Thursday, October 13, 2011

#Wikimedia #Commons; where is the beef

Commons is relevant when it is used.  Why should anyone care about 11,352,202 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute when they are hardly used? What is the point of all all these media files when its use is restricted to the ivory towers of the Wikimedia Foundation?

In many ways, Commons is restricted by design.Commons hardly works for me because these freely usable media files have to be "educational". As a blogger I do not care, pictures need to be "illustrative". The pictures I use need to be amusing, they need to  make a point, preferably in an amusing way.

There are pictures that qualify, but they are hard to find and I doubt that a picture like the one to the right will survive the onslaught of the keepers at the gate.

There are many reasons why our pictures are so hard to find.. The use of plural for categories is technically correct but I am looking for a horse, not for horses. Looking for a word in the text is relevant for Wikipedia but hardly for Commons. Tagging pictures makes sense but we are not into tagging. There is no app for Commons.

The bottom line is, Commons is a service product for use within the Wikimedia Foundation and consequently the multi million freely usable media files are waiting for their prince like sleeping beauty in her tower.

Magnus Manske brought to our attention that Commons is hardly known as a rich resource of freely usable media files. The Commons discussion should be about how to make sure that the images at Commons are widely known and used and not so much about what pictures people may not like to see.
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