Dear Gokul,

As I understand it, we need to use a mix of online and offline methods to
realize our mission: "Imagine a world in which every single human being can
freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."

Given this, I don't see why the spread of this knowledge through CDs and
PediaPress books would be against the wiki movement - am not suggesting
replacing the use of wikis or online methods, but adding to or supplementing
these through CDs/books/offline methods etc.

"Investing in offline products to broaden the movement's reach to
populations who will remain disconnected from the Internet" is one of the
planks of the strategic plan [2] currently being implemented. This is
already happening in some projects, including Wikipedia for Schools.



On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM, gokul das <> wrote:

> Dear Bishakha,
>                        Are you not defeating the fundamentals of Wiki
> movement by your view point:Quote"There were questions about how to take
> this knowledge to colleges in the state without access to the internet or to
> computers."Defend.
> Gokul
> On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM, jayanta nath <>wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Apologies for this big delay in reporting - between work, travel and the
>> rest of my life, I've been in a spin.
>> As previously announced on this list, Sanhita, a gender resource centre in
>> Kolkata had offered to host a half-day session on 'Gender, Information and
>> Technology' to explore, understand and plan how women's studies departments
>> in Kolkata's colleges might create content related to 'gender/women's
>> studies/women' on Bengali wikipedia, for use by colleges across West Bengal
>> (and of course, by anyone else).
>> The workshop was held on 18 March at the Seagull Media Resource 
>> Centre<>where the Kolkata 
>> wiki10 celebrations had been held in January - Sanhita
>> took on the venue rental and snack costs. Sanhita currently works with 18
>> women's colleges in Kolkata and West Bengal: it creates and distributing
>> information resources in Bengali on women/gender. It would like to
>> collaborate with a technological platform such as Bengali wikipedia to
>> further its goal.
>> Biswarup Ganguly, Jayanta Nath, Arnab Dutta and Rimi Chatterjee were the
>> wikipedians from Kolkata who led this workshop, along with Soma Sengupta of
>> Sanhita. I was invited along to bridge the gap between gender studies and
>> wikipedia. The entire workshop was conducted in Bengali; there were 30
>> participants - 28 women and 2 men, quite the gender reverse of other
>> workshops I've attended. Please see the 
>> photos<>that 
>> Biswarup took to get a visual sense of this.
>> Each of the 30 participants used English wikipedia - only 1 knew of
>> Bengali wikipedia; none used it. All the participating teachers are not
>> necessarily intending to edit wikipedia themselves in Bengali, but are
>> 'gatekeepers' to students. So they were more interested in a conceptual
>> understanding of wikipedia during this preliminary planning session, than a
>> hands-on editing demo.
>> Given the academic nature of participants, the first question was about
>> the authenticity of articles. How is this established? Along with talking
>> about the need for references and citations and the no original
>> research/verifiability principles, two examples [1} [2] were shown. The talk
>> page on Babri Masjid [1] was also used to demonstrate one aspect of the
>> editing process - how authenticity is constantly challenged and
>> renegotiated. The page on Begum Rokeya [2] attracted considerable interest,
>> since she was a pioneering figure in undivided Bengal to whom this group
>> could relate. The lack of citations about her was brought up, and the oral
>> citations project [3] was cited.
>> In a similar vein, the following pages were also discussed in detail:
>> Feminism portal [4], Gender Studies category [5] and Gender Studies project
>> page [6] - to see if something similar could be launched in Bengali
>> wikipedia with those present and others who had expressed interest via
>> email.
>> Since some of those present saw themselves as advocates, we clarified that
>> wikipedia is not an advocacy platform, it is a knowledge platform - and
>> discussed NPOV etc in this context.
>> There were questions about how to take this knowledge to colleges in the
>> state without access to the internet or to computers. We discussed the
>> creation of offline CDs and PediaPress books, using online content.
>> All in all, there was great excitement around the prospect of
>> collaboratively creating gender-related content on Bengali wikipedia - Arnab
>> and Jayanta demonstrated this. Rimi spoke about how she uses wikipedia with
>> her students, while Biswarup did a quick demo of Commons.
>> All of us felt "a positive energy" (to quote Rimi), specially about the
>> "practical concrete questions about next steps" (Jayanta). One disability
>> rights activist from an NGO called Sruti had suggestions for improving said
>> page in Bengali wikipedia - and
>> Sanhita confirmed that several participants emailed back the next day with
>> good feedback.
>> Hopefully, with this optimistic start, this will now go places - and
>> contribute not just to Bengali wikipedia, but also to reducing the overall
>> gender gap. A special thanks to Jayanta, Arnab, Biswarup, Rimi, and Soma for
>> excellent coordination, planning, camaraderie and teamwork to make this
>> workshop a grand success.
>> Cheers
>> Bishakha
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> [3]
>> [4]
>> [5]
>> [6]
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