The Dutch #Wikipedia photo competition Wiki Loves Monuments has been a resounding success and, a text is circulating to do it on an even bigger scale next year. I am happy to use it on my blog as a great example that there are many ways to have photo competitions.
Summary of this email
Sorry for a long text... We did "Wiki Loves Monuments" in the Netherlands and we would like to do Wiki Loves Monuments again in 2011, but now in Europe. This is possible when many chapters participate. To be clear: this event will only happen on a European level if there is sufficient chapter and community participation to combine efforts. Please feel free to forward this to whomever you find appropriate.
You might have heard before about Wiki Loves Monuments 2010 in the Netherlands. It was a highly successful photo scavenger hunt with 12.500 submissions and over 250 participants. We recently completed a post mortem of this project with a full description and an analysis. There are still many more monuments in the Netherlands which can be photographed and we are considering another run for next year and, we want to give it an European context. Below we will explain how we got where we are, what we have in mind, and what you can become a part of it.
It all started on the Dutch language Wikipedia with the windmill project. One of its main goals was to have an article with an image for every windmill in the Netherlands. Lists were created of windmills per province and statistics were regularly updated to track progress. This approach worked really well and now all the windmills have an article.Volunteers together with the Dutch chapter, managed to get a dataset of all 60.000 "Rijksmonumenten" ie buildings/objects with some historical or cultural relevance from the "Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed". This marked the birth of the "Rijksmonumenten" project. The project uses the lessons learned in the windmill project. The data from the RCE was converted into lists by location and put on the Dutch Wikipedia. The community started improving the lists by adding missing information and by adding photo's.
In June 2009 Wikimedia Nederland ran Wiki Loves Art /NL This was a photo scavenger hunt in more than 40 museums. It was quite successful, 5.400 photos, but it was much more laborious because we needed to keep contacts with all the participating museums and the nearest museum was usually further away from people's homes than the nearest monument.
For 2010 we were looking for a nice topic for a photo competition. The "Rijksmonumenten" project was running very well so we decided to organize Wiki Loves Monuments to give this project a boost.So, what could a European WLM look like? Obviously it is very much open for debate but we are trying to incorporate the lessons learned in the Netherlands into a European model. We think it will work best with national Wiki Loves Monuments projects and international cooperation, shared resources and international prizes. The national contests do not have to be identical, but similarity will prove to be practical. We are not sure yet what countries would be most successful, but initially we are considering the EU chapter countries and Switzerland ...
Wiki Loves Monuments would run in the month of September 2011, and participants will submit photos of monuments which are part of a list of monuments. This list includes the addresses and maybe the geo-coordinates of all the identified monuments. In each participating country there will be some prizes available, to be awarded by a jury for that country and the best will be competing for prizes in an European final.Most of the local work will be to get a database with the objects and create object lists from that. Dutch volunteers can support you as they have the experience. You will need to communicate to get the community and the public informed. You will need to find a jury and prizes for them to award. We can help with example press releases, best practices, templates and list examples and community motivation.
So, what to do when you like the idea? First of all check with your collegues (at the board, other members, community) what they think of it. You will need several people to run such a project. The next step is to analyse your local situation: who would be good partners (who keeps the lists of monuments?) for you, how many monuments are there in your country, are they well spread? Roughly how much information/photos is already available and are there community members already active in this field?We already registered www.wikilovesmonuments.eu and are in touch with CARARE and Europeana who may help us by laying contacts with European Union cultural heritage organizations. This will stress the European context and the impact this may have. The most important partner in each country will be the one that maintains a database with bational monuments, and may release this to you. Such a database/list is crucial for the success of such an event.
Please inform us when you are interested in joining in such European event. When there is enough enthusiasm, we will create a special (easy to join) mailing list to coordinate efforts and to allow the volunteers to join in the discussions. We took the liberty of discussing this with some chapters, and are hopeful that it will actually become the first grand chapter cooperation program. You can already join #wikilovesmonuments on freenode irc when you are interested.
With kind regards,