How WMF should help to the contributors
I am a candidate for the Board of Wikimedia Foundation. And, one of my statements is controversial, so I should give the answer on that question here. Some of you will read that via blog aggregators and I would have a possibility to give to others this link 🙂
- This idea is not about paying trips to Wikimania or so. WMF already manages to give stipends for such events to the most involved Wikimedians. This idea is about finding possibilities that Wikimedians should be able to live from the work similar to their Wikimedian work. Benefits of such approach are more than clear: some of the contributors will be motivated, those who are motivated enough already will have possibility not to devote their time to Wikimedia projects without having to think hardly what is their life priority: Wikimedian work or their career. Also, much more contributors will be strongly connected to the Wikimedia projects.
- I don’t think that WMF should pay volunteers. At least for now. Around one million of volunteers participated in building of Wikimedia projects up to now. Around 50.000 of volunteers are active. If WMF is willing to pay a volunteer just $100 per month, the amount of money needed for that would be 50 millions of dollars (and WMF’s annual budget is less than 10 millions of dollars). Simply, this idea is not a realistic one. Otherwise, WMF can pay some of the volunteers [for editing], but not the others, but, this may introduce a variety of problems inside of the communities.
- I don’t think that Wikimedia projects should gamble with its reputation because of payed editorial positions. Of course, it is not acceptable for me that Wikimedia projects allow protectionism to the persons and organizations which pay contributors.
- Nickj made a wiki project (I forgot the project’s name/link, I’ll add them here when I find them or he may add it as a comment 🙂 ) where MediaWiki programmers may add their names to be contacted by potential employers. Even without relevant promotion of the site, I’ve got two relevant job offers just because my name is listed there. Imagine that there is a place (this one, or another one) which is officially supported by WMF! The place where potential employers would be able to see what have some person done in the Wikimedia world. I think that a lot of Wikimedians would get job offers in that way.
- Some time ago, I realized that Wikimedians are much better equipped for journalism than the most of journalists. Actually, Wikimedians are much better equipped for many creative areas which deal with facts than many other authors. WMF may create a place where relevant work of Wikimedia contributors would be actively promoted. This idea, as the previous one, have a great potential to give many jobs to Wikimedians.
- And, of course, I am sure that there are a lot of similar or not so similar ideas which are appropriate for WMF involvement.