Commons still has a reputation as a "backstage" project - and with good reason. The main page is cluttered, the category system is, as has been stated many times, a disaster and useless for finding all media related to a subject (mostly because a large portion of the media on Commons isn't properly categorized), and what's worst is that after all this time Commons still lacks a good "entry point" - except for the dubious candidate Featured Pictures, where first-time users are greeted with several hundreds of photos of bugs and zero non-picture media, which in general seem to be all but ignored on Commons altogether. Something needs to change if Commons is to become the average user's media archive of choice.
A step in the right direction would be to introduce something you might call a Commons Palette - a portal giving an overview of what Commons has to offer. This portal would be a visually engaging library comprised of some of the best media on Commons - and I mean media, not just pictures. Ideas include categorizing pictures by color (something which has been done manually for the Wikimedia Mosaic) and presenting them in a rainbow-style arrangement, a semantic web, or a world map showing geolocated images at their location.
Some more proposals:
- Feature request: Upload to commons from Wikipedia, Wikibooks, etc.
- Use more appropriate software for the Commons (other than MediaWiki)
- Moving media files to Commons ought to be much easier, automatic
- make category redirects appear as different coloured links
- Inline slideshows
- Install DynamicPageList for Commons
- Make "sitenotice" compatible with $wgForceUIMsgAsContentMsg
- Enable multilingual extension in Commons
- Improve media (image) search display
- Install ImportFreeImages (Flickr) extension on Commons
- MediaWiki:Key/en messages are ignored when en is the wiki default language
- Automatic image watermarking
- Feature: improved 'annotation' method for media (combo of galleries, categories and tags)
- Make MediaWiki:Sharedupload point to Commons with lang setting of that wiki
- Links on commons upload summaries do not link to commons
- MediaWiki:Licenses/foo sometimes ignored when viewing Special:Upload&uselang=foo
- Allow image description pages from Commons to translate content
- Make image views statistics available through wikistats
- New extension: "Upload To Wikimedia Commons Tab"
- Special:Upload gives tedious warning about changing spaces to underscores in file names
- Enable extension to provide metadata support on Wikimedia Commons
- Change the go button functionality in Commons
- What is the first impression we want to give a random visitor who stumbles upon the Commons main page?
- What can we do to introduce a more balanced selection of the Picture of the Day (August so far has seen 6 insects on the main page out of 13 days - hardly balanced and unattractive to many average users, who might even find insects disgusting)?
- What can we do to better present the sounds and videos on Commons?
- How can the category system, which has not proven itself up to its job, be replaced or revamped?
- Can MediaWiki be a suitable media repository?
- None financial for the palette project, as this project can be achieved using existing hardware and software. However it will require significant time, planning, and energy to accomplish properly.
- Developer costs.
- wmf:Press releases/Wikimedia Ford Foundation Grant July 2009
- Top 10 software extensions Wikimedia Commons needs in 2008
- Media handling on Wikimedia: Preview the future! (part 1)
- Media handling on Wikimedia: Preview the future! (part 2)
Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal Talk:Make Commons more accessible to the average visitor.
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