We started meetups around Kannada Wikipedia on 12th January, 2012. We celebrated Wiki 11 with a long awaited meetup session. 9 people turned up Including Mr. Arjun Rao chavla. Kalmane Koffee’s small little corner turned out to be a hot discussion point in few minutes. As we had few new editors around us, Introduction was given on how and why wikipedia can be the best platform to start sharing knowledge. Naveen and Prabhodh had joined us from FSMK to share their commitment to work with Wikipedia, and also explained why they would look for support groups to work on these projects. Naveen explained how support groups can help us grow steadily.
Discussion continued around topics like 1. Complaints that we hear about Kannada wikipedia 2. Why we don’t see regular editors 3. Support groups for those who seek help 4. Unattended support requests 5. Unavailable community around wikipedia to welcome and greet new editors 6. Why should new editors find Wikipedia Interesting 7. How build the community to be more active in terms of building the missing support team 7. Special projects that we can take up to make things Interesting around Kannada Wikipedia 8. Personal experiences about editing wiki 9. How we can prepare ourselves to better Kannada wiki state by July 12th on which we will be celebrating our 9th anniversary and so on.
Abhiram from Sanskrit wiki joined us to explain why he hopped in to Kannada wikipedia and started helping people around it and how Sanskrit community working at present.
While Naveen and Prabhod mentioned about their monthly magazine for FSMK not seeing enough articles from the FOSS community, I got an instant idea of creating interest in people around us to work on a specific topic for the month and collate and contribute that to Kannada wikipedia and make it available / reachable to magazine readers. This can go along with a story on how the community could go ahead and use Wikipedia to build a detailed document to feature on its Magazine. This will inspire not only techies but also those who read the magazine to start contributing.
Shalini, Pradeep who work at Serverlots on a research project called Alipi (http://janastu.org/technoscience/index.php/Alipi) which is a re-narration project of the hub understood how wikipedia works and new possibilities of reaching out to community.
Raghavendra, a linguist & a journalist joined the meetup happily to understand how he can help us better quality of Articles contributed by Google Translation team in which he had worked earlier.
Arjun shared his learnings from Telugu wikipedia and encouraged us to find the new possibilities to engage more people on Kannada Wikipedia.
We were expecting Thejesh GN who was found to be the first Kannada Wiki editor in early days of Kannada wikipedia, but unfortunately he couldn’t make it for the event. Wish to meet him in upcoming meetups along with others who missed it.
Before i close this report: Here is something that we had to talk about during our meetup.
A mail that I received from one of our top most Kannada wiki contributor Mr. Holalkere Lakshmi venkatesh. On request to reach out to Bangalore wikipedian’s during our first meetup, he had sent an email about Kannada wikipedia from Mumbai. Kannada wikipedia’s present state and how he wishes to to see in future could be found in his email. I’m sharing it here along with this email for all to see the.
Here are some of my wishes about how Kannada Wikipedia should proceed in the coming years !
The truths about kannada wikipedia :
We were sleeping almost from centuries, with out improving our mother tounge, keeping in view of some totally unrealistic goals. Even when we watch some kannada programmes on Chandana, the Anchor will be narrating the events, etc; in high language, with lots of adjuctives added to it, more than it deserves. Every thing is superficial non realistic and almost not practical for the present day situation.
Let us start, from here.
What is our role ?
kannada is rich, we hear. But is it true ? yes and no. Provided if we contribute a bit to its growth. We are supposed to read a lot to enrich our knowledge and later find some words new, or borrow some from some where, and see whether it fits to the context.
Pro. G. T. Narayana rao, T.R.Anantharamu, Pro. HRRRao, Dr. Pavanaja, Hegde, and others so many of them have been doing a great job in finding some equivalent Scientific words for the writers. We have to be in costant touch of their work. Later some thing we have to contribute.
This is not easy. First let us contribute some articles in kannda wikipedia. They can be biographies, and about the people next door who are doing some good work, they might not have Ph.Ds or M.Techs added to the end of their names. Doesn’t matter. We have to read them throughly.
What we do when we get a doubt about some word or place or name ? Refer Dictionary, or Encyclopedia, or ask some one . Right ?
But just a click distance we have the entire world is unfolded infront of us- free of charge.
Why not use it ?
Here the English wikipedia comes to our mind immediately. It is well developed and has real wealth of information. That is well managed by competent people with dedication hard work, with upto date information and love for the language. That is how it is treated as a full enclyclopedia.
In Kannada, and many of our regional languages, we do not have one. Why ?
We are not striving hard to have one. Create one.
We do not love our mother tongue. We won’t read kannada literature. We do not contribute to it. Earlier days during our time, letter writing was there. But that great art has gone to dust bin; and our skill in writing a good sentence, or narrating a story to our own children has a back seet, and the Idiot box has taken over that place ! We are struggling with SMS language skill.
That is part of history. What we have been facing from our childhood days to this day.
So, no one has tobe blamed.
We are the makers and destroyers of our own follies.
Let us add something to the already existing articles.
Just like in English enclyopedia, we have to develop on the same lines. Gradually we can go stronger by innovating it.
The new generation boys and girls are having lots of skills as for Computer technology and skill in making the things much faster than the old timers. This plus point should be encashed.
Unless you have kannda knowledge you can not make a good article. We have appropriate words to match the English words. Only way is bring the english words as they are in kannada, and try to borrow words from hindi, urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali etc; they can borrow some from kannada.
Rest is when one starts writing in wikipedia one explores the necessity of finding the new ways and avenues !
Good luck and have a nice time.
I am a blogger. That way, I could improve my language skills.
When an old timer (68), with out the Computer skills whatsoever, can make some thing in wikipedia, you can do wonders !
Wish you best of luck,
My real name is :
(ಹೊಳಲ್ಕೆರೆ ರಂಗರಾವ್ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀವೆಂಕಟೇಶ್)
ನನ್ನ ತಾಯಿಯವರ ಹೆಸರು : ರಾಧಮ್ಮ ಮತ್ತು ತಂದೆಯವರ ಹೆಸರು : ರಂಗರಾಯರು.
I use the following names while writing in Wikipedia.
-Radhatanaya(Purely for kannada wikipedia articles)
-Rangakuvara(Use this name when I write for English wikipedia, some articles have been written in kannada also)
It was fun, interesting and there was much sharing… Wish to see more of this with growing Kannada Wikipedia!