imo there are a whole bunch of organizations and projects much better aimed and developed towards this question; I'd rather map them and contact the most developed ones instead of reinventing the wheel.
Cheers, Balazs PS: This "because we can" reasoning is very very thin btw. (source?) 2014-04-20 5:46 GMT+02:00 Milos Rancic <mill...@gmail.com>: > There are ~6000 languages in the world and around 3000 of them have > more than 10,000 speakers. > > That approximation has some issues, but they are compensated by the > ambiguity of the opposition. Ethnologue is not the best place to find > precise data about the languages and it could count as languages just > close varieties of one language, but it also doesn't count some other > languages. Not all of the languages with 10,000 or more speakers have > positive attitude toward their languages, but there are languages with > smaller number of speakers with very positive attitude toward their > own language. > > So, that number is what we could count as the realistic "final" number > of the language editions of Wikimedia projects. At the moment, we have > less than 300 language editions. > > * * * > > There is the question: Why should we do that? The answer is clear to > me: Because we can. > > Yes, there are maybe more specific organizations which could do that, > but it's not about expertise, but about ability. Fortunately, we don't > need to search for historical examples for comparisons; the Internet > is good enough. > > I still remember infographic of the time while all of us thought that > Flickr is the place for images. It turned out that the biggest > repository of images is actually Facebook, which had hundred times > more of them than the Twitpic at the second place, which, in turn, had > hundred times more of images than Flickr. > > In other words, the purpose of something and general perception of its > purpose is not enough for doing good job. As well as comparisons > between mismanaged internet projects and mismanaged traditional > scientific and educational organizations are numerous. > > At this point of time Wikimedia all necessary capacities -- and even a > will to take that job. So, we should start doing that, finally :) > > * * * > > There is also the question: How can we do that? In short, because of > Wikipedia. > > I announced Microgrants project of Wikimedia Serbia yesterday. To be > honest, we have very low expectations. When I said to Filip that I > want to have 10 active community members after the project, he said > that I am overambitious. Yes, I am. > > But ten hours later I've got the first response and I was very > positively surprised by a lot of things. The most relevant for this > story is that a person from a city in Serbia proper is very > enthusiastic about Wikipedia and contributing to it (and organizing > contributors in the area). I didn't hear that for years! (Maybe I was > just too pessimistic because of my obsession with statistics.) > > Keeping in mind her position (she said that she was always complaining > about lack of material on Serbian Wikipedia, although at this point of > time it's the encyclopedia in Serbian with the most relevant content) > and her enthusiasm, I am completely sure that many speakers of many > small languages are dreaming from time to time to have Wikipedia in > their native language. > > Like in the case of a Serbian from the fifth or sixth largest city in > Serbia, I am sure that they just don't know how to do that. So, it's > up to us to reach them. > > English Wikipedia has some influences on contemporary English language > ("citation needed", let's say). It has more influences on languages > with smaller number of speakers, like Serbian is (Cyrillic/Latin > cultural war in Serbia was over at the moment when Serbian Wikipedia > implemented transliteration engine; it's no issue now, while it was > the issue up to mid 2000s). > > But it's about well developed languages in the cultural sense. What > about not that developed ones? While I don't have an example of the > effects (anyone, please?), counting the amount of the written > materials in some languages, Wikipedia will (or already has) become > the biggest book, sometimes the biggest library in that language; in > some cases Wikipedia will create the majority of texts written in > particular language! > > While we think about Wikipedia as valuable resource for learning about > wide range of the topics, significance of Wikipedia for those peoples > would be much higher. If we do the job, there will be many monuments > to Wikipedia all over the world, because Wikipedia would preserve many > cultures, not just the languages. > > * * * > > There is the question "How?", at the end. There are numerous of > possible ways and there are also some tries to do that, but we have to > create the plan how to do that systematically, well, according to our > principles and goals and according to the reality. > > What we know from our previous experiences: > > * The number of editors has declined and, at the moment, without a > miracle (or hard work, but I assume the most of our movement is used > to miracles, not to hard work), the trend will continue. Contrary to > that, number of readers has increased. Unfortunately, in this case a > miracle is not necessary for that trend to end. > > * If we count languages with relevant statistics for editors per > million, the top of them belong either to the highly motivated > communities (Hebrew), either to the rich countries with harsh climate, > which makes writing on Wikipedia as a good fun (Estonian, Icelandic, > Norwegian, Finish), either to the community which belongs to the both > categories (Scots Gaelic). And it's around 100 users per million. > > If a community has 100,000 of speakers, it would mean that the > community would have 10 editors with 5 or more edits per month. In the > cases of the languages with 10,000 of speakers, it would mean 1 editor > with 5 or more edits per month. That won't work. > > I'd say that Scots Gaelic could be a good test (Wikimedia UK help > needed!). It's a language with ~70k of speakers and if it's possible > to achieve 100 active editors per month, we could say that it could > somehow work in other cases, as well. > > * Besides preserving languages and cultural heritage, we want to have > useful information on those Wikipedias. That's a tough job for many > communities because of various issues: from the lack of reasonable > internet access to the inherent cultural biases. > > But we have some tools -- Wikidata as the most important one -- to > create a lot of useful content. > > But the entrance level is very high. Editors have to know to use > computers well, as well as to think quite formally. That's serious > obstacle in areas without well developed educational systems. > > * Good news is that we have chapters in three countries with a lot of > languages: India, Indonesia and Australia (though, it's about very > small languages in Australia; though, Australia is much richer). So, > we have organizational potential. > > * There are, of course, a lot of other issues. Many of them, actually. > But if we wouldn't start, we wouldn't do anything. > > * * * > > As you could see, I wrote this not as a kind of plan, but as the set > of open questions. I'd like your input (first here, then on Meta): > What do you think? How can we start working on it? What do you think > it would be the most efficient way? Ways? Any other idea? > > I'd call you to give wings to your imagination. To be able to solve > that, we need bold ideas. At the other side, I'd appreciate people > with more organizational skills to give their input, as well. > > _______________________________________________ > Wikimedia-l mailing list > Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, > <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe> _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>