Ray Saintonge wrote:
> Florence Devouard wrote:
>> A couple of weeks ago, I went to an event organized in Paris by the 
>> French Government about "economics of culture".
>> During that event, I mentionned that the French chapter has several 
>> ongoing discussions with various museums to set up content partnerships.
>>
>> Here are two examples of such potential partnerships:
>> * a small museum with very old and precious documents. The museum has 
>> limited room for access and documents are fragile, so only a few 
>> visitors are allowed to look at them. The museum wants to digitize these 
>> docs, but has limited technical infrastructure.
>> Opportunity: we host their documents on wikisource and provide them 
>> additional visibility through an article on Wikipedia, featuring their 
>> best manuscripts.
>> * a large museum already has a digitization procedure for the documents, 
>> as well as a hosting service. However, the digitized version contains 
>> mistakes (errors generated in the process) and the museum simply does 
>> not have the human power to provide the corrections of the numerous 
>> documents digitized by their services. Our members can take care of this 
>> task.
>>   
> This is probably more about archives than about museums, but the 
> problems for museums regarding three-dimensional objects is just as 
> severe, as Raoul Weiller has been keen to point out at the last two 
> Wikimanias.  Lars makes a good point about distinguishing between 
> preservation and access digitization, but I think that capital-intensive 
> preservation strategies are well beyond our capabilities.  Wikimedia 
> works best when it can marshal large quantities of free labour to 
> altruistic purposes; the kind of people whom we attract are properly 
> annoyed with capitalist profiteering that depends on our free labour.  
> It comes as no surprise that they intuitively support non-commercial 
> clauses in free licenses. 
> 

Correct. But I was rather thinking of small museums, often displaying 
very local artifacts or specialized artifacts. These museums are often 
very much constrained in terms of preservation, and are not as organized 
as major national museums in terms of "merchandization" of the documents 
in their care. They also badly lack visibility and that could make the 
difference for them. They may not care as much as the large museums 
about "preserving their commercial abilities".


> Your two examples present startlingly different circumstances.  In the 
> first example it is up to the archives to provide the leadership, while 
> acknowledging that providing the needed manpower exclusively through 
> professional personnel is well beyond their limited budgets.  At the 
> same time they are repeatedly the beneficiaries of acquisitions which 
> they can neither properly process or store.  The recent story of the 
> Royal Ontario Museum rediscovering a Tyranosaurus skeleton that had been 
> misplaced for decades gives us pause to wonder.  The type of artifacts 
> that concern us are much smaller, and consequently easier to misplace.  
> Museums need to engage in volunteer training programmes so that 
> volunteers can better take on more specialized and more responsible 
> tasks.  If they believe that they will some day receive budgets adequate 
> to the task, they have been breathing too many fumes from evaporating 
> artifacts. They also need to make collections accessible to qualified 
> volunteers for longer hours than the regular opening hours of the museums.

I also agree the leadership on this is on the side of the museum.


> The second example is more within our grasp.  Proofreading is a tedious 
> process, and we should never deceive ourselves into believing that the 
> task can be handled by spell-checkers or other software based 
> techniques.  In addition, since Wikisource likes to host whole books or 
> multi-volume reference works there is a tendency to upload this material 
> from other sources without any thought of checking the material for 
> accuracy.  This means that material which clearly falls within the scope 
> of Wikisource grows at a phenomenal rate when compared to its 
> verification rate.  Image files are only one part of the solution.  They 
> provide the basis for the verification, but not the verification itself.
>> Wikisources members know all that very well and much better than I. I 
>> just summarize that very quickly for reference.

In short, we can mention our ability to do so, but we can not claim it 
will be done.

>> In Europe, at least in some countries, we meet several problems
>> * many scholars have a rather bad image of Wikipedia (because written by 
>> amateurs, anonymous members, plagued by vandals etc...)
>> * the other wikimedia projects have rather poor popularity and would 
>> benefit from more "light"
>> * journalists are bored and need new information (otherwise, they focus 
>> on all the bad stories)
>> * some projects are more difficult to advertise than others, because 
>> they are full competitors with other commercial projects of very good 
>> quality (eg, wiktionary, wikinews...)
>>
>>   
> I don't see the problem as one of publicity at all.  It's a matter of 
> recruiting people who are satisfied doing humble tasks.  Such people do 
> not want to participate in complex decision making processes; they are 
> completely confused if they need to deal with anything but the most 
> elementary of wiki markup; when faced with any conflict they just go 
> away.  They are often older, and sensitive to disrespectful behaviour. 

Then we go again to the question of finding the right contributors and 
welcoming them well. This might be helped in focusing on specific media 
venue. For example, I do not think there ever was an article in French 
in the social press oriented "retired people". Whilst we have at least 
once a year an article in each major press oriented teenagers.

>> Besides, my feeling is that contributors and in particular members from 
>> chapters need a project on which they can team.
>>   
> That's worth considering.  In theory at least chapter leadership is in a 
> better position to understand the priorities of national governments.  
> Chapters that host Wikisource sites themselves can better adapt to laws 
> that restrict the export of charitable donations.

Hmmm, touchy topic :-)

>> I would like to propose that next year be Wikisource year.
>>   
> How can this be best co-ordinated with the Wikimania programme?

Making sure there are at least a couple of talks related to Wikisource 
project. Perhaps funding the travel of a few proeminent members of this 
project and proposing a panel on a topic related to wikisource.
Seeking funding from a museum ;-)


>> And since the planet is very large, if this is done in large part 
>> through chapters, that it be an opportunity for some european chapters 
>> to work together.
>>   
> An EU super-chapter? :-\  

Nope.
You did not get it :-)
First, I think chapters need some common goals, for team building. Even 
if only 2 or 3 chapters are concerned, that would be good.
Besides, I think we might get funds from the European Community on this 
type of topics, and any funding request must mandatorily be made through 
a team of several companies/associations/universities from several 
countries from the European Union.

As such, a request only coming from Wikimedia France would have zero 
chance. A request from Wikimedia France + Netherlands + Italy, would.

> Appealing to nationalism could be more fruitful.
>> I am not necessarily thinking of anything very complicated. Examples of 
>> efforts we could make together:
>>
>> * leaflets about wikisource updated and available in a large number of 
>> languages;
>> * webbuttons to advertise the project on the web;
>> * each time someone gives a conference about Wikipedia, take the 
>> opportunity to spend a couple of minutes of Wikisource as well; 
>> distribute leaflets;
>> * summarize our best cases on Wikisource;
>> * develop stories about these best cases. Illustrate. Feature these 
>> stories on chapter websites;
>> * develop initiatives on projects for cross project challenges (eg, best 
>> article with content improved in at least 3 projects);
>> * chapters may write and distribute a couple of press releases about 
>> wikisource;
>> * chapters may propose conferences about wikisource (and speakers 
>> available to talk about it);
>> * develop arguments for museums etc...
>>
>> Measures of success are numerous, from improvements of Wikisource 
>> (number of docs), number of mentions in the press, partnerships 
>> established with museums etc...
>>
>> What do you think ?
>>   
> Who is the target audience for all this?  How much of this will appeal 
> to seniors?

Do we have any idea of the profile of a wikisource contributor ? Is that 
significantly older than Wikipedia ?

Ant

> 
> Ec


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