[Foundation-l] Update of Foundation organization

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Mar 6 02:05:09 UTC 2007

Sebastian Moleski wrote:

>On 3/5/07, Oldak Quill <oldakquill at gmail.com> wrote:
>>Based on the fact that Wikimedia Foundation has such a large pool of
>>volunteers, I think the 40 hour week difference makes little
>>difference. Is there a reason why Wikimedia Foundation can't contract
>>volunteers (as charity shops do)? Similarly, there is no reason why
>>the Foundation can't give official positions to volunteers who can be
>>trusted to work a minimum number of hours a week (with or without a
>>contract). Such volunteers would be given a job description and be
>>asked to do things by the Foundation in the way an employee would.
>I've recruited and manged a great number of volunteers while working at a
>university. The main problem with them is that, unless they have some sort
>of alternative source of income/wealth, it's just not economically feasible
>for them to put in more than a few hours a week. So you could say: why not
>hire a lot of volunteers that just do a little bit of work? The problem
>there is that lack of communication, variety of approaches to solving tasks
>compounded by geographic diversifcation will make it very unlikely that such
>an arrangement can be effective and efficient. This holds especially for the
>kind of jobs Florence was talking about. Unless we're talking about small,
>well-contained tasks, volunteers just won't be able to do them in a speedy
Add to that the fact that many volunteers here are dilletantes who 
prefer to go on to something else when they are bored with a task, and 
the prospects of getting the tediously repetitive tasks done by 
volunteers is very poor.  I don't think that employment needs to be 
defined in terms of the 40-hour week.  Contracts to accomplish certain 
tasks within a specified time would be more practical.


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