Experiences From the Wikipedia Academy

The first Wikipedia Academy got off to a nice start today. For those of you new to the concept, its an effort to teach and encourage more people to contribute to Wikipedia in terms of knowledge. Most of us just consume Wikipedia but don’t bother to edit or add any information. The academy is a small effort to change that.

Within a few hours of tweeting about the event, the registrations overflowed the small capacity my office could hold. We opened up an ‘overflow’ section and that got full as well. The next Wikipedia Academy is planned for December 12th for which Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia Founder, will be present as well.

That’s Mr.Gangadhar Bhadani, one of India’s most prolific wikipedian. He is the Chief Manager of Bank of India’s Pondicherry branch and yet 2 to 3 hours every day contributing to Wikipedia. So passionate is he that, he hired a cab on his own cost from Pondicherry to Chennai to teach at the academy. That’s quite a commitment and the participants were highly appreciative of his effort.

The nearly 3 hour session dealt with advanced editing techniques, how the volunteering hierarchy works, how to grow up the ranks to be an editor. Our small office make it look like a packed standing-room only session!

I realized the sore need of a projector. The folks at the end of the room had difficulty following the edits on the computer screen. With Wikipedia academies planned at a regular scale, it would be great if corporates can help donate a projector. It could even be an old one. It would be of great help for future sessions.

ExpressBuzz, a New Indian Express publication had a nice write up about the Wikipedia Academy. The whole idea behind the academy is to make it viral. Anyone can conduct one in their neighbourhood. All it takes is just the intention. For anyone wanting to start one and need advice, feel free to call me at 98415 97744 or email Kiruba[@]Kiruba.com. I’ll be more than glad to help. The more people contribute, the better wikipedia becomes.

  1. bitterscotch Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Awesome, will make it for the next one. And maybe i can do an openstreetmap academy too 🙂

  2. Mark Hughes Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Wow. I would have loved to have been there.

    I now admire Mr.Gangadhar Bhadani even more.

  3. Gayathri Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    The next one is planned for dec 12th.That is a friday.:( Could it not be held over the weekend,please.

    Gayathri S

  4. Anonymous Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    didnt u own a projector @ ur office at all?

  5. Prasanna LM Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Kiruba, Good initiative. Keep it up. Though, I am not involved with any public Wiki’s, I really love the concept of wiki. I am maintaining my own private wiki from quite some time. I will surely consider to be a part of the public wiki in the near future.

  6. Hi Kiruba.
    Your initiative is highly appreciated. I am happy that I was a part of it.Looking forward to contribute more to Wikipedia.

  7. Jegadesh Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Hi Kiruba,

    Let me know when will the registration of nexe wikipedia opens.. In this post it is mentioned as 12th dec. Please let me know if the date is confirmed, so that i can try applying leave 🙂

  8. joseph08 Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Hi Kiruba..Do let me know the next session of Wikipedia Academy in Chennai..I would be glad to attend it..my number is 98844 51651 ..Thanks for your contribution..Take Care..Regards, Joseph..

  9. Kumaran Says: May 21, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    you dont need a projector a simple webcast will help

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