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Roundtables/Roundtable 2

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

The Wikimedia Foundation hosted a roundtable discussion about multimedia on Wednesday, July 10th at 9:45am PDT (17:30 UTC), over Google Hangouts.

This virtual meeting brought together a half-dozen community members to discuss new audio-visual software tools on Commons and Wikipedia -- in close collaboration with our multimedia product team.

This report gives an overview of what we discussed. For more info, check out these roundtable slides, shared notepad, meeting notes and full video record.

Learn more about other events in this new experimental program on the Roundtables overview page.


The goal of this roundtable was to improve Wikipedia's multimedia tools with community participation -- and to inform Wikimedia's product development with insights from these conversations.

This new Roundtable program is an experiment with new forms of collaboration between community members and Wikimedia product teams. More roundtables are being scheduled at Wikimania in Hong Kong (see Roundtables page) -- and we plan to host more roundtables later in the year.



Six community members joined this roundtable -- which included a mix of creators, curators, developers, editors, and administrators active on Commons and Wikipedia. Participants were invited based on their constructive contributions to prior discussions and related projects. This roundtable was facilitated by five Wikimedia team members, listed below.

Community members[edit]

Wikimedia Facilitators[edit]


Multimedia Roundtable Slides

This ninety-minute discussion brought together a half-dozen media-savvy contributors to discuss how to create a better multimedia experience on Wikipedia and Commons. We talked about new ways to view, create, curate, and publish media files, as well as engage more users to contribute to our growing audio-visual knowledge base.

Here was our agenda for this roundtable:

  • 09:45 - Introductions
  • 10:00 - Multimedia workflows & issues
  • 10:15 - New feature ideas
  • 11:00 - Multimedia priorities
  • 11:15 - Roundtable ends

All times above are PDT (UTC-8) and 24-hour. Note that the roundtable started late, so that all participants could join -- and ended 15 minutes late as a result.

We started our meeting by asking participants about some of their multimedia workflows and key issues they experience every day --- then discussed new feature ideas together and brainstormed ways to improve them, as well as prioritized them together at the end. We collected many great community insights to guide the Wikimedia Foundation's development of new tools in coming months.

Here are the Roundtable slides we reviewed together, to guide our discussion.


Multimedia Workflows

Workflow Types[edit]

To start this discussion, we outlined these main types of multimedia workflows and their user groups:

  • View (watch / listen to media files) - 500M viewers
  • Create (contribute files, info, categories ) - ~21k uploaders/mo.
  • Curate (rate, review, discuss, edit, feature ) - ~500+ patrollers/admins.
  • Publish (place files on wiki projects) - ~82k active editors/mo.
  • Engage (organize media campaigns ) - ~34 campaign organizers

We then invited participants to describe some of the multimedia workflows they use regularly on Commons and Wikipedia, and identify some of the issues they think need to be solved for those workflows.

Here are some highlights:


What are some of the main workflows you use to view, watch or listen to media files? identify key issues that need work, with proposed solutions.

  • View categories or files on local sites
  • When viewing images on cs.wiki, if I want to see categories or other images associated with topic, have to click again to be redirected to the same image on Commons and see/browse categories (Chmee2)
  • Preview subcategories content in category view


What are some of the main workflows you use to create and upload media files with meta-data? Identify key issues that need work, with proposed solutions.

  • Upload large sets of images
    • uploading first to Flickr is often easier for large sets, but Commons Flickr uploader only works with images marked as Safe (Jmabel)
    • The UploadWizard tool for copying data across a batch of uploads only works from the first file, doesn't let you change the info half-way through the batch (Smallbones)
    • As for UW, tracked on bugzilla:43593, see also commons:Commons:Upload Wizard/Flickr and commons:Help:VisualFileChange (Jean-Fredéric)
  • Add geo-location tags
    • Need to integrate tool to add GPS into Wikimedia Commons, will be easier for newcomers to use it. (Chmee2)
    • We have GPS on the backend, but we don't do anything with it. (Other than Special:nearby or manually querying the api). We should do something (bug 20326)
    • No integrated way to add coords − must rely on tools like http://tools.freeside.sk/geolocator/geolocator.html (Jean-Fred)
    • Should be able to remove geodata in some cases, since more and more photos have embedded geodata, some of which amounts to the unintentional revelation of private location. (Sage)
    • It's been suggested we should give a warning on upload if the file has embedded GPS, perhaps with an automated "remove GPS", "make GPS less accurate", "keep GPS"
  • Transcode video at upload time
    • Would be great to transcode videos when you upload them -- adapt commons:Commons:Firefogg
    • Is this something we really want? Ideally we would keep the asset and transcode it for downloading things


What are some of the main workflows you use to rate, review, categorize, discuss, edit or feature media files? Identify key issues that need work, with proposed solutions.

  • Categorize large sets of images
    • New users recruited through outreach events may be uploading large numbers of images without categories, and it is not easy to process them. (Chmee2)
    • Category tree is only in English, but most of people from smaller projects are not able to use it, therefore images remain uncategorized. Need categories in more languages. (Chmee2)
    • Creating a category tree ahead of time is a useful way to help newcomers who are uploading files for campaigns -- select one category by default, so skilled editors can add right category later. (Chmee2)
    • See WMFblog:2013/05/24/photographing-czech-jewish-monuments and also WMFblog:2013/03/18/evaluating-czech-mediagrant
  • Watchlist batches of images
    • It's a very awkward process now (eg: photos imported from Flickr) -- bug 1710 (Jmabel)
  • Translate file metadata
    • No translation interface - Does this mean Extension:Translate is insufficient?
      No, it just means nobody bothered
    • We can’t probably deploy Translate on every of 17M pages, can we ? This would clutter way too much Special:WhateverSpecialPageDisplaysAllPagesToTranslate
      Rhetorical questions are of little use, ask the Language team instead; see also wm2013:Submissions/Multilingual Wikimedia Commons - What can we do about it


What are some of the main workflows you use to find and place media files on Wikipedia articles or other pages? Identify key issues that need work, with proposed solutions.

  • Add images to articles
    • It's far from seamless to add images to articles after upload. (Dominic)
    • Users should be able to upload and add a new image to a Wikipedia article without having to go to a separate website. (Dominic)
    • (Note that Visual Editor should be able to do this soon: upload to Commons from within the VE.)


What are some of the main workflows you use to invite users to contribute through multimedia campaigns like Wiki Loves Monuments or other outreach programs? Identify key issues that need work, with proposed solutions.

  • Organize multimedia campaigns
    • Need to make it easier to start and manage campaigns. (Peter)
    • WLM has a great format and organization, it would be great to use same tools in different arenas (e.g.: photo contest for Halloween). (Peter)

In coming days, we will examine the workflows and issues raised by participants and add the most relevant solutions to our product backlog. New feature requirements will be drawn from follow-up studies of these workflows, showing how different user groups use audio-visual files today.

Feature ideas[edit]

We then discussed new feature ideas which the multimedia team has been considering for each of the main types of workflows above:

  • Media viewer - view images in larger size
  • Category finder - categorize files more easily
  • File notifications - keep track of new activity for your files
  • File curation - review files more effectively
  • File feedback - rate or compare files
  • Media finder - add files to articles
  • Slideshow player/maker - view or create sequences of images
  • Campaign tools - organize multimedia campaigns

We presented a couple slides and/or demos for each feature idea, then asked for community feedback: Is this feature useful? What do you like most? least? How could it be improved?

Participants responded verbally, as well as wrote notes on our shared notepad. Here are some short descriptions for each feature, as well as highlights of what participants told us.

For more info, check out these roundtable slides.

Media viewer[edit]

Media viewer mockup
Provide a richer multimedia experience to match user expectations and display images in larger size, on the same page as the thumbnail
All users, including 500M 'readers/viewers'
  • Show images in larger, media viewer panel when you click on them
  • Include a description and credit below the image, link to file page
  • Option to go to next image if it is part of a category or collection
[1], source at [2], depends on gerrit:72844. --MarkTraceur (talk) 22:22, 11 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • This would be a small enhancement to the Wikipedia experience of a *huge* number of people. I wouldn't put it high on my personal wishlist, but it would be nice. (Sage)
  • The subsection of the policy that was mentioned, is w:Wikipedia:Image use policy#Image galleries - The other related policy is w:Wikipedia:NOTGALLERY - I think the "spirit" of these policies, (the reason they were written and are enforced), is (1) to prevent editors adding massive galleries to the bottom of articles (page-size load problems) and (2) to prevent disputes over which images are worth including (Extreme example: Imagine all of commons:Category:Bananas and its subcategories in the article w:Banana) All are Curation-solvable. (Quiddity)

Category finder[edit]

Category finder slide
  • Address 'uncategorized file' problem (~40% of Commons files unused)
  • Make it easier for contributors to add categories
  • Make available in upload wizard and on file page
All Commons contributors or curators
  • Suggested categories based on title
  • Provide category tree or similar drill-down option
  • Notify user their file may not get used if uncategorized

File notifications[edit]

Current notification example
  • Inform file creators when something happens to their files
  • Make contributors aware of what's happening on Commons
All Commons contributors or curators
  • File Upload Complete (for large files)
  • File Marked as Reviewed
  • File Tagged for Maintenance
  • File Marked for Deletion
  • File Rated/Featured
  • File Page was Edited
  • File was Used in Article
  • File was Overwritten
  • File was Deleted
  • Congrats on your 1st upload
  • This is a different software feature, but for the same concept. I like this idea, and would even like to extend it. A lot of files are associated with inactive users or mass uploads. I'd like to be able to have the same sort of data that users are notified about (when a file is added to an article, for example) be available for any user who watches it or for a whole category (so we can track the progress of a batch upload, for example!).
  • Sage: I want this yesterday.

Note: You can now see how notifications work right here on Meta, where our team just deployed this tool on July 25th. To learn more, check this Notifications FAQ.

File curation[edit]

Page curation example
  • Curate new files to identify useful media for Wikipedia
  • Make it easier to tag files or nominate them for deletion
All Commons patrollers (and Wikipedia curators?)
  • A list where editors can preview files that need to be reviewed
  • A review tool that helps editors curate files more easily
  • Repackage existing tools in a better UI ('Nominate for deletion')
See also
  • Packager of lots of current tools:
    Rename file ? Rotate file ? Nominate for deletion ? Categorisation ? OTRS tagging ? (Jean-Fréderic)

File feedback[edit]

Feedback prototype: Which is better?
Surface useful files, rated by quality
Commons or Wikipedia users
  • A quick rating tool to tag files that seem useful
  • Can be thumbs-up/down -- or compare 2 images
  • Sorting / filtering tools for ranking lists or galleries by rating
Try these demos
See also
  • Sage: My favorite idea!
  • Voting for this one as most cool! :)
  • See commons:Commons:Requests for Comment/Feedback for current discussion on this.
  • Peter mentions the WLM jury tool http://wlm.wmflabs.org/
  • How long would it take to curate meaningfully 17M files ? (Jean-Fredéric)
  • Make smartphone app as connect with some form of "game". Offer "points" for done feedback and "ranks" for best evaluators.
  • it's something that could potentially be quite fun, and really easy for newcomers to do. (Sage)
  • make a ranking system, as a game (Petr)
  • this will be really useful tool because categories are now sometimes overfilled with low-quality images which is impossible to delete (Petr)
  • I think it would only work if we actually were successful at getting a bunch of people to use it. (Sage)
  • I was using the fancy formula at http://www.evanmiller.org/how-not-to-sort-by-average-rating.html (Brian)
  • Yes it would be good to use the comparison feature to find good files among the mass of uncategorized uploaded stuff. (Joe Mabel)
  • The suggestion of: Option to Sort categories by "how many times is this imaged used, in all projects" mentioned by Brian, is very interesting, and an easily automatable and fairly reliable metric - (Quiddity)
  • Shockingly horrible. --Nemo 12:15, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Does not bring any useful information nor does it provide any valuable feedback; waste of resources that could be used more meaningfully elsewhere. odder (talk) 12:17, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Media finder[edit]

Visual Editor: 'Insert Media' tool
  • Make it easier to add multimedia on Wikipedia articles
  • Help find quality media files and place them quickly
Any Wikipedia or Commons user
  • Expand the Visual Editor's 'Insert Media' tool
  • Support extended search by category, rating or review status
  • Easier to sort or filter recommended images in VE
  • Not using just names of images, but also GPS (will be great for Wikivoyage) (Petr)
  • /me waits for the first person to illustrate w:Toothbrush :-° (Jean-Fredéric)
  • Possible integrability with mw:Mobile web projects#Nearby (Jared)

Slideshow player/maker[edit]

Media viewer mockup
  • Let readers view more images on topics they are interested in
  • Give contributors the option to create slideshows
Any Wikipedia viewer (player) -- or contributor (maker)
  • Viewers can play slide-shows on a given topic, with optional audio
  • Creators can easily assemble sequences of images and sounds
  • Editors can add these slide-shows to any article
Try this sample slideshow
See also
  • Sage: This would be nice to have, but I don't put a high priority on it.
  • We had that sort of at one point, with an earlier version of the Kaltura tech. I'm not sure if it's still deployed, though, and no one ever really used it.
  • Here's a link to Wikia galleries: wikia:community:Help:Galleries, Slideshows, and Sliders (Brian)
  • Brian: As we were discussing on IRC the other day : there are also the stuff done (and trashed) during the Coding Challenge (Jean-Fredéric)
  • Peter: why not just be able to flip through every photo on a page through a lightbox (Sage)
  • On a related note, since we seem to be wanting to use this to replace "slideshow", I've been experimenting with alternate galleries over at http://tools.wmflabs.org/bawolff/gallery/index.php?title=Featured_pictures/Animals/Fish (Brian)
  • A good slideshow use case is Wikisource, where that kind of feature would actually be integral to the project's content goals. i.e., display of sequences of images (pages of a book). (Dominic)
  • Dominic: that sounds like a kludge to slightly ease the pain of trying to read a book on a computer screen. (Sage)
  • But I can’t help thinking a slideshow would be a super bad ersatz of a book viewer (Jean-Fredéric)
  • should we rather develop a good way of dealing with book-shaped content in general? (Sage)
  • Yeah, you make a good point. I was thinking about the slideshow concept, but necessarily type of implementation shown earlier. (Dominic)
  • Though, as mentioned, an intentional book viewer would slightly different.
  • Also Wikiversity? WikiVoyage? (Quiddity)

Campaign tools[edit]

Visual Editor: 'Insert Media' tool
  • Invite more users to join campaigns (e.g. Wiki Loves Monuments)
  • Make it easy for campaign organizers to set up campaigns
  • Make it easy for users to participate in campaigns -- and stay engaged
Any user with a camera/phone -- and campaign organizers
  • Tools for organizers to set up and customize campaigns
  • To-do lists with clear assignments for contributors to follow
  • Leaderboards and recent contributions to keep participants motivated


Feature ideas by workflow type

At the end of the roundtable, we asked participants which feature ideas seem most promising.

Group Favorites[edit]

Here are the three features that received multiple votes from the group:

  • Media Viewer (3)
  • File Feedback (3)
  • File Notifications (2)

Here are a few more features that received a single vote:

  • Category Finder
  • Slideshow Player/Maker
  • Campaign Tools
  • New Skin for Commons

Individual Favorites[edit]

Here are individual responses from each participant:

Jean Fréderic
  • Media Viewer - has most impact, so that sounds best
  • Proper Skin for Commons - make it prettier
  • File Feedback
  • File Feedback (comparison)
  • Slideshow Player/Maker
  • Campaign Tools
  • Media Viewer - would have the most impact
  • Category Finder
  • File Notifications - more options, like images you watch
  • File Feedback (rating)
  • File Notifications - will add a huge amount of incentive
  • Media Viewer would be good for a lot of users

About the roundtable[edit]

How did this virtual roundtable format work for you?

  • Peter: Hangouts was a bit hard ... But I would do this again.
  • Joe: Lots of agenda items to go through in one meeting with so many people...
  • Jean-Fred: Nice to know what you're working on, but I'm not sure how helpful I was!
  • Dominic: Videoconferencing is painful ... but there's not a great alternative!
  • Sage: Worked pretty well ... a little shorter and maybe fewer people would be even more better. Optimizing for the team who's implementing would make most sense.
  • Joe: Big advantage over IRC is that someone is "chairing"


Wikimedia Multimedia Team

This roundtable was held over Google+ Hangouts, which lets users join right from their computer, using their own webcam. The Wikimedia Foundation uses Hangouts regularly and finds this tool effective for teleconferencing with small groups across the globe -- even though we wish it were open source ;o).

Participants were invited to add the latest Google+ Hangout plugin on their computers in advance. For step-by-step instructions, here is a video for Mac users, and another video for Windows users. For more tips on using Hangouts, check out this how-to page, wikihow:Use-Google+-Hangouts from our friends at WikiHow.


Webcast Screenshot - Full screen

Here is the full video of this roundtable on YouTube, so that others may benefit from what we learn together.

We may also post shorter highlights of our conversation on Commons, and include them in future reports. This documentation is intended for transparency reasons, as well as to insure better knowledge transfer with other community members.


We invited participants to write down notes throughout the roudtable, to augment our discussion. Here is our shared notepad, which includes these notes, as well as a log of out Google Hangout chat. For more info, check out these meeting notes from our team member MarkTraceur.

Now that this event is over, we encourage participants to add their final notes about this roundtable on this discussion page.