Title: “Sharing small pieces of the world”: Increasing and broadening participation in Wikimedia Commons
Authors: Amanda Menking, University of Washington, Vaibhavi Rangarajan, University of Washington, and Michael Gilbert, Google
Abstract: Wikimedia Commons is the largest online repository of freely-licensed multimedia files, including approximately 42 million images. A portion of these images serve to illustrate articles across more than 290 different language Wikipedias and “sister projects.” However, in comparison to photo-sharing sites like Flickr and mobile apps like Instagram, Commons is largely unknown to the general public and under-researched by scholars. We conducted an exploratory study to determine if an alternative means of contribution— a mobile application that gamifies implicitly desirable and useful behavior—could broaden awareness of and participation in Commons. Our findings from an online survey (N=103) suggest that by creating value around implicitly desirable behaviors, we can create new opportunities and alternative pathways for both increasing and broadening participation in peer-production communities such as Commons.