[Wiki Loves Monuments] Long Term - a bit different

Peter Ekman pdekman at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 19:38:29 UTC 2012

I'm pretty encouraged by the several responses to my "different"
proposal, in particular Basvb and Lodewijk (below)
My proposal in brief - move toward a platform/permanent organization
that supports multiple contests on multiple topics at different times
of year, with less stress on bigness and more on retaining

I'll write it up - with other suggestions from here hopefully - and
place it in the discussion at Commons

I should have listed "large % of content soon used on Wikipedia" as a
strength - and that should be a continued emphasis

My "(Perhaps) ... lack of success" comment re: retaining contributors
was overstated - I only mean that we (like every other Wiki project
which has attempted this) has a lot of room for improvement.

Lodewijk doesn't seem to me to be disagreeing - just looking at the
same things with a slightly different POV.  In particular, while
"everything" might in the very long term be considered something
Wikimedia Loves, I'll suggest we gradually expand from our base of
monument-like things, to anything that is within the Commons project
scope, has the backing of a large or very enthusiastic group of
Wikipedians, which is likely to organize the contest (with our help)
in the best traditions of WLM.

We supply the experience and expertise. Tools and basic standards.
They supply enthusiasm, manpower.

More later.


Message: 3
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 18:18:42 +0100
From: Bas vb <basvb_wikipedia at live.nl>
To: WLM <wikilovesmonuments at lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Wiki Loves Monuments] Long Term - something a bit
Message-ID: <DUB116-W5563EE741F124546466D55AB650 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

One of the key strengths from Wiki Loves Monuments, at least in the
Netherlands, is that we actually can use the pictures (3.000 new
monuments photographed even in the 3rd year with a coverage of 70%).
In 2009 there was Wiki loves Art in the Netherlands. Wiki Loves
Monuments had a few advantages over this contest: *From Wiki Loves Art
almost none of the pictures are used in the articles, maybe only 200
out of 7000, for Wiki Loves Monuments every year around 50% gets used.
This is because of the identifier system, the identifier gives
participants only one thing to identify and we take it from there.
This means: No categorisation, no finding the right article for the
picture (you could offcourse decide not to do these 2 but that means a
nice contest of unused images).*For Wiki Loves Art organisers had to
arrange permissions with each museum. *You couldn't participate
everywhere: mainly one part of the country where the most museums are.
On the other hand this had a benefit: being able to photograph in
these museum had something exclusive, especially the museums where you
can't photograph normally.
Why telling this here? Well I think at one point we, or some countries
want to try photographic competitions on other topics (seperated new
contest seems best to me). When you decide to do this think very well
about which topics are useful. Having a list (big) of images you want,
and actually a place to put them is a big advantage, at least if you
want the pictures to be useful. When it's more to small topics you
could also think about non federal world wide contests (only one
global organiser). A global contest like that would give a whole other
way of organising a contest. But it would be an idea for smaller, or
less location specific topics. If you're for example going to start a
contest to photograph wildlife or food there are no country boundries,
so why not start it global, on the other if you're going to do that it
would be dangerous to focus on high numbers like 100.000 images, a few
thousand seems more suitable. Smaller world wide contest to meet the
wishes of our contest fanatics, or maybe give users who don't
participate now topics they like more.
Some countries allready have a high coverage of monuments, a good
example is the completed Andorra. For those countries I think
focussing on other subjects would be a good idea (I don't want to tell
any specific country what to do, so I'll talk about my own, the
Future of WLM for the Netherlands:*We've 70% off the monuments on a
picture, also the cultural heritage organisation has released it's
560.000 images containing file database. From there we should be able
to get another 10% covered. The question is whether the same contest
will stay fun for all the years to come. Maybe people get more exited
when they can photograph on other subjects.
Another consideration is: do you want to get bigger and bigger every
year. This year we went from 13.000 to 7.000 pictures, I think that's
more in the numbers than the quality (the quality didn't decrease,
only the people who photographed 1000 images in the cities completed
most cities and didn't participate), on the other hand we went up in
photgraphers from 170 to 250 or something. My main question is: how
would scaling down and stabilizing our participation effect the succes
of the contest? If there is a global contest it would be a shame for
the Netherlands, as starting up country, not to participate. But does
it have to be big every year? I think the answer is no, we might also
consider to put less time, and money in the contest and see the
effects of this. We've succesfully participated for 3 years now: the
lists are fine, we experimented with some other ways of reaching out,
but they do not seem that strong to me. Maybe scale it down to just
the classical contest with a few nice prices and a fine running
website will do the trick for the main part. We go down a bit in
numbers (participants and pictures) but it costs us less effort, so
effort based succes might increase big time. This way we also have
more time to experiment with other contests and ideas to reach out.
Another thing is how to get these users editing. The lists might be a
bit hard to start from (not the easiest with templates and all). But
maybe writing articles is an idea. We should try to get users to write
in our local wikipedia about monuments, and this way they can become
writers on Wikipedia. But how?

From: lodewijk at effeietsanders.org
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 16:59:07 +0100
To: wikilovesmonuments at lists.wikimedia.org
Subject: Re: [Wiki Loves Monuments] Long Term - something a bit different

Hi Pete,
that's an interesting way to look at things! I think it would be
helpful if you bring this to the evaluation table as seperate ideas
(the combination makes it harder to grasp), but some comments from my
perspective (and not necessarily the Truth):

* I don't agree that the yearly cycle (it's not a one-month thing as
we all know - it takes several months to prepare the list, which is
just another phase in the cycle) is a weakness - I actually see it as
a strength. It allows volunteers to commit for a limited period of
time and still accomplish a lot in real life. That also means you get
in touch with a new group of volunteers who you will otherwise not see
become active in chapters.

* I don't agree the emphasis is on bigness. I know that this has been
used in PR, and we used it too often perhaps in our messaging, but our
emphasis is on getting more content and people for Wikipedia.

* I don't agree that getting the monument lists for Wikipedia
(including all its details) is not a goal of the WMF. While the topic
may not be a priority, facilitating volunteers to gather and improve
on content (which the list creation is), is one of the goals. Not that
it matters whether it is a WMF goal or not :) (it is mostly a chapter
and volunteer run program)

* You suggest that we should morph WLM into a Wiki Loves Everything. I
personally believe (and we explained this several times in our
presentations) that the focus is one of the key success factors. It
makes it more tangible for participants, and allows outreach in groups
of potential volunteers we otherwise wouldn't reach. It wouldn't hurt
to have multiple contests ongoing at the same time though!

I'm curious why you think there is a "lack of real success". Perhaps
you can elaborate on that on the feedback page.
The thought I definitely do like is the idea to have multiple
contests. I don't think we should immediately run these
internationally though, but rather try them out nationally, and build
from that - similarly as we did with Wiki Loves Monuments. I would
suggest though to move a bit away from the buildings and make it
clearly distinct. Keep the success factors in mind though (easy
access, fun, helping Wikipedia etc.).


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