Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stimulating the #Commons stock photo functionality

A company that sells pictures, makes sure that they have visually stunning images that can illustrate the most weird and wonderful subjects. Take a subject like dyslexia; how to illustrate this? A friend send me this wonderful example of a photoshopped picture that does this really well.

When you read the Wikipedia article, there is no illustration. This is where visually stunning pictures that express the issue are needed because this article is factually correct, it is hard reading with the key facts hidden behind all kinds of classification.

Stock photography is about illustrations. When there are many pictures that illustrate a subject, it is indeed the most visually attractive picture that will be sold. When you seek an illustration, you will find that historic pictures are an important part of a collection. They are because they provide a view that is no longer there.

With the arrival of sharing options at Commons, we have the opportunity to strengthen its stock functionality. With over 270 Wikipedias our own need for multiple pictures for one subject is intrinsically high.

Commons is slowly becoming a stable source of freely licensed pictures. We have the opportunity to make it the "goto" place for quality illustrations. With 7,626,589 freely usable media files, the basis for such a function exists. What is left is profiling and marketing us as a source for great illustrations.


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Perhaps that dyslexia image would be great for an advertisement for some gimmick that's supposed to cure dyslexia or a foundation that spends 10% of what you donate on a cure, but it's definitely not "encyclopedic content."

Images like that are fundamentally dishonest. There's art in them, and they've got value, but I expect Wikimedia commons to stick to things that are basically veridical.

GerardM said...

The point of Wikipedia is providing information. Getting information across works better when there are illustrations. Pictures like this help getting the concept across.

Commons is not encyclopaedic at that your approach is faulty. Your notion of "fundamental dishonesty" would prevent painters to express notions that are abstract.

Your notions are in my opinion wrong headed. They work against making Wikipedia readable.