Grants talk:Conference/Commons Photographers User Group/Commons Conference 2020

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Open tasks[edit]

  • Find additional volunteers for the organizing team (Status: Ralf is working on this)
  • Find an organization that would take on fiscal sponsorship (Status: seems like WMAT will help with this)
  • Run a community engagement survey among the members of the user group
  • Fill out the missing items in the grant application
Extended content
Comment Comment ready to help if needed. Dyolf77 (talk) 23:38, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Dyolf77, thanks a lot!!! Please get in touch with Ralf, who's coordinating everything. I think our greatest need at this point is the missing community engagement survey. Deadline for all of this is early March. Best, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 15:27, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Frank Schulenburg and Ralf Roletschek: Of course I will. Dyolf77 (talk) 16:45, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Dyolf77, great! Thanks so much! The target group for the survey is the members of the User Group. You'll find a list here. Please let me know if you need anything else. Best, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 20:35, 14 February 2018 (UTC) P.S. Also, are you interested in coordinating the conference program?[reply]
@Frank Schulenburg: Was the survey created or not yet? And yes it will be my pleasure to coordinate the conference program. Best Dyolf77 (talk) 20:45, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
You'll find the instructions on this page: Conference & Events Grants (Step 1) --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 20:53, 14 February 2018 (UTC) P.S. I also added your name to the list of organizers[reply]
@Frank Schulenburg: Thanks, the survey is ready, please review it if necessary. Dyolf77 (talk) 21:15, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Frank Schulenburg: Done Dyolf77 (talk) 01:00, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Dyolf77, merci beaucoup et amitiés :-) --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 01:10, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Comment Comment Ready to help in the organization if needed Hamed Gamaoun (talk) 21:51, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Hey Satdeep, don't you need more volunteers? Best, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 02:54, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Frank Schulenburg: Yes, I will need more volunteers and I think we can get help from the Wikimedians of Iceland User Group to get some local volunteers. --Satdeep Gill (talk) 03:39, 19 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Comment Comment Hello! I'm willing to help, if there's further need for volunteers; I'm especially interested in aspects, such as: Coordination, Programs, and Communications :)..--Jamie Tubers (talk) 17:41, 22 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimedians of Iceland User Group[edit]

Will Wikimedians of Iceland User Group be involved in any capacity? -Another Believer (talk) 01:03, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Ralf, weißt Du da genaueres? --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 01:07, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Ich habe eine isländische Community gesucht aber nicht gefunden... --Ralf Roletschek (talk) 07:16, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I invited the three Wikipedians listed on Wikimedians of Iceland User Group. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 14:43, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Great, thanks! -Another Believer (talk) 01:57, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I'm in contact with Svavar Kjarrval from Iceland who told me via email that he'd be interested in joining the event. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 00:49, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Deadline is approaching: next steps[edit]

Hey all, I think we're on a good path to get this grant request finalized until the deadline on March 4th (in two days). I feel like I've done my share of work and now it's up to you all: some sections still need to be filled out and the budget needs to be re-adjusted (the Google document and this page aren't in sync). I've been personally super busy at work over the past couple of weeks/months and it looks like that's not going to change soon. So, we really need everybody else to step up in order to get us through the last mile (as I won't be able to work on this anymore). Thanks and all the best, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 01:00, 3 March 2018 (UTC) [reply]


$2344 per person is a lot of money. Seems to be a lot more money per person than other international events. Why did you pick this location? Anywhere less remote would have made it more feasible for more volunteers to attend without the need for a scholarship. This just looks like a subsidised holiday. Also, if this event happens, are the photos going to be released under a real free license or more photos that are nearly impossible to re-use like this one? Multichill (talk) 21:27, 4 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I have a couple of concerns about this proposal. First, I'm not sure there is actually the appetite for a 30-person event. There have been 14 endorsements and 11 responses to the survey (probably with some overlap), from a total Usergroup membership of 76. I would expect fewer people to actually show up to an in-person event involving longhaul travel - even though the plan is to offer the event at 10% of cost price (or less for those in developing countries). Second, I agree with Multichill that the location is a bit odd - I suspect you could get just as much attendance at far lower cost if the event was in Europe somewhere (and there are plenty of places in Europe that have good photographic material). While I applaud the goals of the event, is this really a good way to meet them? Thanks, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 14:02, 5 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Just to note that The page on Commons has many more names "interested" in going, than the endorsements here. I think this conference is lacking some advertising though. -- Colin (talk) 12:04, 7 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for pointing that out! Hadn't seen that page. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 14:04, 7 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Flight costs[edit]

What dates are these estimates from? They seem low considering the conference is in August. Looking through various flight prices from the various cities listed the costs for budget flights seem to be between 20% - 40% higher in some cases. I appreciate that costing travel is difficult, but this does seem to be an optimistic estimate.

Which does bring us to the question of location where I have to echo the concerns of those above. I understand the logic of the location and its appeal, but does Iceland's equidistance between N.America and Western Europe actually add up to any net saving in a travel budget that is meant to be global? Because even in summer domestic flights within Europe can generally cost >$100 (and I'm certain that N.America may have a similar dynamic) which would make it more accessible to more local non-scholarship community members and also frees up scholarship funds for travel from outside Europe. Battleofalma (talk) 14:43, 5 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Long neglected[edit]

The principal justification for this event is to redress the problem that, as it says in the very first sentence of the grant application, "Photographers on Commons have been a long neglected subgroup within the Wikimedia movement".

Obviously every part of the community would like to have more resources and attention focused on it - and fair enough too - but that is different from actively being neglected. Given that there are many photography competitions (not the least of which is WLM), 'technology-pools' in Chapters which have borrowable camera equipment, software development specifically related to Commons (notably the current 'structured data on Commons' project), what instances of neglect are you specifically referring to? Wittylama (talk) 15:45, 5 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I was about to post a comment which overlaps greatly with Liam’s.
The very first sentence of this grant application is:
“Photographers on Commons have been a long neglected subgroup within the Wikimedia movement.”
I am very confused by this unsubstantiated statement. I have been trying to make sense of it by considering which actors might “neglect” this group but have found quite the opposite:
  • WMF software development: Wikimedia Commons as a whole hardly gets the end of the stick there (while one can always argue this may not be enough, go ask a Wikisource or a Wiktionary editor how much 'dedicated' development they get) − in no special order, come to mind UploadWizard, VipsScaler, Structured Data, TIFF support, 3D models, thumbnailing, max size uploads… As a central Commons stakeholder, photographers benefit from many of these improvements.
  • WMF communications: Photographers and their amazing work have been put in the spotlight quite often on the WMF blog (via Pictures of the Day and community profiles)
  • Affiliates support: Many affiliates have some kind of photographer-support scheme. Browsing through these overviews and categories (both of which are partial), it appears that lending high-end equipment, obtaining media accreditations, and sponsoring photo expeditions are very widespread and typical activities, specifically aimed at Commons photographers. To which may be added initiatives like Wiki Loves [Monuments|Earth|Science].
  • Volunteer software development: several pieces of software highly-geared towards Commons photographers have been developed (come to mind desktop applications like Commonist or VicuñaUploader, image software extensions like LrMediaWiki and KIPI uploader, or the Commons mobile-app).
Given the above examples I fail to see in what way Commons photographers should be considered “a long neglected subgroup within the Wikimedia movement”. I do realise it may sound unfair to pick apart one single sentence, but it feels like this sentiment somehow underpins the whole application.
Jean-Fred (talk) 15:54, 5 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I removed the sentence as it seems to be controversial. I'm at work now and can't leave a longer message here, but I'll follow up with you later this week. Thanks, --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 19:01, 5 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. I'd also like to know what "their first official meeting" means. As far as I know, significant numbers of Wikimedia Commons photographers have met and discussed via dedicated meetups during several Wikimanias, for instance in 2013. I suspect some specific definition of "first", "official" and/or "meeting" is being used. Thanks, Nemo 10:32, 8 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
It would be the first official meeting of the User Group - and yes, photographers have been meeting in various locations on an international, regional and local level. It would be great to hear from the organisers why this kind of work necessitates a meeting on an island in the middle of nowhere, instead of using these 77,000 USD to fund regional workshops focused on the needs in a specific region. Braveheart (talk) 16:38, 10 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

WMF Feedback[edit]

Hello,Ralf Roletschek I have a few concerns about this proposal.

  1. There was a low response rate for your user group. For an event with this budget and number of participants, you should have input from a larger portion of your user group.
  2. The budget for this event is much higher than any other conference funded through this grant program. I see a number of contributing factors: conference grant guidelines suggest limiting events to a maximum of 3 days, and travel scholarship budget should be calculated on the cost of shared rooms. We do not have funding available in this grant round to fund this event, even if the budget is adjusted to three days and shared rooms.
  3. The main topics that you would like to focus on this event sound like discussions that could take place online, and do not necessarily require in-person meeting to discuss. Alternately, if the broader Commons community decided to organize a conference, it could be reasonable to make time in the program for these discussions.

The proposal has been passed on to the grant committee for review, but it is not likely that we will be able to fund this event in this round. Have you considered lower cost alternatives to this event that would support your community to discuss the issues you raised in the community input survey? Alternately, have you discussed the possibility of organizing a conference with the broader Commons community?--KHarold (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 3 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Request for additional commitments[edit]

I agree with the following:

  1. Commons Photographers are among the highest impact most enthusiastic Wikimedia contributors of professional quality unique content
  2. The budget is appropriate for a conference this size and with this scope
  3. The conference goals are worthwhile on this budget for this group
  4. This particular conference is a good idea

I hold back full support because the biggest risk that I see for this conference is a will to repeat it but disappointment if this does not become a regular event. My read on Wikimedia community norms is that while there could be funding for this event once, this much funding to so few people for a conference with internal focus is not repeatable. If the organizing team could make commitments to build out infrastructure and planning for the future then I would be able to give full support. Here are some of the commitments which I would request:

  1. In the future, commit to co-locate this event with another Wikimedia conference, such as Wikimania, the proposed commons:Commons:Commons Conference 2018 in any year, GLAM Wiki con, or any regional Wikimedia conference.
  2. Develop Commons Photographers User Group as a community which provides support to photographers. Right now this user group shows no evidence of regular discussions in email, small groups, on-wiki, or anywhere else. This conference cannot be a success without a plan to establish, develop, and sustain peer to peer community support. Doing things like having a quarterly video conference and posting minutes would go a long way.
  3. Get 1-2 Wikimedia movement affiliates to endorse and co-sponsor future conferences. Share credit for the outcome and responsibility to make the conference right
  4. Get 1-3 non-wiki partners to sponsor something, even in a small in-kind way. Demonstrate somehow that this group has plans to incorporate viewpoints of people and organizations which are more interested in photography than Wikimedia projects, and yet they still support this wiki event. Getting any gallery anywhere to do an exhibition of Commons photos. If you can print photos, convince a coffeehouse to hang them up, then document the exhibition, then I would consider that a sufficient act for sponsorship of outreach. If you have better ideas then that would be great.
  5. Make a commitment to survey your participant base and report statistics of who does work. I would like to see a breakdown by gender, where people live, what subjects people are photographing, and responses to questions about why people contribute and what support they would like to be more effective.

This is a great idea and I would like to see it succeed. In case I misunderstand and anything I am requesting is unreasonable, then say so because maybe the organizers have a clear plan in other directions. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:45, 11 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Tunisia Conference 2019[edit]

Dear ALL

Me and @Hamed Gamaoun:, we discussed to organize The Commons Conference 2019 in Tunisia and we are ready to plan the conference and apply for a grant with the collaboration of Photography Organization as a fiscal sponsor, if there's no objections from the community, We would like to discuss this proposal before August 15th. Mounir Touzri (talk) 14:00, 30 June 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Dear @Frank Schulenburg: and @Ralf Roletschek: we are ready to organize the conference next year in Tunisia we need your support for the success of the event Mounir Touzri (talk) 13:28, 17 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I‘m fully supportive. How can I help? —Frank Schulenburg (talk) 14:19, 17 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
+1 How can i help? --Ralf Roletschek (talk) 14:54, 17 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Note on funding availability[edit]

Hi Touzrimounir, and thanks for this proposal for the Commons Conference 2019. Unfortunately, due to this fiscal year's funding restrictions as noted on the Conference Grant page on Meta, we are only able to fund a limited number of regional, thematic, and national conferences. We did not plan for this event during the next round of grants, but we will be able to review this proposed conference if it is rescheduled for after January 2020. Proposals for that round are likely to be due around September 2019, and you are welcome to continue drafting it here. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:41, 18 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Dear I JethroBT (WMF) thank you for this information, then we will reschedule during the month of february or march 2020 Mounir Touzri (talk) 20:41, 18 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Next step for the conference[edit]

Hi @Touzrimounir: and @Frank Schulenburg:, 2019 is wrapping up already and this is around the best time to start preparation for the reality of this conference for 2020... Please lets start work and make the necessary move. Thanks Kaizenify (talk) 11:48, 22 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]