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Chalo Chatu

From Chalo Chatu, Zambia online encyclopedia
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Chalo Chatu
Calo Chatu logo
Main page of Chalo Chatu
Main Page of Chalo Chatu on Feb 17, 2017
Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Available inEnglish
OwnerChalo Chatu Foundation
Created byJason J Mulikita
RegistrationOptional[notes 1]
Users>10 active users[notes 2] and >60 registered users

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Chalo Chatu translated as our world in the Zambian language is an English-language wiki - based free encyclopedia project created by Jason J Mulikita[1][2]. The site uses MediaWiki software to maintain a user-created database of information. The site's content is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0) which means that it is available free to the public, but cannot be used for commercial purposes and should not be modified by people who are not part of the community of the website. With 1,390 articles, it is the largest encyclopedias in Zambia so as it is the only encyclopedia. Chalo Chatu is a live collaboration differing from paper-based reference sources in important ways. Unlike printed encyclopedias, Chalo Chatu is continually created and updated, with articles on historic events appearing within minutes, rather than months or years. Because everybody can help improve it. In addition to quantity, its contributors work on improving quality as well.

Chalo Chatu is a work-in-progress, with articles in various stages of completion.[3] As articles develop, they tend to become more comprehensive and balanced. Quality also improves over time as misinformation and other errors are removed or repaired. Chalo Chatu is written collaboratively by largely volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access and have an account with Chalo Chatu can write and make changes to Chalo Chatu articles, except in limited.cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism.


The web site was opened on 1 June 2016 and has been active since then.[4] The website was launched with the ".org" top-level domain denoting its non-commercial nature.


On 25 May 2016 the first article was created the article of Muchinga Providence. On 18 November, 2016 the encyclopedia reached the 1,000 article milestone.[2][5]


Chalo chatu's highest rank was 178,161 which was recorded on 30 June 2016, and the lowest 3,101,284 which was recorded on 30, July 2017.

Personnel and management


Unlike Wikipedia, Chalo Chatu does not allow anonymous editing. Participants must first register under their real names with a working email address. Jason decided that Chalo Chatu's administrators first need to review your request before you become a contributor on Chalo Chatu this was to avoid the vandalizing of some of the articles that are one the website and to make sure that it stays professional. Chalo Chatu articles are subject to an "approval" process after they have achieved reasonable quality. An "administrator" can determine when an article is ready to be approved.[6]


Editors in good standing in the community can run for one of many levels of volunteer stewardship: this begins with "administrator ", privileged users who can delete pages, prevent articles from being changed in case of vandalism or editorial disputes, and try to prevent certain persons from editing. Despite the name, administrators are not supposed to enjoy any special privilege in decision-making; instead, their powers are mostly limited to making edits that have project-wide effects and thus are disallowed to ordinary editors, and to implement restrictions intended to prevent certain persons from making disruptive edits (such as vandalism).

Bureaucrats name new administrators, solely upon the recommendations from the community.

Contributing to Chalo Chatu

Chalo Chatu require that its editors and contributors provide identification but it does not rent or sell your information to third parties but the information is used to verify the identity of the users. After the verification process an account will then be created for that particular user that is if you want to add or edit a page on site. ChaloChatu has 1,390 articles, 12,116 registered editors, and 10 active editors.

Chabota Kanguya once argued that its only "a community ... a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers from Zambia or even the rest of the world"[2]makes the bulk of contributions to Chalo Chatu and that the project is therefore "much like any traditional organization".[3]

Editing Chalo Chatu pages

Chalo Chatu uses a simple yet powerful page layout to allow editors to concentrate on adding material rather than page design. Page aspects facilitated include:

  • sections and subsections —which follow a page's lead section introduction and (if specific conditions are met) a table of contents ,
  • references ,
  • images,
  • tables,
  • indentations
  • lists ,
  • links,
  • ISBNs ,
  • maths ,
  • formatting elements and most world alphabets and common symbols, most of which have simple formats that are deliberately very easy and intuitive.

Maintenance pages

Maintenance pages are used to help facilitate the organization and clean-up of articles to bring them up to encyclopedic standards . These editor and bot generated pages typically contain articles and others pages requiring maintenance or attention.


Text on Chalochatu is a collaborative work, and the efforts of individual contributors to a page are recorded in that page's history, which is publicly viewable. Information on the authorship of images and other media, such as sound files, can be found by clicking on the image itself or the nearby information icon to display the file page, which includes the author and source, where appropriate, along with other information.

Historical pages

A historical page or process is one which is no longer in use, or any non-recent log of any process at all, and is kept as a record of past Chalo Chatu processes or which are outdated that have a noteworthy value in being maintained.

Critical reception

Accuracy of content

Articles for traditional encyclopedias such as Encyclopædia Britannica are carefully and deliberately written by experts, lending such encyclopedias a reputation for accuracy. Conversely, Chalo Chatu has not yet been criticised as it still new to the Zambia eye and the world.

As a consequence of the open structure, Chalo Chatu "makes no guarantee of validity" of its content, since no one is ultimately responsible for any claims appearing in it.


Chalo Chatu original articles are available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-SA) unless otherwise noted."[7][3] The Chalo Chatu Foundation is not a licensor of content, but merely a hosting service for the contributors (and licensors) of the

Contributions remain the property of their creators, while the CC-BY-SA and GFDL licenses ensure the content is freely distributable and reproducible. (See content disclaimer for more information.)


One privacy concern in the case of Chalo Chatu is the right of a private citizen to remain a "private citizen" rather than a " public figure" in the eyes of the law. It is a battle between the right to be anonymous in cyberspace and the right to be anonymous in real life. A particular problem occurs in the case of an individual who is relatively unimportant and for whom there exists a Chalo Chatu page against her or his wishes.


Chalo Chatu disclaimers apply to all pages on Chalo Chatu. However, the consensus in Chalo Chatu is to put all disclaimers only as links and at the end of each article. Proposals to have a warning box at the beginning have been rejected. Some do not like the way it looks or that it calls attention to possible errors in Chalo Chatu.

Chalo Chatu, in common with many websites, has a disclaimer that, at times, has led to commentators citing these in order to support a view that Chalo Chatu is unreliable. A selection of similar disclaimers from places which are often regarded as reliable (including sources such as Wikipedia, Encyclopædia Britannica, Associated Press, and the Oxford English Dictionary)

Feedback and questions

Chalo Chatu is run as a communal effort. It is a community project whose result is an encyclopedia. Feedback about content should, in the first instance, be raised on the discussion pages of those articles. Be bold and edit the pages to add information or correct mistakes.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Contacting individual Chalo Chatu editors

To contact individual contributors, leave a message on their discussion page. Standard places to ask policy and project-related questions you can reach other Chalo Chatu contributors via IRC and e-mail .

For a full list of contact options, see Chalo Chatu:Contact us.


A group of Chalo chatu editors may form a Project to focus their work on a specific topic area, using its associated discussion page to coordinate changes across multiple articles.


Chalo Chatu is a highly efficient non-profit project driven by a dedicated team of volunteers from all across Zambia and the world at large. The project currently does not have its own equipment and is relying on individual volunteers to use their own equipment, such as computers and cameras, to gather information. This has, however, proven difficult for those that don't have their own.

Project goal

The main aim of the project is to document everything to-do with Zambia. With a stated aim of "preserving the History and Pride of Zambia."[4] The project is there to create a "new compendium of knowledge" based on the contributions of "intellectuals", defined as "educated, thinking people who read about Zambia and everything that is in it.

Software operations and support

The operation of Chalo Chatu depends on MediaWiki, a custom-made, free and open source wiki software platform written in PHP and built upon the MySQL database system.[8] The software incorporates programming features such as a macro language, variables , a transclusion system for templates, and URL redirection . MediaWiki is licensed under the GNU General Public License and it is used by the Chalochatu project.

Hardware operations and support

To support Chalo Chatu's rapidly growing website and vast information, Chalo Chatu uses a large server that comes with highly monthly and yearly costs.[3]

Automated editing

Computer programs called bots have been used widely to perform simple and repetitive tasks, such as correcting common misspellings and stylistic issues, or to start articles such as geography entries in a standard format from statistical data.

Access to content

When the project was started in 2016, all text on Chalo Chatu was covered by the the Creative Commons license specifically designed for creative works in general, not just for software manuals.

Methods of access

Because Chalo Chatu content is distributed under an open license, anyone can reuse or re-distribute it at no charge. The content of Chalo Chatu has been published in many forms, both online and offline, outside of the Chalo Chatu website.

Cultural impact


Chalo Chatu isn't that popular as it new in Zambia but it is slowly gaining its status as a general reference website for Zambian History.[2][3][4] About 95% of search engine traffic to Chalo Chatu comes from Google a good portion of which is related to academic research and on its social media platforms.

According to Readership Survey Zambia has a bad reading culture and the average age of Chalo Chatu readers is 36, with a rough parity between genders.

Cultural significance

Chalo Chatu's content can also been used in academic studies, books, conferences, and court cases.

Readability issues

Each Chalo Chatu article is in a process of evolution and is likely to continue growing. Other editors will add to articles when you are done with them. Chalo Chatu has practically unlimited storage space; however, long articles may be more difficult to read, navigate, and comprehend.

An article longer than one or two pages when printed should be divided into sections to ease navigation. For most long articles, division into sections is natural anyway. Readers of the mobile version of Chalo Chatu can be helped by ensuring that sections are not so long or so numerous as to impede navigation.

A page of about 30 kB to 50 kB of readable prose, which roughly corresponds to 4,000 to 10,000 words, takes between 30 and 40 minutes to read at average speed , which is right on the limit of the average concentration span of 40 to 50 minutes (information about a given page's size can be viewed by visiting the page and then clicking on the "Page information" link in the left column). At 50 kB and above it may be beneficial to move some sections to other articles and replace them with summaries. Comprehension of standard texts at average reading speed is around 65%.

Articles that cover particularly technical subjects should, in general, be shorter than articles on less technical subjects. While expert readers of such articles may accept complexity and length provided the article is well written, the general reader requires clarity and conciseness. There are times when a long or very long article is unavoidable, though its complexity should be minimized. Readability is a key criterion.

Readable prose

Readable prose is the main body of the text, excluding material such as footnotes and reference sections ("see also", "external links", bibliography, etc.), diagrams and images, tables and lists, Wikilinks and external URLs, and formatting and mark-up.

Making the best use of Chalo Chatu

Many visitors come to Chalo Chatu to acquire knowledge, while others come to share knowledge. At this very instant, dozens of articles are beingn improved, and new articles are also being created. Changes can be viewed at the Recent changes page and a random page at random articles.

Using Chalo Chatu as a research tool

As wiki[notes 3]documents, articles are never considered complete and may be continually edited and improved. Over time, this generally results in an upward trend of quality and a growing consensus over a neutral representation of information. Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start: they may contain false or debatable information. Indeed, many articles start their lives as displaying a single viewpoint; and, after a long process of discussion, debate, and argument, they gradually take on a neutral point of view reached through consensus. Others may, for a while, become caught up in a heavily unbalanced viewpoint which can take some time—months or years perhaps—to achieve better balanced coverage of their subject. In part, this is because editors often contribute content in which they have a particular interest and do not attempt to make each article that they edit comprehensive. However, eventually, additional editors expand and contribute to articles and strive to achieve balance and comprehensive coverage.

The ideal Chalo Chatu article is well written, balanced, neutral, and encyclopedic, containing comprehensive, notable, verifiable knowledge. An increasing number of articles reach this standard over time, and many already have. [2] Our best articles are called Featured Articles (and display a small star in the upper right corner of the article), and our second best tier of articles are designated Good Articles. However, this is a process and can take months or years to be achieved through the concerted effort of editors. Some articles contain statements which have not yet been fully cited. Others will later be augmented with new sections. Some information will be considered by later contributors to be insufficiently founded and, therefore, may be removed.

While the overall trend is toward improvement, it is important to use Chalo Chatu carefully if it isnintended to be used as a research source, since individual articles will, by their nature, vary in quality and maturity.

Chabota over the use of chalo chatu as a research tool he stated that "Here at Chalo Chatu, we're building a Zambian encyclopedia. We don't try to "balance" what people would like to believe with what they don't understand we put all together cause we don't want to lose our history.

See also


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  1. Registration is required for certain tasks such as editing, creating pages on Chalo Chatu, and uploading files.
  2. For a user to be considered active in a given month, one or more actions have had to be made in said month.
  3. Wikis are a type of website. The word "wiki" itself is from the Hawaiian language word for "quick".[9]


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  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
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  5. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  6. Jason. Outline "Chalo Chatu Policy Outline", Chalo Chatu.
  7. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  8. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  9. "Wiki" in the Hawaiian Dictionary, revised and enlarged edition, University of Hawaii Press, 1986

External links