WikiChristian needs your help!

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Dear All,

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus. We're writing this letter to update you on WikiChristian and ask you to consider helping out as this project tries to reignite. Sorry about the length of the letter but we really wanted you to have a chance to understand the history of WikiChristian and where we are now.

Status of WikiChristian

Since starting the WikiChristian project in 2004, WikiChristian has gone through a lot of changes. Here is a recap:

As you may be aware, the two co-founders of WikiChristian happen to be practicing physicians in different parts of the world whom the Lord brought together when we first started the project. Initially we had the 5 to 6 years of a very active growth phase with a significant growth in terms of very useful user contributed content from a wide variety of users.

Spam Content And User Accounts

Then came the spammers who nearly choked the capacity of the server making it impossible to manually revert all the changes bringing WikiChristian to a virtual standstill. About 2 years ago, we decided to keep the project dormant until we figure out a solution on how to delete all the spam content and bot created users.

Removal of Spam and Update of Software

In the beginning of September, one of the co-founders of WikiChristian, Graham Grove, took the initiative in reconnecting with the founder and administrator of WikiChristian, Prab R. Tumpati. After many emails and considerable thought, Prab and Graham decided to find a way to clean up the database, delete all the spam and re-start working on a clean WikiChristian project again. We also decided we needed to upgrade to a newer version of the mediawiki software.

After working on the server for about a week, with some help from the tech support team at the dedicated server hosting company, Prab was able to delete almost all of the spam user accounts leaving about 600 of the user accounts which were thought be legitimate.

We were also able to use some automated scripts to help clean up the database and delete almost all of the bot created content. As a result, the size of the database went down from about 20 gb to about 3 gb. (At some point at the peak of of the spam, the database swelled to 600 gb when it was restored to an earlier version of the database with 20 gb after it crashed the server couple of years ago).

We also were able to successfully upgrade the mediawiki software to a newer version of the software.

Re-igniting the Project

We are now sending this email to you to see if you would re-consider joining the WikiChristian team and start contributing to the project again. We believe that this project has tremendous potential in helping reach the un-reached millions as well as to be a resource for discipleship and ministry for those who know and love Jesus.

WikiChristian Needs Your Help

We encourage those that are interested in being active contributors to respond to this email detailing their interest, full name, and a brief testimonial so we know who they are. If you wish, please include any information about areas of Christian study that particularly interest you, any formal theological training you might have had, and some information about any other ministry (both as a volunteer or in a paid capacity) that you are involved in.

Once reviewed and approved, we will offer editing rights to those that are selected. We know that this type of editor restriction is not in the full spirit of wikis however we have considered this prayerfully and believe this is the right way to keep the WikiChristian project free of spam and ensure that editors are committed Christians.

New Skin and New Features

We have now started updating the look and feel of the site and added some new features including daily devotions, Christian News, and a video of the week. We encourage user feedback and any ideas for new content from all of you.

If you are interested in becoming involved in WikiChristian again but are unsure of anything, browse the site again and spend some time looking at WikiChristian Statement of Faith, its Vision and its about page.

Areas of Need

As Prab and Graham have thought about it, we have come to the opinion that we particularly need help with the following:

  • Video of the Week Section: Two or three people to regularly update the Video of the Week
  • News Section: Two or three people to regularly update the News links
  • A number of Cooordinating Editors to take "ownership" of certain large sections
    • New Testament Studies: One or two people to focus on articles related to themes of the New Testament, the life and teaching of Jesus and the books of the New Testament
    • Old Testament Studies: One or two people to focus on articles related to Old Testament Themes, the ancient nation of Israel and the historical context of the time and the books of the Old Testament
    • Church History and Denominations - One or two people focusing on major trends in the church history and significant events and individuals
    • Koine Greek Studies
    • Biblical Hebrew Studies
    • Doctrine and Theology Studies
    • Mission and Evangelism Studies - One or two people focusing on understanding other religions and world-views, demographics trends and witnessing to others
    • Christian Music
    • Bible Commentary: 10 to 20 people, ideally those involved in preaching, involved in developing a comprehensive Bible Commentary

Thank you for taking the time to read this long letter. We know it has been a long-time that WikiChristian has been dormant but we hope and pray that you would consider joining forces again for the study and proclamation of the gospel through WikiChristian.

No Commercial Interest

As co-founders of WikiChristian, Prab and Graham are committed to keeping the project free of any commercial bias and we declare we have no commercial interest in this project other than glorifying God, training disciples and helping reach out to the un-reached.

Server Status

WikiChristian is hosted on a dedicated server for the past 10 years or so and the current monthly cost of the server is approximately $165.20. The cost of the server has been sponsored fully by one of the founders of WikiChristian, Prab who considers this an honor and privilege. While we currently are not looking to raise any money toward the server or administrative costs, as we grow we might need to consider this in the future based on future needs.

With over 1 Million page edits since the start of the project, and over 36 million page views, WikiChristian continues to grow in the usefulness and relevance of the content. Our hope and prayer is that WikiChristian become a resource for all Christians across the world for sharing their faith, listen to Christian lyrics, read the Bible, learn about God, grow in their faith and help spread the gospel to the un-reached.

WikiChristian in Other Languages

As we grow, we would like to consider adding other language encyclopedias. To accommodate creation of other language wikis, the main URL has been changed for the English language wiki to a sub-folder with wiki/en sub-folder. If you would like to start the WikiChristian in other languages, please contact Prab or Graham.

How To Be An Editor At WikiChristian?

If you are a Christian believer interested in sharing your faith, and help spread the Gospel, WikiChristian needs your help. In order to effectively deal with constant barrage of spam, and to keep the wiki from any malicious content, we have prayerfully decided to limit editing access to users with editor level access.

Steps in becoming an Editor

If you are interested in becoming an editor at WikiChristian, please send an email to both Prab (ptumpati@ gmail.com and Graham@grove.id. au) (antispam, remove spaces) with your full name, WikiChristian user ID, email address, city where you are located, and a brief testimonial, a contact phone number with area code and country code, your area of interest, and we will get back to you via email promptly.

Please allow up to 72 hours for one of the administrators to get back to you via email. Although we do allow user account registrations, we currently do not allow edits until we provide editor level access. We do understand this is a bit restrictive but given the amount of spam and bot created content, we believe this is the best strategy at this time and we appreciate your understanding in this matter. Thank you

Greetings!

Prab R Tumpati, MD and

Graham Grove, MD

Co-founders of WikiChristian.org