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

Ilario Valdelli valdelli at gmail.com
Fri Jun 19 11:43:47 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 6:26 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter<putevod at mccme.ru> wrote:
> 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.

IMHO the role of Commons is not so clear and this discussion confirm
it to me. We can identify two roles:

* support and passive role for other projects
* independent and active role to describe and collect media files

We can discuss for long time, but a role is sufficient, two roles are "caos"!!!

The real problem is that these two roles are becoming *in opposition
each other* because the single projects are furnishing media files to
Commons receiving not a service which can "help" the same project and
two roles doesn't focus the Commons project in a clear aim. Frequently
we will have discussions and I think that some projects have already
planned that it's better to use their own repository to keep the media
file instead of to use Commons.

in the other hand the active role can help to improve the use and the
description of the same file.

My two cents...

Commons *must* be an ancillary service for all projects, it must be a
repository because in a technical point of view the management of
files is different from the management of text.

Nothing in opposition for an *another project* which can collect the
media files in different pages for a better description and for a best

IMHO Commons is surely not perceived with a clear aim and for this
position it's better to proceed to split it in two project:

* Commons (like repository) with sysops elected by other projects
which will use it like repository (and in this case the policies are
decided by these projects)
* another project (wikialbum???) which helps Commons to improve the
quality of media files, to describe these files and to proceed to a
production of articles where the aim is the collection of media files
in some archives

It seems to me a better solution also to proceed to face some
competitors like Flickr.


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