Hello all,

I am sending this mail, as I am soon going to be leaving for Kolkata and as
such a particular incident reminded me how we can do a free of cost basic
outreach, to spread the word about Wikipedia. The incident occurred when I
was traveling from Mumbai to Kolkata, just after the conference, and not
having time to change, I boarded the Duronto with my conference t-shirt on.

The passengers in the compartment I was in, though initially kept to
themselves, started speaking to each other as often happens on long (28hr)
train journeys. Very soon the focus shifted to my t-shirt and the resultant
was that I ended up explaining the world of Wikipedia to them for hours.

I should mention, it was a very varied crowd and maybe that is why it
happened. There was a lawyer, a psychiatrist, a scientist, an engineer, and
a couple others whose occupations were unknown to me.

I won't say it was very fruitful, or that I showed them any live demo or
ppt. Rather I focused on a few crucial question which were on their minds:

   - What is Wikipedia?
   - Who runs Wikipedia?
   - Is Wikimedia a sub-project of Wikipedia?
   - Who edits Wikipedia?
   - How many employees are there and how many volunteers?
   - Is it really free? If so, how does it earn money?
   - Reliability of Wikipedia - If anyone can edit, is it reliable?
   - Who monitors info?
   - Copyvio and reliable sources
   - What do I get out of it, if not money?
   - Role of a Campus Ambassador
   - How to edit?
   - Why edit?
   - Edit what?
   - Presence of Indic language wikis
   - How to edit Indic language wikis
   - Sister projects like Commons, Wikibooks
   - Entry of Foundation in India and creation of India Chapter

However, as it was my first journey, I did not note down their emails to
follow them up. The number was also limited, only 6. But hey, it was free
and killed a lot of time, while at least telling people that Wikipedia can
be edited and it has indic languages as well as sister projects. Hence, a
sincere request to all Wikimedians. If you are traveling in a long distance
train journey, try wearing a Wiki t-shirt if you have one. If you don't but
the audience seems interested go over, say hello and ask where they work.
When they ask you back, say, "WIKIPEDIA" and see the reaction. That should
get you started.

You can always try it. If it fails, then the only thing is you have to wash
your Wiki tee at most. But at least you spread the awareness. I am not
saying that this will retain people and inspire them to start editing, but
at least they might go back and try and look at Wikipedia in a different
way, or seek out new info.

Am again going to wear a Wiki tee on my journey, will tell you if i have a
similar experience.


- Lets make this world a better and more informative place*
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