KOLLAM: From the seven-year-olds Achu Kulangara, Aswin and Sai Ram to the 70-year-old A J Johnson, all delegates were busy attending sessions.
The Malayalam wikipedia community’s meet, ‘Wikisangamotsavam’, saw the gettogether of wikipedia enthusiasts cutting across age, educational and professional barriers.
The man most excited about the meet was perhaps Barry Newstead, Chief Global Development Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, who flew down to attend the two-day programme which began at the District Panchayat Hall here on Saturday.
Speaking to ‘Express’ on the sidelines of the meet, Barry Newstead was all praise for the Malayalam Wikipedia Community for sticking on to quality and education oriented content.
“The good thing about Malayalam community members is that they don’t focus on politics or personal gains and instead are volunteers who engage productively. They build these projects with the prime motive to share knowledge with the next generation,” he said.
Newstead said that the State Government support for wikipedia community’s activities and the active involvement of students and teachers would take the Malayalam wiki a long way. “The Malayalam Wikipedia is the most innovative and constructive among Indic languages and expectedly will grow as a model that can be emulated by other languages,” he said.
Responding to questions on the errors made by editors and propaganda material in wikipedia, Newstead said that the increase in the number of contributors would make entries accurate and unbiased. “For example, if we have an article on Israel-Palestine issue, we would have two versions. Then a third group comes. We should not underestimate the third group. They will be the ones who can give us an accurate picture of the issue,” he said.
According to Barry Newstead, the target of the Malayalam community should be to increase the editor base to around 500 in the next two to three years from the present figure of 100.
Hisam Mundol, consultant of Wikimedia India Programme, too feels that an exponential growth is the need of the hour for Malayalam Wiki. “Think of just 100 editors contributing contents for the whole Global Malayali population. We need more editors who can actively contribute in Malayalam,” he said.
About 23,429 articles (as on April 23) featured in the Malayalam Wikipedia and can be accessed at http://ml.wikipedia.org.