By Chris Onuoha
Wikipedia has introduced a new platform to make learning and local content development for Nigerians easier and more interesting.
The new platform called ‘Wikimaster’ and created by World of Knowledge – WOKCraft Inc., was recently launched in Lagos by the Wikimedia Foundation, Nigeria in conjunction with Goethe Institut in Lagos.
The event tagged, ‘Wikimaster Conference 2018’, was well attended by participants, and facilitated by Erik Bolinder, the founder of WOKCraft Inc.
Bolinder who developed the Wikimaster app in 2014, said that it is a way adding something unique to the education system without disrupting the existing established system. According to him, “it is a social media network for mobile learning.”
Describing how the platform works, Erik said, “We are trying to enhance Wikipedia by creating Wikimaster. We wanted to create a social network for learning, and so we created the Wikimaster. It is an app that has multiple choice questions on top of each other. Our community is called ‘World of Knowledge’ (WOK) where members are called ‘WOKers’.
It is open to everyone, you download the app, and become part of a global community where you can ask questions, answer questions, interact, learn and have fun.
Having Wikipedia as the basic component, questions as second component and social interaction by multiplication as the third component, we have created a dynamic network app in the Wikimaster.”
He however, expressed hope that the conference will spur content creation on Wikipedia by Nigerians, not just for the global community but especially as a learning platform for Nigerian school systems. “Wikimaster can help teachers create a more interesting way of learning for their students, and help the students develop their knowledge, while online.”
“Wikimaster is much younger than Wikipedia that has been around for 17 years. The conference here is the starting point of the awareness drive, followed by a quiz contest that starts in February 2018 to end by December 31, 2018. It is a quiz contest with prize money involved.
The national Wikimastercontest will enable Nigerian mobile phone users play and win. The prize is won by the first person to reach 1million wokbits.”
Olusola Olaniyan, President, Wikimedia Foundation Nigeria in a similar comment said, Wikimedia started in 2014 and we have been engaging Nigerians on how to use the platform.
We came into this because we believe that Nigerian local contents need the platform and the only people that can contribute to it are the Nigerians. In 2016 precisely, the Wikimedia foundation ran a survey that we have just 27% Nigerians using Wikimedia. We saw that as a big challenge for us and we decided to go all out to create more awareness.
In the process, we have reached out to so many schools, Organisations and individuals to key into this platform.
By holding this conference, we are opening a new ground to push it forward. We are partnering with the global Wikimaster that is second to Wikipedia. In Wikimedia, you don’t have only access to knowledge but also to create contents.
In Nigeria, many people only know that Wikipedia is about searching for information but in Wikimedia you can not only search for information but also create contents. Today, we are not only working on Wikimedia but also putting questions and answers for each of the articles you find in Wikipedia.
We are also working on a project called ‘Wikiloveswomen’ designed to encourage Nigerian women to create and write contents about themselves.
We discovered that 13% of every article created on Wikimedia represented women and we try to bring all Nigerian women in about themselves in conjunction with WFm Radio in Lagos. As a long time aim is using this to promote education, we designed app to help teachers and students learn faster through the app.