Communications/Sound Logo/Contest proposal

Sound Logo

The Sound Logo organizing team is happy to share a proposal for the creation of the Wikimedia sound logo. This is going to be a global contest based on our practices of logo contests in the movement and considering exciting new parameters when it comes to sound logos and audio production. Read more about it below, let us know what you think on the talk page or join a conversation, Friday May 27 @11:00 UTC (on Zoom with AR, ES, FR, PT, ZH interpretation) and Thursday June 2 @18:00 UTC (on Jitsi). Read the summary of the May-June conversations. Jump to get involved.

Sharing music across ages

What is this project about?Edit

People around the world are increasingly using digital voice assistants to seek information and a lot of it comes from Wikimedia projects. The Wikimedia Foundation would like to co-create with communities and free knowledge enthusiasts a sound logo that lets listeners know the source of their information is from the trusted world of Wikimedia. And to co-create this sound logo, we would like to host a global contest.

What is a sound logo and why are we creating it?Edit

A sound logo is a brief collection of sounds usually between 2 to 4 seconds. This contest winning sound logo will become a new way to recognize Wikimedia content across a range of uses and platforms, providing increasing and broader identification of Wikimedia content and hopefully further opportunities to grow participation in the movement. The initial use case will be for the identification of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia content on voice-user interface technology.

How will we create this sound logo?Edit

The organizing team would like to host a global contest to create the Wikimedia sound logo. We hope to make this an exciting, participatory moment across the movement and beyond. The contest will draw inspiration from past Wikimedia project logo contests such as the puzzle globe logo, the Wikidata logo, the MediaWiki logo, and others where logos were developed and then selected via vote based on specific criteria.

We would like the contest to be a vehicle to increase awareness about the Wikimedia movement, our values, achievements, projects, and communities worldwide. To achieve this, the organizing team will also develop a promotional campaign for the contest, inviting many users/readers of our projects to learn more about Wikimedia and participate.

What qualifies as a good submission?  Edit

Wikimedia’s sound logo should represent what our movement is all about – a never ending work in progress, trust, neutrality, sharing knowledge, global collaboration, openness, and diversity. The ideal sound logo should feel international and not pertain to any particular culture, style, or language. It should also comprise multiple layers, textures, or sounds. Wikimedia’s sound logo should be created using all original sounds, recorded by you, or using sounds available under the Creative Commons Zero license or in the Public Domain.

How do I get creative?Edit

Imagine how you would capture the sound of learning or what a global village would sound like to you. What sounds would bring a smile to your face after you hear a fact read out by your voice assistant, if you use one. There are infinite ways to capture, produce and combine sounds, and we are so excited to get started. The organizing team has started a collection of public domain and CC0 sounds and encourages you to share, use, and add more.

Submissions will be reviewed based on specific selection criteria including the following tonal prompts: Wikimedia’s sound logo should feel human, inspired, smart, and warm. It should not feel cold, synthetic, aggressive or overly technological. Submissions will also be reviewed based on the following creative prompts:  

  • Connections Forming
  • Knowledge Growing
  • Question & Answer
  • Trusted Information
  • Free & Open knowledge

Have a prompt or concept of your own? Suggest it.

Let your passion and creativity flow

What are the submission criteria?Edit

  • We encourage 1 submission per person with up to 3 sound logos
  • The entry should be between 1 and 4 seconds long
  • Original sounds and CC0/PD samples only
  • MP3 at a bit rate of at least 192kbps, OGG at a bit rate of at least 160kbps or WAV with a bit depth of at least 16-bit

What would disqualify a submission?Edit

We are only accepting submissions between 1 and 4 seconds. Entries will be further disqualified if they:

  • Contain offensive material
  • Infringe copyright (not CC0/PD or not original work)
  • Are clearly vandalism, and not a creative execution
  • Contain spoken words … we are hoping for a sound logo free from language

A team of community members with support from the organizing team will do the initial screening, vandalism check, and tagging. If you’d like to be part of the screening team, we would love your support.

Where do I submit?Edit

We would like to set up a simple and accessible portal that will easily accept various audio formats. Utilizing a WordPress site as a “front door” for participants is often done in the movement. We also don’t want to overburden the Commons community with possible vandalisms or potentially a surge of sound bites, which do not fall within the scope of Commons. We hope to explore and possibly develop different plug-ins and features between WordPress and MediaWiki for a smooth transition to Commons. The voting portion of the contest will happen on Commons and we hope it will be a great way to introduce new folks to our rich media repository.

The WordPress web portal will be finalized after this phase of community conversations. We will need support tagging, flagging, and uploading onto Commons. If this interests you, please let us know.

We are also wondering if all qualifying sounds should be uploaded to Commons or only the finalists, what do you think? It will be a long-lasting contribution from this project to our projects.

Is there a prize?Edit

We would love to inspire a global competition and creating sound is not easy and it takes time. We are thinking of offering the winner $2500 USD as well as a $5000 USD grant from the Foundation for a sound-related community project of the winner’s choosing. Additionally, the winner may be invited to re-record their submission in a professional studio with MassiveMusic, our technical partner in this contest. There may be related press coverage as well, highlighting the contest, the global participation, and the winning or shortlisted sounds.

Will there be support from sound logo experts and musicians?Edit

The Wikimedia movement is experienced at holding global competitions, often in photography, and in creating visual logos via contests. Creating a sound logo is a new and technically complex endeavour. For this, the Wikimedia Foundation has partnered with a professional and experienced sonic agency called MassiveMusic. As a leading international expert in sound logos, MassiveMusic will provide guidance for the contest and feedback for helping the movement find that distinctive, easily recallable sound.

Incredible sounds from all over the world

What about copyrights?Edit

MassiveMusic, our technical partner in this contest, will do a final due diligence review. As part of this, an expert musicologist will review the top finalists – projected to be 10 – before the public vote. This review will unpack the finalist sounds and look for any kind of foreseeable copyright infringements.

The initial screening on WordPress will be for the length of the submission, vandalism, and any obvious copyright infringements. The musicologist review will be much more in-depth. Community members interested to be part of the initial screening team or the later selection committee are warmly invited to let the organizing team know on this page. Particularly for the selection committee, we are aiming for global representation and diversity of volunteer and affiliate contributor profiles.

How will the final selection happen?Edit

MassiveMusic will review all eligible submissions, identifying approximately 40 candidates using the selection criteria below. A diverse committee of community volunteers and industry specialists will then review the top candidates and identify 20. Those 20 sounds will undergo a due diligence and copyright check, analyzing the sonic components of each. The selection committee will then identify 10 sound logos to put up to a public vote. What do you think?

What is the selection criteria?Edit

In order to make the contest as fair and inclusive as possible, all entries will be reviewed based on the selection criteria outlined below. Three areas will be used when evaluating the submissions.

  • Conceptual match: 50%; Does the sound logo represent the spirit of the Wikimedia movement? Does it clearly link to the creative prompts? Does it feel human, inspired, smart and warm?
  • Originality / Uniqueness: 25%; Does the sound logo feel original and unique? Is it similar to other sound logos? Does it stand out compared to other sound logos?
  • "Recallability:" 25%; Is the sound logo memorable / singable / playable? How clearly can it be remembered? Is it distinctive?

Some open questions, please let us know what you think:  Edit

  • Should all qualifying sounds be archived on Commons (possibly thousands of sound files) or only the top 10 or 20?
  • Some Wikimedia Foundation staff might be excited to submit a sound – are there any reasons not to allow this? Of course if there’s any relation to the organizing team or the selection committee, that would not be allowed.
  • Many staff come from the community, which makes things in this regard more fluid. Can Wikimedia Foundation staff vote?
  • What are your thoughts on using both Wikimedia and Wikipedia in some of our promotional messages for people who are only familiar with Wikipedia? We are thinking of messages like this:
    • Love Wikipedia? Help us co-create a sound to brand free knowledge on sonic platforms 🎶
    • Help us co-create the sound of Wikimedia! The free knowledge movement behind Wikipedia
  • During the voting phase, potentially thousands of new accounts might be created, how can we prevent people from registering for multiple accounts in order to vote?
Everyone's invited to participate

Here is the checklist. So, keep in mind that:Edit

  • You can only enter the contest once and with up to three different sound logos. This way, we are hoping to encourage intentional, well-developed submissions.
  • Your sound logo should comprise of at least two overlapping layers, textures or sounds.
  • You must have the rights to use all components of your submission because either they are original recordings or are samples with a Creative Commons Zero license or within the public domain.
  • To the best of your knowledge, your submission should be unique and distinctive from other existing music tracks, audio compositions, sound art, and sound logos.
  • Your submission should be no shorter than 1 seconds and no longer than 4 seconds in length.
  • Your submission must be submitted as any of the following file types: MP3 at a bit rate of at least 192kbps, OGG at a bit rate of at least 160kbps or WAV with a bit depth of at least 16-bit.

What are the steps from now until we have a sound logo?Edit

Community conversations May 23 to June 10
To present a contest proposal to the movement for feedback and finalization
Preparations WordPress portal creation
Commons voting portal creation
Outreach for community participation in the screening team and selection committee
Develop global contest promotional material
Workshops at Wikimania and elsewhere to develop basic sound mixing skills in interested community members
Submissions 4 weeks from mid September to mid October
Submissions made on a WordPress portal
Community vetting, tagging
Review The 40 strongest sound logo submissions will move forward to a diverse selection committee comprising Wikimedia community members and music industry specialists who will then select 20 candidates.
The top 20 candidates will undergo a due diligence and copyright check before the final 10 sounds are identified by the selection committee.
The selection committee will then present 10 finalists for public voting.
Voting 3 weeks; at the moment, scheduled for November 2022
Announcing the winner Likely in early 2023

Need more info?Edit

Ping us here on the talk page, ask us via email, or join one of the conversations:

Read the summary here.

  • Friday May 27 @11:00 UTC
  • Thursday June 2 @18:00 UTC

What are your questions?Edit

Ok, that was a lot of information. What do you think? What are your thoughts, comments and questions? We would love to hear from you.

Get involvedEdit

Are you a musically-inclined Wikimedian? Are you a sound enthusiast? We’d love to hear from you.

Other than submitting a cool sound logo, there are other ways to get involved:

  • Volunteers can contribute original or CC0/PD sounds to the growing collections or find existing sounds and tag them for everyone’s use.
  • If you’d like to be part of the screening team, we would love your support. This involves vetting the initial submissions as well as tagging, flagging, and uploading onto Commons. If this interests you, please let us know.
  • If you’re interested, please put your name forward to be on the selection committee with musicologists and industry specialists.