Multimedia:Meeting in Paris/Notes/Education and Outreach

From Wikimedia Usability Initiative

Target Group Analysis

  • People who never used Commons at all
  • Wikipedians (who are unaware of the existance of Commons)
  • Readers/Users of the Wikimedia projects
  • Cultural Institutions
    • Museums
    • Libraries
    • Archives
  • Educators
  • Photographers and other multimedia creators

What the target groups want to get out of Commons

  • Use
  • Re-use
  • Upload

Problem Analysis

  • Wikimedia Commons is not visible enough on Wikipedia (see Polish Wikipedia)
  • There is no good explanation about what free licences are
  • Lack of information about what inspires us to use free licences (e.g. convincing case studies)
  • There is too much information
  • We need to explain why we do things like we do it (e.g. why is collecting meta data important?)
  • The help (as one of the main functions on the main page) is not visible enough (overkill of useless information)
  • Commons is not perceived as an independent project (note: controversial)
  • The communication with the user is mostly aggressive / impersonal tone (bots)
  • Some of the people who are the public face of Commons are not friendly enough, but are very active and hard-working members of the community (nasty-but-diligent-guy-problem) -- worse on Commons than on other projects, because there too few places for reflective communication (like in WikiProjects)
  • People don't now enough about exciting projects on Commons (Atlas etc.)

Slogans (brainstorming)

  • "Commons – a great way to share something with the world!"
  • "View the world from different angles!" (with different pictures of the same item, taken by different photographers)
  • "See how your picture helps educating people!"
  • "Universal access to culture"

Solutions / Proposals

education / outreach related

  • Introduction video about a) what Commons is, and about b) the usage of Commons (how to use, re-use, upload). (See the Google Chrome introduction page for example)
  • Enticement materials ("10 reasons why you should contribute to Wikimedia Commons", "pictures make the difference")
  • Wiki seminar about communication with other users / conflict resolution
  • Leaflet for Museums
  • Leaflet for Libraries / Archives

other noteworthy ideas

  • "Did you like this picture? See more pictures of this type…"

Limits of outreach / educational initiatives

  • As soon as the nasty-but-diligent-guy appears, all efforts are in vain

Criteria for good Commons-related educational / outreach materials

  • positive tone (what you can do instead of what you can't)
  • attractive materials (for the target group photographers)
  • should capture what is fun on Commons
  • simple, understandable language
  • keep everything simple, not too much information, focus on the most important points
  • should direct the reader to more detailed information
  • the right mix between fact-based and inspirational

Target specific positioning messages (museums, libraries, archives)


  • Contextualization ("access for your target market")
  • Taking the content to other places
  • Engagement (the amount of time people spend with your collection)
  • The more the museums are visible online, the more people can be activated to visit the museum
  • Re-assurance: "Nothing can replace the real thing"


  • Wikipedia is a knowledge repository (common mission)
  • The power of volunteers:
    • Case study I: OCR – Wikisource adds value to the full text search
    • Case study II: Wikimedians check and improve your metadata (authority records)
  • Wikipedians giving classes: "How Wikipedia works" (both for the general public and the library staff) / Broaden the demographics of the users
  • Case study: multilingualism, annotation, disambiguation (Sj)
  • Case study: Jeffdelonge (Wikimedian who saved a collection while he was a library intern)


  • Preservation
    • materials are accessible online (and can take less damage)
    • the data is available somewhere else
  • Metadata can be reviewed and improved (Case studies: Federal Archive) (wisdom of crowds)
  • Case study Durova


  • Wikimedia's mission
  • Wikimedia is an international, non-profit organization
  • You can focus on your job, while we are doing the low-level work

Arguments against a partnership

  • "the integrity of the collection" (ruining the reputation)

GLAM Next steps

  1. Identify a person in your organization that is responsible for the project
  2. For further information see: …
  3. Contact the local chapter

Additional information for Chapters

  • The most common pitfalls
    • content terminology "content liberation" (see w:en:WP:GLAM)
    • not pitching the right level
    • copyright fear
    • not being explicit about the amount of work / not being clear enough about the whole project
    • disrespect ("we know it better than you" / being dressed in t-shirts / not respecting the work of the last decades)
    • knowing whom to send (is the person qualified to do the job? does the person talk the same language?)
  • The most common objections
    • commercial use of my stuff
    • anyone can do anything with it?
    • we want to be attributed / we don't want to be associated with a different (e.g. vandalized) version
    • but it's already free on our website / why do you have to upload it to Commons?
    • why do you need a high resolution
    • control of my stuff (I can't delete etc.)
    • (Also see wmuk:Cultural_partnerships/Content_partnerships#Drawbacks)