On 8/4/06, Fastfission <fastfission(a)gmail.com> wrote:
The only problem there is that it treats the
"professionals" in a
different category than the "amateurs", which I think it somewhat
against the philosophy of the place. If WP allows "professionals" to
have their name listed (and with a link to their website?), why
wouldn't it let "amateurs" list theirs on the same page? Pretty soon
I think it's reasonable to distinguish people who do X for a living,
but have chosen to do X for free for us, and people who do Y for a
living, but have chosen to do X as a hobby. In some ways it's a much
greater sacrifice for a professional to work for free.
More pragmatically, amateurs don't need much encouragement to work for
us. I contribute photos to Wikipedia because I enjoy it, and because I
want to - not for any kind of recognition. Also, since "amateurs" are
Wikipedia community members, there are other ways of recognising them
internally - talk page messages work well. "Professionals" come from
outside the Wikipedia community, so should be recognised in a more
it could also devolve into a spam page, the only
contribution of a photograph.
Let's not be unnecessarily pessimistic.
Maybe that's not a problem, though. At least there
would be SOME
requirement. Actually, perhaps one could set the requirement --
contribute photographs to Wikipedia which can (and are) used in
articles and you get to put your name and link on a page for
contributing photographers. I don't know if anyone would go for that
(either Wikipedians or photographers). It's somewhat of an equivalent
of selling ad space, except services rather than money would be
transacted. Might be a bad precedent, might lead to some unpleasant
arguments ("I contributed 5 pictures of my rear to Wikipedia for the
'buttocks' page, why can't I list my website here?"). Just thinking
out loud here.
It should best be managed with discretion. Phrasing it as "Contribute
X, gain the right to Y" is definitely the wrong way. Phrasing it as
"We are grateful to X, of yyy.com
for his many photos" is better. No
rights, no exchange, just gratitude.
But even without a centralized credit facility we
could make it easy
for photographers to quickly set up Flickr-like user pages for
themselves where they would have their contact information, a link to
their web page, and a list of all free photos they've uploaded to
Wikipedia and what articles they are used in. If we set up easy-to-use
templates for this it might make it look even more attractive. We
could remind them how high a pagerank Wikipedia has, and that their
photograph would be used in an article which showed up on the first
Google search page in most cases.
Yeah, that's really not a bad idea. We would want to keep some
controls on it if people are coming to Wikipedia specifiaclly for
this, like ensuring that they only put pictures up which are genuinely
useful to us, and toning down the spam/advertising aspects of it.
I think we have a lot to offer in terms of exposure
even without modifying our system one bit. If we found some way to
send a "Hey, want to contribute some of your old, unused photos to
Wikipedia?" message around, perhaps it work on its own merit, if it
was worded well and presented the pros and cons in a straightforward,
Yeah, I can't say I've ever seen any advertising for contributors to
Wikipedia. Even popping around sites like flickr or photobucket or
whatever and spreading the word would be handy. There are a lot of
good amateur photographers out there looking for exposure.
What they have to lose: very little -- releasing under
a viral license
like CC-BY-SA would not only require attribution for re-use, but would
require all re-use to be itself licensed under a free license, which
their normal clientele would not be doing, so they are not competing
against themselves; the pictures are likely not going to be doing much
sitting at the back of their files gathering dust, and pictures which
would be too "boring" for professional use would actually be
potentially ideal for Wikipedia, which is somewhat
Yeah, and they can always upload them at like 1500px and still try and
sell higher res photos for printing if they really want. Not ideal,
but not terrible.