WikiConference India 2011 Report
This page is a placeholder for the report(s) from those awarded scholarships to attend WikiConference India in November 2011 .
Last year between 17 & 20 November, Wikimedia Foundation India organised the firstever WikiConference India. The aim of the conference was to provide a common platform for the Indic language wikimedians. Wikimedia India was formally approved by the Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation after the recommendation of the Chapters Committee in June 2010 and India became the 29th country to host a Wikimedia Chapter. The Wikimedia Chapter was formally registered as a Non-profit Society vide Registrar of Societies, Bangalore Urban District on 03 Jan 2011. Not to be surprised that India has 22 official languages as per the constitution and additional 100 more languages have more than 10,000 native speakers. The conference was organised in the economic capital of the country, Mumbai in the historic Mumbai University campus.
Jimmy Wales delivered keynote address at the inaugural ceremony of the conference, event that was attended by around 700 participants, where Jimmy stated that it was just bigger than any wikimania conferences he had so far been. There was a tight schedule with back to back sessions with enough time for discussions. In access to 50 various sessions were organised for speakers to present their works in 4 major tracks. Foundation had also arranged to recognise notable Wikimedians from across the country. Unfortunately majority of the recipients of this award were absent, but their community members shared touchy memories of the users. I got a chance to share my views and express gratitude for the recipient of the award from Gujarati Wikipedia, the community that I was representing in the conference with the help of Wikimedia UK's scholarship. On the first day, there was a session organised to present State of Indic Wikiprojects, which was my first chance to speak to the gathered wikimedians. It was really a fantastic idea, where people from all over India knew about the language wikipedia which many of them had never heard about before.
I made a presentation on the second day on the Growth of Gujarati Wikipedia, which was well attended and question answers provided attendees more insight into the state of project. We gained a few contributors for the gu.wiki as well. I was really fortunate to attend the conference as it not only provided me a platform to share my experience and views with the wider community, but also provided me a chance to interact with other wikimedians and wikimedia India chapter office bearers. The overall organisation of the whole conference was very good apart from the arrangement for food. Food was served in pre-packed meal manners, which could have definitely been done better. But no complains, organisers had taken all care to arrange varied entertainment programmes despite of busy schedules throughout the day, with a party on the first evening and city sightseeing tour as well as heritage walk on the last day of conference.
Also, along with the conference, there was a Hackathon arranged too, which was another superhit. I wish I could attend all the future events of the nature.