No, not the old New England shared space in the center of the village (AKA village green), but a sister project of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons. This is a place people upload photos with free licences to then be shared across the globe. The main point was to allow for a single repository for all images across all Wikipedias (English, French, German, etc.) that would allow for easy access between this different projects. That way the Germans could more easily find and use images of the US, and vice versa for US based editors and German images. Add the Germans certainly do use our images, such as one from an old house I took. Even the Japanese use it too, as the Hillsboro article has nine images of mine.

Oregon State Capitol Building

My picture of the OSC in Salem that I've seen in many places

But Commons has grown beyond this as site where many people and organizations go to find free content.  Encyclopædia Britannica in their article on Hillsboro uses one of my images, as do some foreigners with WES, and used a fish image of mine among many other images they have used from Commons. Searching Google has turned up many for me, and many for others on Wikipedia/Commons. Other images include Erratic Rock State Park, Council Crest Park, the Martha Springer Botanical Gardens where someone used this image for talking about gardening, and these folks at the Mall Hall of Fame blog used three of mine and countless others from Wikipedia/Commons. And these are just the ones that have actually given credit, whereas many others fail to credit Wikimedia or the individual photographers. In fact this image of mine I have seen in a variety of places on the web, often without credit, but here the Associated Contentfolks properly attributed the image to me (those folks are also heavy users of Commons images). However, I think I am most proud of getting on OregonLive in the proper manner. Last fall I warned them about using my image of Lattice Semiconductor without proper attribution, and they took it down (would have been easier for them to just add the caption in the story). So its nice to see they learned their lesson.

Now, more importantly, what does this have to do with you? If you looked at some of the images, hopefully you liked some of them, but most are certainly not Pulitzer Prize winners. Some of my images could use some editing, and others filters, and other better lighting. But, hey, I don’t get paid for this. Anyway, Wikipedia gets free images which helps illustrate articles, and I get a sense of satisfaction/ego boost seeing my work around the world. And you can too! So, if you do not already have a Commons account, I encourage you to sign up for one and start uploading your images. If you need ideas for what to take a picture of, here is a list of images already needed. And who knows, maybe in a month or so your picture of a Bigfoot trap might make the front page in Mongolia.




Third part in a III part series. As in the last one.

High quality content on Wikipedia generally refers to content that has had some sort of peer review process and determined to be of high quality. These are mainly the Good Articles (GA) and Featured Content. GA content can only be articles, while the Featured status can be bestowed on articles (FA), lists (FL), pictures (FP), as well as sounds, topics, and portals. FA is the highest level of quality on Wikipedia and these articles are featured on Wikipedia’s Main Page. GA is the lowest end of the high quality articles, but still a worthy accomplishment.

At the beginning of 2008 WikiProject Oregon had about 15 GA class articles; at the end it was 45. This is a nice 300% increase, and a much higher increase than the 40% increase in the number of articles, so not only was there a raw increase, but the ratio also increased. For FA and FL content we went from 6 at the beginning of 2008 to 14 at the end, and increase of 8 (6 FA, 2 FL). This was a 233% increase, again well ahead of the overall increase in articles. And so far this year we have added 3 more FAs, which puts us on a pace to just beat the 2008 numbers.

Overall in high quality content we went from 21 to 59, or a 280% increase. Not bad, and with a similar increase this year we should break the 100 mark by the end of the year.

Part II of a three part series. As Pete mentioned in his comments to Part I, WikiProject Oregon also witnessed a good size increase in the number of articles within the project. We went from just over 5000 articles to a bit over 7000. I think that is a 40% increase. Now many of these roughly 2000 new articles were created by those involved in the project, but most were not. Many come from random people signing up and starting an article on their favorite band, a historic building in town, or their local politician. These all add up. Plus, I personally went through incoming links to the Oregon article and found likely 200 articles that have existed for some time, but were missed at some point. Which brings up the what links here feature. If you were not aware of this, along the left side of the screen in the “toolbox” is a tool that allows you to see all the existing Wikipedia articles/pages that link to the article (even works for red links). It is a great way to discover additional information about the topic.

To close, even though Wikipedia’s article growth has slowed significantly, we hope to keep a brisk pace at WikiProject Oregon.

The power of trivia exists in many ways on Wikipedia. One way, trivia about obscure topics, is something Wikipedia is well known for with articles about various cartoon characters and the like. Another way is via trivia within articles about standard topics such as information about some celebrity eating at a cafe in Small Town, USA. This type of trivia is discouraged, often deleted, and often gets re-added later. But we’re trying to write an encyclopedia, so technically it shouldn’t be in the pedia.

Another, and encouraged form or trivia, is through the Did You Know program that encourages article creation and massive expansion with the reward of featuring the article on Wikipedia’s main page. Trivia is encouraged via the “hook” that is usually an interesting (i.e. trivial) bit from the article. Although a spot on the main page is not in the class of honors such as a Nobel Prize, it is a nice reward, and leads to many extra page views for the article. For instance the Alvin T. Smith House in Forest Grove was featured last March and received 5,000 hits the day it was featured on the main page, which is a bit more than the 5-10 per day it usually gets.

Last year, WikiProject Oregon had 153 DYKs, or just under one every two days. That’s pretty good, and a decent increase from 2007. This year, my hope is we can get it to once every other day, or about 183. Right now, through 18 days we 10, so we are on pace.

Greetings WikiProject Oregon folks, it is time for another edition of the Collaboration of the Week! A big thanks to those who helped out in improving Tom McCall and the Willamette Meteorite last week. This week we have a request for Mr. Greg Oden who has been back in the news as of late, so hopefully we can get him up to B class before training camp starts. Then we have a Hospital red link drive with plenty of opportunity for DYKs! Bu bye. Mike

Time for another edition of Collaboration of the Week. Last week there was some good improvements to Music of Oregon and Phil Knight, great job everyone. This week, by request is the Applegate Trail, which is short enough to easily conjure up a DYK. Then, I’m trying something a little different, with the Portland State stuff. We included the two high profile schools during Civil War week last year, so now its time for the younger sibling that gets no respect to get some attention. After all, it is the largest college in the state. Feel free to help with whatever aspects you like, though to help with some ideas I added some to the article talk page. Nana na na, hey hey hey, goouud byeeee.

Greetings from WikiProject Oregon. For those not familiar with the Collaboration of The Week we select an article or two each week or so to work on collectively. Last week we improved George Lemuel Woods and added eleven new state park articles. This past week we also surpassed the 6000 article mark as a project. The weather may suck, but WPORE does not. For this week we have by request Music of Oregon and Phil Knight. Both need some help, and with Knight we might be able to improve it to GA standards. Mike