On Sun, 17 May 2020 at 10:32, Tito Dutta <trulytito(a)gmail.com> wrote:
1) I remember a major discussion took place somewhere
on Wikimedia Commons
when one of the strategy2030 draft recommendations suggested uploading
non-free images on Wikimedia Commons. That discussion was also on the scope
of Wikimedia Commons. I wish I could recall where exactly it took place.
In August 2019 this question was brought up in the first round (iteration)
of the Recommendations. It was unfortunately intertwined with another
heavy, but tangential topic: the ToU. Accordingly half of the discussions
are unrelated to this question on the page. There was quite a bit of drama
caused by the superficial proposal, I'm surprised it's already forgotten
The most acceptable solution proposed at that time was a separate wiki that
would run the same software as Commons:
That's a pretty good proposal (actually the second one in years) that has
run out of energy, just like the previous one.
IMHO Commons and the mediawiki software gives no benefits over popular and
easy-to-use image sharing services for non-wikipedians. Additionally, on
wiki newcomers can get dragged into wikidramas despite their best intent
and there is no protection for them. Learning the non-straightforward
communication patterns on-wiki and establishing a "standing" is a
multi-year effort, which simply is not necessary on the popular platforms.
There content creators can focus on building their follower-base instead.
The features and services they benefit from don't coincide with the
features the wiki software and communities are creating or looking for.
Uploading to Wikimedia is more like an ideological statement that might
require significant investment without benefits or with unexpected negative
Tl;dr: why would anyone take a hard and uncomfortable path, when there is
an easy and beneficial path.
Regardless, a not-strictly-free media-hosting wiki would be great imho. For
wikipedians. To develop a product and culture that's suitable for regular
photographers would require talented and strongly motivated IT and HR
personnel, which is not present in the WMF, nor is it attainable: we've
seen people, who have put their hearts into their work, just to leave
prematurely, under unclear circumstances. Presumably the work environment
is not supportive of people who could envision and manifest such a product.
2) Wikimedia Commons is most possibly/definitely less
Wikipedia. I believe many editors start from Wikipedia and then move to
That's true for me. As a newcomer / non-wikipedian the first issue I had
with "Commons" was: "What does it mean?" I think outside Wikimedia
name might be meaningless for many people.
"The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all
members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a
Though there is logic in that, it's very abstract. I don't associate that
naturally with "Let's share my photos!" Rather, it makes me think of
sharing the water I bring from a fountain.
I remember when I've learned it's about sharing media - images primarily -
I was thrilled. After uploading dozens of images, requesting and learning
AWB - to effectively manage images in batches - my impression is it's good
to have, but takes serious, hard work to use it properly, involving some
advanced level form-filling skills, that's fun to learn (at least for me,
just for the challenge), but not fun to do regularly and I assume it's not
even fun to learn for many people.
3) Yes, the difficulty of using the app/web interface
might be an issue of
seeing less contribution as well. You have different photo-sharing
platforms which uploads photos in 1-click. Commons upload process is
longer. (I am not saying the process is bad, of course, we need all the
steps, and there is not an unnecessary step there.)
4) The human emotion and interaction part is kind of missing: On Facebook,
Instagram the likes, comments etc one gets, work as a
motivation. This is a
major issue. On FB, or Instagram an uploader can connect with people
instantly, and their responses/reactions are quick as well. (Here also, I
am not really suggesting anything, just keeping it as an observation)
Let's talk about Google Photos, their badges, photo views analytics, and
email time to time (eg: Your photo is making a difference, or You are a
star) is good for motivation as well.
IMHO the primary motivation to use those platforms is the social aspect:
creating a follower-base, that brings the benefits: patreon, social
Wikis don't have these incentives, the rules of the game (in terms of game
theory) are fundamentally different, social status is not the result of how
engaging the content is. The effective strategies on wiki might not be
interesting or suitable for content creators. To expect them to invest
effort into Wikimedia would require something given in exchange: a modern,
comfortable interface and a welcoming community.