Sunday, February 28, 2010

Arguments to rename the #Aramaic #Wikipedia

In a comment on a previous blog Maurice concludes with: "The current Aramaic Wikipedia is written in Syriac".

I also received a mail commenting on my blog in translation it says:

The Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and the Chaldean differ only slightly in pronunciation. They are considered to be Syriac as an overarching language as they are both written in the Syriac script. Even though the pronunciation may differ slightly, it does not matter for the reading and writing. The difference is in the pronunciation of the vowels. In Syriac the vowels are not written and consequently the difference in pronunciation is possible.

Someone who writes Assyrian Neo-Aramaic can read what a Chaldean writes and vice versa. Only the pronunciation differs, but this is not noticed by either. They understand each other. There is no question of a difference between the two languages in their written form, but there is a linguistic difference in the spoken form.

Consequently even though Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and Chaldean are two languages, in their writing they are one, Syriac.

My impression of all this is that it is best to rename the Aramaic Wikipedia and call it the Syriac Wikipedia or The language policy of the WMF allows in my opinion for such exceptions.

A first draft for a Dutch mobile #Wikipedia mainpage

With the recent interest in using Wikipedia on the mobile phone, it became clear that we also need a good looking main page. When you think about it, it means that most of the information that can be found on a standard main page will have to go. A mobile has a smaller window and the cost of sending all the good stuff needs to be considered as well.

Finding the right balance takes its time and, the community of a Wikipedia also has a say in what is to become a pretty interface into our Wikipedia. On the Dutch language Wikipedia, Romaine has created a first draft. In my opinion there is still too much on the page but I am really happy with this first result.

Having a welcome, it takes a lot of real estate on a mobile ... maybe not ?

How #wikipedia can benefit from the work done in the library world

The OCLC has a system called viaf that links "authority files" from several national libraries. By combining their files, they make research easier and cheaper. Effectively they give people a number and disambiguate people to their number.

You will find references on the German language Wikipedia to these PND or Personennamendatei numbers on one in three of the person related articles like this featured article about Abraham Lincoln.

Among the many national libraries who participate in the viaf project is the Library of Congress and the National Library of Australia. This makes it likely that for many of the relevant USA and Australian people there will be a record. When we include the numbers that identify people to viaf in our articles, we achieve several things.
  • we make further research easier for our readers
  • we have an additional aid in disambiguating people for our interwiki links
  • we provide a hook to compare articles on living persons that may help in the fight against vandalism
More info about normalised data can be had in this (German) article.
This data has a really nice application on the toolserver ... it helps you find information on other websites that use the person numbers.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I noticed that many people found their way to my blog. from blogsearch. So I wondered why. Now I know :)


An earthquake and a tsunami in Chile

The English #wikipedia article about the earth quake is being written as the situation develops.

As you can imagine, depending on the size of the waves, the Tsunami can create havoc in the many countries that border on the pacific. The recent earth quake and tsunami in Haiti proved to be a disaster because it was not expected and, the buildings proved to be too fragile resulting in too many fatalities.

As there was no infrastructure and a lack of decent information after the quake, people turned to OpenStreetMap to create the much needed maps. The BBC has a great photo presentation about this ..

This video shows "a year of edits" and indeed it shows how awesome OpenStreetMap is. One of the lessons of Haiti is that it is important to have such maps and, that it is best to have those maps when disaster strikes.

The current tsunami may do a lot of damage in the pacific. I hope that OSM maps will not be necessary and I certainly hope that they need not be created. What I do know is that you can localise OpenStreetmap at I am sure that great useful maps are needed by local people everywhere even when there is no disaster.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Indonesia and statistics

As I follow the traffic statistics, the rise and fall of some Wikipedias is astounding; I became particularly interested in Indonesia; several languages from Indonesia have their Wikipedia and, the one in Bahasa Indonesia is the more prominent.

Its growth is amazing; at this moment it is bigger in traffic then the Arabic Wikipedia and is growing much faster. With an annual growth of 39% the Russian Wikipedia is the only top 20 Wikipedia that grows faster (45%).

What makes it so amazing is that they have the lowest number of active Wikipedians (213) of the top 20 Wikipedias and, they have 118k articles and as such they are the number 3 of the bottom of these same top 20.

Indonesian is spoken by some 200 million people this indicates its potential for further growth. I am sure there is more room for growth because I learned from Serenity that there is not much awareness yet of the improved use of Wikipedia on the mobile ... Consider what happens if all the Indonesians who have the right kit find a use for Wikipedia on their mobile..

Now consider, twice the number of active Wikipedians as committed as the current crop, three times the number of articles ... Could it be a top 10 language in traffic .. I think so!

Selecting images for Wikimedia Commons

I am really happy to present Richard as a guest on my blog.

Since the upload on Wikimedia Commons of 37.000 images from the photographic collection of the Tropenmuseum, I've been concentrating on a follow up concerning images of objects. Not all digital images that are currently shown on the Tropenmuseum's on-line collection have the quality that is required for this purpose. Therefore it is necessary to make a selection from the objects. 

Many images are digitalised slides from the seventies and eighties; they serve their purpose of object identification, but they no longer match today's standards for object photography.  Whereas the options for recording photographic collection is rather straightforward, objects can be photographed from many angles. An image should be a good representation of an object, show its shape and relative dimensions, and it should also be attractive to look at. The images that qualify for Wikimedia Commons must show the viewers in an instant what they are looking at. Furthermore, the fact that we consider the images on Wikimedia to be a sign board for the Tropenmuseum is not unimportant. And so, it takes some time to do the selection of objects one by one, but the result will be worth waiting for.

Richard van Alphen, coordinator of collection digitalisation of the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.

We need 40 good looking #mobile mainpages

Forty languages are completely localised for #Wikipedia mobile, and now they need a "main page" that has some quality info and that looks good on a mobile.

In December 2009, on the Wikimedia Technical Blog, an "how to" was published on how to create a mobile main page. This was developed together with Petter Strandmark of the Swedish Wikipedia.

The Swedish mobile main page looks good and obviously its source is available. It consist only of parts that change from day to day. Many Wikipedias are not that dynamic and, I can imagine that some Wikipedia communities want some static information as well.

So what we now need are the wizards with templates, people who understand what makes up a good looking main page and help us make sure we have 40 good looking and functional mobile main pages.

The following languages are fully localised at this time: Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Breton, Bosnian, Czech, Danish, German, Lower Sorbian, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Galician, Swiss German, Hebrew, Upper Sorbian, Hungarian, Interlingua, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Karachay-Balkar, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malayalam, Dutch, Norwegian (bokmål)‬, Occitan, Polish, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese.

You can check what needs to be done for your language here; we have over 230 localisations to go..

A much improved #Tropenmuseum picture

Raden Demang Béhé was unrecognisable in the original picture from the Tropenmuseum. The original annotation indicated the prominence of this gentleman and, with this much improved picture, we have something that is the start of an illustration.

This image is the result of work done on the material as provided by the Tropenmuseum, the improved contrast starts to bring out his face and, the pattern in his clothing starts to become apparent. A big thank you to Pete Forsyth.

I contacted the Tropenmuseum about this picture. The best quality they had was a JPG picture. This is not really usable for a restoration, so they promissed me to scan the original again. In a few days I am looking forward for a TIFF at a very high resolution.

The normal process is that we look for the feasibility for a restoration. This image will obviously need a lot of work. Often there is more low hanging fruit. This time Peter Weis has something to prove; he is talking with some German institutions and they do not see the point of digital restorations..

If you ask me, Pete has already made the point for Peter. It will only get better..

Thursday, February 25, 2010

#buzz; Erik buzzed about the new scorecard, Luca challenges us to reply

Erik Moeller buzzed to indicate the latest scorecard statistics. Luca de Alfaro challenged the people who follow Erik on Buzz ....

People! Here you have the deputy director of Wikipedia, himself, posting an incredible gold mine of statistics on the Wikipedia, one of the top-10, most famous, most breakthrough websites ever. Statistics you can only dream for for the other top 10, as those are commercial sites that would never ever even consider publishing one thousandth of the information Erik posted.

And all you muster is two other Buzzes?? Come on, we can do better than that

Luca's sentiments about our statistics I share. I consider statistics important; this shows because I blog frequently about statistics. By calling them "scorecard", it is made clear that these are the numbers the WMF progression is measured by.

The scorecard is significant not only because of what it shows but also what it omits. You find nothing about Wikitionary, Wikiversity, Wikinews. That this perception is widespread shows; Luca calls Erik the deputy director of Wikipedia. There are 270+ Wikipedias; in the scorecard in one screen the "movers and shakers" are shown, they are the top 25 languages. They represent something like 97% of our traffic. Many people predict that mobile access will bring us our biggest growth in the future. At this moment there are no statistics about our mobile traffic.

The great thing is that most of the numbers you are looking for exist; you can find how the languages from India are doing at the same place where you will notice that traffic in African languages is going up as well. The monthly page views are much better now that the bar charts are for 24 months in stead of 12. And I am sure that at some stage the Picard Wikipedia will find its way in the statistics as well.

The scorecard provides great information and indeed for the purpose of governance it is extremely valuable, I am glad with the wealth of other statistics because they indicate trends you will otherwise not find.

PS you will find all my blogposts on buzz :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Historic #tropenmuseum imagery.. can we make it look good?

Raden Demang Béhé was the premier chieftain of the Ot Danum Dajaks. This picture of him is the only one I can find on the Internet.. It is used in a French Wikipedia article. Given the prominence of this gentleman, there may be a lot more to say about him and his era.

As you can see, the quality of the original is pretty bad. As an illustration it is hardly functional. The agreement with the Tropenmuseum is, that we may ask for a high resolution scan. Obviously the first thing to do is to check if it is at all possible to do some good. And then do it.

I showed this as an example of original material that is hardly useful as an illustration to Peter Weis, he considers it a challenge..

Suggestion for a Mobile #MediaWiki logo

Thank you Pharos :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pet hates and wishes for #gmail

The best thing of GMAIL is that you do not need to delete regularly all your old mail. My oldest mail is from February 2005. People do change their e-mail address and while it is easy to add / consolidate new and old addresses, it is not possible to indicate that an e-mail address is no longer in use.

The e-mail address for the board of the Dutch Wikimedia chapter has changed. The old address that I marked as "other" will no longer work but the mail I received from them is still as valid as ever. As buzz became part of gmail, the notion of social media has been firmly established. I would love to see this extended to address information; I would love to share address information with my friends, colleagues and acquaintances. This would save me from a lot of labour and mistakes.

The other pet hate is that contact details are not made available as Google Gears functionality. It is useless when you need an address from your laptop when there is no Internet connectivity. I am totally happy with Google moving from Gears to HTML-5 support. However, in my opinion the lack of Gears support for contact details is an old ommission.

My question is, will Google read this and, as you already read it, what do you think?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy birthday Valerie

Some people are special, one such is Valerie. When she has her birthday, people make cards for her like Stefan Wöhrmann did this nicely.

Valerie is a person that makes a difference; she is and has been the inspiration behind SignWriting, the script that allows any sign language to be written. We hope for an American Sign Language Wikipedia and / or a SignWriting lab project in the near future ...

Valerie, proficiat

Sunday, February 21, 2010

International Mother Language Day

In East Pakistan a revolt in 1952 about the use of the Bangla language was the first step towards independence of Bangladesh. Februari 21 was proclaimed International Mother Language Day by UNESCO in 1999.

For every person his or her mother language is special; it is the language they learn most easily in. It is the last language they will know when they become senile. Research has shown that learning to read and write in the mother tongue has a positive influence for the whole of a person's academic career.

It is fitting that the localisation of the Mobile MediaWiki was done today for the Bangla language by Bellayet.

Where are my readers

I often wonder how many people read what I blog.. On my blog I use Feedjit to satisfy my curiosity. It only shows the people who actually visit my blog.. There are aggregators, facebook, buzz I do not really know where else people follow me.

I am pretty pleased to notice that people from all over the world find it interesting what I blog.

Mobile #Wiktionary

I blogged about mobile #Wikipedia and e-mailed with the developer and I learned several new things. The most relevant is that you can create a mobile main page. It then takes some arcane arts to configure this... it is not clear where to look for an how to.

Wiktionary is likely to benefit even more from a mobile interface. The type of information lends itself easily to be presented on a mobile phone. Given the process, it should even be easy to configure this.

I did update the information on translatewiki for Mobile MediaWiki.. With a reference to the "how to" for a configuration, it will be possible to make any MediaWiki installation mobile. That would make MediaWiki a lot more attractive.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting ready for new business

A #wikipedia in the Karachay-Balkar language is imminent. It is waiting in the incubator for the word of the board and, then we will seek its creation. It sports some 900 articles, the complete MediaWiki core has been localised and, what really shows their determination to succeed; they just completed the localisation for the Mobile MediaWiki as well.

What I learned this week:
  • People do not know that is Wikipedia optimised for mobile phones
  • For 24 Wikipedias the mobile interface (24 messages) is completely localised
  • four languages were completed this week !!
  • The localisation for languages like French and Hebrew is not complete
  • Support for right to left languages like Urdu and Arabic is about to be implemented ...
  • The Indonesian interface is a bit sparse .. how to prettify this
  • People do not know about improved mobile access so they do not use it
  • The strategy project expects a lot of traffic from mobiles in the third world
  • There is no logo for Wikipedia Mobile
  • How do we serve Wiktionary, or other projects on the mobile
  • Wikia has its own mobile implementation
  • ... there is probably much more to know

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is the Aramaic #Wikipedia in the Syriac language

I received a letter in Dutch about the Aramaic Wikipedia. It says:

In the language pages of Wikipedia you can find a certain “Aramaic” Wikipedia using arc in the domain. According to ISO arc is a language that was spoken from 700 to 300 BC. It is currently extinct. The current Aramaic language is called Syriac. It has its own script.

I am fluent in the Syriac language but not the Aramaic language. The articles in the arc.wikipedia are all written in the Syriac script, not the Aramaic script.

My question is if it is possible to change the name from arc to syr because the facts indicate that this would be better. Wikipedia is known to provide truthful information. The current situation does not reflect correct information.

I looked into the matter and found that according to SIL the Syriac language is a macro language. It consist of two living languages; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and Chaldean Neo-Aramaic.

I have no clue what to think of it. The best I can do is ask around, ask you.

Mobile #MediaWiki localised in Malayalam and Swahili

I wrote that the Urdu mobile Wikipedia domain is localised and ready for use and, this proved an excellent argument to localise the 24 messages that are part of this skin / interface. Within 24 hours the localisation for the Malayalam and Swahili language has been completed.

There has been a lot of attention in the Strategy project about mobile access. The good news is that three languages have done what they can do now. All it takes is localising 24 messages and have the mobile domain activated.. Getting people to do just that is probably the most effective near term strategy :)

A happy Muddyb Blast Producer asked when the Swahili Wikipedia will have its mobile domain.. I hope soon and, I hope it will raise awareness for the Swahili Wikipedia and generate lots of traffic and bring in many new editors.

Closing #wikimedia projects (rant)

Proposals for closure I hate probably the most. They go on for forever, are often requested anonymously and to top it off, there is no clean procedure for finishing of projects because it is not implemented.

When a project is closed, it should be removed. It should not be in the statistics, it should be removed from the Internet. When we actually hope for it to restart at some stage, it should go to the Incubator.

These are the smallest Wikipedias in the traffic statistics. Most of these are closed. They give a bad impression because there is not much you can do once they are "write protected". There is not even a procedure to lift the closure...

The worst part of the continuous bitching is that some anonymous cowards find it in themselves to propose the closure of projects like the Swahili Wikipedia. Such insane proposals are taken seriously and they create a lot of unnecessary stress. In my opinion this is trolling pure and simple and should be dealt with accordingly.

If closure is to be considered in the first place, I would suggest that no activity for over three months would be a requirement and, that new activity resets the clock. It would also be good to define additional limits that prevent a closure request to be considered.. to mind come the finished localisation of the "most used" messages and 1000 articles for a Wikipedia.

I write this rant because people who are working towards activating our projects get really distressed and disheartened. Most of us truly want all our projects to grow and do well and the last thing we want is for the people to move on who have an interest in these projects.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Urdu #wikipedia gives priority to mobile

The Urdu Wikipedia is one of the smaller projects all be it with a big potential; more then 60 million people speak the language. At there is a lot of activity for this language.

What I find really interesting is that they have given priority to the mobile interface over the most used messages. What this may mean is that for Urdu Wikipedia access is best achieved using mobile telephony.

The yearly growth of traffic is 65% and they currently have some 13K articles. I understand that the Urdu Wikipedia is now available for mobiles. I do wonder how we will learn if this indeed makes a lot of difference for the popularity of Wikipedia in Pakistan.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Doing what I am not good at ...

#Translatewiki needs a new main page.. It needs to better reflect the state of the art for MediaWiki and of what translatewiki is about.

I have created this info about the active projects at translatewiki. I had to work a bit on the icons that I used. This info could be appended to the bottom of the main page.

What do you think, what more needs to be done ?

"Psst! Wanna buy an alphabet?"

#Wikipedia is supported in over 250 languages. MediaWiki supports Unicode and, that is one of the reasons of its success. This does not mean that all languages are technically served well. The request for a new Wikipedia, the one for American Sign Language is delayed for such reasons.

I have argued in the past and, I will again that this kind of technical support cannot be expected of amateurs. It takes experience to solve the whole puzzle that makes a language properly supported on computers, on the Internet.

Michael Everson has the kind of expertise that allows him to solve the issues that exist with many of the languages we have Wikipedias for. Malayalam, Burmese, Lingala are some of the languages that would benefit from dedicated support for their fonts. When it turns out that characters are missing in Unicode, he can expedite the inclusion of such characters. There are strategy proposals that could be implemented when Michael can take charge of them (1) .

Michael is a valued member of the language committee, added thousands of characters to Unicode, was responsible for the inclusion of several scripts in Unicode. He is a champion of Blissymbols and he would love to see a Hindi or Malayalam Wikipedia that is bigger then for instance the Dutch one.

#Mediawiki seeks to support your language

Icons are part of the user interface and they are not localised in the same way like system messages. A fair bit of design is needed to make them look good and to give them the look that makes sense for the audience of a given language.

I am really happy that Parul Vora, the interaction designer of the MediaWiki Usability Initiative blogged about the need for your support. This way the advanced toolbar can be all Cyrillic, Devanagari or Kannada..

We are really happy with a first contribution for Chinese .. and we are hoping for many more. My hope is that your contributions will all be integrated in MediaWiki itself so that your perfect toolbar will become available on all MediaWiki installations.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Queen Beatrix at centenary celebrations of the Royal Tropics Institute

The queen and princess Máxima will be present on March 11 at the kick-off of the festivities celebrating the first 100 year of the Royal Tropics Institute (KIT) there will be an ethnic fashion show, music and dance.

At this invitation only celebration, a new documentary called "100 years KIT" will have its first showing. In it a journey will be made to Suriname, Mali and Indonesia where the viewer will learn about the projects, and the work of the Royal Tropics Institute. At the same event the annual report 2009 and a new corporate brochure will be presented.

The Royal Tropics Institute is the parent organisation of the Tropenmuseum.

#Usability testing without language restrictions

When the #Wikimedia Foundation accepted the grant that paid for the usability initiative, it came with restrictions. The money was to make the English Wikipedia more usable. It does and it did make significant improvements, the "vector" skin is a vast improvement; I use it where I can. The en.wikinews made it its default skin and I expect that many projects will follow.

While the new developments were not targeted to other projects and languages, they did benefit. Test projects were started for other languages and people were invited to test and to comment. As I understand it, the "vector" skin is better at supporting right to left languages like Arabic.

The multimedia usability project being next, does not have any language restrictions and arguably, if the quality and quantity of Commons is to improve, it is the "other" languages and cultures that are not covered as well as the Western languages like English, German, French and Dutch.

To improve Commons, I would concentrate on one western language; English. One language with a right to left script and one language with a Cyrillic script. The choice for Arabic and Russian would be obvious. Given the expertise at the WMF, I might add Japanese to make it a really nice mix.

Each of these languages pose their issues. Each of these languages represent big vibrant projects that show a healthy growth in traffic. When money is to be spend on usability tests, research in these languages and cultures will have more impact then testing additional western languages. Personally I would consider looking for a partner in a country like Indonesia, they are more likely to have expertise in Asian languages then companies in San Francisco.

In her letter to the board on strategy, Sue argues that our community is to diversify. It seems to me that the multimedia usability project has the potential to have a big impact in reaching out to those places where we want to do better.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

#StatusNet in Arabic

The localisation of StatusNet is well under way in the Arabic language; with 62.46% of the messages localised. The Persian language is only slightly behind with 60.83% and Hebrew is also there but at 17.36%.

As you can see, there is some more work to be done; when the final localisations are in, when the text is properly in the right to left direction, StatusNet will be ready for deployment in these languages.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A new face for #translatewiki

The main page needs a bit of a redesign; its content does no longer reflect that well and its default skin is the modern skin. The "modern" skin does not reflect the best of breed in skin technology and "vector" is what defines the best the Wikimedia Foundation has to offer.

There is a new impetus to improve on the existing skinning system by Jack Phoenix and as is always on the very bleeding edge, it may make sense to make the translatewiki skin one that includes the very best and the very latest in skin design and technology. One reason not to choose "vector" is because it is likely to define the look and feel of WMF projects.

Nikerabbit started this idea for a redesign with a LQT thread. Given that is the ultimate multi lingual wiki, extra attention has to be given to other scripts including for right to left languages like Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew.

So there are two issues that need to be addressed:
  • update the main page content
  • update or replace the skin to showcase our best of breed technology

Thursday, February 11, 2010

15 months of progress

At there is a page with MediaWiki extensions with localisations in more then 50 languages. It was not updated for some 15 months and now it shows 314 MediaWiki extensions up from 128.

The Babel extension for instance supports 186 languages and, it is an extension that several Wikipedias requested to have installed.

The Wikia extensions only recently found their way to and, there are already some who have localisations in over 50 languages..

All this is possible thanks to our wonderful community, you can always check out how your language is doing; we can use help in localising, proof reading and helping us maintain and develop our project.

In Friulian the language is called furlan and not friulano

In interwiki links on #Wikipedia, we use the native name of a language to refer to the article in other languages. For the Friulian language Wikipedia, it should say "furlan" but it says "friulano" because it defaults to the Italian translation.

We get these names from the CLDR, or Common Locale Data repository. The CLDR plays a vital role in the support of languages; with a bare minimum of information it becomes possible to make a language version possible in One of the essential bits is the name of the language as it is called in that language.

In MediaWiki, we use the CLDR and consequently people are urged to ensure that the information in their language is correct. This was the message that was given for the Friulian language. It may be cumbersome, but it does ensure an improved support for a language.

#GoogleBuzz is a perfect opportunity for SIP

SIP stands for "Session Initiation Protocol" and it is a key protocol that allows for open internet telephony. Google Talk makes use of this protocol, and consequently it allows you to connect to other SIP providers like VOIPbuster.

Skype is the big, closed and extremely popular internet telephony service that everybody loves to hate. What I would love is when Google made a service available whereby people could connect never mind if they use Skype, Google Talk, VOIPbuster or whatever other service... there are still people who use only POTS.

The benefit would be a much improved telephony service and it would certainly stimulate improvements to the quality of service.. I would love it when the lag on Skype chat would go the way of the dodo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What is the buzz about

Google introduced Buzz in my gmail. It looks interesting; for me it has obvious benefits over Facebook. Facebook is such a time sink, all the crappy games that you are invited to play..

One of the things you can do is include my tweets from twitter, I expect that it is just a matter of time and my tweets are included as well. This blogpost is an experiment as well; when posted it should appear as part of the buzz that I generate ...

In Google buzz you are connected to the people that you have contacted with by mail. This makes sense, what I still have to find out how I can include other people to follow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The results of the Kiswhahili #Wikipedia challenge

I received this e-mail from Christine Moon on behalf of the Kiswahili Wikipedia Challenge Team. I think it is of interest to all of us and, I want to congratulate and thank the Challenge Team and the contestants for their important and interesting work.

Since we launched the Kiswahili Wikipedia Challenge in November 2009, there has been a significant growth of the Swahili Wikipedia. In the first month alone, Swahili Wikipedia grew 30% from 2.2MM words to 2.9MM words, which can be compared to single digit organic growth for many African languages like Afrikaans and Zulu.  You can view the progress of the growth published by Wikimedia here:. The statistics are encouraging and show that the challenge was able to spur individuals who would've conventionally been consumers of Wikipedia articles to become creators of new content on Wikipedia. 
As we announce the final prize winners of this Challenge, we're quite thrilled to hear that many participants would like to continue to contribute articles and content to benefit the online community. Some participants said it well, "the winners of this challenge are all of the participants who are walking away with the knowledge gained." As Swahili Wikipedia continues to grow and is referenced by more users, all of you who participated in this Challenge can take pride in the critical role you've played in building up this rich resource.  Thank you to all those who participated and all the judges who made this a success.  Remember, this is just the  beginning! 

Now, please join me in congratulating the final prize winners.  Congratulations for your hard work and passion for Kiswahili!! 

*Final Prize Winners:*

Grand Prize Winners
Kenyatta University - Peter Kanda (Kandyzo)
JKUAT - Samson Maosa (Coolsam)
Strathmore University - Abbas Mahmoud (Abbasjnr)
University of Dar es Salaam - Maria Alphonce (Maria alphonce)

First Prize Winners
IFM - Janeth J Jonathan (Janeth J Jonathan)

JKUAT - Limoke Oscar (Limoke oscar)
Strathmore University - Daniel Kimani (Kimanikihiu)
University of Dar es Salam - Moses Kehengu (Moseske)
University of Nairobi - Peter Kamero (Kamero)
Individual - Neville Tirimba (Perijove)

Second Prize Winners
JKUAT - Eric Kosgey (Erickosgey)
JKUAT - Kenneth Kirop (Kiropkanda)

Kenyatta University - Jacob Kipkoech (Jakibiro)
Strathmore University - Mark Ekisa (Ivermac)
Strathmore University - Erick Njenga (Erick njenga)
UDSM - Mwasapi Kihongosi (Mwasapi kihongosi)

University of Nairobi - Martin Nduati (Nduati)
University of Nairobi - Damiano Wanjohi (Wawanjohi)

Third Prize Winners
Kenyatta University - Chacha Maroa (Chamaroa)
Strathmore University - Alex Wafula (Xelawefs)
Strathmore University - Patrick Kinyua (Rickiny)