The title of this thread seems a bit hard, but that is practically the
situation as it looks now.
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
* 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.
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
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.