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
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 years.
* 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 successful contest.
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.