Goa Wikipedia Group targets local writers, villages
A recently-formed WhatsApp network, the Goa Wikipedia Group, has brought together over 200 people who aim to build more Goa-related content in cyberspace, particularly on the Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that is created and edited by volunteers worldwide. Café logs in
With the aim of building more Goa-related content in cyberspace, particularly on the Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that is created and edited by volunteers worldwide, the Goa Wikipedia Group (GWG), a recently-formed WhatsApp network,has brought together over 200 people. One of the first events was an edit-a-thon, which is an organised event where volunteer editors of online communities such as Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, and LocalWiki edit and improve a specific topic or type of content. The event also included some basic editing training for new editors. It was held at the Central Library, Panjim, last weekend.
One of the GWG's goals is to promote freely-available Goa-related information on the Konkani Wikipedia gom.wikipedia. org.
Though many volunteers have put in long efforts to promote the Konkani Wikipedia for around a decade now, it still needs a lot of help to grow, and currently has some 3,500 articles of varying lengths on it. The Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Because its knowledge is sharable and can be re-used by anyone, it is a particularly attractive form of volunteering to create and share information. GWG is currently working on its 'Get a Goan Writer On The Wikipedia Campaign'. The goal is to create a page for as many prominent local authors, to encourage writers to become Wikipedians or Wiki translators, or to photograph a Goan writer and share the work with the globe via the Wikimedia Commons. "Your language deserves this, your region badly needs this...," said Frederick Noronha, who founded the informal GWG recently. The GWG, which can be joined by WhatsApping 9822122436, also plans to encourage people wishing to set up pages on various Goan villages, prominent and small, as a means to build more relevant, Goan content in the cyber world. Pune-based Denzil 'The Discoverer' Simoes pointed to the need for translating the Wikipedia interface, MediaWiki, into Konkani, to make it easier for Konkani speakers to access the site."We have to keep translating the Wikipedia interface because the messages keep getting updated, and new messages keep getting added," commented Denzil, better known by his Wikipedia username The Discoverer. "In the past, Darshan Kandolkar, Isidore Dantas, Vaisali Parab, and others have worked on interface translation," he added. Another crucial task is for sharing photos of various aspects of Goa – localities, prominent personalities, food, culture, festivals, etc – which can be easily downloaded and shared by anyone, from school children to researchers, under the freely shareable license of the Wikipedia. At the weekend's meetup, lexicographer Isidore Dantas, who co-created a Konkani dictionary, came specially from Pune. Others that took part included historians, Konkani language specialists, techies, etc. The initiative’s plan is to also do more online work through the internet itself, instead of depending only on actual meet-ups, and undertaking training while volunteers are actually on the job instead of having it classroom-based. "All volunteers are welcome, and we are willing to help. Goa needs more content in cyberspace in all languages – Konkani, English, Marathi, Hindi, even Portuguese, French or Kannada," the GWG said in a press note. The community space on the Konkani Wikipedia (called the 'tinto') is at http://bit.ly/konkani-tinto and discussions take place there.
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