Wikis, desillusion and Lingala
Wikiwiki web! i.e. create webpages in no time with no stress.
It's been a while since I've started using Wikis, and it hasn't been too long since I started contributing to some. I've been busy with Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (mostly the English and more recently the French editions), not to mention the French edition of Wiktionary the free dictionary. These "free" projects have a lot of potential, but I have to admit it, I'm quite desillusioned, they still need a lot of work. The main problem, I think is that volunteers only work on what they like, which is totally respectable. But the encyclopedia ends up being partial on many subjects, with tons of articles on western countries and their cultures, and very little on the rest of the world. This isn't new, I'm not the first one to see this. But it really hit me, hard. See: Criticisms of Wikipedia and/or Critiques de Wikipédia.
I'm still hoping people will start contribute to the Lingala Wikipedia. Unfortunately, only a few people actually use Lingala on the web. When they do, it is mostly the common popular variation. I haven't found any litterary Lingala online. And it's hard to find books in that style either. Not to mention the low literacy in it (people know how to write French better than they can write in Lingala), mostly due to the fact that the technology doesn't allow for full language support and the sparse quantity of language reference.
A few month ago, we started a mailing list concerning congolese languages and technology. I hope to be able to collaborate in a spell checker, some translations, and maybe a grammar checker in the long run or even a "real" encyclopedic dictionary.