Grants talk:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Rapid Fund/SXSW 2024 Wikimedia Portrait Initiative (ID: 22459042)

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Endorsment from –SJ talk [edit]

Target rich events for photography of culture as it happens are even better for archives than for news, and having a branded presence is good for outreach and image.

This helps illustrate the long tail of notable but niche people who come to speak, and a workshop or event space is good for recruiting new editors and photographers and devs.

Particularly good for broad and large events like this where there should be enough volume of interest for cross pollination among attendees. Also SXSW is largely a volunteer run event so there's an overlap of spirit.

SJ

--–SJ talk  15:11, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Comments from I JethroBT (WMF)[edit]

Hello SuperHamster, and thanks for this proposal to improve the quality of biographies on on Wikipedia projects via a photobooth at SXSW. Please see my comments and questions below:

  • It's great to see that there is a general approach and past learnings for this project based on past work at the Sundance Film Festival, and that this proposal has benefitted from more planning and interest from community volunteers.
  • The follow-up with individuals about project outcomes is a valuable part of the communications around this project, so thank you for including this aspect of of the project. It demonstrates that the proposal is not only focused on content-related improvements, but also on supporting conference participants to have a positive experience and relationship with the Wikimedia movement and its community.
  • In terms of potential impact, while categories like Wikipedia requested images of people are very large, is there any more specific information available to suggest that notable people who are likely to attend SXSW need better coverage in terms of biographical images? It would not be as beneficial, for example, to generally obtain photos of individuals for whom there are already good or high quality photos available (e.g. such as Beck or Neal Stephenson, who have previously attended SXSW).
  • The proposal sensibly focuses on coverage of notable individuals with existing Wikipedia articles. However, in cases where attendees do not have a Wikipedia article (and may not be able get their photo taken), but feel like they should, how do you plan to generally handle those situations? What kind of guidance or support do you think would be helpful to provide to them?
  • In terms of eligibility for Rapid Funds, we've noted that we cannot fund travel scholarships or conference participation. Rapid Funds are project-based resources and only fund travel related to the direct implementation of the project.. One reason for this criteria is that the budget for Rapid Funds are limited, and we're not able to equitably support broad conference/event participation in the movement based on our budget at this time. However, on careful review of this proposal in relation to this aspect of our eligibility criteria, I have a few comments/questions for clarification:
    • The current proposal is qualitatively different from supporting routine, general conference participation in that it is a substantive program or project embedded in the context of that event. Furthermore, you are seeking press credentials for your team and other experienced Wikimedia Commons photographers, and this effort has also been supported by other staff at the Wikimedia Foundation. Therefore, I do not consider the proposal to generally be in conflict with this aspect of eligibility criteria.
    • Related to these parts of the proposal, can you confirm that the proposed budget will only support project members and other volunteers who will directly support the proposed activities? This is important because travel for the purpose of only generally attending SXSW would not be eligible.

When you are able, please respond to my questions above, and let me know if I can clarify any of my comments/questions further. With thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 20:32, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply


We had a virtual meeting with Chris to discuss these questions. I'm sharing a very brief summary of our responses and main discussion points:

is there any more specific information available to suggest that notable people who are likely to attend SXSW need better coverage in terms of biographical images? It would not be as beneficial, for example, to generally obtain photos of individuals for whom there are already good or high quality photos available (e.g. such as Beck or Neal Stephenson, who have previously attended SXSW).

SXSW is an incredibly large event, and while some headliners may already have decent portraits available on the Wikimedia Commons, there is enough opportunity for us to find notable people who need better (or any) portraits. Andrew Lih, one of our project collaborators and photographers, has experience and a workflow for identifying notable people at conferences and automating queries to discover what media we have (if any) of them. Even for individuals who already have good portraits on the Wikimedia Commons, it's still good to obtain newer photographs of them in new contexts.
In addition to already-notable people, SXSW (especially its film festival) attracts up-and-coming talent and is a good opportunity for us to photograph and engage with individuals who may not necessarily be notable by Wikipedia's standards yet, but are likely to be in the coming years.

However, in cases where attendees do not have a Wikipedia article (and may not be able get their photo taken), but feel like they should, how do you plan to generally handle those situations? What kind of guidance or support do you think would be helpful to provide to them?

We'll have experienced Wikipedians on-hand to do Wikimedia outreach, to teach the public about how Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Commons works, free licensing, etc. - and of course, to discuss notability and the process through which the community writes articles.

can you confirm that the proposed budget will only support project members and other volunteers who will directly support the proposed activities? This is important because travel for the purpose of only generally attending SXSW would not be eligible.

Absolutely - funding for this grant will only go towards supporting project members working directly on this portraits project. The venue the portrait studio will be housed at will have mixed use (e.g. used by Hacks/Hackers for their outreach and other events), but this grant will directly go towards supporting the travel and lodging for those attending for the purpose of supporting this project.

~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 03:35, 29 March 2024 (UTC)Reply