Wikimedia Sound Logo Contest

[Guest Blog post by Mehrdad Pourzaki, Lead Movement Communications Specialist at Wikimedia Foundation]

Dear Freesounders,

The Wikimedia Foundation, the global nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, including our audiovisual repository the Wikimedia Commons, is hosting a global contest for The Sound of All Human Knowledge. Submissions are open now through 10 October. The Wikimedia sound logo will be used to identify Wikimedia content across a wide range of uses and smart devices, including personal voice assistants. You can learn more about the contest on wiki, including campaign materials and how-to videos. There is also a humble prize for the winning sound. The Freesound community is primed to participate since you already have a knowledge of and appreciation for audio and free licensing. As the organizers, we warmly invite the Freesound community to take part in this global contest. We’d love to hear from you and please help us reverberate the call.

Wikimedia sites receive 750 million page views a day and that knowledge is further reused by search engines, other platforms, and applications that don’t consistently inform their users that what they are learning comes from Wikimedia and the thousands of volunteers around the world who contribute. Voice assistants are on the rise everywhere in the world and while there is a lot of expertise in our movement when it comes to visual logos and photo competitions, we are excited to be exploring new parameters when it comes to sound and audio production. Play your part in our global search. On September 29 we had a drop-in clinic with our expert partners MassiveMusic, you can find some information in the link above.

Mehrdad Pourzaki,
on behalf of the Wikimedia sound logo project


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12 Responses to Wikimedia Sound Logo Contest

  1. Timbre says:

    Here’s me taking the brief literally … [CC0 -Public Domain].

  2. david says:

    plase, do extend the time

  3. Nury says:

    We have a great sound logo idea, but are not sure how to capture it.

  4. David Erickson says:

    dang it, missed it

  5. electra says:

    “A panel of Wikimedia volunteers, with the help of sound logo experts from MassiveMusic and an independent musicologist, will give the entries THAT MEET THE SUBMISSION CRITERIA scores out of 10 for each of the following criteria. ” etc….

    Unfortunately Wikimedia chose to ignore their own rules and accepted two entries that are in excess of the max length. So in essence everyone who worked hard to cram “the sum of all human knowledge” into 4 seconds just got the finger.

  6. PocaMaya says:

    I now take note of that contest and it’s too late for me to participate. I’m sure I’m not the only one, the Freesound community could have been even more mobilised if only we’d all have received a quick email. Would it be possible, next time, to send a email to warn us of interesting news and contests like this ?

  7. Di_Lark says:

    Where are the results? I mean the winners entry and the runners up???

  8. To answer the question from Di_Lark above regarding the results:

    According to the website:

    “Received over 3230 sound logo entries from 135 countries.”

    “Voting for Wikimedia’s new sound logo took place between the 6th of December 2022 at 00:00 UTC and the 19th of December 2022 at 23:59 UTC.”

    “Winner announcement In early 2023”.

  9. Edward says:

    The discussion page on wikipedia is a complete farce. Seriously how much time and money can you waste in order to create a 4 (ish!) second sound cue. Must be nice to get paid for such nonsense. They’ll be done by this coming summer sometime.

  10. Mehrdad says:

    Hi everyone,

    Apologies for the delay in my response. Notices from this forum were not ending up in my inbox. I actually came here to write to you that we will announce the official winner of the Wikimedia sound logo contest, the Sound of All Human Knowledge, at the end of March. Couldn’t be more excited.

    To clarify our approach, it’s honestly been an incredible journey. To create a sound logo, I assume most organizations would work directly with a musician or a company and then the leadership approves the sound logo et voila, it’s done. This wouldn’t sit well with the Wikimedia movement at all, it’s not how we do things. We started with conversations first to make sure there was community interest in the concept of a sound logo in the first place. We really kicked things off last May with a community consultation based on Wikimedia’s existing experience with visual logo contests and with the help of our technical partner MassiveMusic, adapted things to auditory contexts. The contest was then opened to the world in September to October, and the vote happened at the end of December. In the process, we engaged with audio professionals around the world, created an online collection of sounds to inspire our community members, had on-wiki conversations, hosted community calls, organized workshops in sound editing and audio production, attended virtual and in-person community events, and even created listening booths. In Wikimedia, we like to do things openly and inclusively, and we usually take our time with them. We are a core team of 5 staff members supporting this project, and all of us work on multiple initiatives at the same time, so things do take a bit longer. We are a non-profit after all with big aspirations and for this project, we had amazing help from our volunteers, read about the experience of screening:

    More than 2000 people participated in the community vote in December. The actual results were made immediately available, you can view them on the voting discussion page. That’s how things are done transparently in Wikimedia. To officially announce the results though, we needed to support the winner (they’ll be professionally re-recording their sound logo with MassiveMusic next month) and we had to get the sound logo registered in a few key jurisdictions … Europe took a bit longer than anticipated. This is just the beginning of working with digital and voice assistant partners to begin to incorporate our sound logo on different devices. The vote happened on Wikimedia Commons, our movement’s treasure trove of media:

    Our announcement is currently scheduled for the last week of March. It’ll be made on our social media channels, our community blog Diff, and the sound logo resource hub on wiki:

    Thanks for your interest in our little big project

  11. Edward Givens says:

    So in other words you are actually proud of taking nearly a year to come up with one miniscule sound cue – and it’s still unfinished. You’re a non-profit. Is this really the best use of your donor’s money?

  12. Mehrdad says:

    You know, we were rather slow to adopt an app for Wikipedia 10 or so years ago when everything was going mobile. And even though we eventually did created an awesome app, we weren’t able to properly catch up with the times. Here is another instance. Correctly identifying sources of content and attributing them are big values for the Wikimedia movement. Here we are preparing Wikimedia content for audio uses and devices, and we did it in a way that was open, transparent, participatory, and true to our movement’s values once more.

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