Wikimedia Commons for Fun and Profit – Brianna Laugher [Wikimedia 2008 notes]

Wikimedia Commons logoImage via Wikipedia

What is Wikimedia Commons:


  • Central resource for Wikimedia
  • Wiki – anyone can edit, be bold, etc.
  • Media – it’s not text, it’s especially images
  • Multilingual – all the languages inside the single wiki
  • Free Content – all the files are availalbe under Free Licenses
  • Community – lots of people who consider this their “wiki home”


It’s a rapidly growing project – 3 million+ files!


Wikipedia has now single user login, so they’re expecting to increase their database even more.


Technical problems




  • Single user login
  • Inline video player
  • Thumbnails in search results
  • Email notifications of talk page changes


Wish list for the future:


  • Global Whatlinkshere (check-usage) – it’s important to help administrators and keep copyright infringement out
  • Automatic transfer
  • Move/rename images – a move tab. Now you need to use bots to do that.
  • Integrated workflow – like having a way if someone already checked the file
  • Write (upload) via MediaWiki API - 
  • Category display/sorting options
  • Category i18n
  • Batch uploading
  • Upload form customisability
  • Searching template fields as a database
  • Improved Right-To-Left interface display
  • Multilingual interface for non users
  • A/V format conversion on upload
  • Integrated image editing (esp. SVGs)
  • Integrated geo-stuff – as part of MediaWiki, not templates
  • Automatic user upload gallery
  • Category/user feeds
  • File rating systems
  • [.. and a few more .. ☺]


Commons API

MediaWiki has an API, but the community builds structure in the wiki (templates, categories).

How can register user reliably determine a file’s license and author.


Mangnus – – has create a tool for that:


Quality processes


  • Featured pictures
  • Quality images
  • Valued images


A way to encourage people to contribute and recognize their contribution.


Cheerleading, partnerships


  • Picture of the day
  • Picture of the year
  • Meet our photographers
  • Meet our illustrators
  • Pearson Scott Foresman – educational publisher donated illustrations (in paper); now they community is tagging and categorizing them and adding other meta-data
  • Wikipedia Takes Manhattan – people took photos of Manthattan, lots of high quality pictures of important buildings and places
  • (PGIP)


Policies and guidelines

GFDL (for text)

It’s a central repository

They want high quality images and meta-data

It’s a volunteer project

[and lots of other information that was too fast to present]


Major challenges

Usability – too much warnings, quite scary to upload file


Project relationships – all the communities need to work together; some local wikipedias are already requiring people to upload to commons directly

Partnerships – it’s hard to make good connections with institutions on volunteer base


Wikimedia Commons, readers’ view / Censorship

Top views show pictures related to sexuality. There is currently a proposal in working that require files to be realistically useful. The problem is that the project doesn’t want to be historically short-sighted.

Hot topics: Violence, Nationalism, Religion, Sex!

Zemanta Pixie

1 thought on “Wikimedia Commons for Fun and Profit – Brianna Laugher [Wikimedia 2008 notes]

Comments are closed.