Content Partnerships Hub/Software

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Content Partnerships Hub
Improving the Wikimedia movement’s work with content partners

Software development[edit]

There are a number of small tools in the movement that are crucial for content partnerships, yet they are not actively developed or maintained. There is an urgent need for better batch upload tools, campaign tools, visualization tools, reporting tools etc. to allow Wikimedians to form effective partnerships.

The hub aims to invest in this by collaborating with a few teams that are interested in further developing the tools together. The hub has means to provide hands-on developer time to solve some of the key issues identified with the hope to lower the threshold for content partnerships. Also developing the documentation and research the needs from GLAM partners are areas where we are keen to collaborate.

For now the hub will work to support existing developer communities and work to improve the tools for content partnerships together.

Close cooperation with the team developing OpenRefine is needed to add functionality for editing Structured Data on Commons (SDC). One of the biggest barriers to mass uploads of SDC is the lack of software that would be both easy to use and powerful, and approachable to people without strong technical skills. OpenRefine will bridge this gap. It is an open-source application for data cleaning, analysis and reconciliation that can also edit Wikidata. It is used by many Wikidata editors to upload large datasets from external sources.

The OpenRefine developer team has received a grant to expand the application with Wikimedia Commons functionalities – for both file uploads and SDC editing. The plan is to develop these functionalities by mid-2022, and the goal is to provide Wikimedians with a comprehensive tool for all of their Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons needs. This will be a huge step towards making SDC more approachable, and we want to follow the development process closely, so that we can both share our insights, based on our work with GLAM uploads, and learn in depth about the new functionalities. We will then be able to support both the Wikimedia community and GLAM partners in using the tool.

The continued development of the ISA tool will be a priority. ISA tool enables users to quickly add structured data to files on Wikimedia Commons. The tool aims at making the SDC editing process easy and fun. As it is built to work well on smartphones the tool helps to lower the threshold for new contributors in areas where not everybody has easy access to a laptop. Through campaigns the tool help the user to discover the value of SDC in an approachable environment.

Further investigations on what the hub can do to support the development or improvements of some of the many tools that make it easier to work with content shared by content partners on the Wikimedia platforms is also needed. Those include:

  • A more powerful uploader tool for Wikibase. While there has been increased interest among actors such as GLAMs to set up their own data repositories using the same software that powers Wikidata, the current lack of efficient and easy to use tools to import large amounts of data into a Wikibase instance makes it hard to get started. We have been talking with Wikimedia Deutschland's developer team about how such a tool might look like, and would like to continue this thread and discuss our possible engagement in the project.
  • Further improvements of Cassandra and the GLAM Wiki dashboard. These tools make it easy for GLAMs to keep track of the materials they have shared on Wikimedia Commons and to collect pageview statistics and other metrics, which are often crucial when the institutions make strategic decisions about their involvement in the Wikimedia platforms. We have used our partnership network in Sweden to provide feedback about these tools, and would like to continue being involved in their development. It is crucial that content partners are able to get a good overview and metrics about their contributions without having to ask us for help navigating the tools and understanding the results.
  • The new app Makumbusho: Apps4Museums. This is an inspiring example of how we can harness the rich content on the Wikimedia platforms to provide added value to GLAMs that do not have the resources to develop the digital presence that is needed to attract and inform their patrons. The apps developed within this framework will not only benefit the museums, but also bring their users' attention to the content on the Wikimedia platforms, leading to them engaging with and improving it. We love this project because it sets out to solve one of the most crucial problems of content partnerships: putting the data and files on the Wikimedia platforms is one thing, but making sure it's actually seen and used by non-Wikimedians is another.