Learning about the current state of Wikipedia Zero can be done through this presentation. It is well worth it. The things that I found most interesting are:
- The use of mobile phones is different from what was expected
- The Wikipedia Zero project has a measurable and positive impact
- There are things that can be improved upon, things like localisation
What many people do not realise is that the localisation of the mobile software is not part of the MediaWiki software. Traffic from mobile devices is what grows traffic for Wikipedia a lot. The experience is that when the software has been properly localised, it has a big impact.
In India we have had multiple localisation drives. Every time we ask the same things;
- please do the most used messages first, they are what people see the most
- then do the rest of the MediaWiki messages
- The extensions used by Wikipedia are the next lot that need doing
- Yes, there are all these other MediaWiki messages as well
Localisation has a clear impact on the number of readers and that is what ultimately grows the community.
So what we really, really need are for the mobile messages to be localised as well because this is where the new readers for our projects can be found.