Free Your Knowledge 2014/Report

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Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2014

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Media Partner


Indonesian Wikipedia is the biggest online Encyclopedia in Indonesian language. There are 2.6 milion people visit the site and it has more than 300.000 articles in 2014 with only 45 very active contributors. The number of very active contributors are increasing compare to year 2010 when "Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2010" (Free Your Knowledge 2010) launched. However, that amount is not an ideal one and relatively stagnant for years, even though Indonesian Wikipedians community has been there since 2003. Moreover, the increasing number of articles that have been produced throughout these years does not mirrored the quality of the content. There are many entries from Indonesian Encyclopedia (hard copy one), which are important ones, missing from Indonesian Wikipedia. The fast growth of internet users in Indonesia needs to be followed by the growing of good and useful information for learning purposes. Therefore, there is a need to increase the amount of good-quality articles related to knowledge.

Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2014 (Free Your Knowledge 2014) is a three-months writing competition that using Indonesian Wikipedia site as it's base. The purpose is to enlarge the amount of very active contributors by inviting 90 elected participants from 10 universities in three cities, Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta. The participants got a training to make them familiar and be able to write in Wikipedia before they begun the competition. As a prize, one winner went to London to join Wikimania 2014.

The project starts in April 2014 and over in June 2014 when one winner is elected to join Wikimania 2014 in London.

The Contribution of the Project to Indonesian Wikipedia

  1. Before the competition get started, the number of new users for the last three months are 108 new users per month. When it begins, the number raise into 157 per month. Meanwhile, the number of active users for the last three months before and after the competition started are 407 and 469 per month. The sum of very active users for the last three months was 46 people per month, and after that it becomes 78 people per months.
  2. There were 90 new users from undergraduate background that joined Indonesian Wikipedia. Although few of them have had an account in Wikipedia, more than 90% of the participants are new users. By the June 2014, only 33 participants left and only 18 remains at the end of the competition.
  3. On the third phase of the competition, the participants produced more than 2100 stub-articles using entries from Indonesian Encyclopedia. Before that, the committee did a research by writing 1700 entries from Indonesian Wikipedia which begin with "A" and, even after the competition, only around 52% of the "A" entries that available in Indonesia Wikipedia. (look here).

Implementing Organization and project partners

Wikimedia Indonesia

Wikimedia Indonesia is a legal not-for profit organization established by volunteer with the goal of "free knowldege". The organization is a member-base association and officially recognize as local chapter of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non profit charitable organization based in San Franscisco, U.S. Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively eited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia.

Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Indonesia affiliation is strictly goal-sharing oriented one: free knowledge. Wikimedia Indonesia is an independently operate within Indonesia geographic area and is neither a branch nor funded by Wikimedia Foundation.

Established in September 5, 2008 Wikimedia Indonesia became Indonesian volunteer identity to meet, to build project, and to collect funding to make the organization's mission a reality. The "Free Knowledge" movement is a global effort introduces as an alternate approach to bridge the gap of knowledge because the absent of access to the information or the absent of the information itself.

Wikimedia Indonesia serve as the implementing organization of "Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2014" a three-month wiki based writing competition in Indonesian language Wikipedia. The project initiated to address problem of low participation in Indonesian language Wikipedia where selected participants from 10 Universities are invited to receive online training on how to write in wikipedia and compete for three months. As an incentive, one winner will attend Wikimania 2014 International Conference in London, England.

Project partners

The project will be considered a sucess if during the planning stages and implementation it involves the organization's stakeholders;

  • Media partners cooperation
  • Private companies cooperation by seeing a future similar projects as a good chance to do co-branding with the effort. While the organization may find private company cooperation could contribute to the organization's sustainability.
  • Government attention and cooperation
  • Universities cooperation meant that they will understand Wikipedia more, recognize the Academic potential in enriching it instead of campaigning in banning it from Universities.
  • Donor organization.

Implementation and findings

Planning stages and fund raising

At the stage of fund raising, the outcome was not really well, even though we had a very good-proposal. We prepared various documents aimed for different companies and other potential fundings from private and public such as Telkom Speedy, Garuda Indonesia, Sosro, Sido Muncul, Pertamina, and others, yet they were not interested in supporting our project. There were 15 companies that we tried and mostly gave a negative answers, by sending a letter of declined or not giving any response at all. Besides Ford Foundation as the main donor, Bank Mandiri then gave a small amount of money. Afterward, ACER is willing to give rebates for the laptops that were given to the best five participants at the second round. From the government side, it is the Coordinator Ministry for People Welfare that is willing to support this project.

After that, two months before the competition begun, Project Director recruits three interns as project committee. These people have already been used to Wikipedia; one of them is Indonesian Wikipedia bureaucrat. The background of this choice is to build a skillful team that can help participants effectively.

Internship is one of the organization's strategic planning because of the following: a) The project's budget is not design to pay for professional help. b) The organization product is capacity building, focusing on building capacity to disseminate knowledge freely. c) The scope of the project in three cities made the committee must work extra for this project. But with one committee resides in Bandung help the project to run better.

The committee met in Wikimedia Indonesia's office periodically. Most of the works are done online because each committe has their own activities, such school and work. Hence, through active communication, we were able to do our works.

Project director also noted how treating interns as equal by being transparent about the project funding and distribution affected in the interns attitude. Transparency initiate sympathy and emphaty, it is also create a sense of belonging to the project. The interns feel they own and operate the project.

We have one note on the partnership with Bank Mandiri. Because we do not have a deal on the amount of money they offer, the result is the amount they gave was too small so that Bank Mandiri only counted as a sponsor only in the first period. ACER, which has already declined our proposal, then agree to support our project by reducing the price of the laptops. Learning from these experience, we need to be more specific in our proposal about the amount of money if partners interested in this project.

University Participation

To invite universities participate in the project is not an easy task. The earliest communication, made by the Project Director, dated back since October 2013. Universities in Jakarta, which had involved in the last project, were easier to re-participate since they had already knew about the project. Four campuses in Jakarta agreed to join the project. Yet, more effort was needed to invite new universities, especially in get into the campus's bureaucracy and convince them about positive impact of the project to their campuses. Fortunately, it was personal connection with lecturer in those campuses that paved a way between Wikimedia Indonesia with universities's officials. After several meetings with the officials end, most of the universities agreed to join the project. Only two campuses responded negatively; the other six are positive. Therefore, total are 10 universities from Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta joined the project by sending representatives to compete in the project.

Informal agreement with universities's officials is an exceptional event since the funding needed for the project was not available at that time. Most of those informal agreements were followed with signing an official Memo of Understanding (MoU) between Wikimedia Indonesia and respective school. In this case, the middle persons, who mostly are faculty of those campuses, are the key and still important if Wikimedia Indonesia wants to offer other projects in the future. Several faculty members of those campuses who came to the 2nd press conference said that they were interested to host a local competition similar to Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2014 in their own campuses. Moreover, they also suggest Wikimedia Indonesia to gather the alumni/ae of all writing competition in one body in order to maintain good relationship.

The signing of memo gives positive impact to respective department or university because it will add some points in campus's accreditation. Besides that, banners and other publications that which contains the name and brand of the campus were good promotion tools for campuses. Another advantage for the campuses is self-development of their students who were trained in this project.

Another positive note is the universities are involved in hosting the writing workshops held in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bandung. Especially in Bandung, the department in Padjadjaran University even let their students who are not representatives to join the workshop in order to make them familiar with writing in Wikipedia.

One point that had been noted in 2010 and still relevant in 2014 is a fact that many universities are not connected with others. Most events that are funded locally are limited only to the host. It is very rare to find an event such this project that connecting participants from different campuses to know each other and compete in order to develop themselves.

Media Partner and Press Conference

Collaboration with mass media is one way of measuring the success of the project. Our official media partner is TraxFM, one of the most famous radio in Jakarta. Several online news sites and television that we asked to support the project did not give us any respond. Most likely it is related with the competition period that goes together with Indonesia general election that attracts most of media attention. However, the project still receive more than 15 coverage from media, including some governmemnt-related media.

TraxFM sent their representative to the 1st press conference and every time it held, they always put their standing banner next to Wikimedia Indonesia's banner. Moreover, TraxFM made an advertisement to promote the project and after the winner returnt from London, they will have a special interview session. Reciprocally, besides putting their brand in our publications, Wikimedia also promoting TraxFM through Tweeter.

Press conference is another important note because it was attended by campuses' representative, even those who came from Bandung and Yogyakarta. The ministry also very cooperative in preparing the press conference. On the 2nd press conference, Mr. Sudjana Royat as a deputy of minister was there too and gave a speech.

Evaluations and Implementations

  • After the project runs, the very active contributors in Indonesian Wikipedia increase almost two times. As can be seen in the graphic, competition-model project is effective in increasing the number of very active users (see graphic year 2010 and 2011 when we held Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2014 and Pijar Teologi 2011 (Beacon of Theology 2011)). The result shows that one purpose of this competition to increase the amount of very active contributors is achieved. However, it is also a fact that after the competition is over, the number are decreasing again. Therefore we need more ideas to increase the amount of very active contributors continually.
Very active contributor.png
Indonesian wikipedia chart very active contributor.png
  • All participants are successful in contributing around 3506 articles [1] in 88 days of competition. All of these articles, long or stub, are in a very good quality.
  • Besides that, participants were not only wrote an article but prove themselves as a member of Wikipedia community. Apart from their interaction in Warung Kopi, participants also actively discuss and vote in solving some issue. For instance, when there was a report on cheating that done by one participant, then they were discussed that matter (clik here to see the report click here to see discussion). Also when an issue regarding several participants who had joined the local competition but then compete again in Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2014 arose, the participants were actively discussed it and in the end 70% were involved in voting (click here).
  • There is no single universities that lost all of their participants in the early phases of competition. Until the last phase, all the campus still has representative. This is because the participants are supported by their universities, especially by their lecturer. Moreover, through meeting and compete with students from other campuses gave them more stimulus to survive the competition.
  • As has been noted in Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2010 report, funding is still become the obstacle since we still have had a hard time to attract funding from both private and public companies. Those companies are more interested in events that could gather a lot of people in a short time and promote their product compare to a project that increase the quality of human resources such as this project. Meanwhile, when the scope of the project is enlarged to three cities we need more funding as well. On the other hand, we got a very positive feed back from universities and be able to cooperate more, including in using their facilities to hold a workshop, and some campuses even pay the registration fee on behalf of the participants.

Media coverage

  • Indonesian Media Cover the Project

Pre-Competition and Early Publication

Writing Workshop

1st Press Conference: Launching the Project

2nd Press Conference: National Awakening Day and Appreciation to the Best Five

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