Telenor, the Wikimedia Foundation and the Myanmar Wikipedia community have held their first joint workshop in Myanmar in order to create local content for Wikipedia, the world’s biggest free encyclopaedia.
The workshop was held at Telenor House in Yangon on Saturday 21 June and was conducted by experienced Wikipedia contributors. The event gave new volunteers an introduction and training in how to identify content for translation, how to edit articles and also how to teach new members of the Wikipedia community.
“We are excited to help bringing Wikipedia to the people of Myanmar and to start our partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation and the Myanmar Wikipedia community. We believe Wikipedia is an important source of information and have committed to providing access to Wikipedia for free to Telenor’s customers. Telenor and our staff are also actively supporting local initiatives to create content in local language on Wikipedia,” says Petter Furberg, CEO, Telenor Myanmar.
The Wikipedia volunteers, a mixture of Telenor staff and locals, at the workshop at Telenor House.
Content is king
Wikipedia contains more than 30 million volunteer-authored articles in over 287 languages, and is visited by more than 490 million people every month, making it one of the most popular sites in the world.
The Myanmar version of Wikipedia – my.wikipedia.org - currently only has around 30 000 articles in local language. Creation of content is the first step towards launching Wikipedia Zero, where Telenor customers can use Wikipedia for free, with no Internet charges, once the company launches its network in September.
Ngwe Tun is one of the first Wikipedians in Myanmar and conducted the workshop in partnership with Telenor Myanmar. “We need more local content in Myanmar language and our aim is to create a collaborative, growing ecosystem of contributors in the Myanmar community. More contributors mean more articles, which results in more usage of Wikipedia. This is a true initiative for the community, by the community. Knowledge is power and Wikipedia can offer a platform with reliable, useful and unbiased information,” says Ngwe Tun.
Ngwe Tun, who held the workshop, is one of ten Wikipedia experts in Myanmar.
Telenor Group signed a partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation in 2012 to offer Wikipedia free of data charges on mobile devices for Telenor customers in Asia and south-eastern Europe. The partnership agreement for Telenor Myanmar was signed in November 2013.
“The Wikimedia Foundation imagines a world in which every single person has free access to the sum of human knowledge. Through Telenor’s support, the Myanmar people can now participate in multi-directional knowledge sharing on Wikipedia,” says Carolynne Schloeder, Head of Global Mobile Partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation. “We thank Telenor for its support of the Myanmar Wikipedia community.”
Some of the volunteers at the Wikipedia workshop