Help archive Wikimedia Commons!

WikiTeam has released an update of the chronological archive of all Wikimedia Commons files, up to 2013. Now ~34 TB in total.

Just seed one or more of these torrents (typically 20-40 GB) and you’ll be like a brick in the Library of Alexandria (or something), doing your bit for permanent preservation of this massive archive.

From this post to wikimedia-l.

What can I put on Commons?

A strange log, completely devoured by worms. One wonders how it go where it is.

I never quite know what to upload to Wikimedia Commons. They say it accepts files that provide knowledge and are instructional or informative, but that seems so broad. Can I, for example, upload the photo above? It’s just a log that I thought was interesting because it’s so worm-eaten, and so neatly cut at each end (and the further end has two S-shaped steel hooks embedded in it), but it it within the scope of Commons? I’ve no idea. I suspect that it’s not, because it’s not a very good photo and it’s not of interest to anyone other than me. I could upload it, and it might stay there for a while, but surely someone will come along at some point — perhaps years down the track, when I’m no longer interested in it — and do away with it?

So I figure I’m better off uploading it here, where it can stay and be safely ignored by the world. I do just wonder, though, whether much the same line of reasoning can be used for very many photos that might be suitable for Commons. Actually, I don’t wonder it: I do not upload much there because I think what I’ve got to offer really does mostly fall into the same category as this log photo.

So I’ll stick to my own wiki, for now. Plenty of work for me on Wikisource, anyway…

Cantonment Hill and Wikimedia Commons

The news that Flickr Commons is full prompted me, yesterday afternoon, to cycle down to Cantonment Hill to get some photos to add to the hill’s Wikipedia article. Why? Because I added a short note to Wikinews the other day about the imminent return of the hill to the FCC; and because I was reminded that Commons is a place — the place, perhaps, now — to put photos that might be of use or interest to other people, and I like that ‘collective archive’ idea.

I have always felt that Commons only wants files that are of direct use in another project — mainly Wikipedia — and that unless one can think of a good reason to upload a file, that file should be posted elsewhere. Such as Flickr Commons, or the Internet Archive; I can’t think of anywhere else. Perhaps I’m wrong. Is Commons more like the IA than one might first think? Is it acceptable to add material that is highly unlikely to ever make it in to a ‘proper’ article on one of the projects? Unless there is a need to illustrate, for example, the various types of steel handrails used on stairs in the 1950s, then there are some photos that will never make it out of Commons. That’s okay though. Someone might want to write that article in fifty years’ time.

So I am going to keep working on Wikimedia projects, in my own way, in the hope that it is a worthwhile use of my time. I think it is.