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India is one of the fastest growing countries for Internet penetration in the world. With 80 million Internet users today and annual growth rates of 20% forecasted every year for the next five years, the potential for vibrant Wikimedia communities in India is significant . Currently, Wikimedia is under-penetrated in India despite the fact that the majority of India's online population speaks English and the presence of Wikipedias in languages prominently spoken in India. The question is why? What barriers or challenges exist to Wikipedia use and participation in India? And what is the optimal path forward for building vibrant Wikimedia communities in India?
The goal of this task force is to develop 2-4 recommendations by January 12, 2010 for potential growth options for further penetrating India. This task force will focus solely on people in India who have Internet access. (The Offline Task Force is exploring people who do not have Internet access.)
The task force should develop answers to these questions to help guide their work:
- How will Internet use in India change over the next 5 to 10 years?
- Will more non-English speakers gain access to the Internet?
- Will increase in Internet use come primarily from increases in mobile devices or computers?
- What should we do to ensure our materials are available to the growing number of people who access the internet only through mobile devices? #reach
- What form factors and platforms should Wikimedia consider in a highly mobile-use population?
- What is the current demand for Wikimedia in India?
- What is the demand for enWikipedia?
- What is the demand for South Asian language Wikipedias?
- What is the potential role for other Wikimedia projects?
- How will the demand for Wikimedia in India change in the next five to 10 years?
- What can be done to encourage participation by Indians on enWikipedia?
- What does enWikipedia need to become more relevant to Indians?
- Does Wikipedia need robust Indian language projects in order to increase their reach in India?
- What tools and support are necessary to further build the contributor base for Indian language Wikipedias?
- Who is needed to support this strategy (e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners), and what do they need to do?
In addition to the relevant Wikimedia-pedia links, this group also found some additional data worth considering:
- Market research on Indian Internet users: Juxt Online Market Research Online India 2009 topline findings. Based on their survey data they claim that only 13% of online Indians prefer to read in English!
- comScore information with estimates of the total number of visitors to Indian Wikipedia sites
This Task Force is currently in the process of developing recommendations.
- Forrester Research, Global Online Population Forecast, 2008 to 2013, India to have 3rd largest number of Internet users by 2013, India Express