Barry Newstead and I (from the Foundation’s Global Development Department) had the thrill of going to visit our friends in Brazil over October 7-10: what an awesome country and community! We had two stops this time: Rio de Janeiro, to participate in an all-day event at the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), and São Paulo, to participate in a community meet-up (WikiSampa10) and present at the Universidade de São Paulo (USP). The trip centered around two key themes from our end: research and university outreach.
Research regarding Portuguese Wikipedia
During the trip, we were able to present some preliminary analysis regarding the Portuguese Wikipedia (PT-WP) and brainstorm about some causes for its current state. PT-WP shows a high turnaround, with about 40% of editors in a given month
consisting of newcomers, and in addition scored lowest on the Wikipedia Editor Satisfaction Index” (for more information on the index, see past blog post). Daniela Feijo – a researcher out of Porto Alegre, Brazil – has been working with WMF for the past month and lead the discussion on some preliminary thoughts regarding possible reasons for this.
Beginnings of Global Education Program – Brazil
It has been clear that the youth of Brazil will be the catalysts for growth in the country at large, and we want Wikipedia to benefit from the passion and intelligence of this demographic as well! To that end, we are thrilled at the Education Program currently occurring at UNIRIO, which involves the incorporation of editing Wikipedia into the class syllabus for two different courses: Roman History and Multimedia Systems.
In addition to supporting the work of the currently ongoing courses, we were eager to present the idea to new schools, and we spent Monday afternoon under the hospitality of USP. We are excited about the potential of working with them in the future.
Though the work was pushed forward, there is still much to do! As mentioned above, we are pushing forward on the research and Education Program support, but the Brazilian community is working on some really cool initiatives themselves, including the development of a chapter and conducting an Editing Sprint! Stay tuned for the exciting things to come…