Task force/Arabic Task Force/IRC meeting - 20091219

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<aude>    *** start logging ***
<shipmaster>      so
<shipmaster>      one of my questions
<shipmaster>      regarding the recommendations
<shipmaster>      that we are supposed to produce
<shipmaster>      is their scope
<shipmaster>      how much detail should we include, the questions seem to be very broad
<shipmaster>      some are open ended like 4 and 5
<shipmaster>      ?
<Amgine>  Generically, the recommendations should be fairly broad.
<Amgine>  They shouldn't be about implementation, but about higher goals.
<aude>    i think we can provide some background info, but ultimately we are to provide recommendations specific to what the wikimedia foundation could do to address them
<shipmaster>      ok
<aude>    the recommendations don't have to be very specific, but general is okay
<shipmaster>      ok, so
=-=     _brianmc_ is now known as brianmc
<shipmaster>      question 1 we can easily provide reliable research on,
<aude>    agree
<shipmaster>      question 2 is something that I can give my opinion in based on my wiki experience, but it's something
<aude>    i did start question pages
<aude>    http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Task_force/Arabic_Task_Force/Internet_use
<aude>    and added a few that i think tie in, and can provide relevant background
<shipmaster>      that we probably either need to research more or reach consensus on
<shipmaster>      ok
<aude>    i'm not sure if the questions i added are good, and we can change them, add or delete them
<aude>    for question 2, i think opinion is okay
<shipmaster>      i think they are fine, I guess that question is needed to provide background
<aude>    we can also reach out to other Arabic Wikipedians for opinions, and even outside of wikimedia
<shipmaster>      that's what I was thinking
<shipmaster>      that will also be very useful
<shipmaster>      for 3,4 and 5 about the extent Wikimedia can help and how
<aude>    it might be possible to put together an informal survey, send out an e-mail to the arabic wikipedia list and/or put up a watchlist notice on arabic wikipedia asking for input
<shipmaster>      i think we should do that
<rima>    that's great idea the survey will help
<shipmaster>      I can put the survey in the watchlist notice and the mailing list
<shipmaster>      when we agree on its content
<rima>    ok
<shipmaster>      there is also
<shipmaster>      a satellite community
<shipmaster>      that we can tap for ideas
<aude>    started a page: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Task_force/Arabic_Task_Force/Survey
<shipmaster>      Google is working on a project with Wikipedians in Egypt
<shipmaster>      to use the google translation tool to create 6 million words worth of translations
<shipmaster>      there are a lot of student volunteers that only participate in this project
<shipmaster>      are we interested in involving them?
<aude>    is there a link about the project?
<aude>    it sounds very interesting
<shipmaster>      hmm lemme look
<shipmaster>      http://enrichwiki.net/index.php?title=??????_????????
<shipmaster>      they also recently expanded to include people from King Saud university in Saudi Arabia too
<aude>    thanks
<shipmaster>      I am involved with the project (not as much as I would like though)
<shipmaster>      but if we perceive we need them for something I can help
<shipmaster>      or if we want to involve them
<rima>    yes good idea
<aude>    i think so, i think they would be interested
<rima>    I agree
<shipmaster>      ok then I will email their mailing list about it
<shipmaster>      invite them to join the discussion
<aude>    if you can think of any questions related to the five main ones, please add them
<shipmaster>      I can also put any possible developments so that everyone is up to date
<aude>    shipmaster: i saw your answer to question #1
<shipmaster>      like for example I can put links to the effort to create a wikimedia chapter in Egypt
<shipmaster>      ok
<aude>    i suggest we use the talk page for the question for discussion, and use the main question pages to write our answers
<shipmaster>      ok I am fine with that
<shipmaster>      I will move it there
<shipmaster>      to the question talk page
<aude>    yes, the efforts for starting a chapter are relevant
<shipmaster>      the extent of government involvement is also an issue
<aude>    i'm also looking at what the other task forces are doing, for ideas and examples of how to organize
<shipmaster>      for example Wikipedia was blocked in Syria till recently
<shipmaster>      and on the other hand,
<aude>    i know about Egypt, but less about other countries in regard to government involvement
<shipmaster>      the government in Egypt has offered to fund further wikipedia initiatives
<shipmaster>      so yeah we may need to assess how good/bad either of these are
<aude>    generally speaking, i know that wikimedia is interested in partnerships with outside organizations
<aude>    this includes a project to add images to wikimedia commons from the german federal archive
<rima>    I don't have any idea about the government involvment in Saudi Arabia
<aude>    what kind of opportunities we see in Arabic speaking countries?
<aude>    or efforts to educate governments about wikipedia?
<aude>    i'm sure there are plenty of myths or things some people/governments don't understand?
<shipmaster>      I think there is a spectrum
<rima>    yes I agree
<shipmaster>      from the Emirates for example, which has funded very openly critical UN reports
<shipmaster>      and I think they will cooperate fully with any wikipedia entity
<shipmaster>      to Egypt, who will still cooperate but with reservations
<shipmaster>      to Syria which perceives Wikipedia as a threat
<shipmaster>      to other governments who are totally oblivious of what Wikipedia means
<rima>    I am going to read that report i think it's an interesting report
<shipmaster>      I think we can include questions
<shipmaster>      about the government reaction to wikipedia
<shipmaster>      in the survey
<shipmaster>      ?
<aude>    agree
<rima>    yes
<shipmaster>      ok I will work on the sruvey page later today and add more questions for you guys to review
<rima>    great
<aude>    the other thing i wonder about is the demand for arabic wikipedia, versus people with ability in English and who look on English Wikipedia
<shipmaster>      my personal opinion here
<aude>    and the question about having colloquial arabic versions of wikipedia
<shipmaster>      based on my involvment with wikipedia since 2004
<shipmaster>      is that we usually see and interact
<shipmaster>      with bi-lingual arabs
<shipmaster>      but the fact is
<shipmaster>      there is a big majority
<shipmaster>      of people who only know Arabic
<shipmaster>      a silent majority
<rima>    that's right
<shipmaster>      and this majority basically has no internet references except for religious material
<aude>    how easy is it for someone who only knows arabic to use the internet?
<shipmaster>      other than wikipedia there is very little
<shipmaster>      very easy
<aude>    that makes sense, about availability of references
<shipmaster>      the OS is arabized
<shipmaster>      Windows
<shipmaster>      so they can find their way around
<shipmaster>      but there is not much material
<rima>    yes windows is arabized
<shipmaster>      colloquial on the other hand is a political rather than a practical matter
<rima>    but the materials in the webs are so few
<aude>    so, the question could be about how to get more contributions to arabic wikipedia
<shipmaster>      yes
<rima>    most of it forums political news
<shipmaster>      people dont learn to read colloquial , they learn to read and write formal Arabic
<rima>    the most visited are these sites
<shipmaster>      anyway
<shipmaster>      I am running out of time
<shipmaster>      for today
<aude>    another issue, which is true on english wikipedia, is that with long-time volunteers , some are retiring, get busy, and are contributing less now
<aude>    i wonder what extent that's true on arabic wikipedia, or if that's not the case
<shipmaster>      I will email the google initiative group and look at the survey
<aude>    shipmaster: okay, thank you for your time
<shipmaster>      (it is I think)
<rima>    we can involve mor people
<shipmaster>      yes we should
<shipmaster>      and let's arrange another IRC meeting soon
<aude>    i think another task force is looking at "community health" which deals with how to retain volunteers
<rima>    ok thanks
<shipmaster>      bye everyone for now and thanks
<aude>    bye
<rima>    bye