Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why #Commons is an option for a #museum

What answers to give to these questions:
These questions are asked to the people who reach out to GLAMs. While there are reasonable standard answers to these questions, a reply needs modification to address specific issues.

[[Wurts brothers]]

The easiest question to answer is Flickr or Commons; you do not have to choose, you can do both. When you choose for Commons, you will find your pictures used in Wikipedia articles and this gets you a worldwide audience that does run each month in the millions for many of our GLAM partners.

We have a track record on crowd sourcing; the most obvious one is the inclusion of images shared by a GLAM in Wikipedia articles. Other activities have been checking and updating the provided annotations and many of these annotations are translated. Our community is also known to digitally restore high resolution images to great effect; many of them became featured pictures. The real opportunities are often achieved in collaboration with local Wikimedians; this is also where Commons differs from Flickr, interested and involved Wikimedians exist in Mexico, France, India and Australia actually, all over the world.

If there is one thing where we let our partners down, it is not in getting them an audience for their collection. It is in the reporting on this audience. There are the stats by Magnus but they are not regularly updated and are a source of frustration with our existing partners.

Our projects are community driven. Outreach to the GLAMs is however an activity where our chapters play an important role. As they are getting better organised, I am sure that they will reach out to more and more organisations in the heritage sector. My hope is that they will ensure that the statistics our GLAM partners rely on will become timely and consistent.

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