Commons:Multimedia Features/Vision 2016

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How will we use multimedia on our sites in three years?

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Multimedia team was formed to provide a richer experience and support more media contributions on Wikipedia, Commons, and MediaWiki sites. We believe that audio-visual media offer a unique opportunity to engage a wide range of users to participate productively in our collective work.

To inform our plans, we've created a simple vision of how we might collaborate through multimedia by 2016. This hypothetical scenario was prepared with guidance from community members and is intended for discussion purposes, to help us visualize possible improvements to our user experience.


The best way to view this vision is to watch this five-minute video on YouTube and Vimeo -- or browse through these annotated slides at your leisure:

Multimedia Vision Slides

(A WebM version of this video used to be available on Wikimedia Commons, but was deleted due to concerns about one public domain image briefly featured in the presentation. In coming weeks, a new version of this video will be uploaded without that image, so that it can be viewed on Commons, rather than YouTube or Vimeo.)

Our vision tells the stories of two fictional users: Kim, a reader; and Jan, an experienced editor.

Kim’s story:

  • Kim visits Wikipedia and views media-rich, informative content.
  • She gives feedback on images and joins a media contest.
  • She contributes a video from her mobile device and shares it.

Jan’s story:

  • Jan searches for relevant media for an article.
  • Jan curates a file, then uses Kim's video in his article.
  • They collaborate to create a slideshow together.

In a nutshell, this vision shows one possible example of how our tools could engage users through multimedia − and support productive collaborations in the process. This would be similar to what we do today with text… but with more compelling media that can engage more people.

This particular scenario explores ways to integrate Wikipedia more closely with Commons, so that Wikipedians could contribute or curate more easily to our free media repository, wherever they are -- with a smoother user experience.

Join the discussion[edit]

This presentation is intended for discussion purposes, to get community feedback on goals we are considering. To that end, we hosted several roundtable discussions in recent weeks, and are now inviting more community members to chime in online.

Please join our discussion and let us know what you think, to help guide our development plans.

Note that the designs shown here are only meant to illustrate a possible experience -- and any final implementation may be quite different. We expect to adjust this vision from time to time, based on your feedback and our own findings.

Next steps[edit]

This multimedia vision also provides a useful framework for what's needed to make this experience come to life:

  • Better viewing experience
  • More video & audio
  • Smoother uploads
  • Structured data
  • Easy feedback
  • Group editing
  • Social interactions
  • Cross-wiki integration

In coming months, we will host special discussions to focus on each of these requirements. We hope this vision can inform these conversations by showing how these features all tie together into a unified user experience. We believe this rich media experience is key to engaging more users and supporting their diverse learning styles, as modern culture shifts towards more audio-visual content delivery.

For more information, visit the Multimedia Features page on Commons -- or our multimedia project page on

Multimedia Team members


A number of team members have contributed to this vision, including Fabrice Florin, Pau Giner, Mark Holmquist, Gergő Tisza, Aaron Arcos, Gilles Dubuc, Brian Wolff, May Galloway, Keegan Peterzell, Nick Wilson as well as Jared Zimmerman, Howie Fung, Rob Lanphier, Tomasz Finc and Erik Moeller, to name but a few.

We're also grateful to all the community members who helped shape this vision, through a series of roundtable discussions held by video conference, in person and over IRC. If you would like to participate in future discussions, we invite you to join our multimedia mailing list.

We look forward to more conversations with you in coming months.