To find a sound logo for Wikimedia projects, a global contest was hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation from 13 September to 10 October 2022. This search for the Sound Of All Human Knowledge invited the world to participate and the results are extraordinary: 3,235 submissions from 2,094 participants in 135 countries, averaging at about 73 submissions per day.
2,085 submissions were deemed eligible by Wikimedia volunteer screeners to proceed to the scoring stages. Learn about the fascinating experience of four of our screeners: listening to hundreds of submissions ranging from nature sounds, the sound of pages turning and keyboards typing, gongs and cymbals, 80’s synthesizers, classical music, medieval fanfare, rock of all ages, and expectedly some bathroom noises. Read more about their experiences below and listen to random batches of submissions.
I became interested in this project because of my blindness, which means that I obviously can’t appreciate visual logos. Audio editing is a common hobby and profession among some blind people (though it’s not something I’m hugely into myself), so I wanted to publicise this contest among the blind community. As an English Wikipedia admin I basically treated the screening queue like a Wikipedia watchlist and was quite keen to reduce it from sometimes 200 to 250 items to zero. The variety of submissions surprised me and so did their increasing rate during the last-minute rush at the end of the contest!Graham Pearce
To start with, one of the things that fuelled my interest to partake in the Screening process is my love for music, the music production process and all, it was really exciting seeing people getting creative with different kinds of sounds around them to get the Wikimedia sound logo and also my burning desire to take part and contribute to projects in the community. Secondly, my experience was a wonderful one to be sincere. It was really fun as well as tasking listening to different submissions while paying attention to details and sounds to know if they meet the criteria although the erratic network reception from my end was a barrier for me. There were no surprises for me as I know I should be expecting a lot because it was an open platform so there were also odd submissions that I encountered despite this the submissions I reviewed were all great and I also noticed the competitiveness as the submissions for the contest reached its final days.Nwoyeka Charles Chiemerie
My experience as a screener was quite an interesting one, I find myself sometimes getting so engrossed in it. Couple of times I also had network connectivity challenges while screening but nonetheless it was smooth all the way. While screening (listening) and reading through submissions, I felt the impact of strong knowledge and ideas coming from individuals. I personally had my knowledge expanded and I also learnt a lot. One of my surprising moments are those periods I log in my screening page and find hundreds of submissions waiting to be screened by me. Another surprise was when I noticed that at such occasion which should be a serious business, some people just record and submit some weird indecent stuff. On the other hand, I was also amazed at some wonderful submissions and explanations made on some logos. Indeed we have a lot of creative people out there and on Wikimedia when it comes to sounds. I also commend the screening team. I learnt a lot from their teachings, periodic updates and encouragements.Kingsley Nkem Abasili
It was great to hear so many submissions! I must have listened to a few hundred. The most memorable to me was the person who recorded themself breaking wind for an impressive 8 seconds. Sadly, even if we had wanted a fart sound logo, this was well over the 4 second time limit. Another entrant had taken the famous Windows 95 startup sound and played it backwards; ineligible on copyright grounds. But the number of bodily functions and other ineligible entries was quite low. There were literally hundreds of thoughtful sounds, ranging from simple rising chords to complex music involving a full orchestra and the sound of waves or rustling trees. I heard a number of entries that would be great to hear on the shortlist.Chris Keating
What’s next for The Sound Of All Human Knowledge?
Eligible submissions will go through rounds of scoring and shortlisting by professional musicians and sound experts from the MassiveMusic global community and later, a selection committee of Wikimedians will join them to decide on the top 10 finalists. An open vote on Wikimedia Commons currently scheduled for late November will determine the winning submission.
Why do we need a sound logo for Wikimedia?
Virtual voice assistants are growing in use and popularity around the world. Wikimedia content is everywhere, but not always correctly or consistently identified. A sound logo is a brief collection of sounds usually between 1 to 4 seconds. Our sound logo will be a new way to identify Wikimedia content across a range of uses, starting with virtual voice assistants. Learn more about the background, use case, and the progression of this contest:
- You Can’t See The Puzzle Globe On An Audio Speaker: A Sound Logo for Wikimedia
- Conceptualizing a new logo contest based on existing practices
- Refining a global contest to create the sound of Wikimedia
Can you help us translate this article?
In order for this article to reach as many people as possible we would like your help. Can you translate this article to get the message out?Start translation