Wikimedians and their partners rely upon many custom pieces of software (tools) that are crucial for effective content partnerships. Such tools take care of different aspects of the content partnerships process, including:
- large scale (mass/batch) uploads – batch uploading media files to Wikimedia Commons or data to Wikidata
- using, enriching and improving content on Wikimedia projects – for instance via campaigns or crowdsourcing/tagging
- reporting – statistics of the impact of content partnerships, for instance the number of views that images have received.
See the list of tools that are currently on the (general) radar of the Content Partnerships Hub.
Many of these tools are created and maintained by volunteer developers in the Wikimedia movement. Sometimes, these tools are not actively maintained and improved. Sometimes new developments in the Wikimedia movement create a need for new features or even entirely new tools (for instance: tools that support Structured Data on Commons, which was deployed for the first time in 2019).
In order to help Wikimedians and their partners work on effective partnerships, the content partnerships hub is experimenting with ways to improve sustainable support and maintenance of these tools. For this purpose, the hub wants to initiate and facilitate movement-wide conversations in 2022, that focus on various aspects of this task, including but not limited to:
- Which tools and functionalities should be prioritized?
- What are the core needs of Wikimedians, GLAMs and other content partners? How do these needs differ around the world?
- How will the Wikimedia movement make decisions on further prioritization? Which governance processes can we put into place so that these decisions are made on a well-argumented and equitable basis?
- How will the Wikimedia movement financially support the necessary development and maintenance of key content partnerships software?
- Who will work on improving and maintaining the tools? What is the role of tool owners, software partners, volunteer and paid developers and potentially decentralized teams?
- What kind of support is needed and useful?
This work on tools is closely related to necessary work on end-user documentation, support and training. These are covered in the capacity building and helpdesk parts of the content partnerships hub.
- In 2021 and 2022, the hub has started contributing hands-on developer time and general advice to several existing developer communities and teams: the ISA Tool, OpenRefine and Pattypan. See the log in the table below for more info.
- Sometimes new developments in the Wikimedia movement create a need for new features, or even entirely new tools. The hub also wants to investigate how these can be put into place and supported. Some examples are listed in a subpage of tools and functionalities on the radar for possible future support.