Learning patterns/How to avoid duplicated items during a museum based photography event

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
A learning pattern forphoto events
How to avoid duplicated items during a museum based photography event
problemSometimes it may happen that during a museum photothon some exhibited items were photographed multiple times, while others remained uncovered. Here is a simple idea how to avoid this situation.
created on20:18, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?[edit]

Museum based photography events (photothons) can include multiple organizational challenges, related to access, security, lighting and exposure issues, copyrights, etc.

One aspect, in which coordination can easily fail (which can also easily be prevented), is related to excessive coverage of some of the exhibited museum items, while others remain unattended and uncovered.

This is especially the case when the community is doing a photothon for the first time, or when the photothon was widely advertised and made open to the general audience, instead of being limited to wikimedian photographers. Museum visitors can join the photothon as volunteers, without prior coordination and consultation with the organizers. No matter how much effort was spent in advance on shortlisting the exhibits to be covered during the photothon, without any coordination between the photographers, that was in vain.

What is the solution?[edit]

There is a simple and almost zero-cost solution of the problem. At the museum entrance, give all volunteer photographers small post-its and instruct them to stick a post-it next to the exhibited item in order to communicate to the rest of the photographers that a photo of that item has been made, and if they want they can skip it and concentrate on exhibits that have not been yet marked as photographed.

In the end of the day, do not forget to walk around the museum, and collect back the post-its.

Fun fact!
The principle behind this solution is simple, and well known in the wiki world: this is how patrollers coordinate each other. In scientific context, this phenomenon is known as stigmergy and it is based on the bio-inspired metaphor of how, e.g., ants communicate in nature indirectly, through the environment, leaving traces of a substance called pheromone.

Things to consider[edit]

When to use[edit]

  • In-door museum (etc.) photographic events, where the number of attending volunteers is too big to coordinate, they do not know each other, or the event is public and anyone can join.


See also[edit]

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]