Hoi,
Ravi, I am not a professional. I am a volunteer.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 2 May 2014 09:47, Ravishankar <ravidre...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hoi Gerard,
>
> The disucssion in the mail thread is about cost / benefit comparison of
> two similar outreach events
>
> 1.
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Wiki-Data_India_Marathon
>
> and
>
> 2.
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:PEG/Tinucherian_and_Shijualex/Wiki_Community_development_in_India_and_newsletter/Report
>
> For which Vishnu suggested the following:
>
>
> // Going forward we will not be able to contribute actively in these
> community building efforts due to our current personal and professional
> priorities.// which requires some introspection.
>
> This amounts to saying that since we don't have continuous supply of
> capable volunteers to do such outreach work, we can justify the involvement
> of paid professionals.
>
> This is a dangerous trend which will end up in justifying paid
> professionals involved in all aspects of Wikipedia work except directly
> writing articles.
>
> This is already happening as can be seen at
>
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form#Q12
>
> This is no way to build a sustainable and self run organic community.
>
> A community doesn't evolve strong leadership and ownership just by writing
> articles.
>
> Occassional vaccum in particular aspects of community activity is
> perfectly acceptable.
>
> Actually, many times we intentionally create this vaccum to motivate new
> comers and take responsibility. Otherwise, they will think there is always
> someone else to take care. And if that someone is paid, there won't be any
> initiative and nurturing from the community at all.
>
> Do you know the most frequently asked question when we do outreach?
>
> * What do you get for doing this?
>
> * What do I get for doing this?
>
> When we say we both get nothing and insist this is a volunteer service,
> immediate trust is established.
>
> When the person doing outreach is getting paid, then this is nothing but a
> sermon and throws away the balance in equation.
>
> //Your assumption that it is about building a better Wikipedia indicates
> to me how limited your notion is about what it takes to "share in the sum
> of all knowledge". //
>
> You make it sound as though you are teaching rocket science to cave men
> about the need for having paid professionals in the context of your WMNL
> experience.
>
> Let me assure you that the Indian community is well aware and capabale of
> the whole context in which the movement works.
>
> We have a very capable chapter that has run hugely successful programs as
> can be seen here at
>
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2013-2014_round1/Wikimedia_India/Proposal_form#Reflection_on_past_activities_and_innovations
>
> Tamil and Malayalam Wiki communities have worked with their respective
> State Governments, MNCs like Google, built institutional partnerships, got
> content donations all on their own with no formal Wikimedia organization
> involved and ZERO COST. I am sure that the Wikimedia Bangladesh community
> is also quite resourceful.
>
> The need for involving paid professionals arises only when you have a
> formal organization with time bound targets and specialist work for which
> the community members need not always be the best fit or available 24x7.
> So, I am not discounting the need for paid professionals.
>
> But the current trend of employing professionals in volunteer domain is
> disturbing.
>
> We need to have a discussion on what should be strictly in the volunteer
> domain considering the long term effects.
>
> Ravi
>
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