30 September 2011

The last day

Today is the first day of the Milano FUDCon and early in the morning I am waiting for the breakfast so I can go to the conference place, but as early as is, I had to share something and to make a last request: today is also the last day of the Wiki Loves Monuments campaign and our contributors were busy at night furiously uploading pictures so we passed the 5000 mark (actually we are above 5300 as I write this), way above my expectations (I didn't dare to vocalize any 5K hopes). And the request? Is more of a reminder, is the last day, if you have any pics left, now is the time to upload them, the contest will close at the end of the day (you can, of course, continue to contribute after, some people asked about that, only it will be off the contest).
Thank you!

28 September 2011

The last, straight, line

Tomorrow I will be travelling to FUDCon Milano (yay FUDCon, here I come!), away from home, from my computer, from my pictures and probably away from an reliable internet connection, so I uploaded my last batch of photos, 10 pictures from the Village Museum in Sibiu, and put everything on auto-pilot, we are in the last straight line of the Wiki Loves Monuments campaign, with only two days left and about 45000 pictures uploaded so far (the 4.5k mark is going to be passed probably in the next couple of hours). Will continue with a few conclusion near the end of the week from Milano and going to the next step (centralisation, jury, statistics) starting early next week.

Now excuse me, there are some last minute things to take care of.

26 September 2011

Wiki took Bucharest

As planned, we had yesterday (Sunday) a photo walk in Bucharest to gather together some contributors to the Wiki Loves Monuments photography campaign and also take a few pictures for the contest

The starting point was at Eroilor subway station, some came, some couldn't (funny story: the couple who in the previous day did their own 10km photo walk had hurting legs and couldn't):


We were seven people and since we exceeded the six people threshold, "plan B" was activated: we split in two sub-teams, each following a different route, planed as about 2 hours long, and then joined back together in the city center. I let the team take pictures of monuments (is a contest, after all), resuming myself to "making of" pics, below are the adventures of my team:


As you can see, each had his/her own tools: from mobile phone and compact cameras to DSLRs:


And each of us freely took the pictures he/she wanted:


In the end we meet the other team in front of Caru' cu Bere and those who wanted continued somewhere in the Old City with some talk, beer and pizza (not pictured, I don't want people to hate me that much):


Expect the pictures to hit Wikimedia Commons any time soon (some already did, probably). And BTW, we are close to 3800, is the last week, the time to contribute the last pics you have lingering, don't be lazy!

...and if you have pictures from your own photo walk, please share them, ours was fun!

22 September 2011

2.5k and one more week to go. Wiki rulz!

One more week passed and another milestone was reached in the Romanian Wikipedia photography contest: we passed 2500 pictures! This was a spectacular growth after 500+ at the end of the first week and ~1200 at the end of the second week. Thank you everybody!

Now anyone wanna bet about the amount of images we will receive in the next (last) week? Another surprise or some slowing down? Guess Romania's final position among the 18 countries participating? But better stop betting and guessing, put your hands on your camera, go out, search some monuments, take pics with them and send them to Wikipedia, you know you want to do that! Also, if you live in Bucharest, you can join us for a photo walk on Sunday, we can take some photos, know each other better, maybe have a beer or so... fun time anyway. And if you don't live in Bucharest, you can organize your own photo walk in your city, it can be equally fun, grab some people and go out, in the big room with the clue ceiling.

15 September 2011

Jury duty

Time to share two unrelated stories about my participation in the Wikipedia photography contest:

The other day was talking with someone I know for about a couple of weeks, when she asked "are you in the jury for the Wikipedia contest?" me: "yes! do you participate?" and her "yes". What to do? "cool! but be aware I won't play favorites :D " and out of curiosity had to ask "how did you learn about it? it was from my facebook wall posts?" and she "no, I heard a week ago from a friend". Kinda bummer "but I kept talking about Wikipedia stuff"... for a "yeah, but didn't understood is about this". The conclusion is positive: people talk about it, people hear about it from unexpected source, there is hope for sustained level of contributions in the remaining weeks (hmmm.... maybe even sustained growth?).

Also the other day I meet a photographer friend for a photo action in the city with a larger group (bummer, it was the perfect opportunity to wear the WLM T-shirt, but it didn't arrived yet, any time soon), so having free time for half an hour I did took a few monument pictures and was showing them to this friend (she will contribute some stuff to Wikipedia in the following week, has the photos ready, needs the time - again, hope for sustained level) and she asked "but aren't you in the jury?". So I had to explain her, and will do it here again: yes, I am in the jury and would not be fair for me to enter the contest, so I won't. But at the same time, I cannot stand and skip contributing to Wikipedia, I do it all the time, contest or not. So I take my photos, submit them, add them to the total number, but they will be outside the competition.

PS: 2 weeks passed, 1186 photos received in the Romanian contest. still 2 weeks to go.

13 September 2011

One thousand pictures

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then what is worth 1000 pictures? Not sure, but 1000 pictures is the milestone we just reached in the Romanian Wikipedia photography contest and this is before reaching the half of the contest duration. Not bad, I say. Better than I expected. Let them coming!


09 September 2011

A first week of WLM

So many notable things happened during the first week of the Wiki Loves Monuments photography contest, I talked about some of them yesterday at the RLUG meet (there is a video recording of it available), first of them, in this week we passed the 500 pictures milestone, in 7 days reached 516 uploads (422 of them uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and 94 to Flickr). With this amount, Romania is somewhere close with Sweden for the 11-12 place in the pan-European competition. While it may seems modest compared with other countries (like Switzerland for example), it exceeds all my expectations (maybe I was too pessimistic?).

Another thing to notice is the contest banner on Wikipedia, it started running a few days ago, so the exposure is increasing with a huge amount:


Not last, regarding exposure, today we just closed a media partnership with a large (near to 1.5M unique monthly visitors) video sharing site who is advertising our competition (yeah, technically this happened in the second week, but is worth noting).

06 September 2011

Hunting for WLM

A good approach for taking pictures for the Wiki Loves Monuments Wikipedia photography contest is to have "monument hunting sessions" and this is what I tried to organize for the last week-end: get a few photographers out in the city, with a list of monuments in hand (paper, electronic device, their brains, whatever), have a walk on the streets, have fun, take photos, and then from home upload the photos to Wikipedia. Don't say it isn't fun!

My plan was to assemble a team of 2-3 photographers (with me not taking photos, I am organizer and a judge, I won't enter the contest) but it was too short, found only Razvan available, so we did the photo walk together and in the end I took a few pictures too, unsure if and how to use them - after that, speaking with more people we decided to have a special category for photos submitted by organizers, so in the next days I will uplaod content too, but outside the contest.
What I decided NOT to do myself is to transform the contest in a nationalistic one: there is a top of contributions by country, where Romania is currently 10th of 16, this is decent, IMO, I won't push for climbing on 9th, I won't spread the fear of being replaced by 11th, that's not the reason to contribute (even if it may be an effective motivator).

02 September 2011

First day of Wiki Love Monuments

With all my honesty, the first day of Wiki Loves Monuments, the free photography contest for Wikipedia, exceeded my expectations: we received 56 images on Wikimedia Commons and 19 images on the Flickr group, this is a total of 75 images. Was I too pessimistic again? Well, I start to believe we will beat my most optimistic expectations. We'll see :)

commons upload
commons upload
Now, after yesterday I published a video tutorial for uploading photos for the contest to Wikimedia Commons, is time to make the next step and show a video to the other way to contribute, by adding the photos to the Flickr group (starting with new images and having accounts on both systems, I find uploading to Commons easier ...and it will make the work easier for us, wikipedians, but... contribute in what way to find yourself easier):

Încărcare pe grupul Flickr
(if not working from here, the video is up on YouTube and WikiMedia)

01 September 2011

Wiki Loves Monuments in full force

wiki loves monuments

Today it started, the free photography contest for Wikipedia is up and running in full force, the news is spread also in the mainstream media, a central newspaper and a news television

Trying to make everybody's contributions easier, I made a small video showing the upload process with the wizard on Wikimedia Commons:

(if not working from here, the video is up on YouTube and WikiMedia)

Still, everything is far from perfect, I worked a bit on the video, adding annotations and sound, but the video editor, Kdenlive, refused to work, due to a nasty bug in Fedora/Rpmfusion, so I had to go with a crude and ugly version.