Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

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Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

David Gerard-2
I speak as a big fan of and participant in Wikimedia Commons.

But: Is it time to deprecate Commons as a WMF service project? It's
clearly failing and the local "community" is actively hostile to
contributors from other wikis.

Commons appears to have forgotten it was created as a service project
for other WMF wikis. It's not doing the job any more.

Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)


- d.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lars Aronsson <[hidden email]>
Date: 2008/12/6
Subject: Re: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening
To: Wikimedia Commons Discussion List <[hidden email]>


Patricia Rodrigues wrote:

> That's a wonderful idea! But many times our main problem is the
> lack of manpower in different languages to actually address
> different users.

The more I think about this human side of the problem, the more I
think we should go back to local uploading.  The forwarding to
Commons could be implemented by adding a "category:Suitable for
Commons" and a bot that scans this category. Then if the image is
deleted from Commons, the local copy would still exist.

If we want Wikipedia to scale from the narrow nerd community to a
wider society, including elderly, we need to greet them with
respect and in their own language.  I don't see how we could
manage this on Commons, even if uploaded images were marked with
the uploader's interface language. We will always have the narrow
nerd community too, which can act as admins and an interface
towards the international community.


--
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 Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Thomas Dalton
> Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)

If you want to encourage discussion, don't start by restricting the
discussion to only people that agree with you. You won't get any
useful results that way.

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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

David Gerard-2
2008/12/6 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:

>> Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)

> If you want to encourage discussion, don't start by restricting the
> discussion to only people that agree with you. You won't get any
> useful results that way.


Are you speaking hypothetically, or don't you think this is a problem?


- d.

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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Thomas Dalton
2008/12/6 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:

> 2008/12/6 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>
>>> Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)
>
>> If you want to encourage discussion, don't start by restricting the
>> discussion to only people that agree with you. You won't get any
>> useful results that way.
>
>
> Are you speaking hypothetically, or don't you think this is a problem?

I'm speaking hypothetically, I know very little about the subject in question.

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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Geoffrey Plourde
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
That might be a hell of a incentive to change. Before we talk about getting out the torches, I think we should see if we can make Commons functional. The incentive of being shuttered makes it more relevant to those who are in denial. I have made two suggestions on improvements. One is a training program with specific handling, i.e. no more we delete in 7 days, a different template that is more collegial. The second is to cross appoint administrators from underrepresented projects who agree to undergo a boot camp program. Thoughts?


________________________________
From: David Gerard <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, December 6, 2008 1:00:29 PM
Subject: [Foundation-l] Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

I speak as a big fan of and participant in Wikimedia Commons.

But: Is it time to deprecate Commons as a WMF service project? It's
clearly failing and the local "community" is actively hostile to
contributors from other wikis.

Commons appears to have forgotten it was created as a service project
for other WMF wikis. It's not doing the job any more.

Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)


- d.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lars Aronsson <[hidden email]>
Date: 2008/12/6
Subject: Re: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening
To: Wikimedia Commons Discussion List <[hidden email]>


Patricia Rodrigues wrote:

> That's a wonderful idea! But many times our main problem is the
> lack of manpower in different languages to actually address
> different users.

The more I think about this human side of the problem, the more I
think we should go back to local uploading.  The forwarding to
Commons could be implemented by adding a "category:Suitable for
Commons" and a bot that scans this category. Then if the image is
deleted from Commons, the local copy would still exist.

If we want Wikipedia to scale from the narrow nerd community to a
wider society, including elderly, we need to greet them with
respect and in their own language.  I don't see how we could
manage this on Commons, even if uploaded images were marked with
the uploader's interface language. We will always have the narrow
nerd community too, which can act as admins and an interface
towards the international community.


--
Lars Aronsson ([hidden email])
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Geoffrey Plourde
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Denying a problem is not necessarily discussion, but an attempt to keep things as they are. Although I could be wrong.




________________________________
From: Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, December 6, 2008 1:04:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

> Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)

If you want to encourage discussion, don't start by restricting the
discussion to only people that agree with you. You won't get any
useful results that way.

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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Marc Riddell
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
on 12/6/08 4:04 PM, Thomas Dalton at [hidden email] wrote:

>> Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)
>
> If you want to encourage discussion, don't start by restricting the
> discussion to only people that agree with you. You won't get any
> useful results that way.
>
Excellent point, Thomas!

Marc


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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Marc Riddell
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
on 12/6/08 4:10 PM, David Gerard at [hidden email] wrote:

> 2008/12/6 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>
>>> Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)
>
>> If you want to encourage discussion, don't start by restricting the
>> discussion to only people that agree with you. You won't get any
>> useful results that way.
>
>
> Are you speaking hypothetically, or don't you think this is a problem?
>
What I hear in what he is saying is that your pathological need to control
is surfacing again.

Marc Riddell


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Re: Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Christiano Moreschi

Civility much, Mark?

Snark apart, the basic problem with commons isn't the people (although they don't help), it's the software. MediaWiki is just not terribly well suited to this sort of thing. Categorisation is problematic. On encyclopedia projects this isn't the end of the world, because there's a search button and wikilinks to find your way to other articles: it's not a killer that en's categorisation sucks (and probably everyone else's catting too).

But on a project like commons it's the end.

CM

Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.



> Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2008 16:48:57 -0500
> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Fwd: [Commons-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening
>
> on 12/6/08 4:10 PM, David Gerard at [hidden email] wrote:
>
> > 2008/12/6 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
> >
> >>> Discussions please. (Not denial that this problem is a problem, thanks.)
> >
> >> If you want to encourage discussion, don't start by restricting the
> >> discussion to only people that agree with you. You won't get any
> >> useful results that way.
> >
> >
> > Are you speaking hypothetically, or don't you think this is a problem?
> >
> What I hear in what he is saying is that your pathological need to control
> is surfacing again.
>
> Marc Riddell
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Lars Aronsson
In reply to this post by Geoffrey Plourde
Geoffrey Plourde wrote:

> That might be a hell of a incentive to change. Before we talk
> about getting out the torches, I think we should see if we can
> make Commons functional. The incentive of being shuttered makes
> it more relevant to those who are in denial. I have made two
> suggestions on improvements. One is a training program with
> specific handling, i.e. no more we delete in 7 days, a different
> template that is more collegial. The second is to cross appoint
> administrators from underrepresented projects who agree to
> undergo a boot camp program. Thoughts?

Maybe we are too fast to discuss solutions now, when we should
first discuss the problem.  I brought this up on commons-l before
it spread to foundation-l.  With the risk of making myself a
target for "tl;dr" (too long; didn't read), here's the problem
that I see:

Wikipedia in many languages is at a stage where the basic articles
are written (apple is a fruit, Paris is the capital of France) and
we need to recruit more people who know more areas, both academics
and people who lived through the politics of the 1960s.  This
includes events such as Wikipedia Academy and also courses for the
elderly.  We can't hope that these people are skilled in PHP
programming or fluent in English, as many people are on this list.
Some might be able to write good text, but not used to wiki
markup, and completely disabled in wiki template design.  Perhaps
they should stick to scanning and uploading their old photos from
the 1970s.

We still have all kinds of vandalism on Wikipedia.  If patrolling
is efficient and finds and reverts 95% of vandalism, it might also
spill over to falsely "fighting" 1% of beginner contributions.  
We're scaring serious people away by our own mistake.  This is
where we need to improve.  It's like having a zero tolerance on
crime, without becoming a brutal fascist state. Within each
(small/medium) language of Wikipedia, this is quite easy.  We all
speak the same language and we know each other.

But as soon as it comes to image uploading, an area where the
elderly have decades of photos to contribute, we're sending our
beginners off to Wikimedia Commons.  Even if the menues and most
templates are localized in every major language, this is not true
of the admin community there. If a beginner fails to fill out all
details of free licensing, their user talk page will receive an
image deletion request in English. Even if there is a translated
version of that notification, the user's explanation in a local
language might not be understood by the admins.  If the user has
good credentials that are easily verified (retired schoolteacher,
museum manager, ...) and has built a solid reputation in the local
language Wikipedia, a Commons admin from another language might
not fully understand this.

Adding to this, a culture of deletionism and arrogance has
infested Wikimedia Commons in the last year or two.  So many
copyright violations and half-free images are deleted, that little
attention is paid to the individual contributors. The focus is on
the image, not on the user. This system is also an open target for
abuse. Sometimes deletions are requested anonymously or without
substantial reasons, but this is not preceived as a problem. Only
copyright violations are preceived as a problem.  Wikimedia
Commons might have a shortage of admins and other problems, that
need to be sorted out.  But that's not my main issue.

My main issue is this: If we invest in recruiting newcomers and in
fostering our local admin community to receive and greet
newcomers, how can we get the best value from that investment?  
Sending our beginners away to Wikimedia Commons and a whole new
set of foreign language admins doesn't seem optimal.  That's like
pouring water into a bucket with a hole in the bottom.

Either we should send newcomers and admins in pairs to Commons,
somehow stating that this new user account is a Swedish speaker
and that Swedish speaking admins can take care of any issues, or
we should allow local uploads again, so the newcomers can stay
within the Swedish Wikipedia.  After images have been patrolled
locally, they can be forwarded to Commons by a system of bots, and
only the bot operators would have to deal with the international
admin community at Wikimedia Commons.


--
  Lars Aronsson ([hidden email])
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Bryan Tong Minh
On Sat, Dec 6, 2008 at 11:31 PM, Lars Aronsson <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> But as soon as it comes to image uploading, an area where the
> elderly have decades of photos to contribute, we're sending our
> beginners off to Wikimedia Commons.  Even if the menues and most
> templates are localized in every major language, this is not true
> of the admin community there. If a beginner fails to fill out all
> details of free licensing, their user talk page will receive an
> image deletion request in English. Even if there is a translated
> version of that notification, the user's explanation in a local
> language might not be understood by the admins.  If the user has
> good credentials that are easily verified (retired schoolteacher,
> museum manager, ...) and has built a solid reputation in the local
> language Wikipedia, a Commons admin from another language might
> not fully understand this.
>
I can think of two solutions here. One is to simply have more
multi-project admins. Wikimedia ought to be one big community with a
commons goal. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) Wikimedia has
been separated into many different islands separated by language
borders, which are very hard to open up. Commons was born as a
multilingual project, but in that aspect has failed I believe.

Another solution is to make image uploading much more transparent.
Uploading from the local wiki should be possible without needing to
browse to Commons. I cannot see unfortunately how we should handle
messaging in that case, but it would certainly make it easier to
communicate and monitor users.

I do not believe that returning to local uploading is a solution. It
will simply mean that the problem of categorizing images, deleting
copyright violations and similar will move to local projects where
obviously less attention will be paid to them.

> Adding to this, a culture of deletionism and arrogance has
> infested Wikimedia Commons in the last year or two.  So many
> copyright violations and half-free images are deleted, that little
> attention is paid to the individual contributors. The focus is on
> the image, not on the user.
That is certainly true. I have noticed myself that if you patrol new
uploads for some time your threshold for deleting or marking as bad
image is going down. It is then time to stop doing that for a while.

What I am wondering is how we can change the focus from the image to
user. What fundamental changes should be made for this?

> This system is also an open target for
> abuse. Sometimes deletions are requested anonymously or without
> substantial reasons, but this is not preceived as a problem. Only
> copyright violations are preceived as a problem.
Every system where anybody can make edits is inherently an open target
for abuse. The question is how we deal with abuse. I actually
currently do not know how we handle this. Do you have any examples?


Bryan

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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Geoffrey Plourde
In reply to this post by Lars Aronsson
i would agree that decentralizing the image upload appears to be the best process.




________________________________
From: Lars Aronsson <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, December 6, 2008 2:31:57 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Geoffrey Plourde wrote:

> That might be a hell of a incentive to change. Before we talk
> about getting out the torches, I think we should see if we can
> make Commons functional. The incentive of being shuttered makes
> it more relevant to those who are in denial. I have made two
> suggestions on improvements. One is a training program with
> specific handling, i.e. no more we delete in 7 days, a different
> template that is more collegial. The second is to cross appoint
> administrators from underrepresented projects who agree to
> undergo a boot camp program. Thoughts?

Maybe we are too fast to discuss solutions now, when we should
first discuss the problem.  I brought this up on commons-l before
it spread to foundation-l.  With the risk of making myself a
target for "tl;dr" (too long; didn't read), here's the problem
that I see:

Wikipedia in many languages is at a stage where the basic articles
are written (apple is a fruit, Paris is the capital of France) and
we need to recruit more people who know more areas, both academics
and people who lived through the politics of the 1960s.  This
includes events such as Wikipedia Academy and also courses for the
elderly.  We can't hope that these people are skilled in PHP
programming or fluent in English, as many people are on this list.
Some might be able to write good text, but not used to wiki
markup, and completely disabled in wiki template design.  Perhaps
they should stick to scanning and uploading their old photos from
the 1970s.

We still have all kinds of vandalism on Wikipedia.  If patrolling
is efficient and finds and reverts 95% of vandalism, it might also
spill over to falsely "fighting" 1% of beginner contributions.  
We're scaring serious people away by our own mistake.  This is
where we need to improve.  It's like having a zero tolerance on
crime, without becoming a brutal fascist state. Within each
(small/medium) language of Wikipedia, this is quite easy.  We all
speak the same language and we know each other.

But as soon as it comes to image uploading, an area where the
elderly have decades of photos to contribute, we're sending our
beginners off to Wikimedia Commons.  Even if the menues and most
templates are localized in every major language, this is not true
of the admin community there. If a beginner fails to fill out all
details of free licensing, their user talk page will receive an
image deletion request in English. Even if there is a translated
version of that notification, the user's explanation in a local
language might not be understood by the admins.  If the user has
good credentials that are easily verified (retired schoolteacher,
museum manager, ...) and has built a solid reputation in the local
language Wikipedia, a Commons admin from another language might
not fully understand this.

Adding to this, a culture of deletionism and arrogance has
infested Wikimedia Commons in the last year or two.  So many
copyright violations and half-free images are deleted, that little
attention is paid to the individual contributors. The focus is on
the image, not on the user. This system is also an open target for
abuse. Sometimes deletions are requested anonymously or without
substantial reasons, but this is not preceived as a problem. Only
copyright violations are preceived as a problem.  Wikimedia
Commons might have a shortage of admins and other problems, that
need to be sorted out.  But that's not my main issue.

My main issue is this: If we invest in recruiting newcomers and in
fostering our local admin community to receive and greet
newcomers, how can we get the best value from that investment?  
Sending our beginners away to Wikimedia Commons and a whole new
set of foreign language admins doesn't seem optimal.  That's like
pouring water into a bucket with a hole in the bottom.

Either we should send newcomers and admins in pairs to Commons,
somehow stating that this new user account is a Swedish speaker
and that Swedish speaking admins can take care of any issues, or
we should allow local uploads again, so the newcomers can stay
within the Swedish Wikipedia.  After images have been patrolled
locally, they can be forwarded to Commons by a system of bots, and
only the bot operators would have to deal with the international
admin community at Wikimedia Commons.


--
  Lars Aronsson ([hidden email])
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Bryan Tong Minh
2008/12/6 Bryan Tong Minh <[hidden email]>:

> I can think of two solutions here. One is to simply have more
> multi-project admins. Wikimedia ought to be one big community with a
> commons goal. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) Wikimedia has
> been separated into many different islands separated by language
> borders, which are very hard to open up. Commons was born as a
> multilingual project, but in that aspect has failed I believe.


Relations between Commons and en:wp are clunky at the best of times,
so it's certainly not just a language issue at all.

It's Commons forgetting it's a service project or Commons admins
actively working against being a service project, because they want to
be regarded as a completely independent project.


- d.

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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Finn Rindahl
I guess I'm one of the Commons admins "actively working against being [just]
a service project" for the various other wikimedia projects. I don't want it
to be regarded as a "completely independent project" though. There's two
reasons why I do that.

1. Wikimedia Commons serves a purpose on it's own, in being the project
where we (wikimedians) make free media files avvailable to the public.
That's well within the aim of WMF, just like wikipedia is bringing free
encyclopedic content etc.

2. For Commons to be able to serve the other wikimedia projects in a
satisfactory manner, there has to be a lot of committed volunteers doing the
(most often) tedious task of maintaining the media files, among other things
ensuring that the content indeed is free and that the files are marked an
categorised so that others easily can find them. Most of these volunteers
are the "commonsadmin", who in my opnion has one of the most ungrateful jobs
in the wikimedia world. If there was more active admins, we could have done
our job better - especially when it comes to take the necessary time to
communicate with the other users who need help. The only way as I see it to
actually get volunteers to work at Commons is to build a "community feeling"
at commons like in other projects. If I only pop by Commons to fix something
upon a request from another user at Norwegian Wikipedia - that's well and
good but not something that will motivate me to spend and hour or two
working on a backlog or actively look up some new Dutch user to see if I can
help them learn how to best upload images at commons.


Finn Rindahl




2008/12/7 David Gerard <[hidden email]>

> 2008/12/6 Bryan Tong Minh <[hidden email]>:
>
> > I can think of two solutions here. One is to simply have more
> > multi-project admins. Wikimedia ought to be one big community with a
> > commons goal. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) Wikimedia has
> > been separated into many different islands separated by language
> > borders, which are very hard to open up. Commons was born as a
> > multilingual project, but in that aspect has failed I believe.
>
>
> Relations between Commons and en:wp are clunky at the best of times,
> so it's certainly not just a language issue at all.
>
> It's Commons forgetting it's a service project or Commons admins
> actively working against being a service project, because they want to
> be regarded as a completely independent project.
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Lars Aronsson
Finn Rindahl wrote:

> I guess I'm one of the Commons admins "actively working against
> being [just] a service project" for the various other wikimedia
> projects.

This was David Gerard's wording and not mine.  Overly general and
harsh descriptions are not productive.

> If there was more active admins, we could have done our job
> better - especially when it comes to take the necessary time to
> communicate with the other users who need help. The only way as
> I see it to actually get volunteers to work at Commons is to
> build a "community feeling" at commons like in other projects.

You need a community feeling among admins, so they can learn to
know and trust each other and collaborate against individual
admins who abuse their rights (which surely will happen
occasionally).  And you need to foster a community feeling between
admins and regular/occasional/beginner users.  But I doubt that
the latter is possible.  If it fails, I wouldn't blame you.

The problem is that many users don't feel at home in Commons.  
Many of them just upload a few images as part of writing Wikipedia
articles.  Having to enter Commons is more of a necessary evil,
just like we all have to learn some wiki markup.

Consider this recent comment from one user: "I don't understand
the title: 'Please link images'. All my pictures are linked to
articles in the Swedish Wikipedia."  This user didn't categorize
his images on Commons, and received a complaint for this from a
bot.  He has no interest in categorizing images on Commons, he
only wanted to illustrate his articles.

Maybe he should just upload the images locally to the Swedish
Wikipedia, where they are used, and someone else, with a primary
interest in Commons, should forward them to Commons and categorize
them there.

This is how we normally distribute tasks among users within each
language of Wikipedia: One person creates an article, another adds
wiki markup, a third adds categories.  But once you upload an
image, you need to go out through the door, across the street,
into the Wikimedia Commons building, and there you have to feel as
part of a new community which doesn't fully speak your language,
and each image must be categorized and correctly licensed and
attributed (including the incomprihensible distinction between
"source" and "author"), or else all your actions will be reverted.

Commons was set up in 2004.  It was a great idea and has served
its purpose well.  But as we recruit new users, less experienced
users who we have to actively recruit, this is not a vehicle for
the best possible user experience and productivity.


--
  Lars Aronsson ([hidden email])
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Ting Chen-2
In reply to this post by Finn Rindahl
Hello,

how about thinking about a channel between commons admins and local
admins, for example a subpage under the Request for Administrator
Attention (or some similar page), so that in case a non-english-speaking
user is doing something odd, at first the local admins can be consulted.

Ting

Finn Rindahl wrote:

> I guess I'm one of the Commons admins "actively working against being [just]
> a service project" for the various other wikimedia projects. I don't want it
> to be regarded as a "completely independent project" though. There's two
> reasons why I do that.
>
> 1. Wikimedia Commons serves a purpose on it's own, in being the project
> where we (wikimedians) make free media files avvailable to the public.
> That's well within the aim of WMF, just like wikipedia is bringing free
> encyclopedic content etc.
>
> 2. For Commons to be able to serve the other wikimedia projects in a
> satisfactory manner, there has to be a lot of committed volunteers doing the
> (most often) tedious task of maintaining the media files, among other things
> ensuring that the content indeed is free and that the files are marked an
> categorised so that others easily can find them. Most of these volunteers
> are the "commonsadmin", who in my opnion has one of the most ungrateful jobs
> in the wikimedia world. If there was more active admins, we could have done
> our job better - especially when it comes to take the necessary time to
> communicate with the other users who need help. The only way as I see it to
> actually get volunteers to work at Commons is to build a "community feeling"
> at commons like in other projects. If I only pop by Commons to fix something
> upon a request from another user at Norwegian Wikipedia - that's well and
> good but not something that will motivate me to spend and hour or two
> working on a backlog or actively look up some new Dutch user to see if I can
> help them learn how to best upload images at commons.
>
>
> Finn Rindahl
>
>
>
>
> 2008/12/7 David Gerard <[hidden email]>
>
>  
>> 2008/12/6 Bryan Tong Minh <[hidden email]>:
>>
>>    
>>> I can think of two solutions here. One is to simply have more
>>> multi-project admins. Wikimedia ought to be one big community with a
>>> commons goal. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) Wikimedia has
>>> been separated into many different islands separated by language
>>> borders, which are very hard to open up. Commons was born as a
>>> multilingual project, but in that aspect has failed I believe.
>>>      
>> Relations between Commons and en:wp are clunky at the best of times,
>> so it's certainly not just a language issue at all.
>>
>> It's Commons forgetting it's a service project or Commons admins
>> actively working against being a service project, because they want to
>> be regarded as a completely independent project.
>>
>>
>> - d.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
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>>
>>    
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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

David Moran-3
I think of the problem as more of a systemic one, and I don't see a ready
way around it.  I consider myself a moderately active user on commons, and
the thing is that Commons has no payoff.  At Wikipedia, there can be the
satisfaction of an article well written, an obscure fact well sourced, &c.
The content is (usually) interesting and engaging and begging for your
participation.  Commons, by contrast, is a forum for content that is ALREADY
COMPLETE.  It needs no participation, only handling.  Commons editors are
more or less just shepherds and custodians, tagging, categorizing,
sourcing.  I don't say this disparagingly.  I myself hope to become a
Commons admin one day.  But the difference in incentive, in intellectual
remuneration, is vast.

FMF




On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 6:19 AM, Ting Chen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> how about thinking about a channel between commons admins and local
> admins, for example a subpage under the Request for Administrator
> Attention (or some similar page), so that in case a non-english-speaking
> user is doing something odd, at first the local admins can be consulted.
>
> Ting
>
> Finn Rindahl wrote:
> > I guess I'm one of the Commons admins "actively working against being
> [just]
> > a service project" for the various other wikimedia projects. I don't want
> it
> > to be regarded as a "completely independent project" though. There's two
> > reasons why I do that.
> >
> > 1. Wikimedia Commons serves a purpose on it's own, in being the project
> > where we (wikimedians) make free media files avvailable to the public.
> > That's well within the aim of WMF, just like wikipedia is bringing free
> > encyclopedic content etc.
> >
> > 2. For Commons to be able to serve the other wikimedia projects in a
> > satisfactory manner, there has to be a lot of committed volunteers doing
> the
> > (most often) tedious task of maintaining the media files, among other
> things
> > ensuring that the content indeed is free and that the files are marked an
> > categorised so that others easily can find them. Most of these volunteers
> > are the "commonsadmin", who in my opnion has one of the most ungrateful
> jobs
> > in the wikimedia world. If there was more active admins, we could have
> done
> > our job better - especially when it comes to take the necessary time to
> > communicate with the other users who need help. The only way as I see it
> to
> > actually get volunteers to work at Commons is to build a "community
> feeling"
> > at commons like in other projects. If I only pop by Commons to fix
> something
> > upon a request from another user at Norwegian Wikipedia - that's well and
> > good but not something that will motivate me to spend and hour or two
> > working on a backlog or actively look up some new Dutch user to see if I
> can
> > help them learn how to best upload images at commons.
> >
> >
> > Finn Rindahl
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 2008/12/7 David Gerard <[hidden email]>
> >
> >
> >> 2008/12/6 Bryan Tong Minh <[hidden email]>:
> >>
> >>
> >>> I can think of two solutions here. One is to simply have more
> >>> multi-project admins. Wikimedia ought to be one big community with a
> >>> commons goal. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) Wikimedia has
> >>> been separated into many different islands separated by language
> >>> borders, which are very hard to open up. Commons was born as a
> >>> multilingual project, but in that aspect has failed I believe.
> >>>
> >> Relations between Commons and en:wp are clunky at the best of times,
> >> so it's certainly not just a language issue at all.
> >>
> >> It's Commons forgetting it's a service project or Commons admins
> >> actively working against being a service project, because they want to
> >> be regarded as a completely independent project.
> >>
> >>
> >> - d.
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> foundation-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Bryan Tong Minh
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 1:59 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2008/12/6 Bryan Tong Minh <[hidden email]>:
>
>> I can think of two solutions here. One is to simply have more
>> multi-project admins. Wikimedia ought to be one big community with a
>> commons goal. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) Wikimedia has
>> been separated into many different islands separated by language
>> borders, which are very hard to open up. Commons was born as a
>> multilingual project, but in that aspect has failed I believe.
>
>
> Relations between Commons and en:wp are clunky at the best of times,
> so it's certainly not just a language issue at all.
>
> It's Commons forgetting it's a service project or Commons admins
> actively working against being a service project, because they want to
> be regarded as a completely independent project.
>
Please provide an example of what you call "actively working against
being a service project".


Bryan

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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Dennis During
In reply to this post by David Moran-3
Is there not a record of what projects actually link to commons material? If
not, why not

On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 12:16 PM, David Moran <[hidden email]>wrote:

> I think of the problem as more of a systemic one, and I don't see a ready
> way around it.  I consider myself a moderately active user on commons, and
> the thing is that Commons has no payoff.  At Wikipedia, there can be the
> satisfaction of an article well written, an obscure fact well sourced, &c.
> The content is (usually) interesting and engaging and begging for your
> participation.  Commons, by contrast, is a forum for content that is
> ALREADY
> COMPLETE.  It needs no participation, only handling.  Commons editors are
> more or less just shepherds and custodians, tagging, categorizing,
> sourcing.  I don't say this disparagingly.  I myself hope to become a
> Commons admin one day.  But the difference in incentive, in intellectual
> remuneration, is vast.
>
> FMF
>



--
Dennis C. During

But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully
believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest
animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions ? -- Charles Darwin
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Re: Making Wikimedia Commons less frightening

Bryan Tong Minh
On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 8:57 PM, Dennis During <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Is there not a record of what projects actually link to commons material? If
> not, why not
>

There is none because nobody made one.

There is of course Duesentrieb's checkusage, but that only works per image.

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