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From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission

Wikimedia's Mobile & Offline initiatives

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Tomasz Finc

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)


Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Wikimedia Foundation

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

The Wikimedia foundation is involved in several mobile and offline initiatives. I'd like to inform/update the community about their successes and challenges along with what the future might hold.

Our biggest initiative thus far has been the development of our mobile gateway. I'd like to discuss it successes and current shortcomings

We've also partnered with Telecom partners like Telefonica and Orange to further the reach of our content and take advantage of their huge reach and technical aptitude.

In the first stages of each of these partners content re-use has been the main focus. Each partner has worked with us to find out the best way to present Wikimedia content to users that might not have ever known about the existence of Wikipedia and its sister projects.

While we've seen an increase in traffic from these initiatives, there has been one element that has been missing .. and that is contribution. So far all of these partnerships have been simple content re-use and while useful for overall reach has made one key part of the Wikimedia movement absent.

We've been exploring different ways to fix this including simple redirects from our partners that explicitly encourage visitors to edit the content to more elaborate approaches of mobile image data contributions. All of these are in development and were eager to see what our partners are able to put together that can positively impact our communities.

Other challenges include involvement in developing countries with low tech solution while at the same time providing innovative solutions for new smart phones.

Within the offline world we've been active as well. Currently there are three parts to discuss about our offline efforts.

DataDumps - These are the files that we make available to everyone for large batch consumption. We've had some technical difficulties lately but were happy to say that the system is moving again. Other talking points include their availability on both Amazon S3 and Goole Storage and App Engine.

WikiReader - openMoko has created a new type of device that function as an offline Wikipedia reader. It's been in the market for quite some time now and has received positive response from its early adopters

Offline USB Wikipedia - For a long time we've had a request to be able to hand out a full copy of wikipedia on an offline USB device. There have been various initiatives to do this and I'd like to give a status update on them.

As with mobile the contribution loop breaks when a device is disconnected. I'm very eager and curious to see how our community sees these devices contributed to the overall movement. Just because a device is disconnected most of the time doesn't mean that it's disconnected all of the time. From reading lists, to simple talk page postings there are various ways to facilitate the contribution loop.

Overall outline:

  • Mobile
    • *.m Mobile gateway
      • How its been doing
    • Partners
      • What they have achieved
      • What were hoping to see next
    • Fundamental challenges
      • Feature phones
  • Offline
    • DataDumps
    • Hardware Devices
      • WikiReader
      • USB Wikipedia
    • Challenges

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)


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  1. guillom 01:33, 21 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
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