Free Your Knowledge 2010/Narration report

Free Your Knowledge 2010/Narration report

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Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2010

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Media partners


The Indonesian language Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia site in Bahasa Indonesia. It has 1.2 million visits per day and over 100 thousands articles as of 2009 with only 30 very active contributors. However, for a site that "anyone can edit", not everyone knows how to edit it.

Established in 2003, the Indonesian language Wikipedia community realizes it is much easier to read (consume) than it is to contribute. This atmosphere has hurt the growth of its content and the number of editors, leaving a small number of very active contributors stagnant for years.

Bebaskan Pengetahuan 2010 (Free Your Knowledge 2010) is a three-month wiki based writing competition in Indonesian language Wikipedia. The project initiate 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 2010 International Conference in Gdnask, Poland.

The project begins in February 2010 with internship program training for the competition committee and ended in July 2010 when a winner emerges from the competition and depart to Gdansk, Poland.

Problem analysis

Statistic show that one of the Indonesian Wikipedia's problem is a stagnant number of very active contributors for years. Indonesian language is the official language of Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, and yet the project only has +/- 30 very active contributors.

There are several reason why this may happened;

  • Low penetration of internet access in Indonesia
  • Indonesians are not familiar with volunteering possibilities beyond religious-activities, disaster, and poverty relief.
  • Academic and social media trends in Indonesia pushed creativity towards business and entertainment models for profit, while there are not many opportunities exist to channel creativity/ volunteering effort for a non-profit or not-for-profit.

Another problem that may hurt the sustainability of the effort is the existing generation gap in Indonesian language very active contributors. In its early days, the Indonesian Wikipedia's leading volunteering contributors ranged between 25 to 40 years old. These people were mostly professionals with an educational background from undergraduates to master's degree in various subject of interest.[1] Recently, the average age of very active contributors became younger (too young) with age 13 to 20 dominating off article conversation. This generation gap impairs knowledge transfer because it i difficult for these two groups to communicate and understand what each other wants nor reach a consensus. The project's target audience addresses this problem by making its participants age range from 18 to 25 years old.

SMART (Specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic, time-bound) Goal


The goal was to address specific problems:

  1. Low level of participation in Indonesian Wikipedia
  2. Lack of sufficient knowledge on how to contribute
  3. Lack of sufficient knowledge of the importance and benefit of having high-quality online encyclopedia in Indonesian language
  4. Lack of awareness of how Wikipedia operates.


The project aimed to double the number of existing very active contributors using participatory approach for 72 days.


From Februrary to June 2010 the project's effort focused in raising awareness (road shows to 10 universities), increasing knowledge (training), changing people's attitude (having them committed to participating), and capacity building by introducing a new skill (hands on practice to write online using a clear, neutral approach to subject matter in highly readable format).


In doing all the above, the project integrated the wiki technology in the participant's daily life for 72 days. Participants were also encourage to advocate free knowledge movement and volunteers during and after the project took place. The goal was that with one hundred percent participation from participating universities, on third of these participants would turn to very active contributors, doubling the current very active contributor number for two months.

Sub-goal of the project also to introduce the initiative nation-wide by holding press conferences together with Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics. Hopefully with the help of mass media coverage, it will create demands for a broader scope (national-level) competition.


The project should be completed before Wikimania 2010 began in July 9, 2010.

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 2010" 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 2010 International Conference in Gdansk, Poland.

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

During the planning stages, project director recruited three possible interns as project committee. The interns have never edited Wikipedia before; one of them didn't even know what it is, while others stated "vaguely heard about it".

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) Having interns working in the project boot the organization's potential outreach in the intern's university.

Because Wikimedia Indonesia did not have an office, interns were train in public places such as cafes, restaurant, or inside the University's library. They were taught to deliver by target and result. Meeting for project coordination take place twice or three times a week. Successful internship will have to manage their time carefully in able to deliver. If the interns are not discipline in managing their time, the project will suffer. All interns are made aware of these possibilities.

The absent of an office turns out to have two positive consequences:

  1. The project taught the interns to work independently with minimum supervising. The interns became creative; and judging from the amount of time spent from the interns in managing the project, the interns also become very productive with minimum supervision/ motivation.
  2. Awareness about the organization and the project. Interns coming to a meeting in public places wearing the project's shirt triggers public interest. Strangers came up and asks questions about: "What is free knowledge?" written across the shirt.

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.

Surprisingly project director find fund raising more difficult than expected. Although the proposal was designed by professional designer who volunteered to do the work and request are carefully crafted to meet different kind of stakeholder's need. Private company who could benefit from the effort, i.e. Hewlett Packard, Zyrex (laptop), IM2 (internet based ISP), Telkomsel (communication network provider) did not deliver. Instead, Pertamina as an energy company, find the project exciting and treat it as a business funding instead of a grant-giving model.

University Participation

One of best practices of the project is establishing contacts with Universities. Although at first some of the university bureaucracy is difficult to penetrate, the effort turns out to be valuable in the end.

Surprising findings during Universities road show is how the Universities did not link with each other; all universities-funded events are very local, limited inside the university. Capacity building for students was mostly seminars where students receive one way communication model, or entertainment-based events. When external event did happened, it rarely involves academic as active participants.

Project Director also find that the benefit of holding a writing competition for inter-university went beyond the organization's mission. It actually benefit the university's more. Mercu Buana University and Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Jakarta admit that banner installed in their Universities and statement letter confirming participation in Free Knowledge Effort help accreditation of their faculty. Hans Abdiel from Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Jakarta, is a runner up in the competition, he boost the university's name and pride.

" Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Jakarta is the oldest theology school in Jakarta, yet only very few know what we are or where we are. This competition not only introduce the public about our school, it is also enables our student to exercise their talent, we have very smart students, and we admit that we are short-handed in that (competition in academic level) department. That is why we welcome events such as this one." - Stephen Suleeman (STTJ)

Media partnership and press conferences

Collaboration with mass media would be one of the project successes. The project receives support from and TraxFM radio. It also receives 36 news coverage. Most of the coverage contribution comes from partnering with the government.

Evaluation and result

  • During the competition, Indonesian very active contributors number doubles. Worldwide, this effort would be the first time a volunteer effort or a project actually impacted wikipedia activity that can be seen clearly through statistic.
Double contributors - not so bad at all.png
  • The participants contribute a total of 1,386 articles [2] within 72 days of the competition - all of the articles were a very high quality short and long articles.
  • A participant from Pelita Harapan University even notice that the competition standard,if apply to all Indonesian Wikipedi articles, will make Indonesian language Wikipedia excel than any other language.
  • Although trained to contribute using a high quality standard writing, when the competition is over, only three participants stayed to edit further as volunteer. The winner, Kartika Sari Henry, wrote and explain how she is not interested to involved socially in Wikipedia, since she thinks "there are many weird people". It is a challenge for the organization to change this image. Kartika also mentioned that in order to get more people (like her) involved, and I quote:
"We need a purpose..."

To this date, writing for wikipedia is limited to a hobby, although it provide great benefit for all.

  • Another interesting findings from a project point of view is; more than one day project will need a full time personnel in central administration. Doing it part-time will jeopardize the project's potential success and goal.
  • While funding received for this type of project through a grant from public resources (i.e. Foundations) is helpful, it's also problematic because a grant scheme doesn't allow the organization to independently fund future projects; the scheme will lead the organization to continually cling for support. To turn this into a sustainable model, this type of project needs a combined public-private partnership funding in oder to move forward and become sustainable.

Multi media mix result

  • Indonesian public outreach using multi media mix approach
    • Mass media (mainstream)

First Press Conference: Project Launching

  • Print:
  1. (Inggris) The Jakarta Post: Indonesian Wikipedia Seek Local Talent
  2. (id) Jurnal Nasional: Indonesia Need More Encyclopedia Writer
  3. (id) Berita Kota: Wikimedia Holds Writing Competition republished through web from news website agency
  4. (id) Bisnis Indonesia: Indonesian Language Wikipedia Progressing Slowly on New Articles
  • Radio:
  1. (id) Media partner: Kompak Kampus (United Universities) Radio Talk Show in 101.4 Trax FM for Project Launching (22 March 2010)
  2. (id) BBC Indonesia radio morning news segment for education content from Press Conference 1 (30 March 2010)
  3. (id) KBR68H News Agency 20 minutes phone interview on 5 April 2010, morning talk segment, relay by 6,000 radio stations throughout Indonesia.
  • Electronic (web-based publication)
  1. (Inggris) The Jakarta Post: Wikipedia Supporters Hold Writing Competition
  2. (Inggris) The Jakarta Post: Indonesian Wikipedia Seek Local Talent
  3. (id) MSN through Wimedia Indonesia Hunts Volunteers from Campuses
  4. (id) Media partner Vivanews: Wikimedia Launch Free Your Knowledge Contest
  5. (id) Media partner Vivanews: Wikimedia Indonesia Launches Writing Competition
  6. (id) Indonesian language Wikipedia rank 18 out of 270 projects
  7. (id) Let's Join Indonesian Wikipedia Writing Competition
  8. (id) It's Difficult to Merge Wikipedian and Blogger Community
  9. (id) Reference makes Wikipedia different than a blog
  10. (id) Indonesian Communication and Informatics Ministry Support Wiki To Enrich Indonesian Content Availability
  11. (id) Bisnis Indonesia: Ministry of Communication and Informatics Embrace Digital Content Wikipedia Indonesia
  • Entertainment news by Free Knowledge Ambassador: Christian Sugiono
  1. (id) National TV stations (can not be monitored however pictures can be seen here)
  2. (id) Detiknet: Indonesian Wikipedia Ambassador Announce Writing Competition
  3. (id) Christian Sugiono Proud Being an Active Contributors for Wikipedia
  4. (id) Sriwijaya Pos: Christian Sugiono Writes Article for Free
  5. (id) Koran Writing Competition in Indonesian Language Wikipedia
  6. (id) Christian Sugiono Willing to Beg for Funding
  • Wikimedia Indonesia official website:
  1. (id) Press release
  2. (Inggris) Press release

Empowering Community

Community focused

  • Blog
  1. (id) Blog by participant Agung Wiseso Mercubuana University: Free Your Knowledge 2010 Indonesian Language Wikipedia
  2. (id) Blog by participant Isabella Apriana Faculty of Teknobiology Catholic University of Indonesia Atma Jaya
  3. (Inggris) Blog by Gerard M: Bebaskan Pengetahuan
  4. (Inggris) Blog by Gerard M: The "Bebaskan Pengetahuan" is a Go
  5. (Inggris) Blog by Gerard M: Proof of pudding
  6. (Inggris) Blog by Gerard M: The Future of Wikipedia? Women!
  7. (Inggris) Mozilla in Indonesia (a section in Gov stance on OSS about Indonesian Language Wikipedia competition)
An integrated social network scheme implemented between public, the competition participants and community through facebook.
  1. Increases fan based in facebook Wikimedia Indonesia page. Before the competition begins Wikimedia Indonesia facebook page has 1,100 fans in mid March, in mid June it jumped into 1,656 fans.
  2. Activity in chapter allowing an increase interaction in Wikimedia Indonesia facebook fan page and stabilized this interaction while the project last.


  1. (id) Illustration photos
  2. Participants contribution