The categories is one issue that can be addressed, by changing the upload page, at the moment its in the section marked upload options that should be moved/reworded so its not an option. The other is to make it a text field rather than the + so that it can be a compulsory field.

The wording of templates has been distilled down to the simplist cleanest coldest plainest language possible to facilitate multilingual nature of Commons and that comes across as being agressive and unfriendly. 

A philosphical point is that we hold is that once an image is released we actively discourage the author taking, holding ownership of the image we expect them to accept what ever the community decides to do with the image. Yet the moment there's an issue we expect them to take ownership and address the problems, obviously if its a license issue they have to but for any other issue it shouldnt be, we should notify about discussions involving an image but it should be as a courtesy and the language should reflect that courtesy. We have scripts for closing the deletion discussion so it should not be too hard to modify them to identify the Uploader and advise them of the outcome, again as a courtesy.

Commons culture is that of a battlefield, with roving gangs/cabals who work together to achieve their aims and its getting worse, one just needs to look at FPC to see how bad its become.

What we need is to develope and encourage authors to be proud of their original contributions, we need to encourage the community to respect those contributions, we need to encourage the community appreciate what is being contributed QI & VI does that FP did. Rather than hire admins maybe the foundatin could support a small grant system to get more content or to address backlogs, ie $200 grant for an editor to spend 40 hours clearing backlogs, or translating pages or categorising uncategorised images.

On 23 February 2011 06:02, Neil Kandalgaonkar <> wrote:
This guy took the words right out of my mouth.

I have only been part of the Commons community as a hired developer
since early 2010, but this conclusion is becoming very clear to me.
Somewhere along the line, in a totally legitimate quest for quality, the
community experience suffered greatly.

And it's hard to get longtime Wikipedians and WMCommons people to even
think in a different direction -- it is assumed that all new features
just set tighter and tighter filters, and there's no other option if we
want Commons to be a very pure repository of freely-licensable content.

I disagree that we have to choose community OR quality. Commons will
become better as a factor of both a larger community and better
processes that mobilize people to improve quality. It's just that we
have to think beyond "filter away the bad stuff" or "impose even more
duties on submitters", and instead imagine processes where we can all
work to make things better in both dimensions.

Erik didn't mention it in his response but he's been working hard on a
White Paper about Foundation priorities. I think the Commons-related
priorities are for the most part spot on -- we need a "delightful"
uploading experience, but also tools to manage the growth collectively.

(At the WMF we've seen preview fragments of this research over several
months but this is all starting to come into focus just this week).

On 2/22/11 9:32 AM, David Gerard wrote:
> Food for thought.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Michel Vuijlsteke<>
> Date: 22 February 2011 16:29
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Friendliness (was: Missing Wikipedians: An Essay)
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List<>
> On 22 February 2011 14:14, Yaroslav M. Blanter<>  wrote:
>>> We have to make a profound choice in the culture here:
>>> 1) we continue with the whacking and scaring the newbies away (content
>>> priority #1, people #2), or
>>> 2) we embrace the newbies and we let some spam through (people priority
>> #1,
>>> content #2).
>>> So far we are steadily moving along the first route. I believe, it is
>> time
>>> we switch the priorities. People are important. It's the people who will
>> be
>>> creating content in the future, and not the other way around. Wikipedia
>>> will
>>> inevitably fail without participation. And content... we are already the
>>> largest and the best...
>>> Renata
>> To me it sounds too much black and white. Indeed, there are points you
>> better not stumble across as an editor: engaging into battles over disputed
>> content (like Middle East conflict), writing articles on smth with disputed
>> notability, pushing POV or not getting immediately the image upload rules.
>> But I assume this is a relatively minor fraction of editors (though of
>> course it still represents a problem). I can not recall that I ever got any
>> templates in my articles (I have written over 500 of them since 2007),
>> except for a couple of times from a bot that there are no links to the
>> article, and that I ever got any angry comments from admins/other editors
>> concerning the articles I have written.
> I don't think it has to be as obviously annoying as slathering templates all
> over pages or wikilawyering the newbies away -- it's often much more subtle
> how content/data seems to be considered more important than people.
> One interaction I encountered recently is typical. Michiel Hendryckx, one of
> Belgium's best-known photographers, started uploading fairly
> high-resolution, good quality images to Wikipedia (well, Commons) on 3 July
> 2010. Stuff like this 1983 Chet Baker portrait:
> The first message on his talk page was a request to confirm his identity
> (which he did).
> The second message was a complaint by Nikbot (no valid license for one
> particular image). A couple of hours later, at 10:51 on 4 July, the next
> message is from CategorizationBot, asking Hendryckx to add categories to his
> images.
> The third message, not six hours later, was this:
> *Please categorize our images !!!*
> You already have been asked by a bot to categorize your images. Therefore I
> don't understand why you keep on uploading images without categories.
> Uploading images without categorizing them doesn't make sense. Only
> categorized images can be found!
> I'm pretty sure the user in question meant really well, but *this* is what
> that focusing on content over people means to me. It's in the small things,
> the interactions that experienced Wikipedians take in their stride, but that
> can end up scaring people away.
> It's like the last message on Hendryckx' talk page, dated 1 February 2011: a
> notification that one if this images is listed at commons:deletion requests,
> and to "please do not take the deletion request personally... thank you!".
> Follow the link to the discussion (
> turns out the requester couldn't see the image. His/her first action was to
> nominate the image for deletion. Took about three hours for someone to
> confirm that no, the image works perfectly fine for them, and about five
> hours for the original person to close the deletion request ("thanks").
> Again: content over people. No personal interaction with the photographer,
> no message on the photographer's talk page after the deletion request was
> closed, nothing. The last interaction Hendryckx had on Commons -- on 19
> February, almost three weeks after the deletion request was closed -- was a
> baffled question (
> asking what on Earth is wrong with the image, and that he'd like to at least
> know why it needed to be deleted.
> Again, I'm sure the user in question meant really well again, but here too:
> content over people. Drive-by templating, shoot first, don't ask questions,
> don't even provide feedback, trust people will read every last word in the
> templates, etc.
> Michel Vuijlsteke
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