Grants:Project/Rapid/SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 in the United States

SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 in the United States
Funding for prize money and printing costs for Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 in the United States, the annual photography contest for historical sites.
targetWikimedia Commons, all Wikipedia projects
start dateSeptember 1
end dateNovember 30 December 31
budget (USD)$915
grant typeIndividual
contact(s)• kevinpayravi(_AT_)

Summary edit

Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photo competition for monuments and historical sites, taking place every September in more than 40 countries around the world.

The United States has participated in Wiki Loves Monuments in 2012, 2013, and 2016. Last year's event (2016) was primarily organized by SuperHamster (Kevin Payravi) and Nikikana, and exceeded expectations: over 11,000 images of historical sites in the United States were uploaded (6th most in the world) by over 1,780 individuals (most in the world). Of the >11,000 images, over 1,100 (10%) of them are currently being used on Wikimedia projects. Of the >1,780 participants, 1,571 (88%) were new to the Commons. Also in 2016, Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States started accepting sites registered by any authoritative organization, such as state and local historical societies - a rather unique move when most competitions only focus on nationally-recognized sizes.

Each national Wiki Loves Monuments competition chooses its respective top-ten photos, which are then sent to the international competition where the top-ten photos in the world are selected for that year. Nearly all national Wiki Loves Monuments competitions give prizes for their winners. In 2016, the prizes were as follows for the United States, as funded by the Wikimedia Foundation with the US-OH 2016 Projects rapid grant:

  • Best image (1st): $150
  • Best image (First runner-up): $75
  • Best image (Second runner-up): $75
  • All top-ten placers received a physical certificate

This year, we plan to have a similar prize layout, with the top two placements receiving a bit more money to incentivize more and better contributions.

  • Best image (1st): $200
  • Best image (First runner-up): $125
  • Best image (Second runner-up): $75
  • All top-ten placers received a physical certificate
  • WLM in the United States t-shirt

Project Goal edit

This project has two main goals:

  • Adding content: Getting both a good quantity and quality of photos of registered historical sites is one of the main goals of Wiki Loves Monuments. Last year's 2016 competition in the United States resulted in over >11,000 images of registered historical sites (6th highest in the world), of which 10% are currently being used in a Wikimedia project. We hope to perform at a similar level this year, and even better to exceed these results.
  • Recruiting new editors: Last year's 2016 competition in the United States drew a significant number of new users to the Commons. Of the >1,780 participants, 1,571 (88%) were new. We hope to see a high turnout of new participants again this year. At the very least, the competition results in thousands of people becoming introduced and knowledgeable of the Commons and Wikimedia as a whole. At the best, we get a handful of contributors who continue to contribute after the end of Wiki Loves Monuments (unfortunately, we do not have exact metrics for this).

Project Plan edit

Activities edit

Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:
1. What content will the contest focus on, and why is it important to your community?

Wiki Loves Monuments focuses on gathering photos of registered historical sites from all around the world. From the official "about us" page, "Cultural heritage is an important part of the knowledge Wikipedia collects and disseminates...An image is worth a thousand words, in every language at once and local enthusiasts can (re)discover the cultural, historical, or scientific significance of their neighbourhood." With Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States, we hope to be able to gather images of cultural and historical sites from every corner of the nation.

2. How will you let people know about the contest?

  • Geonotices on Wikimedia projects, the primary driver of participants
  • Social media (see Twitter account), with both organic and paid posts
  • Outreach with external organizations and groups, such as state historical societies and photography clubs
  • Outreach with Wikimedia groups, such as interested WikiProjects and Wikimedia affiliates in the United States
  • Flickr photo walks (see blog post announcement) (walks currently planned for San Francisco and Denver)
  • Mass-message all of last year's participants to encourage them to participate again

3. How will you judge the contest and award prizes?

See Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2016 in the United States/Judging for last year's 2016 competition; while the judging format for 2017 has yet to be announced, it will be in a similar format to 2016.
Judging for our contest is a multi-stage contest, where multiple judges are recruited from various communities (such as Wikimedians, professional photographers, and artists) to judge the contest's photos. Each stage narrows the photo pool until the top-ten are determined. The volunteer-developed Montage judging tool is used by the judges to help streamline the process.

4. For photo contests, what is the strategy to get images used on projects?

On the English Wikipedia, the NRHP WikiProject does an effective job of finding and using images uploaded during Wiki Loves Monuments. We will reach out to this WikiProject to inform editors about the contest, and will also see if we can find similar groups on other language versions of Wikipedia. Likewise, WikiProjects and Wikimedia affiliates for each state will also be informed about the contest.

5. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

Niki and I (Kevin) are excited to organize Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States again this year, and have been working on ways to make the process easier and more appealing for both participants and our jury. We were amazed by 2016's results, and look forward to seeing how the contest performs for the second year in a row.

Impact edit

We consider our project successful if we accomplish the following:

  • Receive a sizable number of participants and uploads, somewhere in the ballpark of last year's numbers (1,700+ contributors and 11,000+ uploads).
  • Successfully support participants, new and old, in contributing photos.
  • Build new relationships with historical organizations.
  • Have the top-ten finalists be of better quality than last year's results.

To encourage growth, we have set the follow goals for ourselves, which exceed last year's results:

  1. Number of participants: At least 2,000
  2. Number of photos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons: At least 13,000
  3. Number of photos used on Wikimedia projects: At least 1,500

On one hand, a major reason for the high number of participants/photos for 2016's event may be because Wiki Loves Monuments had not been in the United States for several years prior, resulting in people being able to upload many pics from several years. This may reduce the number of uploads for 2017.

On the other hand, we do have several plans for boosting participation:

  • Inviting all of last year's participants to participate again
  • More outreach with historical societies, museums, affiliates, etc.
  • More outreach on social media, including ads
  • Flickr photo walks
  • Better guides for finding historical sites (see event page)
  • A bit higher of a prize pool, to encourage more participants with better photos

Resources edit

This event is organized by SuperHamster (Kevin Payravi) and Nikikana, who also organized the event in 2016. The team has the support of the international Wiki Loves Monuments team, as well as several volunteers from the Wikimedia United States Coalition.
To support the event, we are requesting funds for the following items:
Item Cost Notes
1st Prize $200
2nd Prize $125
3rd Prize $75
Facebook advertising $30
Twitter advertising $20
Certificate printing $10 10 certificates on high-quality paper sent to top-ten placers.
Custom organizer shirt $40 Single shirt ordered ASAP for Niki for in-person outreach events and photo walks in San Francisco
Custom shirts for judges and winners $290 35 custom shirts (~$8/each) from Blue Cotton, which will go to our jury (estimated up to 25) and top-ten winners after the end of the contest. T-shirts provide a nice incentive and thank-you for our jury and winners. T-shirts will be made to order, so we won't be ordering any more than we need.
Poly mailers for shirts $10 Poly mailers to send shirts to jury and winners
Postage $115 Estimated $3 per shirt + $1 per certificate
Total: $915

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