On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 8:05 AM, Michael Snow <wikipedia(a)verizon.net> wrote:
The Swedish chapter had the idea to declare 2009 The Year of the
Picture, to put a concerted effort into adding images to the Wikimedia
Commons, along with using more illustrations in Wikipedia and elsewhere.
I think this is absolutely a great idea. Making better use of visual
material in our projects also fits in with the ongoing effort to improve
Let me say for the record that I wholeheartedly support this idea.
On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 11:04 AM, Gerard Meijssen
Commons is only usable for people who speak English. A seven or eight year
old is not likely to find a picture of a hynder.
Indeed; although the Commons community has put a lot of energy in
welcoming users from all origins, I know many regular Wikipedians who
can't use Commons because they can't read English and they can't
browse its content. Another issue is that "Commons is not censored",
and a seven-year-old child might as well fall upon the "female
genitals" category. Imho the search engine of Commons should:
* allow multilingual tags or categories (Gerard already suggested
that, and Commons users have been waiting for such a feature for a
very long time)
* include a "Safe mode" for children.
* allow some sort of rating to facilitate the search; as someone said
elsewhere, "Commons is a depository, and depositories are expected to
host lots of junk". A rating feature would allow the best of Commons
to be presented first during the search, and junk to be presented
If we really want to make 2009 « the year of the picture », this
initiative must imho be accompanied by a real development effort.
There is currently one chapter employing a MediaWiki developer, and I
know there are at least two other chapters considering sponsoring one.
Perhaps a chapter-sponsored initiative could be devoted to some sort
of "search layer" (in core or as an extension) that would implement
these features. Perhaps this has already been considered as part of
the Stanton usability initiative.