Grants talk:IdeaLab/Commons and backlog buster speed upgrades

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I don't understand the focus on Google Fiber. In Milan and many other European fiber-cabled cities, there are ISP offering similar services at better prices (except the 1 Gb/s connection which however is rarely useful). Their 25 $/month option is only 5/1 Mb/s, while even in the underdeveloped Italy a 10/10 Mb/s (guaranteed) fiber connection costs about 25 €/m and gets to 100/10 with 5 € more. There's nothing special about Kansas, really. --Nemo 14:56, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

It's good to hear your part of the world has access to fast broadband at a reasonable price! Where I live, there's a fast connection that's prohibitively expensive, and it's not uncommon to have no service at all between 8-10 PM. If it's like this for me in a major US city, what's it like for people who live in places with less developed infrastructure? No particular attachment here to Google Fiber or Kansas, these are just the examples I happen to know about of places with fast access to the Internet. Once in a while where I live, the speed caps on our connections are lifted, and the service is suddenly lightning fast. I don't know if you've ever experienced this, but I find it really makes a big difference. Djembayz (talk)

Additional services[edit]

As currently written I am not convinced that this proposal is aligned with Wikimedia movement values. I dislike how it focuses on the work of individual contributors and promotes the mere content submission of users whose views are already being represented in Wikimedia projects. I might be missing something or not understand the implications of the proposal, and it might be that I need more information.

I do not mean to encroach upon the intent of the grant, and please close these branches of thought if it seems unattractive in light of the original intent, but if I could propose modifications along with some additional responsibilities, then I would support a version of this proposal. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:58, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

By all means, I'm open to ideas about other things that could be accomplished by improving Internet connectivity among our users.
My point in focusing on individual users in this initial version is that we have less than 5,000 real power lifters in the English Wikipedia who are doing major cleanup and support for the less experienced editors. It could serve us well to make their work as efficient as possible.
A specific example of the need for power user editors is getting outcomes posted after editathons, and getting those new articles into shape. The February 7, 2014 GLAMout confirms that other folks are also noticing that it can take a bunch of followup editing to turn the invaluable but rather rough-looking editathon content written by new users into high quality articles. My point here wasn't so much to get new content in and improve diversity, as to support the existing power users who form the backbone of the site.
Speeding up the article assessment process does have potential impact for improving the offline encyclopedia that goes out as a children's version and in various language versions using Kiwix. Djembayz (talk) 04:39, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Developing world postal upload support[edit]

I have heard continually that in the developing world Wikimedia Commons other large-filesize projects are inaccessible to contributors because they are on Internet connections which are insufficient even for individual media files like photos or documents and especially video. At the same time, people in these places have access to high quality cameras and scanners which are capable of producing high-quality content which would be great to upload, if only they had a fast connection. For example, people can take excellent pictures with their phones, but once the pictures are collected, slow connections make uploading them an impossibility.

I have been curious about the extent to which it might be useful to have people with slow speeds put their contributions to CD, DVD, or jump drive, mail the physical media to another country, then depend on someone there to upload it in a useful way. For this to work, people with fast Internet connections would need to make themselves and their mailing address known. They would need to tolerate a certain amount of scrutiny associated with being a recipient of international physical media. They would also be willing to work with all kinds of users and have a reputation for patience and kindness. It would be useful to supplement this service with support for all the related infrastructure which advises people about how to prepare their files for upload and instruct the uploader to do basic sorting during upload. Probably also this role would include training support for Wikimedia chapters, because individuals may wish to mail their physical media to the chapter, and then the chapter would go through the hassle of arranging the international mailing. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:58, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject Mass Upload Support[edit]

Lots of organizations and entities have massive amounts of media which they would like to share, and which could be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for managing and processing. Some community needs to coordinate this and right now there is no particular place in which these projects are posted, queued, and processed, nor are there standards or best practices in place for doing this. If there were a class of users with privileged Internet access for mass uploads then it seems to me that they ought to take some responsibility in proposing and developing community policy and tutorials which advise how any person or organization can execute their own mass upload. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:58, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Other possible editor populations to target with an Internet speed boost grant[edit]

  • Option for addressing the diversity question
One way to address the diversity question could be offering speed boost grants to experienced editors who are willing to commit to working full-time on improving specific content areas, such as Africa, or on women's biography and history.
Another option for improving diversity would be giving grants to serious editors in areas which currently lack connectivity, such as Indian reservations in the US. Djembayz (talk) 04:39, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
  • An option for addressing the editor retention question
Experienced editors willing to commit to spending full time on improving articles in AfC to meet existing standards, and moving them into mainspace could receive speed boost grants until the project clears its backlog. Djembayz (talk) 04:39, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
  • An option for clearing impossible backlogs
Experienced editors willing to work on seemingly impossible backlogs, such as assessment of biographies. Would you want them to use their speed boost for cleaning up these articles, adding citations and persondata, or just have them plow through the assessment process? Don't know, the WikiProject may have an opinion on this. Djembayz (talk) 04:39, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Fit with microgrants to individual contributors[edit]

Hi, Djembayz. I think making microgrants for improved internet bandwidth for active editors in need could be an interesting experiment, particularly if tied to contribution campaigns as you're thinking, and even more so if it was of value to editors in the Global South. If you weren't thinking about this as US-focused, it might make sense to think about doing a little survey/consult of Commons users in several countries about bandwidth and upgrade options to determine how feasible such a problem/solution is likely to be, for starters, before piloting it in 1 country/region/languageproject, to test some of your findings in practice? Here in WMF grantmaking, we're quite interested in finding new ways to support individual contributors around the world, and if indeed you find that bandwidth is a barrier to robust participation then piloting a program aimed at overcoming such a barrier might be worth trying! Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 23:32, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Discussion of similar problem[edit]

Someone has 300GB of images from a large foundation. They asked for help uploading at It seemed to me to be a similar problem as what this is addressing - what options do we give to people to upload huge amounts of content? Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It wouldn't be the first time such a thing was done (See bugzilla:48205). Such a system of mailing disks to the data center is probably fine for the occasional huge upload, but I doubt it would scale to anything other than an occasional upload. Other options include commons:GWToolset, using some sort script (Although that requires an internet connection). commons:Help:Server-side_upload is also an option for very large files, but like the hard disk option, has limited scalability since it requires the involvement of someone with shell access. Bawolff (talk) 19:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Bawolff I see - I never really thought this through, but I guess if upload services were available then they might be offered in tiers and pings to people with shell access reserved for unusual cases like this instance. Other people might be available for smaller, simpler projects. Thank you for the insight because I would not have otherwise known how to begin thinking about extremely large upload projects. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)