Wikipedia Archives


Of all the sessions that LIRNEasia people spoke at (eight officially; nine if the one where I was asked to speak on our big data work is included), the zero-rating session had been the most controversial. Understandably, it has drawn the attention of journalists. Helani Galpaya, CEO of LIRNEasia noted that mobile phones have a high penetration across countries in South-East and South Asia, and that there even exist a fair number of low priced data plans. However there are many at the so-called bottom of the pyramid for whom even a low priced data plan is still challenging. Zero rating has helped them come on aboard.

Is it wrong to require citations?

Posted on August 8, 2011  /  0 Comments

CPRsouth, LIRNEasia’s primary vehicle for capacity building, places great weight on the practice of “standing on the shoulders of giants,” also known as conducting literature reviews, and referring to previous work through citations. Is this an importation of an alien Western practice? Is there an alternative? Our objectives and those of Wikipedia are not the same. Still, it may be interesting to see if there is anything to be learned from the Wikimania debate.
The chicken and egg question when one asks about BOP use of the Internet has always been whether there is relevant content in languages those at the BOP understand. Help is on the way. Both the Wikimedia Foundation and Google are promoting local language content and translations. Rather than look to experts to get its mojo working, the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that operates the Wikipedias in more than 250 languages, is aiming at the underserved populations of the globe to meet its ambitious goals for growth. In a speech on Friday at the start of Wikimania, in the restored home of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, the foundation’s executive director, Sue Gardner, said the foundation planned to double in size in the next year by adding 44 employees and hoped to raise more than $20 million in donations.
The Grand Trunk Road, which covers a distance of 2,500 km today, says Wikipedia, is one of South Asia’s oldest and longest major roads. For several centuries, it has linked the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent, running from Bengal, across north India, into Peshawar in Pakistan. The road also passes through the only road boarder between the two most powerful South Asian nations, Wagah. Wagah border point, often called the “Berlin wall of Asia”, is a ceremonial border where each evening there is a retreat ceremony called ‘lowering of the flags’. At that time there is an energetic parade by the Border Security Force (BSF) of India and the Pakistan Rangers soldiers.