Participants in 2013; some notable newcomers are Antarctica, China, Cameroon, Venezuela, and the UK.
Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM), Wikimedia's annual volunteer-driven and the world's largest photo contest, is gearing up to be conducted throughout September 2013. The event, originally developed in the Netherlands in 2010, has gone global with 34 countries taking part last and over 50 this year.
The tomb of Safdarjung won last year's competition.
In 2012, India—participating for the first time—won the global competition with a new user's photo featuring the tomb of Safdarjung, a prominent 18th-century official of the Mughal Empire. 1,989 WLM files from 2012 have been recognized as "quality images" on Commons, with an additional 62 being "valued", and 57 "featured". In quantitative terms, Europeans were still leading the pack last round. Poland submitted more than 51,000 files, followed by Spain (39,500), Germany (34,000), and Ukraine (33,000). France, with 27,000 submissions, came in fifth place before the first non-European country, the US, with 27,000 files. Taken together, volunteers taking part in WLM 2012 uploaded more than 350,000 photos. Last years' goal to use WLM as a device promoting new user engagement mid term looks less strong. While participation peaked in September 2012 with 4,655 new users and 13,607 contributors with 5+ edits on Commons, numbers returned to normal the following months.
The most notable newcomer to this year's contest is Antarctica, on board thanks to organizational coordination by Wikimedia Argentina and supported by the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, located in Buenos Aires. Other notable first-time participants include China, Cameroon, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom; 51 total countries will at this time be participating. Monica Mora, a member of the international coordination committee, told the Signpost the team has high expectations as the community has the opportunity to outdo the last two Guinness World Records recognitions of WLM with even more and better submissions, and the extensive technical infrastructure (including a mobile app, statistics tools, and a jury-judging tool) is complete and ready for use.
To participate in the contest, volunteers must upload their submissions, featuring a monument in a participating country, during September 2013. The six basic rules are listed on Commons. On October first, submissions start going through the national contests, each picking out up to 10 photos for the global round. An international jury of five will select the final winner.
Future of the Wikimedia Conference: The second of two major Wikimedia-centered conferences held each year is facing questions over how it will develop in the future, particularly in pre-planning for who will host the event. Wikimedia Germany created "Future of the Wikimedia Conference" some time ago, but it has seen little attention until nearly simultaneous posts on the public Wikimedia-l and private Chapters-l mailing lists from the Wikimedia Foundation's Asaf Bartov and Wikimedia Germany's Nicole Ebber. Proposed improvements include revamping the host city bidding process, forming a committee (supported by paid staff) to determine conference topics, and changing the funding model to have just a few larger chapters foot the entire bill of the conference (through money received from the Wikimedia Foundation). Open discussion is taking place on Meta.
Microfinancing: As reported in RAW, the French-language cousin of the Signpost, Wikimedia France is taking steps to simplify its microgrants program. The process, which aims to supply editors with copies of reference works they need or subsidize travels costs for photographs and interviews, among other things, has been only rarely utilized because of its complex bidding process.