[Foundation-l] Wikimedia Commons: Service project or not?

Yaroslav M. Blanter putevod at mccme.ru
Thu Jun 18 16:26:14 UTC 2009

I thought a bit more about the issue, and I think there is a point we
(possibly all of us) are missing. Actually, Commons must be not just a
depository, it can also play an active role within WMF projects. Let me
give an example. More than a year ago I uploaded this file:
which I used to illustrate an article on ru.wp on the town where the
church is located. (In the meanwhile, about 10 other pictures of the same
town have been uploaded). I see now that articles about the town exist in
four Wikipedias, en, fr, ru, and fi. fi.wp article uses this image since
it has been apparently created after the file was uploaded. en and fr
articles do not use any images at all for illustration: apparently, they
have been created before I uploaded the image, and I was too lazy to
insert images in these articles even though I speak both English and
French. Now since I have noticed this I will of course do it myself, but
generally this could be difficult: imagine an article with 10 interwikis,
some of them in languages I have no idea of like Japanese. This is of
course a meta issue and somebody (me for instance) could take an
initiative and create a project alerting other wikipedias of new image
arrivals (I vaguely remember we even had a script like this which was very
helpful in adding images), but I guess it would be a natural task for
Commons. Another example - actively searching for images and uploading
them: for instance, approaching users living in certain areas, searching
for PD images of works of art etc. May be I am just ignorant and all these
things are already going on, but then it is strange that I have never
heard of them being an active editor and being in principle interested in
meta issues.

To conclude there is definitely a room for an active role for Commons, not
just as a passive file depository.


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