Technology Can’t Tell You Everything

When Annie Lin, of Wikimedia Foundation, had the task of making 60 Egyptian students edit Wikipedia pages into Arabic she sent out a survey to see what would motivate the kids, and the majority of students were motivated after seeing a comparison between the Portuguese Wikipedia and Arabic Wikipedia. The reason was because there were such low numbers of Arabic Wikipedia articles. The 60 students went at and translated/created articles for the Arabic Wikipedia, some really bizarre, that generated a lot of attention.

Wikipedia opened up information available to everyone and through that they were able to cross cultures. Technology has created this cross culture where it has become very hard to say one culture is only localized in one area yet there are still divides. Whether or not there is heat between the Portuguese and the Arabs, the Arabs felt angry when they saw that they did not have as much information out there compared to the Portuguese, so, even though technology allows cross culture there are still roots that are drilled into each community that are usually localized.

What these articles helped create was recognition for the Arabic community that could be shared to the world. With the use of social media and other internet gateways opened up opportunities for people and that was what Lin was trying to tap into. Wikipedia had a ‘translate’ function that could work but she said “many editors were entirely happy”. Lin wanted to work with people in the Arabic community to more accurately represent them.