[Wiki Loves Monuments] Long Term - something a bit different

Peter Ekman pdekman at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 15:45:19 UTC 2012

re Lodewijk

I do think  that WLM is ultimately going to have to change focus, and
some sort of permanent organization will be helpful here.  In
particular, I think WLM is getting too big to be sustainable (over
several years) and that we've aimed too much for bigness.  Let's look
at our goals, strengths and weaknesses and see where we can take this
in an on-going, multiyear basis.  My suggestion is that it be a hub
for encouraging and organizing many types of photo contests on Commons
- big and small.

Current Goals
1. To recruit and keep photographers and editors for Wikimedia
projects (Key WMF goal)
2. To document "monuments" and other cultural heritage (wonderful goal
- perhaps a bit narrow, not a key WMF goal)

1. Access to Wikipedia banners for recruitment, publicizing
2. Bot and technical processes needed for contests, lists
3. Federal style organization across national boundaries
4. A record of success - which of course can lead to confidence among
editors and the public and thus more success. "Nothing succeeds like

1. An emphasis on big for the sake of bigness - unsustainable growth.
2. Trying to mix some quite different things (e.g. situations in
Italy, Switzerland, India, Ghana) into one big contest
3. Once a year focus
4. (Perhaps) Lack of real success/emphasis on keeping newly recruited
photographers (we do about the same as other projects in percentage

I suggest:
1. Keeping the goal of recruitment of new editors/photogs and
strengthening it to emphasize "keeping" the new recruits.
2. Broaden the goal of documenting "monuments" to anything about
"cultural heritage" or, ultimately, to anything that large numbers of
people like to photograph in contests - become "Wikimedia Loves
Photographs" instead of "WL Monuments"
3. Form a permanent organization, likely on Commons or a new site
closely related to it, to have many contests, at different times of
the year, on slightly different topics, of different lengths.
Gradually increasing the scope of the contests to all topics of
interest to photographers.  (Perhaps at first, WL Historical
Buildings, WL Cemeteries (for a week at Halloween!), WL Public Art,
etc. until we get to WL Wildlife, WL Oceans or WL Ships, and maybe
even WL towns in Pennsylvania or Transylvania)
4. Concentrate on recruiting different people to organize the
different contests, and giving them the tools, expertise, and some
standards to meet their similar (but not identical) goals.

There's a lot here, and I'm not interested in beating my head against
the wall if other folks aren't interested, but ultimately I think this
is the direction WLM will take if it's going to be sustainable.

All the best,
Pete Ekman

> 2012/11/4 Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org>
>> (changing the title to give it its own thread)
>> I think this discussion would indeed be best on the feedback page. But I
>> will respond to some of the points already here.
>> First off: I personally do not think this will be an ever lasting event.
>> I think that a country can only organize Wiki Loves Monuments 3 or 4 times
>> in a row without exhausting enthusiasm about it. I actually have the
>> feeling next year (2013) might very well be the last year that we organize
>> it on an international level. But I hope someone will proof me wrong!
>> I agree with Yaroslav that a real life organization would be a
>> possibility. We don't need that though. Actually, I think it would be a
>> worse situation than what we're in right now. It would cause a lot of
>> bureaucracy (conflict of interest: I would be one of the people who would
>> have to review the bylaws in the Affiliations committee).
>> An ongoing project on Commons to coordinate heritage projects would
>> perhaps be a good idea. Commons isn't exactly suitable for it as it also
>> involves a lot of other things - but it is probably better than the
>> alternatives. Outreachwiki would drive us too far from the content side of
>> things etc. I don't think it would be a priority of myself, but I can
>> definitely see the added value. I do not think it could or should replace
>> current efforts, but it should be complementary.
>> Some people suggested over time that Wiki Loves Monuments is a GLAM
>> project. Everyone who knows me, knows that I'm no fan of acronyms and
>> especially not this one. If you would use the alternative 'cultural
>> heritage institutions' (or if you prefer acronyms: CHI) it indeed fits the
>> definition well. However, at the same time it is quite different from all
>> the other initiatives that are ongoing in this field by Wikimedia.
>> Wiki Loves Monuments is mostly public facing and not institution-facing.
>> We're focused on participation by individuals, and while the institutions
>> that provide the infrastructure (the lists) are critical - they are
>> primarily a tool to reach that goal. That is why I usually consider it more
>> a seperate thing from traditional cultural heritage initiatives in
>> Wikimedia - but it has many interfaces. Every national Wiki Loves Monuments
>> competition has probably one or several Cultural Heritage collaborations.
>> In the Netherlands we collaborate with the Museum association (prize
>> sponsor), National heritage board (providing the lists), a
>> monument/heritage association (networking partner, outreach and prize
>> sponsor), the Architecture museum (prize sponsor), Open Monument Days
>> (networking partner and outreach) etc. In other countries you will likely
>> see similar collaborations especially in the second/third year develop.
>> Anyway - I definitely cheer upon Poli's great idea to have a cleanup
>> project. I have been doing a bunch of that myself recently on some
>> countries (India, Canada, Argentina) and I think it could use some help. I
>> think Maarten sent recently an email about it (now WLM is over, what's
>> next).
>> Yaroslav, Polimerek: would you like to volunteer to set up such portal on
>> Commons?
>> Best,
>> Lodewijk

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