Talk:Task force/Recommendations/Community health 1

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Just found this method of volunteer recognition on a site JCravens linked to at her original proposal:

"Thank You Notes to Volunteers' Workplace ~ Many of our volunteers have full time jobs and busy careers. We began sending letters of recognition to their places of work either directly to their superior or through the Human Resources office. These letters often find their way directly into the personnel files and in many cases reflect well on an employee to their employer. What has been really interesting is that our organization has actually received donations from companies whose employees have been our volunteers. A letter from our organization has often prompted an inquiry from a company to the employee about who we are and what we do. This method of recognition has become greatly appreciated by our volunteers." [1]

Thought I'd store it here for now as it might come in handy. --Bodnotbod 13:53, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm beginning to understand the impact of your recommendation, Bodnotbod. Maybe consider naming it "Recognition" instead of "Rewards". Rewards have a very American feel about them for a European like me, get him a medal and he's content. Recognition points to that inner feeling that you've really done something worthwhile, something that the whole community will accept while it feeds your self-esteem. Well, I may be somewhat biased in this, as we hand out medals to long time volunteers the same way Americans do. Recognition just sounds a bit more personal. - Art Unbound 00:17, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi, yes, I've started to use the word "recognition" more than "rewards" now; recognition seems to be the word used in the charitable sphere for the sorts of things we're looking at. --Bodnotbod 01:30, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Some reactions from the Dutch Wikipedia

I put this subject in the Dutch Wikipedia Pub for reactions and got quite a large response (adding a link to this Strategy Task Force). Most of it advocates some sort of recognition for volunteer work. I put it in the form of three questions:

  • Would some sort of payment for contributions be helpful?
  • Would some sort of immaterial reward be helpful?
  • Would it be helpful if you could put your Wiki work on your CV with a reference?
  1. Payment for contributions proves controversial. Most disapprove if payments were to come from WMF or country wiki's themselves, with several arguments being given. For instance, you can't pay users for articles now while so many volunteers have done it for free; or: you can't use sponsoring money for it.
  2. However, paid contributions by external parties aren't disapproved under condition that those contributions get the same valuation and treatment as any other. So if a non-profit institution wanted to inform the public about a certain project and they paid a free-lancer to write an article for them, there's nothing wrong with it provided that those articles are valuated and treated the same way as any other.
  3. Immaterial rewards, recognition by co-users amongst them, are definitely seen as helpful. Several references were given to prove the value of this kind of recognition.
  4. Putting your work on Wikipedia on your CV was seen as helpful, with several tips given. Extras like being on AC or special work groups were seen as an additional boost. References are a bit tight, as it's not always clear who signs for them.

From this discussion, it looks clear that a recommendation to promote recognition and reward on a volunteer effort like this, certainly adds to helping this project forward in the next five years. - Art Unbound 21:43, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Art, that's encouraging. --Bodnotbod 19:37, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

PLEASE NOTE

Discussion relating to this recommendation may be found at Talk:Task force/Community Health

Volunteer recognition

The “volunteers” approach would be a major shift from the "anyone can edit" ethos, from the “these articles were bought for the public to edit” to “people could actually use Wikipedia as an encyclopedia.” It appears to me that many users, including administrators and beauracrats, are “playing dolls” with multiple accounts for the sole purpose of pressing the “save” button. How many people are “vandals” with one account and “recent changes” patrols with another account? How many sociopaths use “sock puppets” to hound and put down the little edits of people who believed the Main Page when it said “anybody can edit” is the purpose of Wikipedia? One way to move from “editing site” to “reliable information source” would be to start over completely concerning who can press the “save” button. To get recognition to experts I think they would need at least a byline, i.e. recognition of what expert wrote what article and a way to have that or those credentialed experts have editorial control over the article they wrote. Maybe a college professor or textbook author might know what he or she is talking about. As it is now, for example, I was told by one Wikipedia administrator (the one I imagine might be an employee of Bratanica.com) told me to use references, then when I used Webster’s dictionary as a reference for the word “ain’t” not meaning “is,” a beauracrat seems to have been personally offended by my edit. It that funny? Not to me. If experts wrote and watched over the articles, Wikipedia might become an “ask an expert site.” As far as lack of appreciaton or recognition is conscerned, I wonder why so many Wikipedian’s use fake names? By the way, I still haven’t received a receipt for last year’s donation. I received one from George Bush’s non-profit, and so far no receit from the Red Cross or Wikimedia. Oh, well. -- Chuck Marean 21:49, 4 February 2010 (UTC)