Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#Wikipedia zero makes more of an impact

The aim of the #Wikimedia Foundation is to share the sum of all knowledge. It has been often stated that we can only reach those people that have the necessary technology available to them. There is one other hurdle; the cost of the data coming to that technology.

Wikipedia zero is an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation to enable mobile access, free of data charges, to Wikipedia in developing countries. The objective of the program is to reduce barriers to accessing free knowledge—one of the largest barriers being cost of data usage.

The WMF aims to convince mobile phone operators in the "global south" to provide the high quality and free information of Wikipedia. This is increasingly successful; currently Wikipedia Zero has been rolled out in 17 countries with more countries to follow.

Traffic from Wikipedia Zero is now growing really rapidly not only from new partners but also from autonomous growth from the existing partners.

With more people enjoying Wikipedia as readers, a next question is how to convert some of them to editors. The good news is that both translatewiki.net and Wikipedia recently added functionality for editing from a mobile phone. Combine this with the language technology that allows Firefox and Chrome to support many more scripts and it is clear that the WMF does enable people to truly share in the sum of all knowledge.
Thanks,
       GerardM
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