Could someone please post this report on the outreach wiki?
I'm sure a number of wikimedians deserve to enjoy this.

- Sundar

 "That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for 
the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture


>
>From: BalaSundaraRaman <sundarbe...@yahoo.com>
>To: Wikimedia India Community list <wikimediaindia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
>Cc: Nivash S <balaniv...@gmail.com>
>Sent: Tue, February 22, 2011 9:59:45 AM
>Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] A report on the Trichy wikimeetup/workshop
>
>
>Awesome, Bala! Seems like a wonderful workshop.
>Thanks to all those who helped.
>
>- Sundar
>
> "That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for 
>the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
>- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture
>
>
>
>>
>>From: Bala Jeyaraman <sodabot...@gmail.com>
>>To: Wikimedia India Community list  <wikimediaindia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
>>Cc: Nivash S <balaniv...@gmail.com>
>>Sent: Mon, February 21, 2011 9:34:19 PM
>>Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] A report on the Trichy wikimeetup/workshop
>>
>>The NIT-Trichy Pragyan Workshop report:
>>
>>Just got back from an awesome two days at NIT Trichy. This is only my second 
>>evangelism/outreach event. I have been uncomfortable shedding my 
>>semi-anonymity 
>>and showing up in public for a long time, but these two days have taught me 
>>what 
>>i have been missing. The following report is written in an anecdotal first 
>>person perspective and naturally feature me prominently :-). 
>>
>>
>>Day 1:
>>
>>On day 1 we (Tinu and me) opened the Wikipedia stall at around 11.30 AM. 
>>Srikanth joined us sometime later. We had been allotted a 12X10 Ft stall. 
>>Students started trickling in soon after. The first day we made our pitch to 
>>around 100 students or so. We also met four or five guest speakers / 
>>panelists 
>>like Ajay Agarwal, CMD of Maxx group, Narendra Shenoy, director at Unimold, 
>>Vice 
>>Admiral SKK Krishnan and Stefan Engeseth of Detective Marketing. The response 
>>was overwhelmingly positive with students saying that they will edit in the 
>>future. Most of the students we met claim they a) know they can edit 
>>wikipedia 
>>and b) have made some minor edits. Some admitted they didnt know they could 
>>edit 
>>and some believed they contribute only to articles on academic subjects etc. 
>>We 
>>gave them the standard - give back your knowledge to the world + participate 
>>in 
>>an exciting world wide project pitch. Except one wikiskeptic who cribbed 
>>about 
>>the 16  million dollar budget, rest were appreciative of Wikipedia and its 
>>work. 
>>We also distributed a flier (attached as an odt file - commons doesnt support 
>>office office documents) to the people visiting the stalls. The flier was 
>>designed by me and Srikanth and. I believe it will work well for other indic 
>>wikis ( a small customisation effort is required to replace Tamil with the 
>>relevant language).
>>
>>The day wound down and we were thinking about packing up around 6, when we 
>>met 
>>the guy who made our day.  We saw this bespectacled kid staring at us 
>>curiously 
>>and pointing out our banner excitedly to the adult who accompanied him. We 
>>beckoned him to come over and asked him patronisingly has he heard of 
>>wikipedia. 
>>The kid says yes. Have you edited wikipedia, we ask. He says yes for that 
>>too. 
>>We look at each other meaningfully and say.. "what did you do? correct 
>>spelling 
>>mistakes?". "No", he replies seriously,  "i correct wrong facts". He is an 
>>eighth standard student from Coimbatore and has been editing wikipedia for a 
>>couple of years now. It took some time to get over our shock and get his user 
>>ID. He says he does not use it much and edits logged out most of the time. He 
>>was also not aware of that a talk page exists for each user id and people can 
>>communicate with him. We showed him how talk pages can be used and asked him 
>>to 
>>edit logged-in  in the future.
>>
>>And thats the story of our run-in with  [[en:User:Bvajresh]] and the youngest 
>> 
>>(serious) Indian wikipedian, i have come across. Here's picture of us with 
>>him 
>>(http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trichy_Wikimeetup1_2060.jpg) There 
>>was 
>>one more surprise on day 1. While we were having dinner at the hotel, a 
>>father 
>>and son pair wandered up to our table and introduced themselves. They had 
>>seen 
>>our T-shirts and said they liked wikipedia very much. (Brand appeal!) We 
>>invited 
>>them to next day's workshop, but they were leaving Trichy the very night and 
>>couldnt accept the offer.
>>
>>Day 1 had definitely ended on a high.
>>
>>
>>Day 2:
>>
>>Day 2 began at 10 with the workshop/presentation in the NIT computer lab. It 
>>had 
>>a seating capacity of around 100 and was filled up completely. Apart from NIT 
>>students who had registered and were selected to attend the session (yes they 
>>had more people registering than there were seats!), there were also students 
>>from other colleges around Trichy who showed up for the session. Three middle 
>>aged wiki enthusiasts also attended to hear about Tamil wikipedia. One of 
>>them 
>>was a HOD of the Computer science department at an arts and science college 
>>near 
>>Trichy. He was impressed with our workshop and said from now on he will 
>>encourage his students to edit wikipedia.
>>
>>Tinu started the presentation with a general introduction to Wikipedia, the 
>>foundation, its history, the various projects languages etc. In the Q&A 
>>session 
>>that followed, someone asked how someone without paypal/credit cards can 
>>donate 
>>money to the foundation. We explained the cheque mailing method and assured 
>>him 
>>that there will be more options in the future.
>>
>>I did the second session. We went through how a typical wikipedia page looks 
>>like, what is a talk page, how to view revision history and practised editing 
>>in 
>>the sandbox. I took up the Sachin Tendulkar page in en wiki and showed them 
>>how 
>>the content is sourced and how a page gets updated when facts change. There 
>>were 
>>the usual doubts about reliability, who will monitor disruptive activities 
>>and 
>>who will ensure the  accuracy of the content. Next i switched over to Tamil 
>>wikipedia and explained how easy it is to contribute using the typing tool. 
>>(A 
>>big thanks to Junaid, Shiju and our other ml wiki friends). Here we took up 
>>the 
>>example of the 2011 assembly election article and learnt how to write 
>>neutrally 
>>without our prejudices getting in the way. There was again a brief question 
>>session, which featured some insightful questions about our external links 
>>policy, handling regional language variations (srilankan Tamil vs Tamil Nadu 
>>Tamil), using  Wiktionary, the difference between Wikibooks, wikisource and 
>>wikipedia. Srikanth took over next and the third session was about wikipedia 
>>hacking - bots, mediawiki, programming tools, databases, scripts, software - 
>>stuff that usually frightens me. This was again followed by a brief 
>>question-answer session. 
>>
>>
>>While Srikanth was answering the questions, i discovered that someone from 
>>the 
>>room had edited the ta wiki article i used as an illustration  to correct a 
>>grammar mistake. And also someone from the crowd had done what he termed 
>>later 
>>as a test edit (something cluebot in enwiki would label as "vandalism?").  
>>The 
>>second edit had been reverted 12 minutes later by ta wiki Admin Kanags 
>>(editing 
>>from Australia). We were able to use this as a sort of real time demo how 
>>edits 
>>are monitored and accuracy/integrity maintained in wiki projects. (We got 
>>lucky 
>>with that :-)). There was an loud gasp of surprise from the audience when we 
>>showed how the vandalism was reverted within minutes. The session ended with 
>>Wiki 10 celebrations - cake cutting and photographs. Unfortunately the 
>>T-shirts 
>>from the foundation have not reached the organisers and they weren't able to 
>>give them out - we had to make do with chocolates, pins and laptop stickers. 
>>The 
>>entire  workshop lasted from 10 to 12.30 and was well received. (I have an 
>>invite from Amrita University, Coimbatore to do a similar workshop there :-)) 
>>Microsoft Wikibasha's Saravanan attended the session and we all had a long 
>>and 
>>deep discussion with him about how important it is for the corporates/outside 
>>orgs to speak to the community and get involved at the project level to avoid 
>>misunderstandings and getting better results. After the presentation was 
>>over, 
>>it was back to the stalls. This time we shifted to a open air stall near the 
>>food court to be nearer to the crowd thronging the food court. The stall 
>>remained open till 3.30 PM and had another 50 more visitors. 
>>
>>
>>Another good thing that came out the stall was we were able to convince the 
>>members of the NIT photography club to CC/SA licence their work and upload it 
>>to 
>>flickr/commons. There was an exhibition of their works in the same area where 
>>our stall was situated and featured several high quality images, that can be 
>>used to illustrate articles on Indian subjects. They have promised to set up 
>>flickr stream for their works with appropriate licensing. 
>>
>> 
>>So there ends the long story of my visit to Trichy. A special thanks to Tinu 
>>and 
>>Srikanth for egging me on come out and face the crowd and enlightening me 
>>about 
>>the necessity for outreach work. And another special thanks for student 
>>organiser Nivash and his team for their outstanding hospitality and giving us 
>>a 
>>chance to connect with such an enthusiastic audience.
>>
>>Here are some photos from the event -
>>http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Tiruchirappalli_Meetup_Feb2011
>>
>>regards
>>Bala Jeyaraman
>>[[en:User:Sodabottle]]
>>
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