Proposal talk:Volunteer Toolkit

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This made me think that e.g. on Amazon you receive "recommendation" based upon your wishlists. Maybe editors already have enough methods for such things (mainly Wikiproject), so it may be useless to consider watchlists and contribs to select job suggestions (divided for subject and type – content, formatting, language fix etc.), but perhaps we could consider navigation history of visitors (warning: privacy issue). This is related to the "how can we get people understand that WMF is not a big for-profit corporationa and Wikimedia projects are run by volunteers etc." problem. --Nemo 11:40, 8 August 2009 (UTC)[]

Quantitative deliverables

How can we determine if this project is a success? How can we quantify the degree of improvement? What is the long term cost of maintaining the software developed as part of this initiative? --Gmaxwell 23:52, 13 August 2009 (UTC)[]

I like this project, but the budget seems downscalable

It seems to me that better {{welcome}} template technology can be used to address this very important problem at far less cost. Perhaps welcome templates need to be expanded to paper and other media (television? do we need a YouTube series on "What Wikipedia Needs and How You Can Help"?) and published through traditional channels to help grow the project. I am not sure this is as much of a software problem as it is a marketing and communications problem. 21:12, 14 August 2009 (UTC)[]

I agree. We should be seeding a hundred $10k-$30k projects (and you can accomplish an extraordinary amount with grants of that size) before we start adding big-ticket projects like this. At present we have perhaps a few projects of that size, and haven't learned how to make them effective. Specifically, a good volunteer toolkit, with scripts and community norms and usability considerations and fabulous world-spanning research should be attainable for $20k, in a way that produces results in months and adds expertise to respected community members. The current proposal suggests spending more, adding less expertise, and perhaps even having the first results available less quickly (a side-effect of process creep). Sj 00:33, 20 August 2009 (UTC)[]
I would say we should even do a lot more work on the $1k-$3k projects scale.--Pharos 17:35, 27 August 2009 (UTC)[]
I like the "project seeding" idea. However, I think ones which we want to work eventually need to be integrated into wikipedia and be made with that in mind. Sites like twitter, services like AIM are super fragmented as half of their functionality exists in third party websites outside of the main service and is hard to find for the average uses. Third party 'social business' tools would be no solution for wikipedia. Maybe software would be fine, but no matter what tools we try, they should be built with distribution by WMF in mind. --Lyc. cooperi 11:24, 1 October 2009 (UTC)[]

Turning point?

I guess this would mark the turning point where Wikimedia stopped being a project moving toward a formally defined goal and has switched to being a project that is concerned only with itself, the point where bureaucracy and internal procedure definitely stifled the project? - Brya 15:53, 27 August 2009 (UTC)[]

Existing tools?

I have seen a bot that can deliver article suggestions based on one's contributions (although I'm afraid the name escapes me at present). As for employing developers; Wikipedia likely either already has appropriate staff for this in its employ, or will have volunteers with the relevant skills and willingness to take on the project for free. I do, however, think the most important thing is a re-examination of standards within WikiProjects and Help to find best practice, such as article to-do lists on talk pages (even in the form of 'what is necessary for reaching the next status). Perhaps this could be carried out by a WikiProject to organise and find the best methods already in use. I know this sounds like committees and bureaucracy, but by recruiting members active in existing WikiProjects, and organising around the extant expertise and project sub-goals. I believe that, if given a remit and deadlines to produce examples the best practice they can find, leading to a model for improving ease of contribution and knowledge of standards and processes, then existing expertise could be brought to bear on this for a fraction of the cost; from there, perhaps suggestions and observations could inform the next stage of developing further tools.

I certainly support this proposal whole-heartedly, and I believe that it provides a raft of invaluable suggests, but I believe that it could deliver at least the same results for a fraction of the cost. — Sasuke Sarutobi 19:22, 29 August 2009 (UTC)[]

The bot you refer to is SuggestBot. I think this proposal has lots of good things in it, so I have rated it pretty highly. I think it's a little over-specified but there's plenty of stuff here to work with if this proposal makes it through to the next stage of proposal assessment. --Bodnotbod 14:33, 1 September 2009 (UTC)[]
May I use this opportunity for a shameless plug of my WikiTodo tool? Also for specific titles that can be taken from other sources, like this one. And, of course, to suggest some new links. Yes, many shameless plugs, and they all need work... --Magnus Manske 22:44, 16 September 2009 (UTC)[]


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:18, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[]

I would probably put this one in the top ten by impact, if done right. 19:04, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[]
Concur. FT2 (Talk | email) 23:00, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[]


I found this a much needed and eloquently-described proposal until I saw the bottom line. Surely this can be done for less! There seems to be a lot of unneeded bureaucracy that can be cut down. Themfromspace 03:50, 12 September 2009 (UTC)[]

Agreed. Much of this seems like it wouldn't even need much in the way of software development. And I don't see why this needs a travel budget, especially $30,000. Why would we need to fly these people around the world? Mr.Z-man 20:59, 16 September 2009 (UTC)[]
Someone told that for quite a number of African languages all MediaWiki notices could be translated for 50k$. The impact on reach of doing that is ten times as big for only 5% of the cost of this proposal. Dedalus 21:33, 16 September 2009 (UTC)[]
Concur here too - partly. A simple set of scripts would be cheap and easy. But the potential benefits from a complete rethink of how volunteers (including readers) are engaged, could cost quite a bit. It overlaps "Useability" too. But even so the budget looks extreme.
If fully staffed, the most likely maximum need is 6 months from (say) a team of 3 for design and concept work, plus 3 - 5 coders for that six months and another 6-9 beyond it, even without allowing for overlap with existing costs. Minimal travel (3 group meetings and the rest online/voice conference?), trivial "admin", and no need for extra facilities (I've yet to meet a coder who doesn't have a PC or decent laptop and connectivity already). FT2 (Talk | email) 23:09, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[]

Volunteers Are Never Free

This may be my favorite proposal. Creating such a toolkit is a form of volunteer recognition: an organizations demonstrating that it values its volunteers so much that its willing to invest the time, money and other resources to develop the tools they need to feel supported. See "Category: Proposals for editor awards or rewards" (sorry, don't know how to link to it)

But let's remember that volunteers are never free. Involving and supporting volunteers take time, resources and expertise, and those can't always be donated. Why is it that we wouldn't blink at the idea of such a price tag for supporting paid staff members, under the banner "Human Resources", for a global company, excluding the salaries of those who are being managed, yet when we're talking about unpaid staff -- gadzooks, why should we spend money!

Jcravens42 20:16, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Wrong focus

This line struck me: "100,000 individuals who volunteer their time, primarily to contribute text and rich media." This would be a great idea, to have volunteers to contribute text and rich media, as opposed to the present situation of all those users who are 'managing' other users contributions. How would we get those "100,000 individuals who volunteer their time, primarily to contribute text and rich media." and get rid of all the self-appointed bureacrats? - Brya 05:04, 24 January 2010 (UTC)[]