Wikimedia monthly activities meetings/Quarterly reviews/Multimedia/December 2013

The following are notes from the Quarterly Review meeting with the Wikimedia Foundation's Multimedia team on December 3, 2013, 10:30am to 12:00pm.

Present: Erik Moeller, Rob Lanphier, Mark Holmquist, Fabrice Florin, Aaron Arcos, Tilman Bayer (taking minutes)
Participating remotely: Gergő Tisza, (joining later:) Pau Giner, Bryan Davis

Please keep in mind that these minutes are mostly a rough transcript of what was said at the meeting, rather than a source of authoritative information. Consider referring to the presentation slides, blog posts, press releases and other official material

Fabrice: Welcome to our first project review for Multimedia.
The team is still coming together, so this time it's a review of the first half year (Jul.-Nov. 2013).

The Multimedia Quarterly Review slides, used to guide our dicussion



10:30 am - 2013 Projects
10:45 am - Multimedia vision
11:00 am - 2014 Projects
11:45 pm - Next steps
12:00 pm - Meeting ends

  • All times above are Pacific time (UTC-8)


  • engage users
  • seamless experience
  • make things 'just work' (to pay tech debt)

Key goals

  • viewing
  • contributions
  • feedback/curation
  • add media to articles
  • media campaigns

2013 Projects


Projects we took on in the last 6 months of 2013:

  • Beta Features (try new features before their wide release)
  • Media Viewer (see images in large size, on the same page)
  • Upload Tools (fix bugs, GLAM batch upload tool)
  • Hire Team (3 hired, 1 to go)
  • Vision & Plans (multimedia map, 2016 Vision)
  • Discussions (fix bugs, GLAM batch upload tool)

Beta Features


Numbers for Beta Features users: over 5,000 so far
For BF, feels like mission is accomplished in general (even though prominent link was disabled on a few wikis), VE team will take over

Media Viewer


Other project with significant progress: media viewer
Erik: asking about UX (the little "x")
Fabrice: will be moved out of the image where space allows
Mark: fade in / fade out times...
Fabrice: doing user testing in coming weeks
Media viewer stats: under 10% click on full-screen button
Erik: fullscreen button decision data driven? <10% in those stats
Fabrice: data right now is still a bit fuzzy, can make final decision later, but my recommendation is to keep it for a few weeks
Will need a fullscreen for video anyway

Hire Team


Last key accomplishment: gathered team, only one position missing
Fabrice: Kudos to Rob Lanphier for making that possible

Multimedia vision for 2016


(how will we use multimedia in ~3years?)

See vision slides:

"Kim", a regular Wikipedia reader, visits en:Golden-crowned Sparrow, clicks on image, previews multimedia images, browses in larger size, clicks on Thanks button, reads "more info", posts a comment, finds that image is used in "Wiki Loves Birds 2016 Canada", sees participants, days later shoots her own video, uploads it without having to worry much about metadata (categories), shares it with her community (Twitter...), gets retweeted

"Jan", a researcher, with fancy camera, organizes contests: can search using simple keywords (tags), find an image of Big Bird among real bird phots, reports copyvio, finds Kim's video, shares it/adds it to an article. He benefits from better search, better tools to add images to articles
"Kim" gets notified about this reuse, connects with "Jan", they collaborate on a Wikimap
this vision in a nutshell: engage and collaborate with multimedia (essentially what we do with text today)
key ingredients (slide)

Erik: how was this vision generated?
Fabrice: this was done collaboratively, with design team (Jared, Pau), and community members. not set in stone yet
Erik: didn't see a lot on actual uploading process in the slides?
e.g. licenses, batch uploading (would love to be able to type file descriptions in UploadWizard while upload in progress), decision on whether to upload to Commons or WP

Erik: Also missing now: a take on the role Commons should play. is it a dumping ground for files, or a community like Flickr? perhaps something in the middle?

Erik: Could Media Viewer replace file description pages? They are still a mess, media viewer is just painting over it. Could it replace it entirely?
But we would need plugin support to do that, as there are other file types like PDFs, large images that would need special development beyond what we can do...
Fabrice: Actually, we already received a request from Daniel Schwen (User:Dschwen) for such plugin support, will discuss it with him tomorrow.
Fabrice: About media viewer replacing description page: my recommendation would be to move gradually, get viewer widely used first
Erik: encourage community to write plugins for e.g. PDF viewing (realistically won't have resources for that soon)
current UX for viewing PDF slides is clunky
Mark: hooks are already there, waiting for such uses
Erik: upload experience is central, there are a lot of other secondary authoring tasks that can be optimized (e.g. subtitling videos)
What do you use for your own image uploads, Fabrice?
Fabrice: frankly, I use Commonist a lot, it's faster than UploadWizard. Haven't used Flickr tool much because my images on Flickr need be renamed for Commons
Fabrice: We plan to present this vision at the Multimedia meetup on Monday, and can also share it in future WMF metrics and activities meetings, if you like.

2014 projects


Here are the projects we are considering next, as outlined in these slides:

first six months - Jan.-Jun.


We are considering these projects for the rest of this 2013-14 fiscal year:

  • Media viewer
  • Upload pipeline
  • File feedback - depends on e.g. Wikidata though

(Erik: should integrate with Flow)

  • File notifications - some quick wins possible
  • Lots of technical debt

next 6 months - Jul.-Dec.


We are considering these projects for the start of the 2014-15 fiscal year:

  • Search & structured data (6-9 months with Wikidata)
  • Campaign tools
  • More file feedback work, making use of structured data
  • More tech debt

Media Viewer+


browsing, play audio/video/slideshows
Erik: where does performance come in?
Fabrice: very important, can't ship without it
Erik: needs Ops buy-in
Mark: talking with Ops, commented thumbnail sizes RfC, run test
try to improve perf on frontend (preload thumbnail)
Erik: but thumbnails are not yet preloaded when clicking on file link? no
Aaron: let's get the data first, needs instrumentation
Erik: yes, that would be useful for conv with Ops too

Upload Pipeline


Fabrice: we could do so much about this ;)
We'll start with unit tests, bug triage and first usability studies
Rob: MW core team can help with this, when the time is right
Fabrice: We already have a Mingle ticket for unit tests this month
Erik: who from Design is working with this?
Fabrice: Pau, some input from Jared
Erik: keeping Pau makes sense

New Video Formats


Support e.g. MPEG-4 (subject to upcoming RfC)
Currently only 38,000 video files on Commons (0.2% of total) - not competitive with other sites
We can and should do better, if the community supports this proposal.

File feedback


includes positive and negative feedback, discussion, annotation
how integrate / collect discussion on Commons?
Erik: Flow is central for discussion
Yes, but there are things we can do right away to give positive feedback and help surface useful files.
"Thanks" function is focused on individuals, rather than content (as pointed out by Andrew Lih),
but perhaps we could find another way to identify useful files (e.g. watchlist).
We want to engage more users to give feedback from WP, not just Commons.
For negative feedback: tie in with existing categories, or tags? wait for Wikidata?
We need better curation tools before opening the floodgates of mobile uploads

File Notifications


"Your file was used" notifications - easy win, gives positive feedback to contributors.
"Your upload is complete" notification (esp. for large video uploads)
We'll look to implement these when we have some room in schedule.

More 2014 tasks

  • Hire/train team
  • Architecture
  • Bug fixes
  • Research
  • Discussions

Roadmap to 2016


Fabrice: There's a lot to do, and we'll have to focus and prioritize, but that vision is within our reach.
Let's keep our ambitions in check, remember that half of our work is tech debt



Here are some research slides, to inform our plans:

Fabrice: Take a look at the world around us: 500 million photos uploaded and shared per day, 100 hours of video per minute on YouTube, on the rise.
People have high expectations on UX for multimedia, which we need to match if we want them to contribute.
We are missing out on this audio-visual phenomenon
98% of our 19.4m files are images, only 0.2% are videos
WLM bring in tons of uploaders each September, but they go away after contest
We should all think harder about how to retain them
Aaron: social element is the essence of Wikipedia, features for that are now rudimentary

Proposed metrics to track the impact of our work:

  • unique contributors: 19k uploaders per month
  • files used in articles: 7.6M = 39% of all files

Erik: these are the right metrics
Rob: I guess that the work in the next 6 months won't move the needle?
Erik: depends, work on upload UX could make a difference (UploadWizard implementation did)
Fabrice: recommend not to set targets yet, maybe in a year from now when we understand metrics better

Final comments


Erik: regarding the planned switch from media viewer to uploads, would recommend to have a solid product in place before moving on, perhaps spend some more months on media viewer (latest: March), put plugin support on list because that will help it live on
Rob: from slides (2014 projects), it would look like we take on a lot of things...
Erik: be careful about setting time expectations, refactor list on to make clearer what's merely considered and what is planned
Rob: we are not yet in the 14/15 planning stage, it's fine to include some aspirational things
Aaron: would need a real planning meeting
Fabrice (modifies "2014 Projects" slide)
Rob: capacity planning with Ops when needed, also connect with Mobile team
Fabrice: how often do we want to do these reviews?
Erik: ready to do this in quarterly rhythm now, next in March
Rob: and tie in with annual planning process
Pau: need to coordinate on planning for uploading redesign
Fabrice: will set up an uploading planning meeting in next weeks
might have more data then too
Erik: have existing user test results, too
Gergő: be mindful of overlap with Wikidata's work
Bryan: haven't had much time to dedicate to multimedia team, more staffing will be beneficial
Fabrice: Bryan's contribution was really helpful for e.g. developing team's Agile process, thank you!
Rob: yes, I put lots of non-multimedia work on Bryan's plate
Aaron: for next quarter's review, with some preparation, could arrive at planning decisions
Rob: review of quarter's accomplishments is the central purpose
Aaron: ... but overall this was a great meeting