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Wiki 11 Nepal

For those who do not know what really Wikipedia is:

Wikipedia is a free, collaborative, multilingual Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles (over 3.8 million in English alone) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site, and it has about 100,000 regularly active contributors. As of January 2012, there are editions of Wikipedia in 283 languages. It has become the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, ranking sixth globally among all websites on Alexa and having an estimated 365 million readers worldwide. It is estimated that Wikipedia receives 2.7 billion monthly pageviews from the United States alone. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia)

FYI, Nepalese Wikipedia was the second Indic language to have born after Assamese. But other languages has, since then, rocketed on their growth and Nepalese Wikipedia has since lagging behind in number of articles and active contributors (falling at 8th position on the scale of active contributors, and total number of articles being 18,818 till date; source: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_-_India_Programs/Indic_Languages#State_of_Indic_Language_Projects).

Wikipedia has contributed a lot in content development in local language, as well as to develop the language and expose it to the whole world. With the start of 2012, Wikipedia stepped into its 11th year of continued service. Nepalese Wikipedians also took it as an opportunity to meet and discuss together the future path of wiki-contributions over coffee and cookies. This event, named “Wiki 11 Nepal” hosted a brief meetup of follow wikipedians to share their minds and strengthen their commitments.

Wiki 11 Nepal

Date: 15 January, 2012 (Magh 1, 2068 B.S.)
Venue: Prime College, Khusibu Town Planning, Kathmandu
Time: 1pm NST

The event which lasted for about 2 hours 30 minutes became the melting spot for linguists, academicians, wiki enthusiasts and software developers. Most notable sharings came from Kedar Sharma, Prof. Tulasi Diwas, and Prof. Madhav Prasad Pokharel. The session included a brief discussion on:

  • Introduction to Wikipedia by Kedar Sharma
  • How Nepali Wikipedia was conceived? by Indiver Badal
  • The current status of Nepalese Wikipedia by Saroj Dhakal
  • Nepalese context and other languages in Wikipedia by Ganesh Paudel
  • Digital Reading materials and content in Nepali by Abhishek Singh
  • Contextual Nepalese News and use of Wikipedia by Basanta Basnet
  • Status of Internet availability and connectivity in Nepal by Er. Shiv Bhushan Lal
  • Nepal Academy in developing digital content by Sulochana Manandhar
  • The relationship of language and technology by Prof. Tulasi Diwas
  • Final comments by the chief guest, Prof. Madhav Prasad Pokharel

Besides the formal talking, much was discussed during the wik-coffee, where Wiki enthusiasts zeroed in on the current problems behind the slow growth and low number of contributors, how to solve the problem, and what should be the way ahead. The technical session that was scheduled after the coffee break didn’t yield much interest as most of the participants had already left. One major output of that session was creation of a page called झ्यामलोङ्मो (Nepali name of Mount Everest as quoted by a Nepalese author) by Prof. Madhav Prasad Pokharel.

All in all, the event did bring most of the active contributors of Nepalese Wikipedia at a common melting point. It was nice being at the event talking to fellow wikipedians, and discussing over wik-coffee. But Nepalese Wikipedia needs more attention and contribution. With the current number of contributors and the rate of growth, we are too far from reaching a critical mass. Where, in other countries, local languages have spruced up with enormous contribution, our national language is lagging behing in Wikipedia despite of the fact that about 29 lakhs of people from India also speak Nepali and it is also a state language recognized by the Gov’t of India. I hope we would get more contributors and activities in coming days.

For some photo-happy people out there:

Check the album for a full set.

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