[Wiki Loves Monuments] Wiki Loves Monuments in Italy largely blocked by WMF fundraising

Maarten Dammers maarten at mdammers.nl
Tue Aug 18 19:17:44 UTC 2015

Hi Romaine,

Sad to hear this. I remember running in the same situation a couple of 
years ago (2013) when a really prominent "new privacy policy" banner was 
put up for everyone with a high percentage for most of the month [1]. 
Back than I contacted the people at the WMF responsible for that. I got 
some very polite replies that can be summed up as "our project is more 
important than yours". The WMF owns the sites so if they feel like they 
want to put up banners that conflict with WLM, they can just do that and 
there is nothing we can do about that (besides complaining on mailing 



Romaine Wiki schreef op 18-8-2015 om 20:42:
> Hi all,
> Sad news.
> The title of this thread seems a bit hard, but that is practically the 
> situation as it looks now.
> *Background*
> Wiki Loves Monuments is the yearly photo contest since 2010, organised 
> by many local Wikipedia communities and local chapters. For this 
> contest a banner is shown on top of Wikipedia pages in the specific 
> countries to attract attention from the public to participate in 
> enriching Wikipedia with photos of the local cultural heritage.
> Wiki Loves Monuments depends for at least 99% on the banner. When 
> there is no banner, the uploads and results drop dramatically, as 
> possible participants are not informed and can't easily find the 
> contest site. Also participants need time to go on location to take 
> photos and see the banner above Wikipedia afterwards to find their way 
> back.
> *What is the situation?
> *
> * The fundraising team plans to have a fundraising banner in Italy 
> during the month September.
> * The local team of Wiki Loves Monuments in Italy is organising the 
> contest in Italy and needs a banner as well.
> As there can be shown only one banner at the time, there have been 
> talks about these conflicting banners. Result: Wiki Loves Monuments 
> get only 37,5% of the time, the fundraising banner 62,5% of the time.
> Now you maybe think that 37,5% of the time is still large, but the 
> appearances are deceptive because of the different ways the banner is 
> used, and because the differences in numbers of upload throughout the 
> month September. Also the banner is not shown at all during two full 
> weeks, important weeks to attract participants. In the end I estimate, 
> based on the usage and issues of previous years, etc, that only 10-15% 
> of the uploads are made in comparison what normally would have been 
> expected.
> This is what I would call a devastating effect.
> And this is purely because of bad planning at WMF:
> * They haven't checked which countries participated continuously the 
> past years.
> * They haven't informed which countries are likely to participate.
> * And they say they can't move the fundraising banner to another 
> month, but it is still a mystery why that isn't possible.
> This same issue was originally the case in two countries, but somehow 
> it was possible to move it for the second country.
> This is really sad for Italy. Extra sad because of the difficult 
> copyright situation in Italy, what requires the local team already to 
> do much much much more work than in most other countries, just to have 
> a normal contest. The Italian team does a great job this year.
> *My conclusion*
> The community is working very hard on improving and expanding the 
> content of Wikipedia by organising Wiki Loves Monuments. I always 
> thought that this was the number one priority of the whole Wikimedia 
> movement. Did I made a wrong assumption somehow?
> But when it actually matters, the community project bears the bunt. 
> This is sad, very sad.
> Please all, support the Italian team, they do a great job and deserve 
> a successful contest.
> Greetings,
> Romaine
> PS: I am one of the international organisers of Wiki Loves Monuments 
> this year, but this e-mail is written on my personal account only.
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> Wiki Loves Monuments mailing list
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> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikilovesmonuments
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