This is an unedited report of the lecture-cum-demo written by one of the
students who attended it.

*Wikipedia: Democratic Ritual of Knowledge Transfer *

What can I say about Wikipedia? Ok, let me ask, can you imagine a world
without Wikipedia? I always wonder who wrote, reviewed, edited, curated and
moderated 30 million articles in 286 languages. Answer is you and me and us!

Wikipedia, world’s largest and the most referenced work on Internet, has
been ranked at seventh position globally on Alexa as of June 2013. It has,
estimated, 365 million readers worldwide. Though numbers are impressive
enough to boggle one’s mind, what truly electrifies the spinal cord is the
way Wikipedia functions. Anyone from any corner of the world (Now, you can
ask if earth is round or square? Go to Wikipedia, you will get interlinked
references from Heliocentricism to Geocentrism, from Copernicus to Galileo,
from Copernican Revolution to Renaissance, and thus traverse the complete
circle of knowledge!) can write an article. Then some other volunteers keep
the wheel rolling by editing and validating the existing article and by
adding required citation, views and counterviews. This invisible
chain-reaction keeps flourishing Wikipedia just like an unnoticed food
chain of natural ecosystem.


On Saturday, 13th July 2013, workshop on Wikipedia was organized by
volunteers of Wikimedia Foundation, in association with SCM, Sophia
Polytechnic, Mumbai. The workshop was conducted by Bishakha Datta and
Rohini Lakshane from Wikimedia Foundation, Mumbai. After giving the brief
on history of Wikipedia, how Wikipedia functions and how one can become a
part of this knowledge thriving community, instructors and volunteers
facilitated SCM students to create articles on Wikipedia. SCM students
successfully created two articles on Dina Vakil, the first woman resident
editor of The Times of India<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times_of_India>'s
Bombay edition and Ritu Menon, the co-founder, writer and publisher of
India's first feminist publishing house, *Kali for
Women*<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_for_Women>.
The workshop truly helped students to realize that how the power of
technology, information and collaborative effort can drive people towards
the informed and knowledge-intensive society.

After attending the workshop I couldn’t stop myself and posted the
following note dedicated to my all friends:

·         Do you think 30 million articles in 286 languages is too loud a
figure? If you are sceptical, then that’s great. Go and investigate
further. Provide the correct figure (if the given figure is erroneous) and
yeah provide the reference/citation as well.



Bingo! That’s how the whole Wikipedia has been erected, by sharing and
contributing knowledge. Contribute about your locality, personalities,
culture, tradition, etc.

·         Believe in good faith. Knowledge is a path not the signboard. Be
in good faith, put information, views and counter-views with reference, and
don’t be judgmental. Neutrality is the nature of Wikipedia.

·         Acknowledge the effort. Not only when you write a research paper
or contribute to Wikipedia, but also when you receive help, love and care
of someone, do acknowledge. Democracy cannot exist without thankfulness and
compassion. Wikipedia is truly democratic way of knowledge transfer - for
the people, of the people, by the people.

-       Parth Vyas (22nd July 2013, Mumbai)



On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 5:35 PM, Abhijeet Safai <abhijeet.sa...@gmail.com>wrote:

> Great!
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