Editors on Wikipedia are constantly working to improve content related to their countries, cultures, cuisines and everything else that makes their identity. This post is about the latest and perhaps the biggest ever on-wiki collaboration by members of Wikiproject India – “Tag and Assess 2012,” which ran for three months. 68 editors from every corner of India and from all over the world participated! Here is what a (very) few of them had to say.
Why Tag and Assess?
The drive is all about “comprehensive housekeeping”, says the project page. Basically, it was geared towards reassessing the importance (high, middle or low) and quality of articles (stub, start, C…) on all articles related to India. It started out with a massive pool of 93,800 stub and start class articles, with an aim to expand the scope of Wikiproject India to more India related articles, and to take stock of the quality of the present articles.
Primarily started by User:Ssriram and User:AshLin in March 2012, the drive was announced and publicized across mailing lists as well as on the noticeboard of the project.
Ssriram, a coordinator of the drive explains, “I was not a part of the first drive, but the second time is huge. 60-65 participants with 10-12 active contributors all the while. I am the highest contributor but, Users: VasuVR, Soumitrahazra, Madhuric, Gauravpruthi, Dwaipayanc, DBigXray, Animeshkulkarni, Amartyabag and importantly Yasht101 have been terrific contributors!” Most importantly, he noted, the drive was instrumental in motivating relatively new editors to increase their edit counts. At the same time it encouraged them to work collaboratively, tackle the backlogs of fellow contributors and leave messages on their talk pages. All these helped bring the India community closer together.
Ssriram says that “community building and worklist building have been the major outcomes. It also shows actually where we are as a project. The outcome rests on the scaling up of all the stubs/starts. I have been in touch with most of the participants and many have became good friends as well! Most users who came on board started assessing articles from the states they belonged. For instance, User:Kondicherry from Gujarat started assessing the subproject, Gujarat.”
Another major contributor, User:DBigxray, chips in, “The biggest attraction of this drive was the opportunity to interact with other members of WP India.” Along the way, User:Yuvipanda built a tool to help editors work faster and more efficiently. DBigxray acknowledges this: “Yes, the tool developed halfway through the drive made the job much easier.” He further adds, “WP India is a large project with a relatively low number of members. More stress should be given on finding and welcoming Indian editors and mentoring them so that they can help in improving the project.”
Young editor User:Yasht101, who had just started editing English Wikipedia in January 2012, assessed more than 4000 articles alone!As if this was not enough yet, inspired by the success and scale of this initiative, he proposed a similar drive for WP:Pakistan and offered to help. The service medals, inspiring talk page messages, guidelines from experienced users for new ones, and eventually the successful clean up of these many Indian articles have set the India community abuzz again! This is exactly the kind of momentum and energy that large communities need to mobilize a large number of editors.
The logic next steps after tagging and assessing is improving! A bunch of editors have already started working on this. I am sure everyone wishes them all the very best in this.
Hoping that this newly regained zest lead the community to other projects, bigger projects and greater success! Stay tuned or join WP:India here!
Noopur Raval, Consultant (Communications), India Program
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