[Foundation-l] board, babysitting, speaking engagements, etc.

SJ 2.718281828 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 18 00:42:18 UTC 2006

It is a pity that a discussion about how to get people talking about
Wikipedia and its sibling projects, something that all of us might do
more of, was sidetracked into a discussion about who gets money, or on
how much financial contribution a talk "brings in".

All of us might do more talking about Wikipedia -- casually and
formally -- to increase awareness, editing, and use of the projects.
The most important result of a great speech, considering its impact on
the projects, their editing communities, their user communities, and
the foundation, is rarely going to be its financial influence on the

As later replies in the thread noted : honoraria for most speakers are
the exception, not the rule; and people are usually asked to talk
about the development of Wikipedia and its siblings, not about the
Foundation itself.  Working to vastly increase the # of speaking
opportunities out there seems as important, if not moreso, than
finding ways to regulate who can speak where under what conditions.


On 8/12/06, Delphine Ménard <notafishz at gmail.com> wrote:

> This return on investment could be on an "assume good faith" basis,
> ie. if a speaker is offered XXX dollars per year to give speeches,
> they might want to make a donation to the Foundation one day or the
> other, or at least be in a position where they can attest their talk
> has brought something to the Foundation, may it be contacts (and hence
> potential sponsors that turn into real sponsors), a great press
> coverage (and hence an increase in donations) etc.
> Another thing is also, that although I agree with Danny that we should
> be in a position where we can refuse to send a speaker, this should
> only be keeping in mind the return on investment. We should never find
> ourselves in a position where we refuse to send a speaker *because*
> there is no money involved. One speech that might cost us money to
> arrange can bring millions of dollars in, another that costs nothing
> and brings money to one person (the speaker) might bring the
> Foundation absolutely nothing. There is a balance to be found.

I hope the 'return on investment' here attends to the benefit accruing
to the projects -- their content, their editing and user and reuse
communities -- something rarely expressable in terms of money given to
the foundation.

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