Speaking personally, I've approached quite a few but with very limited
success. I'm certainly happy to help with the WA ones as I have quite a few
contacts here in both major parties and the Greens, and I'm particularly
happy we managed to get our Premier's photo within days of his election. The
main problem we face is that both politicians and the parties are not
terribly computer literate - I'm on a committee with one of them and they
refuse to use email for communication, we're still talking postal system
here! Also many of them have an instinctively self-protective urge due to
issues not just between the parties but within them as well. It's a
challenge but not one which, with a coordinated effort, would be beyond us.
I try to sell it as, so long as it complies with Wikipedia policies (i.e. is
neutral - a face and shoulders shot or whatever is great), they're releasing
a photo to us which is higher quality than anything our volunteers would be
able to snap themselves. Also gives a great opportunity to explain what
Wikipedia is about, demolish a few myths, and etc.
What would be useful from my point of view would be some sort of way we
could approach. Like I have the contacts, I just don't always know what to
say. If WMA could come up with a sort of semi-approved list of points we
should bring up, both promotions and warnings, it would probably increase
the number of available volunteers who could get such assistance.
2008/11/20 Brianna Laugher <wikimediaau-l-request(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
I have noticed for a while the difficulty that Wikipedia editors have
had in obtaining freely licensed photographs of Australian politicians
for their biographical articles.
I think a good project for us might be to do some gentle (private)
lobbying to political parties and/or their branches to encourage them
to release a set of high quality portraits under a free license.
The best case would be if we could get a party or parties to release a
bunch of photographs rather than individuals (a last approach), mostly
because it is much more efficient.
I think it is a good project because it will be positive for both them
and us, it's very easy for us to point out the benefits for them, it
will further raise awareness of free licenses to politicians and the
work necessary to achieve it is mostly on-wiki and easily divisible,
making it easy for people to contribute even in small amounts.
Probably starting with current politicians and working backwards is
the easiest way to go.
It could go something like this:
* Collate stats about articles via different ways of categorisation
(eg state, fed/state/local [in cities?], party)
* Prepare letters and arguments to help persuade parties and individuals
* Find and collect contacts in all the parties and at all levels of
* WMAU sends letters, phones people etc.
So you can imagine this is one case where having a body behind a
letter might hopefully be more persuasive than an individual.
We have lots of starting points already --