Sunday, April 19, 2009
Payment where payment is due
Many people believe that payment is anathema to the Wiki spirit. Payment is believed to be incompatible with a Neutral Point Of View and consequently many people are ready to fight whenever there is even a suggestion of payment.
For me it is obvious that payments are not only made with money. The Wiki coinage is very much acknowledgment, attention, time and reputation. Our best people have a vision on what our world is or should be. They realise their vision because of an intrinisc motivation. This is why an Incubator, a Wiktionary and a translatewiki.net independently develop their own policies even software. People invest in these projects much of themselves and their return is first and foremost the growth and the quality of their project.
Sue Gartner shares what she considers relevant in her reader. This post she shared had me thinking about the subject of payment. I think that the WMF is making a great move by opening up the possibility for people to propose projects that may get funding. The financial aspect is important but in reality the most important coin the WMF has is attention, motivation and encouragement. WMF people like Brion are often in a position where they make the difference between something happening or not happening. Their time is a precious commodity because it is so highly valued and in short supply.
As the the time of the WMF staff is considered to be this valuable, improving the effectiveness of their time is the best investment the WMF can make.