Wikipedia shifts focus to India

It seems Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia, has turned its focus on India. As per reports, the website is trying to reach out to Indians as part of its expansion plans.

Jimmy Wales, founder of world’s fifth most popular Website, Wikipedia, has people hitting the ground in India to carry on studies and outreach exercises.

“This year our focus has been India. We have a few people on the ground in India; they’re there helping to solve technical questions, helping with outreach to universities, helping with PR -letting the public know that Wikipedia exists in all those Indian languages,” he said.

He said his organisation was carrying out pilot studies in India and intends to use the learning experience gathered from there in other regions as well.

“So, those are just some pilot projects in India that, as we learn from those, we’ll know what we’re going to do in other geographies,” Wales said. “And in our five-year strategic plan we did identify the Middle East and North Africa as a key area that we wanted to move forward in,” he added.

When asked about the role of social media in the Arab Spring, Jimmy Wales said he believed that it contributed a lot to the uprisings that toppled three entrenched regimes.

“It definitely did. Wikipedia is social media in the sense that we’re open to broad participation by the public, we invite people to get involved from the community, and that sort of thing,” he said.