or can support local wikis and isolated editors in smaller projects, on that topic area. They also have a set of specific (optional) suggestions -- a framework for how they might wish to organize themselves and the tasks they could help on, to save "reinventing the wheel".

This idea does not change that local WikiProjects could also exist; it's an additional resource.

FT2 (Talk | email)

15:09, 29 December 2009

I don't see how content errosion could be countered on Wikimedia projects where the main problem is the lack of editors at all though.

As for the later part I think better possibilities to cooperate across the borders would be very good. Woodwalker has made this point here earlier, but at the same time the usefulness of such coolaboration for the single editor was questioned. If there is a single editor that edits an article, what would make him put extra effort into channeling his experience to the large community? Maybe colaboration at a project containing a large amount of articles would be useful. Is this something that could be combined with the proposals of larger social networking possibilities? Giving editors not only a place to write articles about there subject of interest, but also to find others with the same interest that they can exhange ideas with. Maybe portals could have multilingual forum spaces and chat rooms.

01:02, 3 January 2010

Two benefits:

Even smaller projects often have one or two editors interested in something. If there is a global wikiproject for that area, it may support them and encourage them in editing on it, on the local project, provide resources to do so, etc.

Separately even if no local editor exists, there is a global project whose members have an interest in the completeness and quality of that topic on all projects, including the small one with no editor. Maybe one time they decide to spend a week and translate their top 30 articles into that language as a "drive".

FT2 (Talk | email)

02:42, 3 January 2010

Yes I think so to. But I don't know how to form any recommendations about this. Right know Woodwalkers thoughts along the same lines are included in an additional thoughts section of the recommendations.

15:43, 3 January 2010

Which "local languages" are top priority and why?

Which "local languages" are top priority and why?

21:08, 19 November 2009

The six official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish; that should probably make Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish the top priorities. --Fasten (Wikinews: Aktion Deutschland Hilft asks for donations after the earthquake in Indonesia) 17:21, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

21:08, 19 November 2009

We could look at the official languages of the EU I suppose (among others). I'm actually reluctant to deprioritize any language group witha viable community that wants to work on increased reach.-- ArielGlenn 03:18, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

21:08, 19 November 2009

I don't think there is an answer to this question. Everyone has a reason to name his own several languages :) Amikeco 22:30, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

21:09, 19 November 2009

Can we come up with a good framework for evaluating our priorities? Obviously, interest level is one. If there isn't a community of people interested in their own local language wiki, then that may be an argument for not pursuing those languages. "Performance" or "potential" is another. For example, there are a large number of Chinese and Indian speaking people who have access to the Internet, and yet, those language Wikipedias are "underperforming." Are there other criteria for deciding which languages to prioritize? --Eekim 05:03, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

21:10, 19 November 2009

How is low intrest level meassured? Low participation, or low trafic? Low participation could be due to low computer knowledge in the community, which hinders people with knowledge to contibute for technical reasons. Low trafic could be due to low information content on the wiki.--Dafer45 16:47, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

21:10, 19 November 2009

Extra effort into building lingua franca Wikipedias could allow translation from these into other local languages by local contributors. At least that narrows the list down to about fourty languages.--Dafer45 16:47, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

21:10, 19 November 2009

This is on many levels a nonsensical question as we do not invest in languages. When we invest in strategies that help small wikipedias, they will help any and all small wikipedias. You do not have to concentrate on that.

More relevant is that certain topics are not properly supported. Africa is underdeveloped for all its subjects even in the English language Wikipedia. Cultural bias like this makes Wikipedia less relevant to the people in Africa. At that the English language Wikipedia has the most impact on the dissimulation of information about "Africa". I expect that with improved coverage more intrest will be generate for local African languages.

As this moment the WMF gives priority to the top 50 languages in terms of numbers of speakers.

09:19, 20 November 2009

For localisation the 'top priority', at least for me, from a translatewiki perspective, and in relation to my contract with the Wikimedia Foundation, are the 50 most spoken languages in the world. Recent weighted statistics are at translatewiki:Project:MediaWiki_localisation_in_the_50_most_spoken_languages.

Typically, languages spoken on multiple continents and languages spoken in Europe are doing great, with average scores of 97 or higher (100 is max.) in a Wikimedia context.

Much more worrying is the situation for languages from Asia (avg: 66) and Africa (avg: 46). Within these groups the languages worst off are Oriya, Zulu, Burmese, Hausa, Min Nan Chinese, Urdu, Urdu, Wu Chinese and Sindhi, all with a score under 40.

The average localisation score in a Wikimedia context at the moment is 73, up from 68 a few months ago. My target is to get this at 83 by the end of Q3-2010. A lot of work must still be done for that.

I have secured some funds for myself to be able to devote a day a week to, to give some bounties to translators to motivate them to periodically make an extra effort (by organising "Translation Rallys"), and I am currently looking into possibilities to work together with for example the India Wikimedians and making them responsible for progress in the localisation of the languages spoken in their country and providing some sort of reward for that (my current thought is a donation to the Indian Wikimedia Chapter that has not been erected yet).

I would also like to integrate the "meta translation community" with the " community". Larger groups in localisation are able to provide more continuity and a higher quality.

11:12, 25 December 2009

Would you like to give some concrete advices and expectations of work effort needed at Localisation, and also check whether my analysis in the second paragraph might be realistic?

11:19, 25 December 2009

Will audit those calculations.

11:30, 25 December 2009

Done. I have corrected the number of translations per hour that can be expected, and you forgot about the extensions used by Wikimedia. I have rewritten the paragraph based on current statistics from

21:10, 25 December 2009

Thanks alot! What is the expected price per hour if we even should recommend WMF to pay for geting this work done?

21:19, 25 December 2009

Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?

21:11, 19 November 2009

Could organizations such as Engineers Without Borders ( be intrested in organizing translation groups? They probably are technologically oriented and understands the importance of knowledge. Their members are probably able to learn the basics of editing a Wikipedia easily and could help in organizing groups and provide technical support to translators. The translators could either be people that know an under-represented language or native speakers. It would make it easier for people that wants to contribute but lacks computer knowledge to help out, and might fit well together with the organizations educational projects.

21:11, 19 November 2009

I will add we need a local chapter somewhare in MENA, most likely it'll be in Egypt since it has the larger organized group of wikimedians. in my own opinion having a chapter would make it easier to organize events, cooporation with universities etc.. it will also help improve the press coverage of wikipedia (i think arabic wikipedia is not covered enough, most of the press coverage is translated from western sources about western wikipedias) and will increase the awareness about wikipedia (through press releases etc...). --Histolo2 23:09, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

21:12, 19 November 2009
Wikimedia Foundation
I think it is the foundation's task to encourage the chapters to formulate SMART goals for leveraging the local languages within their geographic area, as well as setting those goals itself - including fund allocation - for areas that are not covered by chapters. The foundation is IMO also responsible for aggregating the results that are reported from the chapters, so that a global overview of achievements and progress will be available, and best practices can be drawn up based on the successes and failures in the past.
The chapters are closest to the individual volunteers and local external partners. This process will only scale if the chapters take the responsibility of communication, coordination and execution of set goals together with the individual volunteers, local external partners, and international external partners where applicable. Monitoring, tracking, and chasing should be done on this level, because doing this on a global level will mean that a lot of language barriers have to be overcome, making the process cumbersome.
individual volunteers
Active volunteers are the back bone of everything that gets done. They are the people that care, for whatever reason, and put their time into "making things better". They should know who to approach - requires at least documentation of project goals if the volunteer wants to work within a project's scope - and they should be able to make a career in the projects; delegate responsibilities as soon as possible as low as possible to motivate the volunteers and to keep things scalable.
external partners
<no time to go into this yet>
11:24, 25 December 2009

Most important questions

The recommendation document right now consists of the following eight topics:

  • Fostering the open content movement.
  • Increasing the number of relevant articles in a region.
  • Translation of Wikimedia content.
  • Localization.
  • Can well established Wikipedias help smaller Wikipedias to grow?
  • Creating strong local communities.
  • Cooperation between different Wiki-projects at a meta.
  • Quality indicators.

Could the most important questions to address be the following?

  • Localization of templates and the mediawiki software. Including providing support for right to left script and characters of all languages.
  • Knowing what content is important for what regions and stimulating creation of such content.
  • Creating strong local communities.

I think there is ideas from all the eight topics above that can be incorporated into the solutions of the three later questions. I think the only topic that ain't well covered by these thre questions is translation of articles. Is translation of articles a good idea, maybe a small core of articles that are vital to get a wikipedia running? Or maybe a forth question could address how translation of articles can be simplified, not involving translation directly but how the responsibility of formating, linking and so forth can be taken away from the translator by providing some automated and userfriendlier interface for translation.

What are the strategies that helps solving these problems? Is it a good idea to pay developers to make the mediawiki software support every language, both characters and script direction. Can and should statistics about current hot topics in different regions automatically be collected from a number of sources and presented on some page. Maybe each languages wikipedia should have a page where such statistics is gathered about the given region.

21:49, 22 December 2009

Interesting thoughts from an anon

23:17, 14 December 2009

Good! I have now incorporated this into the second recomendation.

10:31, 21 December 2009

Good thoughts. Thanks for pointing this out, Philippe. That page title was too long, so I merged that content to Local content and set a redirect.

20:06, 22 December 2009

What strategies and tactics are successful in increasing awareness of Wikipedia projects in a specific geographic region and how can Wikimedia empower people to implement these strategies and tactics?

What strategies and tactics are successful in increasing awareness of Wikipedia projects in a specific geographic region and how can Wikimedia empower people to implement these strategies and tactics?

21:16, 19 November 2009

When we write what people want to read, certainly when we write well, Google and other search engines will do a good job for us. What we can do is find out what the articles are that people want to read. We can learn this from our traffic log and, we can ask google (and others) what people in a country want to read and what we do not have an article on.

Only when there is a sufficiently big community of contributors is it feasible to have chapters in countries..

09:11, 20 November 2009

The strength of Wikimedia projects is their independence. When a strong local community is formed, the local wiki will develop itself. Therefore, it is first important to help the development of local communities and chapters. A local chapter will know best how to promote the local project in the local society/culture. A local project shouldn't have to invent the wheel again, so valuable advice about general project and community development should be available when asked for.

To bring people from different projects together can be done by giving meta a larger role in sharing experience and knowledge about community and project building. Meta could host wiki-embassies and wikiprojects shared by multiple projects, corners where users from different projects can share information. Most contributors to meta are at the moment admins and wiki-politicians. The user type that adds content should be encouraged to join too.

19:08, 21 November 2009

What does that mean in a practical way ?

22:14, 21 November 2009

These are the practical ideas I have imagined so far. Helping local projects:

  • By monitoring their development. A short yearly report (at meta) could raise awareness of the problems and advantages of a certain project.
  • By offering help when problems are encountered in an active (but not authoritarian) way. After every report experienced users from other projects will have the opportunity to post advice and comments.

Improve the sharing/exchange of content:

  • If a wikiproject exists at multiple projects (example: en|it|fr|pl|sv|pt|de|etc) an umbrella project page could be made at meta, where all discussions that don't exclusively have local importance should go. What happens now is that everyone is inventing their own wheel, a waste of time and energy! Besides, the page at meta can be the place where users from small projects can raise questions about content that can be discussed/answered by the experts of larger projects. Meta-wikiprojects will also encourage participation in meta by the type of user that only adds content and isn't interested in wikipolitics.

Improve the sharing of knowledge about project and community building:

  • What I meant by a wiki-embassy is not the thing you'll find at many smaller projects, but a project page at meta where a local wiki presents itself (differences with other projects, what the community finds important, how they work, etc). Many wikis have different guidelines/rules, which can be confusing for a new user accustomed with another project. There should be an 'ambassador' for every project too, one (or more) user(s) to man the embassy. Their task would be to notice the local community when there are developments at meta and vice versa, and to write the yearly report.
05:07, 22 November 2009

How is this practical.. When you report, what do you report on. What are the criteria for development.. Take for instance incubator; only 100% localisation effort triggers interest of the language committee to consider a new project. Practical, people know what they need to do.

Writing a report when you do not know the languages is bizarre because what do you report and how does it help even inform? When you report on a project based on statistics, say so and we can automate the process of gathering data. However, what are we going to do with this as it is the communities of these projects who have to understand their position.. How are we going to entice them to do better? How do we know that our suggestions make sense ? The 1000 "must have" articles for instance are not bad but several of the suggested articles only have merit in particular cultural settings.

When projects are small, maybe "one man bands" why should they be detracted by writing reports ? or writing on Meta ? When you say there should be, how are you going to make it so? What is the benefit to THEM ? Thanks..

11:36, 22 November 2009

This question was about local projects, not necessarily about small projects. Please read my answer in that way too. No form of outward communication should be forced on any project, yet they can (and imho should) at least be offered better ways and means of communication. A one-man project in the incubator isn't going to need or create an embassy. However, many projects do have enough manpower to communicate with others.

How am I going to make it so? What I did was just some brainstorming. I am not going to make anything so, neither is this strategic planning project. I thought (correct me if I'm wrong) the goal is to advise, not to implement or to force. Attempts to implement guidelines by the foundation have in the past been unsuccessful. For bad or for good, the foundation is limited to an advisory or accommodating role. Neither should any discussion at meta automatically mean a community should do this or that.

If the language barrier is a problem, a tiny project will not use the 1000 'must-have' subjects list, since they won't be able to understand it (off-topic: the list is imho of rather bad quality in its current form). If language isn't a problem, small projects will have more benefit from an interwiki Q/A-page at meta than from that list.

Reports can contain data from statistics (content/users/pages/vandalism) with some small comments. If local decisions/solutions about community problems were made, these could be reported too. For example, were the Dutch wikipedia to accept a guideline about reliability of sources, the fact could appear in their annual report. That could be followed by a discussion of the type: 'why didn't you guys have this guideline before'. If the Hungarian wiktionary switches to Flagged Revisions, they could report about their personal experience with it. Discussing differences brings to light potential new solutions and their advantages/disadvantages. It is a way to make all projects more aware of potentially beneficial progress and solutions made by others. Anyway, I was just brainstorming and a yearly report is just one way to communicate. A regularly updated project profile page at meta is another way. Note that currently, some chapters make regular reports at meta already ([1]), and many projects do have embassies and ambassadors in their own space ([2]). My idea was simply to extend the first to projects themselves and the latter to meta.

13:05, 22 November 2009

Here's another spin on Woodwalker's thoughts. One indication of a strong local community is strong content about those communities.

Some interesting research and visualizations at a country scale is at this web site. The author writes:

The country with the most articles is the United States (almost 90,000 articles), while most small island nations and city states have less than 100 articles. However, it is not just microstates that are characterised by extremely low levels of wiki representation. Almost all of Africa is poorly represented in Wikipedia. Remarkably there are more Wikipedia articles written about Antarctica than all but one of the fifty-three countries in Africa (or perhaps even more amazingly, there are more Wikipedia articles written about the fictional places of Middle Earth and Discworld than about many countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia).

User:Aprabhala posted something in a similar vein over at Talk:Task force/India. Note that this research is only from English Wikipedia. We'd want to do comparable research for specific language Wikipedias.

23:52, 21 December 2009

Compare these two images:

As far as I understand it the first image shows the surface of the earth at night , and the second the number of articles about the area (log-scale). Not very suprising, the correlation between electric light and number of articles seems to be quite high.

Now I think the following picture displays the number of named geographic places in the world:

As pointed out, the correlation between actuall places and number of articles in an area is therefore not at all as well correlated.

However, is geographic information as sought for in all regions? The amount of geographic articles in a region might be a good meassure of how represented that region is, but I don't think the most important thing is to rise the number of geographic articles in any under represented region. Rather I think the number of articles that fit together with the culture of a given region is more importan. Can e.g. articles about agriculture, music, dance and diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV be of greater importance in Africa than in western countries where we maybe like to read about the Eifel tower (now I revealed my prejudices that all Africans as farming, non educated, dancing and singing people with deadly diseases, well that was not what I meant, but I hope you understand the point :) ).

12:47, 22 December 2009

Powerful images and analysis! I copied these charts and thoughts over to Local content.

I agree, geographic information is an indicator, but it's not necessarily the most important type of content. We need to get a better understanding of the type of content that would be valuable for different regions.

19:58, 22 December 2009

Added a summary of QNA

I have created a summary of the QNA questions discussed so far in the QNA section and here on this talk page and added it under "Task force related analyses and data". Please read and help to improve it, I hope I have understood most of the points made right. Would anyone like to do something similar for the proposals connected to this Task Force?

11:51, 21 November 2009

I have now also made a summary of the reach/regional analysis articles and placed it under "Task force related analyses and data" too. Something that struck me was that there was no such analysis for South America. Are most of this region covered by existing Wikipedias such as the Spanish Wikipedia?

09:54, 22 November 2009

Have now begun a summary of the language issues proposals.

22:26, 25 November 2009

What tools and support are necessary to further build out local languages?

What tools and support are necessary to further build out local languages?

21:07, 19 November 2009

If someone wants to do a word by word translation today the procedure is to look up the original source and copy it, create a new page in the new language and paste the copied source. I think this process is enough to hinder a lot of possible contributors that are very able to translate but not are very used to computers and markup languages. Implementing an option where you by two mouse clicks (a translate link and then a choice of language) can go from an existing article to the edit page of a new article in another language with the existing articles source inserted could have a great impact. The translation option for a certain language could be made to disapear as soon as an article in that language alreaddy exists.--Dafer45 08:21, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

21:07, 19 November 2009

Links should prefferably be auto translated to link to the corresponding local language articles too, so that the translator doesn't have to bother about finding the relevant article to link to. A problem would arise every time a linked article doesn't exist in the local language though, which would be expected to be very common for small language wikipedias. Any good idea about how this is solved would be good. Should the link be excluded and made into ordinary text, linked to the original language article or link to an empty page where auto translation of the link text is taken from some dictionary (when the linked article exists a dictionary translation ain't needed as the word can be translated into the corresponding article heading)?--Dafer45 12:49, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

21:08, 19 November 2009

We are helping with localisation at ... this is a crucial resource. Translation is not really that important because they come with "compulsory" policies and attitudes that are not necessarily helpful for young projects.

When we indicate what people want to read and, what people have read (particularly of the articles newly written in the last month) we concentrate on those articles that make the difference for that project

09:26, 20 November 2009

Are there Wikimedia policy and procedures that inhibit the development of local language Wikipedias?

Are there Wikimedia policy and procedures that inhibit the development of local language Wikipedias?

21:16, 19 November 2009

Absolutely. When people from "mature" projects insist on the implementation of their "quality" norms, you will find that people turn off like they do in the "mature" wikipedias

09:13, 20 November 2009

What 2-4 primary strategic opportunities for investment in growth and community health would help to propel the creation and growth of local language Wikipedias?

What 2-4 primary strategic opportunities for investment in growth and community health would help to propel the creation and growth of local language Wikipedias?

21:16, 19 November 2009

The two most important needs for a small project are:

  • write articles that people want to read
  • develop a healthy community of editors
09:08, 20 November 2009

How can mature Wikipedias like English and German support the development of local language Wikipedias?

How can mature Wikipedias like English and German support the development of local language Wikipedias?

21:01, 19 November 2009

The most obvious way is by technical and information support. That means help about using sophisticated techniques, complicated templates, etc. and a coordinating project for local language editions, whose active users speak the larger language (German and English, as the question puts it). There is some positive experience in Russian language project ru:Википедия:Проект:Малые разделы Википедии на языках России (linked from the main page at Amikeco 07:45, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

21:01, 19 November 2009

Projects in languages that have a relatively small size often translate articles from the larger projects in English, French, Spanish or German. I found that when I write an article at wp-en, it gets often translated in a couple of smaller languages within a year. Especially the English Wikipedia seems prone to this effect. The problem is that Wikipedia is not devoid of errors, and these errors get copied too with translation. Whereas the larger projects have plenty of users that will quickly address such errors, the translation at a small project will stay there for years or decades. To prevent this, larger projects should do more to rate and visualize the value of their content according to the pillars of Wikipedia. Such ratings are signals for translators from smaller projects, that show them weather the content they are translating is actually trustworthy/encyclopedic/neutral/etc. Woudloper 23:36, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

21:01, 19 November 2009

Typically these "mature" wikipedias have no feeling for the needs of smaller Wikipedias. They impose their "superior" ways. When you then consider that the newbie experience is really nasty for these "mature" wikipedias AND that the growth of editors is key to the health of smaller projects then it is not so clear cut that they help at all. Thanks,

08:52, 20 November 2009

In what ways do the Wikimedia projects currently alienate "local language" readers and potential contributors, by providing an experience that seems foreign or non-local?

In what ways do the Wikimedia projects currently alienate "local language" readers and potential contributors, by providing an experience that seems foreign or non-local?

20:58, 19 November 2009

The open content movement is still relatively young in the United States and other countries where the projectas are flourishing; in yet other countries the idea is not even in its infancy. Fostering the movement and working with partner organizations in other countries to that end will help bring in more contributors. -- ArielGlenn 04:38, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

20:59, 19 November 2009

Likewise we are stil battling the "expert knowledge cannot be produced by non-experts" view, which is very entrenched in some regions among the very people we would reach out to first to contribute, including academics. -- ArielGlenn 04:38, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

20:59, 19 November 2009

I think the free content idea is not accepted enough, i've encoutered users who wrote (quite good) articles wrote in the all rights resereved to... and when i explained about the free content idea they where "alienated" and didn't contribute more. Islam which is the main religion in the have a good approach to this issue (some even would say that certain aspects of IP contradicts with the principles of Islam but they are a really small minority) and we might play this card. --Histolo2 23:17, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

21:00, 19 November 2009

One vital aspect of this foreign experience is the lack of localisation for many of the languages that we support. It is really fortunate that languages like Macedonian, Sinhala and Indonesian are REALLY making a big effort .. Some top 50 languages like Hausa have made a start but are not really moving forward.

Obviously, localisation is only one, be it a vital aspect, of the experience that makes it a local project. What we find is that people who indicate not knowing a language are botting articles in wikipedias like Swahili. Consequently the subject matter hardly coincides with what local people are interested in. There is also a group of people who find it necessary to impose their morals and values on other communities.. a good example is the notion of quality. While quality is important, a wikipedia needs to evolve and the first need is to get to the inflection point where a project is no longer dependent on individual editors.. Thanks,

08:49, 20 November 2009

Summarizing QNA so far

I will here try to summarize the answers given to the QNA questions so far.

The open content movement is young even in countries where Wikipedias has succeeded, even more so in less developed countries. This toghether with the "expert knowledge cannot be produced by non-experts" view hinders developement of local language Wikipedias. Fostering a positive view toward this would help. The open content movement seems to agree with the philosophy of Islam (and probably most other religions too) which could help such fostering.

Translation of wiki content could help kick-start a Wikipedia. Concentrating such translation on educational/technological/computer related articles could help attract native users that are most likely to themself contribute. Word-by-word translation is however a painful process and concentrating on "retelling" the article content might be a more effective way of translation. There is a translation project for Arabic Wikipedia that uses googles translation toolkit to simplify translation, but almost every sentence has to be corrected.

Translation could be simplified by automating some steps of the translation process. Add a translation option where by choosing language you are taken directly from the article into the edit page of a new language. The original article source should be copied into the Edit box of the new language article with links automatically replaced with links to the corresponing articles of the new language Wikipedia. So that translators only have to concentrate on actuall translation. Not looking up the right links, knowing the markup language and so on. Some care has to be taken about how to handle cases where the links link to articles that doesn't exsit in the new language though, which is very probable to happen for small language Wikipedias.

What languages might be most important to translation is hard to tell. There has been proposals that the official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) are important languages. A wider language scope of around 40 languages could include lingua francas because they in turn could be a base for further translation. How do we judge which languages are most probalbe to make most impact if translated into?

Successful Wikipedias could help smaler Wikipedias by providing templates, technical information, coordination of local language projects. Some positive experience from such cooperation has been found in the Russian language project ru:Википедия:Проект:Малые разделы Википедии на языках России.

Experienced Wikipedia editors could provide technical support to translators with knowledge in a small language that are willing to translate articles but finds it to difficult for technical reasons. Translation groups consisting of experienced Wikipedia editors, people with knowledge in a small language but from the same country as the Wikipedia editor and native speakers could provide a good ground for translation of articles. Such a group could for example consist of a Wikipedia editor, people he knows that has done voluntary work in a developing country and contacts the volunteers has in the actuall country. Such a collaboration could eventually lead to actuall knowledge production from within the area of the local language. Maybee organisations such as Engineers Without Borders ( would be willing to arange such groups as they are technology oriented and easily can learn to edit a Wikipedia, the aim of translation agrees with their knowledge spreading philosophy and they might have good contacts in developing countries.

A local chapter in MENA, most likely in Egypt because it has most Arabic contributors could help develop Arabic Wikipedia. Such a chapter could help organizing events and cooperation with universities as well as improving the press coverage of Wikipedia.

One problem that arises when articles from large Wikipedias are translated into smaller language Wikipedias is that errors get copied. In large language Wikipedias the errors are quickly corrected but on the smaller ones it stays for a long time, because there are less people able to correct it. More effort into indicating the quality of large language articles could help translators judge the value of the article they translate.

Contributors with specialist knowledge might be hindered from contributing to large language Wikipedias because the large language ain't his first language and he feels to insecure to use it. The contribution will then only benefit the small language Wikipedia and will remain in isolation because of the language barrier. Cooperation on global wikiprojects over the language borders, on a meta where experts in one subject but with many languages can join, could help pull such contributors out of isolation.

22:59, 19 November 2009

What lessons can be learned from the growth of the successful smaller language Wikipedias?

What lessons can be learned from the growth of the successful smaller language Wikipedias?

21:07, 19 November 2009

Laŭ la sperto de kelkaj malpli grandaj vikipedioj en la lingvoj de eksa Sovetunio, mi rimarkas, ke la ĉefa grava bezono por aktivigi vikipedion estas apero de redakta komunumo. Nur post kiam tri redaktantoj aperis en la oseta Vikipedio, ĝi ekkreskis en decembro 2008. Homoj vidas redaktojn unu de la alia, kompletigas tiujn redaktojn, tio kreas la mondfaman vikipedian efikon. Amikeco 07:52, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

21:07, 19 November 2009
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