[Wikimedia-l] Relationship between Wikimedia and oDesk

Ting Chen wing.philopp at gmx.de
Wed Jan 8 15:17:35 UTC 2014

Hello dear all,

I won't impose my standard to other people, I just want to tell you what 
is the standard I setup for myself, and I will also tell you why.

I won't accept payment or gift exceeding a certain amount (means > 20 
Euro) or search for payment for my volunteer's work that is however 
related to Wikimedia. Especially when I was on my travel reject gift may 
be considered as unfriendly or even insulting, this is the ONLY reason 
why I do accept small gifts. And by larger gift, like a quite expansive 
looking image band I received in Kazakhstan I brought it to the office 
and left it there.

There are a few reasons for this:

At first a very personal one: I made the experience in my life again and 
again that I lost my fun and my interest on something as soon as I got 
paid for it. Get paid = in debt of = duty = no fun.

Second is a philosophical one: I believe that getting paid do have a 
desruptive effect on the free and collaboratory character of our 
projects. The philosophical background is that I believe knowledge and 
education is something like air, it is the basics of human live and 
humanity and should not be charged. But well, I know, not all people, 
(maybe most people) don't share this view point.

Third is a practical one: And this especially for people who occupy a 
position in the movement, be it an employee of one of the organizations, 
or be it a volunteer board member or a committee member: If you need to 
fend off an accusation (most probably conflict of interest, or misuse of 
power), you are in a bad position. It is in this case unimportant if the 
accusation is true or not, battling against rumors and emotions is a 
hard battle. And the limbo of being stained will always be with you. 
Sadly, I have seen this too often by people inside of the movement and 
outside of the movement (mainly in the politics) that I actually wonder 
why people still fall into these pitfalls again and again. So try to 
stay in a position in which you will not be confronted with such a 
battle. It is simply like in the medicine: prophylax is better than 

A few words to my view on paid edition: I think this is something that 
we cannot avoid happening. Prohibition just drives them into secrecy. As 
such, I prefer it to be done openly instead of in secrecy. My personal 
aversion against paid edition should be quite obvious from the above 
account, just I don't feel I can (or should) enforce it upon other people.


Am 1/8/2014 9:04 AM, schrieb Fæ:
> I have not used it but would like to know more. If WMF
> employees/contractors are free to sell their services as paid
> Wikipedia editors on oDesk, I think that a how-to-sell-your-services
> guide would be helpful so that active unpaid volunteers who are not
> employees know how to go get some money from their hobby.
> To date, I have never be paid for my volunteer work, neither have I
> been an employee of the WMF or a Chapter, but my activities as an
> active batch uploader and bot-writer for Commons might be fungible and
> if so, I would like to sell my services ethically and openly.
> Fae
> On 8 January 2014 07:30, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>> Hi.
>> Can anyone explain the relationship between Wikimedia and oDesk?
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/oDesk
>> As I understand it, the Wikimedia Foundation uses oDesk with contractors
>> to track their hours. (Right?)
>> But it also appears to be a job board of some kind. It seems like a hybrid
>> of LinkedIn and Craigslist, though I haven't looked carefully and I'm
>> still lightly poking around. It seems like the kind of place where you can
>> post Wikipedia paid editing services. If this is part of oDesk, does
>> anyone know roughly how many people offer or buy these services?
>> Regarding paid editing, Jimmy reiterated his stance on his talk page
>> saying "I very very strongly condemn such editing, and this is no
>> exception" and expressing his "usual principled objections to such
>> things in the strongest possible terms."
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/589723131
>> I think the underlying issue deserves a discussion, apart from particular
>> examples.
>> MZMcBride
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