User talk:Snowyla

Latest comment: 11 years ago by Sumanah in topic Register for Berlin hackathon


Do you think you can move your notes to a subpage? Thanks Johnduhart 00:46, 22 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia Hackathon 2012[edit]

Wikipedia Hackathon 2012 in San Francisco.

Location: Parisoma

Wikipedia Hackathon - SMS Project[edit]

Notes for Wikipedia Hackathon - SMS Product


Phone Numbers[edit]

  • Twilio (Owned by Judy) - 415-599-2671 sandbox
  • OpenVBX Phone # (415) 599-2671 Pin: 1514-2249

Around the Web[edit]


WikiEngine - twilio gallery WikiEngine is a .NET database application used for searching Wikipedia and other wikis running MediaWiki through a text message medium. It allows user to search Wikipedia without using a data plan or saves the user time and data usage. It can find what the user needs in two clicks, rather than the 20 or so needed to use a data plan (Opening a browser, entering Wikipedia, activating the search box, entering the word, hitting search, waiting for it to load, etc.)

Saturday Afternoon[edit]

  1. January 21, 2012 15:49 - Romy set up Judy + Neil K on an OpenVBX at
  2. OpenVBX is set up with a phone number and menu tree but no content.
  3. Judy & Neil got the SMS app working! rad! hosted on heroku + on github.
  4. Judy's sandbox - it's working! 1-415-599-2671
    1. MO: text 39406402 wikipedia entry to +1 415 599 2671

Product Flow Notes[edit]

SMS App Flow[edit]

We now have a Wikipedia SMS App working. !

  1. Flow
    1. MO: text to 415 599 2671 with the "39406402 wikipedia entry"
      1. Please get your phone number verified with Judy Tuan first.
    2. System: calls you back and reads you the wikipedia entry.
  2. Github

Car Voice Application Notes[edit]

Problem: Too many people text while driving
Summary: This is a hands-free voice version. A user would be able to access it while driving their car, for example when they are stuck in traffic.
=== Try it out! ===
(415) 599-2671 Pin: 1514-2249
* this is only a simulation using OpenVBX, not a working model.
* Prototype assumes that user has called in and vocally requested: "Ballet" entry
=== Car voice Application flow ===
  1. User calls our phone number while they are in the car.
  2. Our service greets the end user.
    1. Example copy: Wikipedia Service. What should we read to you?'
  3. Pause
  4. Our end user speaks into the phone with a request.
    1. Example: "End user says: Ballet"
    2. Our service interprets user-spoken term "Ballet" using the twilio voice mail transcribe piece
  5. Our system returns a reading of the request to the user on their phone.
    1. End user can listen to the wikipedia entry without having to type to text

Voice Editor Transcription[edit]

  1. Deeb suggested a user-initated voice only mobile voice application in which the user can call a phone number, create an article template (not finalized) and then speak the content and edit it later for review. This creates a text draft that is put into the Wikipedia system as a stub.
    1. Romy: Tie voice only user stub entries with geolocation => this would be really great for drafts for Wikipedia entries involving tourism walking tours
      1. Example: Wikitravel walking tour of San Francisco - imagine if this entry were not typed entirely at a computer but verbally transcribed into a draft as our Wikipedia editors wandered the walking tour on foot
      2. Example: Imagine a driving tour entry on Wikitravel - Editors will be much more emotionally involved if they can verbally transcribe a draft driving down a freeway, then edit later.
      3. Advantages: Some intelligent people are much better at speaking (think of all the great oral tales from Homer, etc) than they are at writing things down on a computer.
      4. Advantages: Wikipedia editors would reach out to more older, non techie people, also reach out to people who might be dyslexic or hyper and have problems writing things down on a computer interface.
=== Notes for Voice App ===
  1. Ford SYNC - MySync - This app could be installed into a proprietary automobile system. These are rolling out now--Ford is one of those at the front of the pack.
  2. Romy: I live in the San Francscio Bay Area, and there is a lot of traffic here. Americans have long commutes and are on the road constantly. Texting while Driving is a terrible problem, but so is boredom. This would be nice to have... especially if the product could also be optimized so that the voice recordings are more natural sounding.
=== Similar Applications ===
  1. Pediaphon
    1. German application that focuses on taking text requests from the web and turning them into mp3s
    2. Includes a similar Voice App using SIP--User can call, then use numeric keypad on mobile phone to read out an entry.
    3. nice open source! I think

Wikipedia Mobile Formats[edit]

(Please add your name here if interested)



Romy> Suyash, why not substitute Zepto for jQuery?

  • Zepto is a javascript framework, is basically jQuery with the annoying Internet Explorer stuff stripped out -> thinner, lighter
  • Zepto is used by the Wikipedia team in constructing its new Android app in conjunction with PhoneGap
  • Mobile phones: do not need jQuery with internet explorer

Wikipedia Web API[edit]

Use the wikipedia web api.


summary: It's unclear to anyone i've spoken to whether this is easy to use with Wikipedia. It's a good way to get into the web api for beginners though!

As YQL can reade microformats, would this be a good tool to use in conjunction with the web api? I don't see a lot of stuff on this, but it's good for beginners. It's also convenient for mashups,

  • examples: such as refined twitter searches for twitter search results US NAVY UNIFORMS + #hackathon + Yahoo flickr photos


Product Requirements[edit]

  1. What can we do with a mobile web application that would extend value beyond the existing, functional mobile website?
  2. What does the mobile web application provide that is perceivably superior to the existing PHP mobile website?
    1. Romy: I spoke to one of the Wikmedia guys last night, and the mobile web results that we do see are some PHP thing that is squished in with WURFL for device detection.
    • A more mobile application-like mobile website with a mobile app-like Mobile UI:
      • example: cuter mobile application-like interface
      • for example, a static header bar and static footer bar with home icons, search bars etc.
    • Faster performance using a javascript framework such as Sencha Touch / sproutcore etc. This is done by avoiding clunky reloading manueverings with the DOM that occurs in traditional HTML, etc and even jQuery Mobile.
    • Editor interface optimized for the mobile phone
      • for example, imagine the Wikipedia Web API sandbox optimized for the mobile phone.


Wikipedia SMS + IVR on Twilio[edit]

Summary: An SMS Application in which the user texts a wikipedia entry to a phone number, then is called up by the service and read the Wikipedia entry.


Status: Works in Twilio sandbox with preapproved numbers.
  1. User texts a Wikipedia entry request to a phone number.
    1. Here we used Judy's pin + the Twilio sandbox phone number: MO: Text 39406402 to +1415-599-2671
      1. Note: this is a test Twilio number so only select phones can call at the moment.
    2. Example: Ballet to a phone number such as 415-599-2671
  2. Our service calls back the user
  3. Our service reads the user the requested Wikipedia entry
    1. Example: Our service reads the end user the wikipedia entry for ballet

Flow for SMS App



This is a non-profit activity and fully open source. There are minimal costs that we must pay the Twilio service, listed below. I see this any charges or costs used in a way that encourages donations to the Wikimedia Foundation.

US pricing for Twilio[edit]

Here is a table of rates applicable to us, January 22, 2012 12:53 PM PST

Service Cost Comments
Phone Number $1/month US Phone Number, note we can't use the toll-free option since we are receiving text messages
Inbound SMS 1 cent/text message received user texts us a request.
Outbound Call 2 cents USD/minute ex. when we call the user

Comments from Romy:

  • This is extremely cheap IMO compared to commercial options. It's also very fast to change.
  • You could set a limit on how long the call is--a 20 minute call would be 40 cents cost to us

Business Development[edit]

Wikimedia Foundation donations[edit]
    • Romy: This product could be used for wikipedia foundation donations if there were a way to do seamless voice-activated carrier billing or paypal flows purely by voice. Users would hear a short message before they hear their entry read to them. Users could also alternately offer to pay an additional fee above the baes 2 cents/minute outbound call and 1 cent sms received (minimum of 3 cents plus minimal fee) as donations to Wikipedia's foundation.
    • Romy: This is an economical version of a fundrasing drive phone call, telephone number or SEO/google banner advertisement.
    • Romy: This has a higher user engagement as the service is user-initiated and specialized to each user. If you are going to make a request on a particular topic, you are going to be much more receptive to donating to Wikipedia Foundation than if someone cold called you from a phone bank or emailed you a donation request.
    • Romy: The wikimedia foundation requests could be shorter, more concise and sprinkled inbetween delivery of content read by our service. This would be less annoying than an ad opening up or hitting the user with a long wikipedia speech.

Product Next Steps[edit]

  1. Optimizing content read back to user
    1. remove the infobox during the "readback time" - user avoids having to listen to a long list of Content topics in a longer article
  2. Push Twilio phone number to production so that end users can access the service outside of the sandbox without having to enter the pin and without having to be verified through Julie's sandbox
  3. Integrate into OpenVBX -> this will create a drag and drop interface simple to use on any computer by nontechnical people. Interns would be able to change the Wikimedia foundation recordings, shut down and start up numbers with virtually no training.
  4. Additional Functionality
    1. Add seamless payment technology - voice only - or set up over a website at a PC - so that donations to the Wikimedia Foundation can be activated through voice using carrier billing or Paypal
    2. Add additional, easy IVR menu options - such as the user saying "Stop" to stop the recitation, "Contents" to list contents
    3. Add voice activated email function so that user can email entry by voice to specified email address
    4. Add accounts so that the service recognizes the user


Would you like to help us?[edit]

Hi Romy!

We met at the hackathon. I am wondering if you would be interested in trying to design a mascot of some sort to help us explain some features and things. Basically a friendly and unique character to make explanations less scary. I love your sketches and thought you would be a great person to contribute. Let me know if you are interested. hwalls @

Thank you! heather walls 01:08, 11 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Register for Berlin hackathon[edit]

I invite you to the yearly Berlin hackathon, 1-3 June. Registration is now open. You should please register ASAP and mention in the registration form that you're one of the SF hackathon winners.

Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation Volunteer Development Coordinator (talk) 22:15, 3 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]