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Learning patterns/Adapt Wiki Loves contests to prevent burnout

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A learning pattern forphoto events
Adapt Wiki Loves contests to prevent burnout
problemHow to change Wiki Loves contests to maintain volunteer and participant interest.
solutionFocus on specific regions, add incentives for capturing hard to reach monuments, focus on a different theme or scale back the size of your contest.
created on18:36, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?[edit]

Over time, volunteers and participants may become less interested in Wiki Loves contests for a variety of reasons. For example, it may be difficult to reach the remaining unphotographed monuments or wildlife, volunteers may be tired of organizing the competition, or the concept of cultural heritage may not be well understood or important in your country.

What is the solution?[edit]

Lago Trafu Wiki Tour Argentina - Winning photo

The best solution for your community will depend on the reasons why volunteers or participants have become less interested in participating in Wiki Loves photo contests.

Focus on a specific region[edit]

There are fewer participants and photos each year, even though there are many monuments that still need images.

  • Focus on a specific region that is missing many images. Work with partners in that region to reach new participants.[1]
  • Market the competition with more focus on different parts of the country so as to get more photographs from the more distant regions.[2]

Add incentives for participants[edit]

Unphotographed monuments are difficult to reach, or participants feel discouraged because only skilled photographers win prizes.

  • Add incentives such as a special prize or additional points for photographing monuments that are difficult to reach.
  • Plan a WikiExpedition or WikiTour to locations that are difficult to reach. Ask local authorities to help access closed monuments.
  • If there are many unphotographed monuments in your country, consider offering a prize for most monuments photographed. This allows participants who are not experienced photographers or photo editors an opportunity to win a prize.[3]
  • Consider offering photo workshops to teach participants how to improve their photography skills.

Focus on a different theme or add a writing contest[edit]

Most monuments have already been photographed or the community is losing interest in photo contests.

  • Host a writing contest where participants create or improve articles on Wikipedia or Wikivoyage about previously photographed monuments.[4]
  • "When working with many languages and different writing systems, the use of Wikidata Q numbers makes things much easier. Q294252 is a multilingual way to call what some people name Catedral de Palencia, others पालेनसीया िगरजाघर, பலன்சியா பெருங்கோவில் or Katedraśw. Antoninaz Pamiers w Palencji."[5]
  • Focus on a different theme, such as public art, local foods, or places of geological interest.

Scale back the size of the contest[edit]

Your community wants to participate in the contest, but it is difficult to find enough volunteers to organize it.

  • Reuse templates or make minimal updates to the event page from previous year competitions to save time.
  • Try to work with the same partners from the previous year, this will reduce the number of meetings or emails neccessary to coordinate.
  • Invite experienced judges to participate again.

Things to consider[edit]

When to use[edit]

Repte Monument Challenge - Host writing contest instead of WLM
"Amical Wikimedia has collaborated in the organization of three editions of Wiki Loves Monuments, from 2011 to 2013, and also in Wiki Loves Earth 2014. There was the potential risk that participants, partners and organizers felt saturated of photographic contests. Amical decided to do not participate in the 2014 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments, but September has become the month of monuments, so we decided to switch to a writing challenge. An analysis of the editions shows different motivations of participants. Some photographers had participated in Wiki Loves Monuments and they were interested in developing articles of monuments they know and apreciate most. Some users uploaded new photos while creating a new article. Other participants were interested in their local heritage while others in a group of thematic monuments."[6]
WikiTour Argentina - Adapted WLM concept to fit local context
"Wiki Tour focused on emphasizing the cultural wealth of the country, understanding it as a concept that involves a lot more than just monuments. Latin America’s contextual wealth is very different to that found in Europe or other countries, and the concept of “monument” is linked to the correct understanding of the context in which we are working.In this regard, with Wiki Tour we aimed at highlighting the cultural wealth of the country differentiating the images in three categories, with the idea to provide Wikimedia Commons with newer and richer photographic material of Argentina. Cultural expressions, architectural representations and landscape images tried to portrait Argentina’s wealth through its intangible heritage." "Wiki Tour Argentina provided 2042 images for Wikimedia Commons, and at least 96 articles were improved in any of the Wikimedia projects as a result. Even though the number of images uploaded is comparatively lower than that achieved in 2013 and in the WLM competition -4119 participating photographs in 2013- we substantially increased the number of participants, with 350 participants next to the 150 participants of 2013. 11 of these were new participants, and after the end of the competition 20 editors remained active users contributing more than 5 edits after 3 months."[7]
Wikiviajes por Venezuela - Adapted WLM concept to fit local context and added incentives for participants
"Our contest was aimed at rescuing photographs of Venezuela tourist type that may be of value for illustration of the contents of the proposed tour guide in es.wikivoyage.org free license (not limited to this). For purposes, it is understood as a tourist photograph that shows attractive landscapes of visitable sites or destinations recognized by Venezuela, Venezuelan cuisine, moments of festivities and traditions, pictures of the flora and fauna found in tourist areas, cultural events, city and other local urban elements." "Wikiviajes por Venezuela provided 14236 images for Wikimedia Commons, and at least 8 articles were improved in any of the Wikimedia projects as a result.
Shared Knowledge - Conclusions towards resolving burnout
Our Wiki Loves Monuments 2015 was a modest success, but burnout was evident due to the failings of the current model. This year, we scrapped the awards given for prolific photographers, and suitably raised the quality awards, hoping that this will bring us quality, rather than the large quantity of relatively poor quality images, part od which were not of official monuments. Neverheless, Many listed monuments were not covered, as people generally seem not willing to go the extra mile to get to them. Considering our situation, we have come up with a new paradigm (explained below), to make WLM work for us.

We will still keep the general outreach, but from now on, we will pay special attention to reaching to photography groups and societies, cultural research groups etc. and their forums. We will also approach individuals whom we know to be members of such communities and can also spread the word of mouth. These are the people who are both concerned with quality and with content, and are in the habit of going to heritage sites not covered in the competition so far.[8]

WLM Ireland 2016-Added a Category
2016 was the centenary of the Easter Rising, a significant event in Irish history. To capture the public excitement about this anniversary, we added a 1916 category to the 2016 contest. The category was comprised of monuments relating to the Rising including the places of birth of the leader who were executed, the train stations named after them, and the spots in Dublin where the fighting took place. It was a nice way for us to reinvigorate the WLM contest and celebrate an important historical event. [9]


See also[edit]

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]