Grants:IEG/Socialize Wikimedia Commons

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Socialize Wikimedia Commons
IEG key blue.png
summarySocialize Wikimedia Commons
targetCommons, Wikipedia
strategic priorityincreasing participation
amount4600 eur
contact• josepadrianr(_AT_)
this project needs...
created on15:50, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
2014 round 2

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

After a decade of its creation, Wikimedia Commons accounts for around 23M items. While this may seem a lot based on some standards, it is certainly less than 10% of all the pictures that are shared in a single day across social networking services.[1][2] [3][4]

While many (maybe most) of them may not be educational, and therefore useless for Wikimedia Commons, some of them could be really valuable for Wikipedia if users of these platforms knew about Commons and how to share their pictures to serve a better purpose.

What is your solution?[edit]

While Wikimedia Commons is certainly not a social network platform I believe that it would be relevant to study ways to attract new users by learning lessons of more than one decade of social networking experiences.

I am planning to write a report on the differences between Wikimedia Commons and the most famous social media platforms to understand why, while many people is used to share lots of multimedia items on-line everyday, just a small amount of them consider uploading them into Wikimedia Commons or even is aware of the possibility of doing so.

Step 1[edit]

I am planning to engage with frequent users of social media platforms to understand their motivations to share pictures and videos across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest and evaluate their knowledge of Commons. I would like to evaluate what portion of this content should serve an educational purpose if uploaded into Commons.


  • Is it relevant that some social networking services allow limited distribution among connections or most of them agree to share their material in an unrestricted way?
  • Do they mostly seek recognition for their work or just socialization?
  • If their pictures could use to illustrate Wikipedia articles, could this be a remarkable valuable recognition?

Step 2[edit]

In this way I would like to understand which changes would be relevant for Commons to endeavour to try to improve and attract new users that are already posting pictures on social networks, effectively increasing amount of items. I also would like to know the opinion of Commons users on such changes.


  • Should Commons consider including a “Like” or “Favourite” button for uploaded items to increase socialization among users? (Similar to “Thank” button)
  • Should Commons consider an easy way to share uploaded items across social networks? (If licensing allows such use)
  • Should Commons encourage third party adoption of features like a “Post on Commons” button? (If licensing allows such use)

Step 3[edit]

I am also concerned about legal implications of sharing pictures across social media and general knowledge among users compared to those who use Wikimedia Commons. Compared legal terms and licensing implications should also arise from this report.


  • Are users of social networking services aware of the legal consequences of posting their works in such services? Do they know whether or not they can avoid third party use, derivative works, reclaim fees or attribution?
  • Is privacy a relevant issue when discussing content uploading?
  • Are the terms of use of Wikimedia Commons more attractive to frequent social network users when compared to those of these platforms?

Project goals[edit]

  • Encourage community discussion.
  • Provide a remarkable and useful state of the art of Commons knowledge and notability across social networking platforms users
  • Estimate the amount of pictures that are shared across these platforms and could (also) be uploaded into Commons
  • Understand the differences that make such platforms more relevant to them than Commons
  • Provide some guidance on future changes to be considered by Commons and the WMF to attract social network users.
  • Raise awareness of the possibility and the need of upload educational pictures on Commons (some local media coverage would be pursued according to previous experiences)

Project plan[edit]


  • Research on social networking platforms and Wikimedia Commons (usage, notability, numbers, features...) (month 1-2)
  • Interviews with social network pioneers and experts (early adopters, social media consultants, legal experts...) and with Commons and Wikipedia users. This will include personal meetings and on-line interviews. (month 3)
  • Interviews with other relevant actors (photographers, technology non-profits, cultural institutions...). This will include personal meetings and on-line interviews. (month 3)
  • Survey design (month 3)
  • Interviews and survey across social network frequent users (month 3-4)
  • Interviews and survey across Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia frequent users (month 4-5)
  • Report results and conclusions. Press release. (month 5)
  • Possible translation into spanish and/or catalan to increase notability and coverage (month 5)


  • Total amount requested: 4600 EUR
    • Personal remunerations including taxes - 4000 EUR (800 EUR/month)
    • Travel spending around Spain with public transportation and own vehicle - 400 EUR
      • 10 to 15 travels estimated, local when possible. On-line meeting will be prioritized when possible.
    • Print materials and other office expenses - 200 EUR
      • Limited printing of reports, support and visual material. Other office material included.

Community engagement[edit]

Wikimedia communities will be engaged in discussion before, during and after the report. Opinions and previous experiences will be considered to improve the report.


  • I expect to encourage long-term discussion in both social network users and Wikimedians communities.
  • If the report suggest so, I would expect some of the improvements outlined by third parties to be considered by the WMF.
  • Although this report is expected to offer a worldwide perspective, it could be totally or partially reproduced to focus on particular communities, countries or areas to try to reflect particular realities.

Measures of success[edit]

  • Commons
    • 10 to 20 Commons users engaged in discussion before and after report conclusions
    • 2 to 5 improvements suggested by the report are taken into consideration by the Commons community and the WMF.
  • Social network
    • Report and conclusions spreads remarkably across social networks (e.g. 100-200 "Likes", "RTs", "FAVs", "+1"...)
    • 10 to 20 active social network users sign in into Commons and start to publish their items spreading the word among friends.
    • 100-200 new items uploaded into Commons by these users in the first month after their sing in.
  • Others
    • 10-15 relevant actors from different areas involved, interviewed and/or committed to spread the word
    • Some notability also achieved using local press, blogs and other channels. (1-3 hits)

Get involved[edit]


Community Notification[edit]




Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the talk page of this proposal).

  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.
  • I usually upload A LOT of files to commons. Every time I see something potentially educative, I take a photo or video with my cellphone.
    This has had as result that I've even taken photos of historically relevant moments, and We have those photos in Commons.
    I believe this line of work, to make people to think in Commons as "their" website to upload photos (rellevant/educational), is the one to follow. Coentor (talk) 22:22, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Support I strongly support this proposal because it is necessary to think Commons (and Wikipedia, and sister projects) in the context of internet social ecology. Which is its position and how is interacting with other projects/actors? This research may be useful to understand that. And I believe that, like in this case, is important to do research getting closer to users, not only mining. The research questions are relevant. And opening a debate of spreading "post to Commons" on social networks it is an interesting thing. I hope that the research can go ahead gathering proposals for future improvements. --Dvdgmz (talk) 07:43, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Excellent proposal. Diego Grez return fire 17:55, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Support I think this is a wonderful idea. Applying social media community building strategies to Commons would strengthen the community around Commons, and also increase the number of resources uploaded to Commons. Arunasank (talk) 04:27, 27 April 2015 (UTC)