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Submissions/Removing the barriers of access to Wikipedia

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission

Removing the barriers of access to Wikipedia

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Tomasz Finc

E-mail address



Tomasz Finc

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)


Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Everyone deserves access to Wikipedia regardless of what their technical or financial status is. Mobile phones have allowed nations all over the world to leap frog their access to information but the technological leaps have not been uniform. Smart phones tend to dominate technology headlines but low tech features phones like the S40 are still what most people use. The readers who have the most basic of phones with little to no funds for a data plan are exactly the ones that can benefit from Wikipedia the most. We have to reach these users if we truly want every single human being access to the sum of all human knowledge.

This talk will focus on how the Wikimedia Foundation in conjunction with volunteers and partners like the Praekelt Foundation has been moving steadily to develop alternate mobile access methods to Wikipedia so that further barriers to access are removed.

We will focus on a number of issues including but not limited to

  • Improvements to the existing mobile infrastructure to better support feature phones
  • Development of an J2ME S40 application to better support the most widely deployed phone in the world
  • Development of the MediaWiki Zero extension and how it'll allow people all over the world access to Wikipedia for free through our partners
  • Using SMS & USSD to access Wikipedia data free through a technology called Vumi
  • Ideas on how low tech phones can be contributors to the Wikimedia community as well
  • Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
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  1. Yuvipanda (talk) 22:39, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 23:08, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Guaka (talk) 22:48, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. All hail Symbian(S40/S60) Logicwiki (talk) 09:38, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Shujenchang (talk) 07:56, 26 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. iwilsonjr (talk) 16:47, 10 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
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