On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:18 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 16:17, Theo10011
My main point (although I *did* make it clear),
was that volunteer-work
what this movement is built on. Tell me a single
content project that was
built by paid employees? If we abandon our identity, then how would we
be volunteer-driven and open. I can argue
volunteers do inherently better
work than paid staff, because they believe in what they do and are
passionate about it. It is however, just a job for most people who get
to do the same. You can not pay someone to care,
is what my point was.
Theo, volunteers do not care about things which require to be
accurate. Besides that, more and more volunteer positions were
replaced by paid staff, beginning with Brion. And that's not the
problem of principle, but the problem of having job done.
You are arguing that volunteers do not care about accuracy, I think that's a
sweeping assessment for a very wide spectrum of volunteers. What about the
hundred of editors covering breaking news stories on enwp by the minute?
Would you like to dispute that they don't care or strive for accuracy as a
Yes, more volunteer position were replaced by paid staff, that did
not necessarily make things any efficient. I can instead argue it created
un-necessary bureaucracy and hierarchy where it didn't exist before and made
things more inefficient. A lot of people would dispute if there is wisdom in
replacing tasks that are handled by volunteers with staff- OTRS, IRC,
certain Elections come to mind. For example, there is the recent case of the
upcoming steward election which was previously handled by Cary as a
Volunteer Coordinator (among several dozen things Cary did) but since his
departure, those tasks have been handed back to volunteers. In the mean
time, there is an entire community department with more than a dozen staff
members yet the appearance is, it is still preferable that the community
For example, I am not interested to be paid for
writing bots for
Wikinews. As nobody with sufficient knowledge of Python answered on
many of my calls, the product is that nobody is doing that, as I don't
have enough of free time to program that bot. Although all Wikinews
editions could benefit from that (there are many programmable things
for a news service). I even remember that for a short period of time
the bot boosted English Wikinews itself, as editors got news and just
had to fix the text (quality, NPOV). Would it be better to find
someone who would program that bot?
That is not exactly what I talked about. I referred to regular editors.
Bot-writing is not a common task everyone can do, or do well at least, I
never disputed anything about providing more tech help to any project. I am
all for it, in fact, I think we should look at ways of motivating more
bot-work from the community. However this in no way means hire non-community
members and then explain to them how wikis work, what we need and how they
should go about writing a bot. They might perform the task but not care
about what happens next.
The other issue is that I want to contribute to Wikinews just if I
have news. In the mean time, someone has to make things to flow
without problems. Who can guarantee ~50 news/day on one Wikinews
edition to be almost as attractive as other news services are? News
services regularly have more than 100 news per day.
I think Wikinews needs to find its own identity first. There is no way it
can compete with large news sites you are thinking of, but there are plenty
of other ways it can have its own identity. In the age of news aggregators,
micro-blogging and smartphones, getting constant feed of information is not
hard if you know how to tap into it.
I agree that there are some structural problems with
the rules which
English Wikinews community imposed (while I understand that reviewing
articles is good idea; having very high standards without relevant
community is irrational), but that just catalyzed the inevitable: news
service is not a news service without constant care, which could be
done just by paid staff or extremely large community: 5 edits per
month is not enough to be counted as Wikinews contributor if it is not
at least about one new article; and 5 edits per month is usually not
one article on Wikipedia.
My point still stands, you can not sustain a project on paid staff. If you
do, it is not a wiki, or a community, just office work.