Friday, October 01, 2010

I am in #Bangkok discussing how to grow a #Wikipedia

The Burmese or Myanmar Wikipedia is one of the smaller ones. The traffic is too low for comfort. There is a group of people who invited me to come and help them grow their project.

This kind of challenge is big. Obviously I will not be able to edit in Myanmar, so I have to enable and enthuse. Tomorrow there will be workshops galore; how do you edit, how do you localise, how do you add pictures. As always, there will be people who know all of this and be bored out of their skull and newbies who will think WTF is he talking about.

Can you pinpoint Myanmar on this map?
The trick will be to mix easy and advanced topics. Some know how to add pictures, but how do you add pictures to Commons and use them.

According to my strategy friends, targets are in order. So I will achieve new people who are able to localise at I will present strategies that will grow traffic. I will tell them to have fun and share the fun. I will point their techies towards MediaWiki resources. I will inform about LocalisationUpdate and I may even get a Wiki hosted locally because of that.

They will do the work, they have to. They are happy to. They can make pictures about Myanmar sheep or yaks, churches and temples, critters and mammals. They can add one interwiki link with each subject, they can translate or machine translate. They can do all that.

What we have to do is show them how they are doing. There are the statistics that show how a language is generating traffic. The challenge I will give their techies is to figure out on the Toolserver how much traffic the new articles of last month generated and whose articles were most popular. Fun is personal, fun can be shared.

I met some people already and they want to go to the cybercafes to make sure that their Wikipedia will actually work their, They are thinking about stickers with "Wikipedia works here".

The best bit that is organised is that Michael is here as well. We will discuss font and script issues and we have here a group of people that are able to sort this out for the Burmese script. When they do, there will be a level playing field and it will be awesome.

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