[Foundation-l] [ANNOUNCEMENT] Greenspan illustration project

Cary Bass cbass at wikimedia.org
Fri Nov 2 18:32:50 UTC 2007

Cross posting to Commons-l and Foundation-l (forgive the duplication):

The Greenspan Illustration Project

    What is it?

The Wikimedia Foundation has received a donation from Philip Greenspun 
for the purpose of creating and improving illustrations on Wikimedia. 
The Board has decided to accept his donation of $US20,000 for this 
special purpose.

This is the first time the Foundation has been directly involved in 
funded content creation, although the German chapter's experience in 
winning a government grant to write articles on sustainable development 
has helped pave the way. The Foundation wants a "hands-off" minimal 
administration role with the bulk of the work of organizing the project 
and creating the content to be completed by members of our community.

Since this is the first time we've done this, we're not sure how it will 
go. This is a bit experimental and we ask for your patience and 
enthusiasm to help make it a success.

Brianna Laugher (<http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pfctdayelise>) 
will be coordinating the project, with my help as the Foundation's 
Volunteer Coordinator.

    How will it run?

Since Philip's kind donation is a lot of money and we're planning to pay 
around US$40 per illustration (with some lower and higher amounts, see 
details to follow), we want to progress the project in stages. Starting 
out with a small number of 50 requested illustrations, we'll look at our 
results and modify and improve it for successive stages.

The project will flow along as follows:

    * Create list of requested illustrations.
    * Open illustration requests on issue tracking software
    * Users will self-assign requests, signaling his or her intent to
      create that illustration.
    * On creation and approval, the user is paid the amount as set in
      the original request.

Things to note:

    * The list of requests will be approved by Brianna, in order that
      balance exists among "things any decent reference work needs";
      "things the Wikimedia community requests"; and "things we nearly
      have, or have poor versions of".
    * Approval: a review group will be formed in order to provide
      assessment of submitted images. The main checks will be 1)
      editor's original work and acceptable license, 2) correct
      rendering on MediaWiki and 3) how well the image depicts the
      requested item. No image will be accepted that do not pass all
      three of these checks.
    * Other checks will be recommended (e.g. language-neutral version).
    * The payment system is not yet finalized.

    How you can help

If you are interested in suggesting illustrations to be created, you 
don't have long to wait: soon there will be some pages on Meta where you 
can get involved. We will write to foundation-l when the pages are ready 
for your input.

If you are interested in being part of the review group, please email 
Brianna as follows:

brianna.laugher AT gmail DOT com

    The benefits

This project can have two good outcomes. One, we get illustrations we 
wouldn't otherwise have, or wouldn't otherwise have had so quickly. 
Another benefit is that we can use this project as a way to encourage 
and launch new people into the "illustrator community".

Creating high-quality SVGs is not a skill a lot of people have 
immediately, but may be developed fairly quickly. While many people 
might be vaguely interested in it but no more, a monetary incentive 
might be enough to push them to act, and learn, and create. Some of the 
image requests will be for smaller amounts (US$15) for relatively 
simpler illustrations—these will be specifically targeted to newcomers 
to encourage them to get involved. At the end of this project we might 
have $20,000 worth of illustrations, but the value of the content 
creating community will potentially be a lot higher. We expect a side 
benefit to this project will be the creation/finding and maintenance of 
good documentation for specific tasks using tools like Inkscape.

    More details

See the project specifications at:


Cary Bass
Volunteer Coordinator

Your continued donations keep Wikipedia running! Support the Wikimedia Foundation today: http://donate.wikimedia.org 

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Phone: 727.231.0101
Fax: 727.258.0207
E-Mail: cbass at wikimedia.org

More information about the foundation-l mailing list