Dear All, I am writing - on behalf of the Assamese wiki community ( http://as.wikipedia.org) - to share some very promising news from the beautiful land of the Brahmaputra.
Assamese wiki community is tiny and has about 20 active editors now, out of which 5 are very active editors. Assamese wikipedia has around 1050 articles now. Last year this time<http://shijualex.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/indian-language-wikipedias-2010-statistical-report/> Assamese wikipedia was having just 300 articles (that were created during the span of past 8 years) and just 4 active editors (and not a single very active editor). So during last one year lot of things happenned in the background which led to the current active status of Assamese. As an Indic wikipedia community member I congratulate all the members of Assamese wiki community who contributed to this change of status. Over the past few weeks the community has been working on basic community building blocks. As part of this, there are active community discussions on the village pump, through facebook<http://www.facebook.com/groups/assamwikigroup/> , mailing list <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikipedia-as> (which was created a few weeks ago<http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-as/2011-December/000000.html>), and through various other channels. The community is actively planning for various outreach programs to increase the number of active members and there by to increase the number of articles. As a result of this Assamese wiki community has decided to conduct an Assamese wiki meetup cum Wikiworkshop in Guwahati on 2012 January 29. I do not believe there has ever been any outreach sessions in Assam - though I could be wrong. Atleast this is the first out reach program for Assamese wikipedia. Over the next one week, there are going to be not 1 but 2 Assamese wiki outreach sessions! One in *Guwahati* and another in *Tezpur* . - Sunday January 29th at Guwahati University (Meetup page<http://as.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%A7%B1%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%95%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%AA%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%A1%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%AF%E0%A6%BC%E0%A6%BE:Meetup/GAU1> ) - Wednesday February 2nd at Tezpur University (Meetup page<http://as.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%A7%B1%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%95%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%AA%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%A1%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%AF%E0%A6%BC%E0%A6%BE:Meetup/TEZ1> ) Both these session are being promoted on facebook also to attract more Assamese speakers. Assamese wiki community expect around 20 participants in Guwahati, and at least 10 in Tezpur (though Tezpur has only just been posted so this is my guess; it could increase.) I am really excited by these developments. The Assamese community has realised both the importance of attracting newbies and also how to work collaboratively on outreach activities. There are also a couple of other things that I think are worth sharing. - Assamese community - like many community members in Indic languages - were struggling with how to go about doing outreach. To begin with, even something like a venue proved to be challenge and community members approached me since their resources are limited. I personally wrote to the Head of Guwahati University's Computer Sciences department, introducing Assamese wiki community and myself and asking for her help - and she has kindly agreed to give us a conference room with all the required facilities free of cost! The reason I am sharing this is, if other Indic wikipedians are wondering how to go about doing this, it is really simple: Be Bold! Just write and ask! Once you mention Wikipedia and what we are trying to do, there is a very decent chance of getting a positive reply. Remember that while we are doing a wikipedia program for our mother language wikipedia we are sending a powerful message to the speakers of the respective language. So be bold and continue to due more such programs for your respective mother language wikipedia. Language speakers will support us. - Assamese community is working on the FAQs booklet and other outreach materials that they plan to release as part of this meetup. These are being done in Assamese. I am helping them out. I am sharing this because if any Indic wikipedians need help on this, please feel free to reach out to me. I will help you. Also, do keep in mind that the only way things like this can work only if outreach materials are prepared in the respective language. Outreach materials in respective language has so much power to attract the newbies. Also, do share it with your fellow community members so they can use them. I want to conclude by sharing an Assamese quote ‘Bhāxār bikāx holehe jātir bikāx hobo’ which translate into "The nation develops only when the language develops." Do join in me in congratulating the Assamese community for their efforts and wishing them all the best for their community building efforts. This is the start of a very exciting journey! Kind Regards, Shiju Alex
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