As you know, the Arabic version of Wikipedia is struggling in terms of content. Many articles are just small stubs that are infrequently updated and maintained. I understand that most of us use the English Wikipedia because more people globally are maintaining it. However, the Arabic language remains the mother tongue of the vast majority of people living in Arab countries, and not everybody online is comfortable with the English language. Add to that the large number of small school children who can not really benefit from an English Wikipedia as much as they could from an Arabic version. The presence of an Arabic encyclopedia online is imperative, yet Arabic Wikipedia is still struggling.
What do you think should be done to remedy that ? Does the Wiki model or the single-source (Encarta/Britannica) model work best for Arab users ? What are your thoughts on this subject ?
There has been some discussion on Questler (excellent site btw) on this topic. It has been suggested that maybe university professors should encourage their students to submit information to Arabic Wikipedia as part of their “class project”. Another suggestion is to start an online campaign promoted by us Arab bloggers to encourage people to engage more in Arabic Wikipedia. We can also have a “Write to Arabic Wikipedia Day/Week” that is carried out by the community of Arab bloggers (i know that a similar event has been done in the past, but it did not engage bloggers as much and i believe bloggers are more energetic on this regards). This event could also be done in collaboration with Arabic startups like Yamli that will make it easier for people to type Arabic if that is a barrier.
I am interested in discussing this issue with you. What are your thoughts on this ? You can join the discussion either on Questler, or by leaving a comment on this blog.