User talk:Dirk Franke

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Welcome to Meta![edit]

Hello, Dirk Franke. Welcome to the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki! This website is for coordinating and discussing all Wikimedia projects. You may find it useful to read our policy page. If you are interested in doing translations, visit Meta:Babylon. You can also leave a note on Meta:Babel or Wikimedia Forum (please read the instructions at the top of the page before posting there). Happy editing!

-- Meta-Wiki Welcome (talk) 16:30, 14 January 2013 (UTC)


Hi Dirk, re your paid editing investigation. I've been somewhat involved in the GLAM developments in London, and was involved in getting the independent conflict of interest advice in June 2010. Then in Gdansk I attended some of the paid translation discussions where people were generally relaxed about Google's charity arm funding the translation of medical articles into South Asian languages but not so happy about Google com doing the same for articles that related to common search terms (aside from the mistakes and lack of communication by the translators there was a lack of acceptance of various Hollywood actors as legitimate subjects for a serious encyclopaedia). I also took part in some of the rather frustrating discussions with the PR industry that were hosted on the UK wiki. My view is that there are big opportunities for us to work with experts in GLAMs, and even occasional opportunities like the medical translation one to work with those who are prepared to fund the improvement of certain types of article - provided their motives are compatible with ours. But we need to keep a clear difference between acceptable collaborations such as working with curators to improve Wikipedia articles using information in their possession, and unacceptable editing such as PR and marketing people editing articles where they have a conflict of interest. WereSpielChequers (talk) 08:32, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi, WereSpielChequers. Thank you for your discussion and experiences. I still wonder what will happen in GLAM: in my experience people who talk about paid editing rarely talk about GLAMs - although this is the only area where some kind of paid editing is actually encouraged by parts of the movement. content related of course you can ask: even GLAMs habe self-interest and are interested in self-promition although they are GLAMs. And you always will have a social problem because people are/will be getting paid for activies other Wikipedians do for free. -- Dirk Franke (talk) 12:34, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
These are tough issues, and boundary issues as well. The issue of self promotion is easier in some GLAMs than others, My own preference is to work with those GLAMs where we can work with the curators and stay clear of the marketers, and to work with them on the areas where our missions are most compatible. Many GLAMs have as part of their remit the job of making information on their collection available to the public. We can help there, we just need to avoid collaborating with those people in GLAMs, sometimes in the same GLAM, whose objective is "maximising the number of visitors to their institution". This isn't always easy, but I think it is worthwhile.
As for some people being paid for things that others do for free, yes this is a problem and one that the movement needs to discuss. But it is a problem that lots of organisations have had to face and resolve. In my experience those that have resolved it successfully are the ones where the paid staff are doing the things that the volunteers want to happen but aren't volunteering to do. Those that are setting themselves up to fail are the ones where the volunteers feel taken advantage of, and feel that the professionals are cherry picking the interesting tasks and leaving the volunteers to do the rest. As an example of how not to do it, take for example the article feedback system. Here the WMF has spent a lot of money to develop a system that relies on diverting a lot of existing volunteers from things they want to do on the site to moderating piles of inane comments and vandalism in search of the occasional sensible suggestion, and then spending a small proportion of the time they volunteer to the project making improvements that others think important instead of spending a larger proportion of their time doing things that they think are important. As an example of how paid and unpaid people can mix I'd suggest the stewarding at English Rugby grounds, a decade ago I knew one of the volunteer stewards at Twickenham stadium. He and a bunch of other long term fans got free entry to the stadium in return for stewarding the crowd, sometimes that meant seeing less of the game than if they had paid, and usually it meant more time spent per match and less alcohol drunk than if they had paid to see the game. Other sports simply hire security staff. When it comes to Wikipedia editing there are problems that most of us acknowledge - we have certain academic subjects where our coverage is much poorer than is generally the case. There are some widely spoken languages where our offering is inadequate. We've had key technical processes running on people's personal kit and being switched off for days because they need that kit for other things. GLAM editing can address the first of these examples, both the others have seen uncontentious paid activity. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:52, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the discussion is way easier when we talk about curators writing texts for their website and co-publishing them in Wikipedia. But I do think even then we have a lot of boundary issues. Most scientists and curators have an inherent urge to promote their cause and the importance of their subject. As with gibraltarpedia: the problem was not the content of the articles, but that all articles were heavily towards gibralter. same could go with any museum even if the curators write and not the marketing people. Twickenham sounds interesting and of course this is a main problem regarding the relations between paid editing but also between foundation/chapters and the Wikipedians. What are the tasks Wikipedians can do for themselves, what are the tasks that are unpleasent and can't be done by them? How can you reward them without demotivation? And are there some texts/articles that Wikipedians won't write themselves? -- Dirk Franke (talk) 13:28, 29 January 2013 (UTC)