The Power of Free Content

David Shankbone, who has contributed countless photos to Wikimedia Commons (including many very hard to obtain shots of celebrities), has written a very interesting blog post about how his photos get used throughout the universe of Wikimedia languages and projects: The global reach of just one photo. If you want to see where a photo you’ve uploaded is used, you can use the CheckUsage tool. This kind of global usage is a true testament to what’s possible when content is shared with few copyright restrictions.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Eric, thank you for noticing. It is particularly important to point out how unskilled I was when I started with a $150.00 Fuji 2.3 megapixel camera. It was intimidating to show up in influential people’s homes and offices, but as Billy Name told me, necessity inspires creativity. It did.

    Look at this photo of author Jennifer Egan that I took in 2006, and then one I took just a year later. The improvement is profound, IMHO. I learned a new skill on Wikipedia, and my work has been discussed in the media.

    Artists should take note of this, and the highly-trafficked public space Wikipedia affords. It gives you an instant audience, even if what we need might seem more mundane to you. But it helps you learn the basic skills. Picasso didn’t paint Cubist at the beginning. Wikimedia projects are a great place to refine skills in our graphics, notable person portraits, map-making, drawing and sketches, and the list goes on…

    Contribute work you are proud to associate with your name, and everyone wins. Artists – Wikipedia needs you.

    David Shankbone

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