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Latest comment: 8 years ago by Kevin Gorman in topic Paid content creation?


Hi, User:అహ్మద్ నిసార్, User:Rajasekhar1961, User:సుల్తాన్ ఖాదర్, thanks for submitting this idea. I can see the benefit you have in mind with collecting this useful research material! However, it feels like the focus of the paid grantees here is mostly aimed at content creation (or research, as the first step in content creation). IEG projects should foster conditions that encourage scaled editing by volunteers (e.g. building tools or organizing editor recruitment campaigns), not replace individual volunteer action. Conducting research on a given topic area for writing articles and creating sources in Wikisource is a role traditionally done by Wikipedia and Wikisource volunteers, and as such it does not seem to meet the eligibility criteria for an Individual Engagement Grant project. Is there something I'm missing in your proposal that would help explain why we should consider it to be eligible? Thanks, Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:06, 2 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Moving to draft, hoping to collaborate with you further on your ideas[edit]

Hi అహ్మద్ నిసార్, Rajasekhar1961 and సుల్తాన్ ఖాదర్,

As noted above, unfortunately this proposal in its current form isn't eligible for a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, because it does appear to be primarily funding an activity that we generally find is best suited to volunteers. However, we really appreciate the thought you've put into this idea so far, and do see that there is potential for collaboration in order to develop a project that would source content around a particular theme or topic like this, for one or more languages! I'm going to suggest that we move this proposal back to a draft for the time being, to allow it more time to develop, and ask my colleague Asaf Bartov to have a look with you and offer some suggestions for ways to proceed with a project that would best meet our mutual goals and improve Telugu projects. We hope to see you back in IEG in a future round as this idea or others develop further! Please let me know if you have any questions. Warm regards, Siko (WMF) (talk) 03:24, 10 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Collaborating with other languages[edit]

Hi Siko (WMF),

Welcome to your warm suggestion. I am giving answer to your question after a long. The reason for my long pause or silence is your first question, Paid content creation? The answer for this question is certainly NOT. Because the number of users and volunteers participating in this project itself shows that this project is an outcome of great enthusiasm and spirit of volunteerism. As it has a work of digitization, image creations, and the documentary making gives a scope of creating a strong base material to create articles on this subject, it need such presented project. As a matter of fact, on this particular subject, there is no material available in the hand. Hence this project has been selected. And my telugu community is also keen in developing this project.

Apart I want to extend this project to Urdu, Marathi (one user expressed consent too), Hindi (Muzammmiluddin Syed is ready to render his best services in this regard) and to Englishi language too. If you have any suggestions and comments, please convey here. If you want to have suggestions from Asaf Bartov, you may take suggestions, not only you, let us too have suggestions from Mr. Asaf.

Your views and suggestions are solicited to proceed further in regard of this project. After hearing your suggestions, I will go further to broader the scope in other languages too. Thanks Ahmed Nisar (talk) 10:56, 15 August 2015 (UTC)Reply

Muzammil sab[edit]

احمد صاحب، اس شخصی وابستگی کےلیے امدادی مسودے کو تلنگانہ اور آندھراپردیش کا نام دیجیے کیونکہ یہ اب دو الگ ریاستیں ہیں۔ والسلام --Muzammil (talk) 13:14, 15 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Muzammil ji, You are partially right, but be with confidence that this project will cover two facets, one with Andhra Pradesh and another with Telangana, covering the two states will definitely give you a good and comprehensive shape of Broader (prior to partition of AP) Andhra Pradesh. Your endorsements are solicited, as well as suggestions. Thanks. Ahmed Nisar (talk) 10:56, 15 August 2015 (UTC)Reply

Muzammil, thank you for your response to Siko's questions from last year. I'm pinging you back to ask for a bit more clarification. When I read your draft proposal, like Siko, I perceived it as being focused on research as the first step in content creation. In your response above, you say that this is not the case, but I'm still not understanding the distinction. I wonder if you can be more specific about what you will be doing. For example, what will you be digitizing? How will you be creating images? Also, can you provide more information about the documentary? What will be about? Who is the intended audience and what will the content be about? If you like, we can set up a call to discuss this--that may be a quicker way to get clarity. Warm regards, --Marti (WMF) (talk) 19:55, 20 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
Mjohnson (WMF) I've posted message for Ahmed Nisar who originally drafted this proposal. Once I get a response, we can move in the forward direction. --Muzammil (talk) 18:37, 22 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, Muzammil. Apologies for my own mistake--I should have pinged Ahmed Nisar. Thanks for your kind help here. --Marti (WMF) (talk) 18:58, 22 September 2015 (UTC)Reply


Hi again, Ahmed Nisar, I see you've made some revisions to your draft proposal. Currently, your project plan still appears to describe a content creation project. As you know, we don't fund content creation, nor the subject matter research that is the preliminary phase of content creation. If you are thinking about submitting the proposal for the September 29 deadline, I recommend that you revise your project scope to make it clearer that it meets the project eligibility criteria. Thanks, --Marti (WMF) (talk) 08:19, 24 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Marti (WMF), thank you for the thoughtful analysis.

A few points need your consideration - please feel free to revert with your valuable observations so that we can strategise in the right direction.

As I understand, IEG, Content-creation is not directly funded. We would also not like to go that way either. Instead we would like to make the resources available to the Wikipedia editors in multiple languages. Funding is needed to gather the information and for efforts in that direction. --Muzammil (talk) 08:16, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Marti (WMF), thank you for ping. As per your recommendation I have revised the project proposal, go through it. The project is to collect data and resources and keep on the Wiki source. The scope of project is also extended for four languages viz Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English. Hope this project is meeting the criteria of eligibility. Ahmed Nisar (talk) 06:51, 28 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Ahmed Nisar and Hindustanilanguage, thank you both for your comments. The issue of content creation still concerns me with this proposal. Researching a topic area and organizing a timeline around that topic both seem like stages of content creation that volunteers would normally complete. Our intent in this grant program is to make sure we are not funding people to do work that volunteers normally do.
If your intent is to create a digitized library to empower volunteers to be able to create articles, your proposal would be strengthened if you could demonstrate more clearly that there is a community-driven need for this library at this time. For example, are you aware of there being an active group of Wikimedia volunteers who would like to be able to write articles on this topic area and are prevented from doing so by lack of access to source material?
Let me know if you have further questions. Cheers, --Marti (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 28 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Marti (WMF), thanks for your kind suggestions. Please find that Volunteers are keen to write on this subject. They have given their consent too. The biggest hurdle is sources are not available. Our project is to generate and collect resources, by means of digitize the relevant books, catalogs and to collect images, and take interviews etc.,
  • The sources are in many forms like documents, books at various places like University libraries in general. Many Dargahs, Asthanas, Mosques have good libraries with good old reference books. Our aim is to reach them and digitize the books and documents with their permission keep them on Wikisource as source material. Keep all the collected resources on Wiki Source, in the shape of pdf, jpg, and audio visual formats. And we are in touch with some of them with fruitful talks.
  • The interviews are with History departments of Universities and some local historians.
  • As the digitization is to take up at a large level, we are expecting to digitize more than two hundred books plus other useful documents, catalog of the library and publishers in the first phase, i.e., first six months.
  • Many of the books are in the languages like Persian and Dakhni (Dialect of Urdu), by translating few of the books we are intending to solve the problem of resources.
    • The Persian books, Scripts and the documents available are to be translated. If any Persian volunteers come forward to translate them, the problem is solved. We can digitize them and keep on Wikisource for translation. If not, we have to go for translation with any local translators of Hyderabad.
    • The translations from Urdu to other languages such as English and Telugu, no need of translators, as we have Wikipedians who can do it voluntarily.
  • The list of libraries given is tentative, and may change according to the priorities and the resources available.
  • After the acceptance of the proposal, the activities of approaching library, departmental heads will be started, as we have sufficient time before starting of our project.Ahmed Nisar (talk) 06:27, 2 October 2015 (UTC)Reply
@User:Mjohnson (WMF): Actually, this grant request still does not go far enough to avoid paid content creation. The grants commitee seems to have focused on wikipedia on this one, and ignored the fact that wikisource is an WMF project and as such creating content on wikisource can not be a part of the grant either. This has resulted in an false statement from the grants committee stating that "collecting sources, digitizing mass amounts of materials and procuring _sources_ for later article-writing is eligible for IEG funding". And by the way, contributing to wikisource includes those tasks mentioned in the statement.--Snaevar (talk) 18:12, 5 October 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Hi @Mjohnson (WMF): - I would personally use the results of this project in content creation, and I do not personally believe that there is any significant chance the proposed digitization effort will occur /without/ funding. I'd point to a couple previous situations as analogous - I know that the grants program has recently funded a WiR position (that will result in at least some level of content creation,) that we've previously funded the digitization of music only available on decaying clay cylinders (although I wasn't too happy about the results of that particular project,) and I know going back further that we've funded other similar projects, though I can't think of them offhand, besides for the fact that APG's routinely provide funding to chapters for similar projects that include compensation. Even WMDC, a notoriously underfunded chapter, received a grant not long ago that included market compensation for a halftime contractor engaged in what could be termed as 'content creation' if this could be. I view this far more as outreach and facilitating content creation that could otherwise not occur than just 'content creation' on it's own. Kevin (talk) 19:42, 27 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Question on Funding of Translation[edit]

Hi Ahmed Nisar, You have said that important documents and data available in Urdu and Persian languages are to be translated into Telugu, Urdu & English languages. Please correct me if I am wrong. Translating some source documents into other languages is nothing but independent research which needs to be published in peer reviewed journals and authenticated by experts. I can not understand, how primary source like this can be used as a reference in Wikipedia? Besides, I also fail to understand why translators will be paid. Can you please elaborate. Thanks. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 21:21, 28 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Bodhisattwa, please find the above discussion. Ahmed Nisar (talk) 06:31, 2 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Digitization project[edit]

Hi, regarding the Digitization project, I am interseted to know the following. Thanks.- -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 21:39, 28 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

  • How many pages of documents and books you are targeting to digitize in 6 months?
  • Approximate numbers of public domain collection in these libraries.
  • Have the authority of these libraries given their consent to digitize the documents?
  • What type of scanner do you want to use?

Questions about the budget[edit]

Ignoring the questions Marti brings up above, I'd like to ask about the budget a bit - specifically, the figures allocated to grantees. The per capita income of people living in A.P. is only a tad over $600 USD annualized. Although I support the idea of increasing our coverage of this area (and can even see playing loose with the content creation rules when it comes to digitization projects,) the amounts you've set aside for each of the four grantees as 'subsistence' incomes are more than subsistence incomes. I support paying people living wages, but as your budget is set up now, even the volunteer giveaways annualized would be significantly more than the average income of someone in A.P. I understand that living in cities may cost more, and travel may cost more - but you have separate line items for those already, separate from the money paid out directly to grantees for their time.

Since lodging and travel are covered separately, is there a reason that the amount given to each grantee on a monthly basis for 'subsistence' needs to meet or exceed the annualized per capita income in A.P.? Can you provide a reliable site where we can examine the salaries received in A.P. by people with similar skillsets to the grantees that would justify paying one grantee more than an average annual income in A.P. every month on a six month project? At a bare minimum, the label "subsistence allowance" just isn't correct - even the volunteers would be receiving almost as much as an annualized average income in A.P., and presumably they'd be working nowhere near full time. If boarding, lodging, and traveling can be covered for $250 USD per person per month, a subsistence allowance on a monthly basis that exceeds the annualized income of an average A.P. resident seems extravagant. This looks like a $23,000 grant, where only slightly more than 10% of the budget would be spent on digitizing content, and most of the budget would be spent on significantly overcompensating grantees for their time.

Please note that I've previously argued that some grants should have their budgets increased before on these grounds - I believe we should be paying grantees living wages, and not significantly above or below them. And again, this doesn't resolve Marti's issues above. I also have a problem with an IEG where only a little more than 10% would be spent on the goal of the IEG, and the other 90% on excessive wages. Kevin (talk) 18:49, 2 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Kevin, you can see the following links for various issues you have raised related to budget.

Andhra Pradesh per capita income

A.P. GDP and per capita you have mentioned is 600 USD equivalent to 39,000 INR (approximate 1 USD=65 INR)

But the facts are as follows

According to English Wikipedia page; of Indian states by GDP The per capita income was Rs. 88,078/- in the fiscal year 2013-14 Equivalent to 1355 USD

According to the Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister;

The Hindu Daily - Statement of Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister. In the fiscal year 2014-15, the per capita was 90,517 INR Equivalent to 1392 USD, with a growth rate of 11%, it has reached and crossed in 2015-16 fiscal year to Rs. 1,05,000. Equivalent to 1610 USD

The pay schedule being implemented in government (by the state government) sector can be seen here.
  • This is the Pay commission report for master scales 2015, issued by the Finance Department, Government of Telangana.

Finance Department, Government of Telangana - 10 Pay Revision Commission Report - Master scales to be implemented from 2014

  • This is the pay scale schedule on the website of the Telangana Teachers.

Pay schedule on the Teachers' portal - PRC 2015 scales

  • The least salary drawn by a class four employee like scavenger & cleaner (new appointment) has the basic pay of Rs. 13,000/- per month, with emoluments totaling to is 18,266 INR equivalent to 280 USD per month, and
  • the highest salary a government first class employee gets basic salary Rs. 1,10,850 with emoluments he gets 1,49,391 Rs. Equivalent to around 2300 USD per month.
  • If you go for an average clerk (class III employee) is getting Rs. 30,000 + salary equivalent to 460 USD per month.
  • The private sector is paying more payments to the skilled, unskilled labors, technical professionals, particularly in the computer field.

The outsourcing agencies are also paying heavily to the employees. Unfortunately we have no working people on wages, to execute this research work in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.


We are planning to work in the following areas;

  • Hyderabad : Osmania University, Maulana Azad University, Hyderabad Central University, Maulana Azad Library and some other important institutions are located at Hyderabad. Hyderabad is a metro city.
  • Kurnool (former capital of Andhra), Kadapa, Anantapur, Chittoor, Guntur, Nellore and Vijayawada the present capital city of AP (Krishna district) are such cities and districts, where we can get valuable resource material.
  • It’s a project of travel, stay, research and collection of the source material. If the grantees are agreed for this project, they have to travel and work for a period of six months, away from the home towns, staying at various places in the State of Andhra Pradesh and the city Hyderabad which is in Telangana state.
  • Digitization is the product and yield of this entire project, with the efforts of the grantees.
  • If you have any questions, you are welcome. Ahmed Nisar (talk) 22:17, 2 October 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • Hi Ahmed, thank you for your extremely detailed response. I'll respond to you in more detail at a later point, but have a few additional initial questions. I definitely understand that there's a talent-drain caused by the tech-heavy outsourcing that's going on, but would hope that we would be able to attract with a living wage interested Indic Wikimedians at prices lower than what would be required by the tech-heavy recruiters. I also enjoy the problems that travelling for long periods of time entail (although I'd note that lodging and travel are included as separate budget items, so that at last won't be taking away from their wages.) Could you give me an idea of what people performing this sort of work would normally fall on under the payscales you linked? I can probably figure it out myself, but a pointer would save me some time. (I may also ask a non-Wikimedian friend in eastern Karnataka to give me his opinion on the grant - I know different states are significantly different, but he does a lot of cross border trade with AP, and would at least have some idea.) I'll also certainly have
Basically: I want to make sure we're paying an appropriate wage for the work being conducted and aren't putting people in the poor-house, but also aren't paying wages that would be extravagant or unnecessary (at most grants I look at that include wage components, I try to benchmark proposed wages against wages in similar positions in similar areas. It might not look like this from my initial comments... but, although my Wikipedia editing habits haven't shown it in the past, this is actually a set of documents I would love to see digitized and the history of the area in this time period is one of my special interests (I've written academic papers about it while I was an undergrad and given a free choice of topic, heh.) I'll also have some non-fiscal questions for you later on - I just wanted to get the boring stuff out of the way first. So please take any comments from me that may sound critical as just trying to ensure that the grant is approved - it really is something I'd like to see approved, and any advice I give is just given as a community member - I'm not currently affiliated with the WMF, and am not even on the IEG committee.
This is certainly a drastically underrepresented area on the Wikimedia projects, and I would love to see the project succeed. Kevin (talk) 17:16, 4 October 2015 (UTC)Reply
Dear Kevin, many many thanks for your positive responses and kind support to this project proposal. Further I hope your valuable suggestions to bring this project as a model project of this kind. Thanks once again. Ahmed Nisar (talk) 17:12, 24 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2015[edit]

This Individual Engagement Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2015 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2015 begins on 20 October 2015, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Please note that collecting sources, digitizing mass amounts of materials and procuring _sources_ for later article-writing is eligible for IEG funding. Contributing articles directly is not a fundable activity through this program. Any activities along these lines should be removed from your budget accordingly. Marti (WMF) (talk) 05:46, 4 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Comments and questions from Superzerocool[edit]

Hi, thanks for your proposal. I have some questions:

  1. Where is the "community participation"?
  2. What is/are the Wikimedia projects improved with the project?
  3. What is the difference between Grantee 1 against others in the budget?. Him has the double pay for "full time work" against the other grantees "not volunteers".

And here are the comments:

  • Please, fill with numbers the measure metrics, because the success must be measurable: I really like the "increase of participation", but without numbers, we can't estimate if the project is a great success or not.

Thanks in advance :) Superzerocool (talk) 12:20, 14 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Superzerocool, thanks for your queries. You can refer the grants page and the community page links of both Telugu and Urdu wikies. The editors in both the wikies given their consent to develop this project. Secondly, we are sure that the Wikimedia projects will be developed with this project. Such as, we are planning to resource four wikies viz Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English wikies, where the communities can write articles with the resources we develop through this project. The answer to your 3rd question is, yes the grantee no one taking all the efforts and working full time to execute this project, so it was.

  • Your question about the metrics is quite sensible and I welcome it with warm. We are planning to digitize more than 200 books in the first phase, plus other documents. The images may be more than 300 hundreds and more than 10 interviews with the resourceful people from Universities, libraries and other prominent historians.

I hope more suggestions from you to bring this project to success mark, thanks. Ahmed Nisar (talk) 16:52, 24 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Not Just Islam in Andhra Pradesh[edit]

Dear fellow Editors, Before Islam arrived in Andhra Pradesh, there must have been some wiki-notable events? How about covering those events? Geraldshields11 (talk) 19:17, 16 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Dear Geraldshield11, thanks for your question. Please let me know clearly what you intend to ask. If it is about the historical events, then we are taking utmost care and importance to cover up all the events with reliable resources. If your question is about the wiki events in Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu wiki community and CIS collectively organizing events frequently. I further expect your kind suggestions to bring this project to the mark of success. Thanks. Ahmed Nisar (talk) 17:04, 24 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thank you. Geraldshields11 (talk) 14:35, 26 October 2015 (UTC)Reply

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Islam in Andhra Pradesh[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weak alignment 10=strong alignment
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  • Does it have potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Innovation and learning
  • Does it take an Innovative approach to solving a key problem?
  • Is the potential impact greater than the risks?
  • Can we measure success?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months?
  • How realistic/efficient is the budget?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
  • Does it support diversity?
Comments from the committee:
  • The alignment of the project with the strategic priorities needs more articulation. While content creation in under-represented language projects is traditionally an area of significant interest for the movement, it is unclear whether or how the proposed project will achieve impact here.
  • Tackles an underrepresented area, would improve quality of content in that area, perhaps useful also outside the WM movement
  • This project fits with the strategic priority of improving quality (by providing access to resources / verifiable sources). I think it has the potential for online impact - from the talk page, it seems that the particular history that is the focus of the grant is very underrepresented on WMF projects. I think preparing a timeline and outline of key content areas rather than try to cover all the content during the project is a sustainable way of approaching this work. However, I am concerned that the project is based on a 12-month plan, and the project may not be renewed for funding after the initial 6 months.
  • There is a lack of quantitative measures of success, and it is unclear whether the principal aim of the project is actual content creation or merely preparatory work for future content creation.
  • Digitizing a bulk of documents is not innovative. The measures of success are mainly articles to be written, pointing to paid editing, which should not be supported by such grants. Questions of copyright and original research have rightfully been raised on the talk page but were not answered, therefore I see serious risks
  • Digitization of rare/inaccessible materials is an innovative way of approaching the problem caused by lack of available sources of information on particular topics and languages. We've funded projects like this previously. However, I think that without a sense of how many libraries are willing to participate in this project, what the copyright status is of the various materials, and how materials will be targeted for digitization, investing a lot of money in this project involves substantial risk. There are very little measures related to digitization provided, though requested on the talk page.
  • More explanation of the budget is needed as it seems excessive for the planned work. Further, there is no clear correlation provided in the proposal between the work to be performed and the various individuals who will be paid.
  • These are enthusiastic wikipedians who want to foster their local wikipedia and wikisource, but more explanation of budget is needed. The cost is not clearly justified.
  • Would like more information about the skills of the project participants. I would like to see this proposal return in the next round with a better focus on one or two aspects, a lot more detail about how the project would be executed and a clearer explanation of the budget.
  • More explanation of the budget is needed: the bulk of the budget is for salaries that aren’t clearly linked to the project plan; there are also quite a few items (like volunteer giveaways and creating a documentary) that have not been adequately described. The project team seems experienced in terms of the Wikimedia movement but not necessarily in the activities proposed
  • There is a reasonable degree of community engagement and support. However, the framing of the project in terms of exclusively Islamic history raises the concern that the project would, if successful, lead to non-neutral coverage of the topics in question.
  • Communities have been notified and there seems to be support, but it's not clear how the the work will be coordinated and organized. A community manager type role could benefit this project.
  • Despite the applicants' efforts to re-frame the purpose of the project, it is still not clear that this is not a paid content creation exercise.
  • Would like to see confirmation from participating libraries and more details on exactly what work $12,000 USD in salaries will cover
  • Measures are unclear.

Round 2 2015 decision[edit]

This project has not been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

Comments regarding this decision:
While content creation in underrepresented language projects is traditionally an area of significant interest for the movement, it is unclear how this project would achieve impact in this area, or its sustainability after 12 months. With a stronger focus and a clearer explanation of the project’s budget, we would be happy to see this proposal return to IEG in the next round.

Next steps:

  1. Review the feedback provided on your proposal and to ask for any clarifications you need using this talk page.
  2. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  3. To reapply with this project in the future, please make updates based on the feedback provided in this round before resubmitting it for review in a new round.
  4. Check the schedule for the next open call to submit proposals - we look forward to helping you apply for a grant in a future round.
Questions? Contact us.