Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Strategy

News and information from the Wikimedia Foundation’s Strategy team (RSS feed).

Israel’s Ministry of Education & Wikimedia Israel Agree On New, Unique Initiative

Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Itzik Edri, Chair of the Wikimedia Israel Board and Michal Lester, Executive Director of Wikimedia Israel

An agreement was met in a meeting between Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Itzik Edri, Chair of the Wikimedia Israel Board and Michal Lester, Executive Director of Wikimedia Israel, regarding a shared cooperation with Wikimedia Israel in the framework of the ministry’s school curricula in the coming years. Through the planned cooperation, history, geography and science teachers will receive special professional training to instruct students on how to contribute to new or incomplete Wikipedia articles for which information is lacking or inadequate.

Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s Education Minister, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

The Education Ministry will also examine the possibility of integrating Wikipedia writing assignments in the teaching of research and community involvement. They will also consider having students who speak additional languages (primarily English and Russian) write Wikipedia articles about Israel in those particular languages.

Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron said, “It is important to us that the education system in Israel leads in innovation and cooperating with Wikipedia is a wonderful opportunity to think outside the box and enable students in Israel to do things that make a difference from which others can also benefit.”

Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees said, “Israel is today among the leading countries in the integration of Wikipedia in the education system and academia. I hope our joint work model will also serve as an example to other education systems around the world.”

In the framework of cooperation that is already in place between Wikimedia Israel and the Ministry of education, several pilot projects are being conducted. The projects involve teacher training in good Wikipedia usage, article composition, Wikipedia article writing by gifted high school students and the teaching of proper Wikipedia usage to elementary schoolchildren. It is worth mentioning that through cooperation with academics in a variety of universities and colleges throughout Israel, hundreds of articles are written each year by students in courses. Thus students write Wikipedia articles as part of their degrees, sometimes even in lieu of exams or final papers. The Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University recently conducted a special 2-credit course on the subject of Wikipedia and medicine.

Survey results published last week as part of Wikipedia Academy 2014 Israel revealed that 84% of the Israeli public relies heavily on Wikipedia and 74% say that it provides all the information they need. Over one third of the population expressed interest in learning to write for Wikipedia.

Itzik Edri, Chair of Wikimedia Israel Board

The Weasel-Lobster Race

Since July 2013 Dimitar Dimitrov is Wikimedian in Brussels. In assorted blogposts he talks about his experiences vis-à-vis the EU.

Big Fat Brussels Meeting vol. 2

It’s five to three. A dapper man, slightly out of breath, enters the room and quickly makes his way to the front. The event started almost an hour ago, but despite double-bookings in his schedule, Marco Giorello – deputy head of unit “Copyright” at the European Commission – didn’t want to miss the debate on Mass Digitisation and Access to Cultural Heritage co-organized by Wikimedia and the Flemish Commission for UNESCO. He shakes a few hands on his way to the speaker’s table and immediately finds himself in the midst of a lively discussion about the future of European copyright.

The room full of Wikimedians, representatives of cultural institutions and international associations witnessed in-depth arguments around copyright and the internet. Besides Marco Giorello, there were speakers from the British Library, the Federation of European Publishers, DG CONNECT of the European Commission, the Flemish Centre for Expertise in Digital Heritage “PACKED” and Wikimedia. The challenge to represent our movement was hereby accepted and mastered by Jean-Frédéric Berthelot of Wikimédia France.

Copyright terms: Who can offer less?

Apart from digitization projects, the debate also turned to practical and legal issues. It was User:Hubertl from Wikimedia Austria who managed to not only hand out WLM calendars and chocolade to the speakers during the event, but also used the opportunity to bring up Freedom of Panorama in the EU and more specifically, its lacking harmonisation. Various conversations continued well after the official discussion had finished. Representatives from the European Commission Directorate-Generals for the Internal Market (DG MARKT) and Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT) seized the opportunity to exchange views regarding Wikimedia photographs, “Commonists” and other chapter folk. They took away a number of concrete examples illustrating the absurdity of current copyright legislation across the 28 member states and a lot of ideas on how to remedy the framework.

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A Collaborative Definition of Impact: Building Metrics Together

Voting wall at metrics brainstorming session, Berlin 2014.

What do metrics not tell us?

As part of the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, on Thursday, April 10, members of the WMF Grantmaking department’s Learning and Evaluation team held a brainstorming session around metrics with chapter representatives from around the world. The aim of the session was to start a conversation around what the evaluation metrics piloted in the (beta) Evaluation Reports tell us about our current programs and what they do not tell us, in terms of program impact.

Sharing evaluation information across the movement helps program leaders all over the world benefit from each others know-how and strategies for program design. Evaluation metrics are important tools to help make decisions like, how much time and how many resources should I invest? Every program has at least one purpose or goal behind it, and having a systematic way to measure the results of those goals helps program leaders to better tell the story of their programs; what worked, what didn’t, why or why not.

During the brainstorming session, we worked in two groups, one focused on image upload based programs, the other focused on text-centered programs, to start to answer three big questions:

  • What outcomes and story do the pilot metrics bring forward?
  • Where are there gaps in the story, or what outcomes do the pilot metrics not measure?
  • How else might we measure the outcomes that are not yet included in the story?

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Taking the stage: How we entered the Brussels Bubble

Big Fat Brussels Meeting April 2013. 1st meeting of EU-Policy Working group

Spring’s here again and we’re calling everyone to a strategy meet-up in Brussels! Join us in constructing our strategies and charming our way into EU policy-makers hearts and minds! Wikimedians along with all Free Knowledge enthusiasts are invited to help figure out our next steps in Europe. Prior knowledge about the Wikiverse or the intricate advocacy system is not necessary – diverse points of view produce better results!

Grouping the activists

At the first first Big Fat Brussels Meeting we discussed the inadequateness of the current copyright framework and focused on making some defining organizational decisions. As a result, a contact person in Brussels was implemented to monitor the EU, provide political intelligence, serve as a go-to point on EU issues within the Wikiverse and build up a network with other locally active organizations.

To establish our thematic focus, we mapped relevant issues (kudos to Anna Lena Schiller) and ran them in a community survey. The final step was to write out – as a group of European Wikimedia Chapters – a Statement of Intent, which was afterwards approved by the respective boards. This was done in London at the Wikimedia UK offices and will perhaps one day be considered the founding document of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU. The whole process can be regarded as an effort to define our goals, as well as define those who will help achieve it.

Activating the group

The Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU monitored and analyzed exciting topics like net neutrality and data protection for their possible effects on Wikimedia projects. We were also challenged to appear on stage on a few occasions: We drafted model answers for the European Commission copyright consultation, requested a study on the “economic benefits of the public domain and open licensing to the European economy” and tried to save (+here) the Collective Rights Management Directive in a last minute attempt.
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Developing Distributedly, Part 2: Best Practices for Staying in Sync

Staying in sync on a globally distributed team spread across timezones takes a lot more than using the right tools!

In part 1, we discussed the various tools the distributed mobile web engineering team at the Wikimedia Foundation uses to stay synchronized. While the tools are critical to our success, it takes a lot more to ensure that we can successfully work together despite the geographic distances between us. Our development procedures and team norms are the glue that holds it all together.

As with the tools we discussed previously, the practices and norms I’ll discuss below are by no means unique to—or only useful for—distributed teams.

Rituals

When you can’t just walk across the office or poke your head over the cubicle wall to sync up with a teammate, regular, structured moments for real-time, intra-team communication become critical. The mobile web team is a scrum-inspired agile team. As such, we use regular stand-ups, planning meetings, showcases and retrospectives to have some real-time, focused conversation with one another. Because we hold these meetings at a regular cadence and consider them critical touch points for the entire team, we think of them as rituals rather than regular meetings.

The WMF Mobile Apps engineering team holding a stand-up meeting with remote participation.

The stand-ups in particular are excellent for synchronization. Unlike traditional Scrum, we do not hold stand-up meetings every single day; rather, we do ours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We use this time to let everyone know what we’ve been working on, make commitments about what we will be working on, alert the team if there’s anything blocking us from getting our work done and quickly triage any bugs that have been reported since we last met. While we can always look in Mingle (our project management tool, see part 1) to see who is working on what and when, these brief meetings make it easier to raise issues and communicate about where further collaboration between teammates may be valuable.

Often, conversations about blockers and problem areas start during the stand-up and continue between the interested parties after the meeting has concluded. The meeting is kept short, time-boxed at 15 minutes, so there is little overhead; the meeting stays focused and we communicate just enough to keep us all moving forward.

The other rituals provide a great way for us to stay in the loop, bond with one another and allow the team tremendous influence over the product and our process. While their primary purposes are not about day-to-day synchronization like the stand ups, the other rituals are essential for reinforcing our self-organizing team. Particularly since we are distributed, these rituals are sacred, as they are the primary moments when we all know we can work together in real time.

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Starting an education program for small chapters 1.0

Education program leader has to be a didactic teacher of Wikipedia principles.

Education program leaders have to be didactic teachers of Wikipedia principles.

Hundreds of Czech university students have had a “different” homework during the past two years. Instead of writing essays that end up in the teacher’s drawer (or worse, garbage bin), they took part in the Czech program “Students Write Wikipedia” and made a Wikipedia entry which will last and serve as a source for thousands of Internet users. Similar university programs are running essentially worldwide and notable initiatives have grown in the United States, Canada, and Brazil. However, smaller Wikipedia communities (i.e., those writing in a less common language, such as Czech with 12 million native speakers) sometimes still struggle to develop a “Wikipedia education program” of their own. This article is meant to be a guide for Wikimedians from all those small communities, explaining the most important steps in the way toward a representative, yet organisationally simple education programs.

I originally intended to name this post something like “Education program in 10 days” or “10 steps toward your own education program”. Then I decided to go for a less cheesy  heading – but the essence remains that this light-hearted post should present a simple and straightforward way towards cooperation with universities in your country.

Be modest in the beginning

I remember how excited I was when I decided to start the Czech education program. The important thing, however, is not to overdo the whole process. Easily, you may end up as a tired Wikimedian who replies to dozens of e-mails every day and motivated teachers haunt him/her in dreams. Really, start by running one or two pilot projects. Choose teachers in which you have a high confidence (e.g.,  your own ex-professors) and assist them as much as possible. Not only will it guarantee a successful project, but the teachers will feel good about the cooperation and will tip off their colleagues.

Learn to be a teacher of Wikipedia

One of your key duties is to be able to explain what Wikipedia is, how you can edit existing articles and how to add new. This is not as easy as it may sound. In your first lecture, you will try hard to say everything that can be said about Wikipedia. The students will, naturally, feel very confused. Over time, you will find out that there is really LITTLE that your students have to know in order to become Wikipedians:

  • Everyone can edit Wikipedia. You do not own or sign your articles. Everything is released under a free licence.
  • Every article must not plagiarize, must cite sources, must be neutral and deal with a “notable” topic.
  • This is the edit button, this is the editing window. Here you have buttons to add hypertext links, images and citations. Be bold!

And give them places to ask questions – as many as possible: Wikipedia environment, chat, social sites, e-mail, … be thoughtful of students’ preferences.

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Who will lead the Arabic Language Initiative?

This post is available in 2 languages: العربية 7% • English 100%

"Welcome to Wikipedia" (Wikipedia brochure front cover in Arabic)

In English

The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to share the first draft of our Arabic Language Initiative strategy, and to invite applicants for the role of an Arabic Language Initiative Director (consultant) based in the region to lead the initiative. We are seeking a creative leader who is passionate about the mission of freely sharing the sum of all knowledge in Arabic. Great candidates will have an understanding of the challenges facing the Arabic Wikipedia and Arabic web content in general, and will have regional experience that enables him/her to navigate comfortably with communities from Marrakech to Muscat.

The Arabic Language Initiative was initiated in October 2011 as a catalyst strategy program alongside similar programs in Brazil and India. Our ultimate goal is developing a vibrant Arabic Wikipedia community that will build and sustain a rich encyclopedia that meets the aspirations of over 350 million Arabic speakers. Currently, there are 645 active Arabic Wikipedia contributors (as of April 2012) and we seek to expand this number to 1,000 within a year.

Over the past eight months, Wikimedia and the Arabic Wikimedia community have focused on empowering community participation in decision making, seeking out opportunities for partnerships in Arabic language countries, and learning from past and ongoing activities. Our approach for expanding the contribution base depends on online and offline programs. In April, we began work to design an editors contribution pilot program to develop new approaches to attracting and supporting new editors on Arabic Wikipedia. We have spent time in six countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia) to encourage the existing Wikipedia editors to build local communities and to form relationships with groups and organizations who share our mission and are interested in developing programs that help advance the Initiative.

We have already established partnerships with the Qatar Foundation’s Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) which provides partial financial support and seeks to develop supporting programs. We recently entered a partnership with Taghreedat, the popular Twitter-based initiative. They are planning to conduct Wikipedia workshops in a number of cities and are exploring other initiatives. We are working with groups in Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon to explore partnership opportunities and are on the look out for additional partners.

In July, we will conclude the first semester of the Education Pilot program in Cairo. To date, the seven participating classes at Cairo University and An-Shams University have successively contributed to editing 267 articles, adding more than 1.1 million bytes to the Arabic Wikipedia. We will be holding a workshop in Cairo at the beginning of July to review the results and plan the next steps for the program and we expect to expand the pilot in the coming months.

We will finalize the strategic plan after more community discussion and as we engage the Initiative Director. We welcome new ideas from the community and are seeking to support initiatives at the local level and/or new pilots on the wikis.

We believe in the strong opportunities of a growing and developing Arabic Wikipedia, and we need all hands in sustaining the growing momentum around the Arabic activities. Please keep an eye on our progress, share your ideas and actively reach out to us to become part of the mission that shall dramatically change the status of Arabic content on the web.

 

Moushira Elamrawy

Egypt-based Arabic Projects consultant

 

العربية

من سيقود مبادرة ويكيميديا للغة العربية؟
يسعد مؤسسة ويكيميديا أن تعلن عن انتهاء المسودة الخاصة بإستراتيجية مبادرة اللغة العربية، وذلك بالتزامن مع البحث عن مدير/ة (وظيفة إستشاري) لقيادة المبادرة. نبحث عن شخص مبدع، مؤمن/ة برسالة إتاحة المعرفة الحرة للجميع  ويتفهم طبيعة التحديات التي تواجه ويكيبيديا العربية ولديه/لديها قدرة على التفاعل بشكل سلس مع مجتمع ويكيبيديا العربي الممتد من المحيط إلى الخليج.

بدأت مبادرة ويكيميديا اللغة العربية في أكتوبر 2011، كجزء من المشروعات المُحفزة التي تضمنتها إستراتيجة المؤسسة، مثل مشروعي الهند والبرازيل. هدفنا الأكبر هو بناء مجتمع ويكيبيديا حيوي قادر على تطوير الموسوعة العربية لتلبي تطلعات ما يزيد على  350 مليون متحدث للعربية. حاليا يوجد نحو 650 مستخدم نشيط على ويكيبيديا العربية، ونأمل لدفع الرقم ليصبح 1000 خلال عام.

خلال الثمان أشهر الماضية، ركزنا على تفعيل مشاركة مجتمع ويكيبيديا في اتخاذ القرارات، وتطوير فرص التعاون والشراكة في الدول العربية، والتعلم من الأنشطة السابقة والحالية.  يعتمد منهجنا على زيادة عدد المحررين بالعمل على جذب مستخدمين جدد والترويج لويكيبديا سواء على الوِب أو بفاعليات وأنشطة على الأرض. في أبريل الماضي، أطلقنا برنامج المشاركة والذي يهدف لبحث وتصميم إستراتيجات فعالة تعمل على جذب مستخدمين جدد ومساعدتهم على التحرير، كذلك نعمل على الأرض في ست دول عربية مختلفة (مصر، تونس، الأردن، لبنان، المغرب والجزائر) حيث تواصلنا مع مجتمع ويكيبيديا في كل بلد لتمكينهم من قيادة أنشطة تعمل على جذب مستخدمين جدد، بالتعاون مع جمعيات أو مؤسسات غير ربحية، أو مجموعات عمل محلية.

لدينا بالفعل شراكات قائمة بالمنطقة، منها شراكة مع معهد قطر للحوسبة، التابع لمؤسسة قطر، والذي يقدم ببعض الدعم المادي ويسعي لتطوير برامج أخرى لدعم ويكيبيديا العربية، وشراكة أخرى مع مبادرة تغريدات الشهيرة بإطلاقها لحملة تعريب تويتر والتي تعمل معنا على عدة أنشطة مرتبطة بحملات على الوب وعلى الأرض، كما نعمل مع عدة مجموعات من الأردن، لبنان، مصر، الجزائر، تونس، المغرب.

بالرغم من أن أنشطة اللغة العربية حديثة العهد نسبيا إلا أننا أستطعنا بالفعل تحقيق قصص نجاح مثل برنامج القاهرة التعليمي الذي بدأ كتجربة في جامعتي القاهرة وعين شمس، والذي بالرغم من أنه لم ينته بعد، إلا إن الفصول السبعة المشاركة، استطاعت حتى الآن أن تضيف إلى الموسوعة 267 مقالة خلال الفصل الدراسي الثاتي لعام 2012، مضيفة أكثر من 1.1 مليون بايت إلى ويكيبيديا العربية خلال الأشهر الماضية.

سننتهي من الخطة الإستراتيجية بعد طرحها للنقاش المجتمعي وبعد أن يتم تعيين مدير/ة المبادرة. كذلك نرحب بالأفكار الجديدة التي يطرحها المجتمع، ونسعى لمزيد من الشراكات لتحفيز مشروعات على الأرض أو على الوِب.

نحن نؤمن بالفرص القوية لتحسين والنهوض بويكيبيديا العربية ونحتاج لكل العون لمساعدتنا على دعم استمرارية الحماس المتزايد حول الأنشطة العربية، تابعونا، وتابعوا تطورنا، وانضموا لنا لتكونوا جزءا من المبادرة التي من شأنها تغيير مستقبل المحتوى العربي على الإنترنت على مدار السنوات المقبلة.

 

مشيرة العمراوي

مستشارة للمشروعات العربية – مقيمة بمصر

Helping readers improve Wikipedia: First results from Article Feedback v5

Figure 1. One of the feedback forms tested in the AFTv5 experiments (Option 1).

 

The Wikimedia Foundation, in collaboration with editors of the English Wikipedia, is developing a tool to enable readers to contribute productively to building the encyclopedia. To that end, we started development of a new version of the Article Feedback Tool (known as AFTv5) in October 2011. The original version of the tool, which allows readers to rate articles based on a star system, launched in 2010. The new version invites readers to write comments that might help editors improve Wikipedia articles. We hope that this tool will contribute to the Wikimedia movement’s strategic goals of increasing participation and improving quality.

Testing new feedback forms

On December 22, 2011, we started testing three different designs for the AFTv5 feedback forms:

  • Option 1: Did you find what you were looking for? (shown above)
  • Option 2: Make a suggestion, give praise, report a problem or ask a question
  • Option 3: Rate this article

The purpose of this first experiment was to measure the type, usefulness and volume of feedback posted with these feedback forms. For example, does asking a reader to describe what they were looking for (option 1) provide more actionable feedback than asking them to make a suggestion (option 2)?

We enabled AFTv5 on a small, randomly selected set (0.6%) of articles on the English Wikipedia, as well as a second set of high-traffic or semi-protected articles. A feedback form, randomly selected from the above three options, was placed at the bottom of each page. The feedback form was also accessible via a link docked on the bottom right corner of the page.  The resulting comments were then analyzed along a number of dimensions.

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A new way to contribute to Wikipedia

We’re happy to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation has started testing a new version of the Article Feedback Tool, to engage readers to help improve Wikipedia — and to become editors over time. We’re very excited about this new development, and look forward to getting more people to contribute to Wikipedia as a result.

Earlier this year, a first version of the Article Feedback Tool (“Rate this Page”) was rolled out to all articles on the English Wikipedia.  The idea behind this feature was two-fold: to provide a measurement of article quality from readers and to provide a potential on-ramp for these readers so that some may become editors.  We found through our analysis that while direct quality assessment is a very tricky matter (a rating of the Justin Bieber page says as much about the rater’s opinion of Bieber as it does about the quality of the article), the use of ratings as a form of low-barrier participation showed promise.  We also received plenty of feedback from the community around how we might improve this feature.

In October, we began development of the next generation of the tool (AFTv5).  Instead of focusing on explicit quality ratings, we shifted the direction of the tool towards finding new ways for readers to help build the encyclopedia.  So rather than primarily asking them to rate the quality of the article, we are asking readers for their input on how to improve the article. We are still testing different lightweight quality metrics, as well.

We are approaching this development in several phases.  The first phase, which went live today, is a test deployment of three new versions of the tool on approximately 10,000 randomly selected articles on the English Wikipedia and on a small number of manually selected articles. For examples, see Android, Wikipedia, and Global Warming.

Here is one of the three versions that are being tested:

This new version of the tool asks the reader whether they found what they were looking for, and if not, prompts them to explain what is missing.  The intent of this version is to provide editors with some idea of feedback on what readers are actually hoping to see when they read a Wikipedia article.  This information may then be used by the editing community when deciding how to improve the page.  The other two versions also ask for reader comments, but with different questions: the second version lets you make a suggestion, give praise, report a problem or ask a question; the third version lets you review the article. These new forms were developed by OmniTI, a web development firm, and were based on designs created by the Wikimedia Foundation in collaboration with the Wikipedia community. To learn more, visit the AFTv5 project page.

We are inviting members of the editing community to evaluate the quality of the comments coming in from each of these three versions of the feedback form.  The goal is to determine which of these versions is most effective at providing high quality feedback that can help improve articles.  Aaron Halfaker, a Wikipedia researcher from the University of Minnesota and a WMF contractor, has developed an evaluation tool that will enable Wikipedia editors to systematically evaluate the quality of the feedback provided. Assuming that these new versions provide constructive feedback, the next step would be to expose these comments in Wikipedia.  To that end, a “Feedback Page” is now under development with community input, and will provide a space where editors can view article feedback, moderate the comment stream, and promote the best contributions to the article talk page.

Oliver Keyes, a member of the English Wikipedia community, is under contract with the Wikimedia Foundation as a Community Liaison to involve editors in this project.  In this role, Oliver is moderating discussions, collecting feedback about the tool, and working with the development team to incorporate this feedback.  Many of the ideas that are in the current test versions came from discussions with these editors.  We will continue to work with the community very closely in the next stages of product design and development. If you’re part of the editing community and want to get involved, please email Oliver (okeyes at wikimedia dot org). Our immediate need is to help evaluate the comment streams generated by each option.  Very soon, we will also need editors to help us design the Feedback Page, which will be used to review and potentially act on the feedback comments.

We hope this new feature can help engage a broader community of readers to provide constructive feedback on articles, share what they know and contribute regularly on Wikipedia.

Howie Fung, Senior Product Manager

Fabrice Florin, Product Consultant

Arabic Wikipedia Convening

Yesterday was the last day of our first ever Arabic Wikipedia Convening which was which was held in Doha and kindly hosted by QCRI. For 3 days, Arabic Wikipedians, academics and technical specialists, shared their thoughts on improving the quality of articles, increasing the number of contributors and the different models of engaging Wikipedia in education.

This is probably the first time Arabic Wikipedians, who are scattered across the Middle East, get a change to meet in person. It was our pleasure meeting each of Ciphers, Abanima, Ahmad, OsamaK as well as Rami Tarawneh, who is among the early founders of Arabic Wikipedia. On the first day and after brief introductions, Rami told us the story behind how Arabic Wikipedia started; what were the challenges that faced the community during the early days and how Arabic Wikipedia policies changed along with time. For the rest of the day and for the following couple of days, the discussions revolved mainly around three main topics: Machine translations, education and outreach. We listened to the lessons learned from a machine translation project that was carried out in 2009 on Arabic Wikipedia and we had a presentation by Bala Jeyaraman, who gave us a detailed and impressive talk about a similar project that was finished last March on Tamil Wikipedia. Naren Datha, from WikiBhasha team, also gave a small talk about how their tool works. In addition to machine translation, Frank Schulenburg gave a brief introduction to how our global education program operates in different countries, then we listened to a success story by the coordinator of WikiArabi project. Our last day included discussions around possible online and offline outreach strategies that can leverage both the content and the number of contributors of Arabic Wikipedia, we were also introduced to Arabic Web Day initiative.

The discussion helped the community communicate on a personal level, and present its culture and aesthetic to enthusiasts who are considering using Wikipedia as a platform for enhancing Arabic web content, and to the QCRI team who are currently helping our Global Development department render a number of solid projects on the ground across MENA.

The global development team will leave the 80°F/27°C Doha in a couple of hours, heading to Amman for a one day visit to The University of Jordan, before we go to Egypt, for meetings with professors at Cairo University, and with the Arabic Wikipedia Community.

A year ago, Arabic Wikipedia was nearly 120k articles, with a community striving to start an action on the ground in different places, by applying a chapter model in different locations across the region. Our MENA catalyst project is now bringing new possibilities, growing a more solid vision, with feasible funding and a work-in-progress action plan.

We shall keep you posted with our next steps and research findings, meanwhile, wish us luck in our MENA endeavors, a region which is hot, in many different ways.

Salaam!
Moushira Elamrawy
Global Development Team