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Submissions/Reflections on Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
Reflections on Wikimedia Commons
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Michael Snow
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
User:Michael Snow
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
See user page
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)
How useful is Commons as a resource? What kind of media selection should it contain? What does it mean to be educational? Are there too many pictures of cats, or not enough?
Based on practical experience with creating multimedia educational materials, this presentation will offer an assessment of what it's like to use Commons in a professional context. It will look at both successful and unsuccessful efforts to rely on Commons as a resource and examine some of the factors that influence success and failure. Considerations to touch on include:
  • Breadth and depth of selection
  • Quality control
  • Comparison with stock photography resources
  • Describing an educational media need in practice
  • Assessing whether a particular media requirement will match up well with using Commons
  • Whether limitations on the scope of Commons have a positive or negative effect for people relying on the site
  • Potential improvements that would make Commons more useful
The context of this work uses the expectation of multimedia presentation as a default assumption. Imagine that as part of writing a Wikipedia article, just as often as you are now expected to provide citations to references, instead you were required to illustrate the text in some fashion. What would your experience be like currently if you tried to do that? What would it take in order to be able to carry out this experiment successfully? Implications for other Wikimedia projects will also be considered.
Technical details of the MediaWiki software and usability concerns also play a role in the experience with Commons as a resource. These issues and corresponding ideas for solutions may occasionally surface, but the primary emphasis for the presentation is on a descriptive explanation of end-user experience. This includes incorporating a combined perspective as an end-user coming both from within the Wikimedia projects and from outside.
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
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Slides or further information (optional)

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  1. guillom 15:03, 19 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Blacklake 20:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
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  8. --DR 11:42, 25 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  9. --Elya 19:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Jean-Frédéric 19:13, 27 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Kocio 11:51, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  12. VasilievVV 18:21, 10 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
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  14. Yarl 21:00, 16 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Karol007 21:15, 16 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  16. DanicaR 17:08, 20 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  17. --Ivanmartinez 22:15, 21 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Amir E. Aharoni 06:37, 22 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]