A decade of Bangla Wikipedia An open call
Close your eyes first. Now try to think of a world without Wikipedia. Surely your heart skipped a beat. Because that is how significant role Wikipedia plays in your life. Currently Wikipedia is the richest free content encyclopedia in the world. Wikimedia Foundation, the parent organization, manages this encyclopedia in 285 different languages. Since its maiden voyage in 2001, Wikipedia became the 6th most popular website worldwide with a staggering 30.5 Million articles &10 billion hits per month. Last year, mobile based visits boosted up to 51%. Keeping the pace Bengali Wikipedia has also crossed 28,000 articles. Recent research reveals that Bengali Wikipedia got 46% increased hit in Dec'12-Dec'13.
And this year it's celebrating its 10 years anniversary. In the last decade, many Bengali speaking people have contributed to the enrichment of Bengali Wikipedia. Sadly, the rate of entry of article is not proportionate with the number of visitors. We have more readers but fewer contributors. Thus volunteer organizations like Bangladesh Open Source Network, Wikimedia Bangladesh, Open Knowledge Foundation Network are working heart and soul to raise awareness and get the commoners involve to enrich this knowledge base.
The process is really simple, to be honest. Anyone can startup an article by themselves. And starting an article does not necessarily mean that you will have to finish it. This is where the beauty of true human spirit lies. When you start, other wikipedians will help you complete your article. Once your article gets approved, other users will come to know about it. This is how we are moving forward. If you are someone who spends hours in social spaces then you are the perfect person to contribute in Bengali Wikipedia. Everyday just take an hour or so to contribute or edit an article. However, before adding anything, it is necessary to decide whether the information is worthy of inclusion in the Bengali Wikipedia. That's why, try to know about the topic in detail and then start writing your article. After starting the article you can ask for help from other Wikipedians. In case of adding images we would recommend to use your own photos. Also you may send us your photo. We will upload your photo including your name. In that case you must add a small photo description and add this line at mail box "I release this photo under GNU free documentation license and CC-by-SA-3.0".
Many can now access Wikipedia for free with their cell-phones. Under the initiative 'Wikipedia Zero', two leading telecom operators are providing this service. That's why we need to contribute more so that people can find information by using this free service. So we make this open call: Don't hesitate. Join us and start contributing to enrich Bengali Wikipedia, today.
The writer is tech-journalist and an Administrator of Bengali Wikipedia. He can be reached: [email protected]