Wikipedia is now all set for its first WikiConference in India which is scheduled to be held in Mumbai on November 18th, 2011. Delegates from any country can participate, but the conference will be quite India-centric, according to the event page on Wikimedia.
Here’s a quick overview of the schedule for the WikiConference which will act as a platform for Indian Wikimedians and Wikipedians to meet, discuss, and share their opinions regarding Wikipedia India issues, Indian language projects on Wikipedia, and discuss affairs in the Wikicommunity in India and abroad.
|Date||18th to 20th November, 2011|
|Venue||Convocation Hall, University of Mumbai (Fort Campus) & associated rooms|
|Accommodation||Sea Green Hotel and Chateau Windsor hotel (for those who receive scholarships)|
|Hosts||Mumbai and Pune Wikipedia communitites, Wikimedia India branch|
|Sponsors||Wikimedia Foundation, Eregnow.com|
|Social Media||[Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115620288536223) and [Linkedin](http://events.linkedin.com/WikiConference-India-2011/pub/758249) event pages, and official [Twitter](http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23wci11) account|
We recently spoke with the India program consultant to WikiMedia, Mr. Hisham Mundol. We discussed the WikiConference, a new Wiki course in the College of Engineering at Pune (CoEP), and how to be a Wikipedia contributor.
What is the conference all about? Why is it being held and how do you think it’s beneficial for Wikipedia?
This conference is going to be the first national conference held by the Wikimedia community in India. It’ll be fantastic for the existing community to meet up and share stories and knowledge and have a good time! We also hope that it will attract newcomers to Wikipedia.
Also, Wikipedia’s activities in India have increased as it has recently collaborated with College of Engineering, Pune launching a course in which over 800 students will contribute to the Wikipedia’s page as a part of their first semester.
Why did Wikipedia choose CoEP over top colleges like the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and National Institute of Technology (NITs)?
The College of Engineering at Pune has a wonderful reputation, student body, and faculty. We decided to do the pilot in Pune – and we’re honored the CoEP has agreed to partner with us. Right now, the college has the highest number of students enrolled in our program, anywhere in the world.
What benefits will this course add to Wikipedia as an organization?
The Wikipedia movement will gain tremendously because of the quality of content that students are adding, and will be adding.
What is the future plan? Is the organisation planning to launch this course in other colleges as well?
Our immediate plans are to continue with this pilot at Pune in the short term. We are looking at a roll-out to other colleges and cities. We’d love to hear from whoever is interested. For those who want to get involved immediately, an option is to start a Wikipedia Students’ Club. There are further details available on our outreach page.
How can one contribute towards the Wiki community?
The basic process would be to read those two links, create a user account, go to the edit button on the top right of any article and start editing! You can also contribute images and other media files to Wikimedia Commons which is amongst the world’s largest storehouse of free-to-use media files.
Lastly, How many Wikipedia contributors hail from India at the moment?
Right now, there are about 1,500 active editors in India – but that number keeps growing. We’d like it to become many, many times larger, and we invite anyone and everyone to join in!