Professional writers

I think to further increase the quality of all the wiki projects, Wikimedia Foundation should hire some professional writers to work on some of the articles. You could make them sign some kind of contract that acknowledges that they're cool with releasing their writing into the GFDL, and what with Wikimedia's outstanding fundraising ability (remember when you raised $150,000 or some large number in nine days?) we would have no problem paying them. If we hire these professionals, schools might actually start liking the Wikimedia projects more!

My idea on how we can tell pro-writers and normal contributors apart is that the professionals can have some kind of status/title on their handles, in a way of notifying people that they really know what they're talking about. These specialty titles could also prevent people from claiming they're one of the pros.

Tell me what you think on this issue. If this has already been covered, please let me know.

Sincerely, Messedrocker 23:43, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Whoa, I forgot about this. I wrote this a while ago, but I didn't know where to put it. Messedrocker 15:17, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I run the wiki of the Unification Encyclopedia Project, which *is* hiring professional writers to increase the quality of the Wikipedia articles. Sorry, I have nothing to show you yet, but (a) every Wikipedia article so improved will naturally be GFDL; and probably the brand-new ones also (no promises). Ed Poor 15:42, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ed, this is kind of interesting. I have to say that I have my doubts when it comes to a church building their own Wiki, but certainly other churches have funded the creation of classically non-biased journalism. I do hope that you aspire to the ideal of NPOV journalism, and contribute your changes back into the mainstream Wikipedia where applicable. Good luck! -Harmil 15:22, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What doubts? It's already up and running. We simply copied Wikipedia, deleted all the articles and users, and started fresh. And as I promised the WikiMedia board, all articles will be contributed back to the mainstream. We have back-links in place for each borrowed article, and when it goes live I'll supply fore-links too.
It's definitely not intended to conform to the NPOV, although coverage of controversial topics will probably mention opposing views. Ed Poor 17:27, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Let me clarify my doubts. I didn't think you were incapable of getting a Wiki up and running. To quote you: "We simply copied Wikipedia, deleted all the articles and users, and started fresh." That is the core of my doubts. I don't see how – having deleted all of the existing content, and with the lack of an NPOV mandate from the start – you could possibly contribute to the quality of the Wikimedia projects by hiring professional writers (that was the topic, here). Back-merges of non-NPOV changes are highly likely to be reverted, after all.
If you're of a mind to re-consider, I'd highly recommend you look into what organizations like the one I linked to above have done with respect to bias.
That said, good luck to your project and happy editing! -Harmil 18:05, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We're not planning to back-merge, I already discussed that with Angela. We will add links to each article "professionally improved". For example, we forked United States a few weeks ago. When our version is released, we will add a link (either external or "inter-wiki" is still up for grabs) to the English Wikipedia article. If someone removes that link, that's none of WEP's business. We're really only obligated to maintain the back link, which will be - not merely to w:United States but to the precise version we forked from. We have to show the edit history, right?
Unlike some commercial web sites, WEP will not be "taking" or "using" Wikipedia content so much as interacting with Wikipedia. It will be a living relationship, non-intrusive yet mutually supporting. (Anyway, this is months or years down the line; plenty of time to work out the details; just wanted to give you a head's up.) Ed Poor 03:21, 29 Jun 2005 (UTC)

A better system might be one where people could put up bounties for articles.

On the general topic of professional writers, I think the way to go is convincing other organizations to contribute the time of their professionals and to offer grants for specific projects (e.g. I'm working on convincing a photographer friend to seek commercial grants for photography aimed at the Luso-American community's history, landmarks and current culture). -Harmil 15:22, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would expect that this should just be something that naturally happens. We can take the open source software world as an analogy in this case: Many companies end up improving and contributing to open source software by virtue of their need for it. If the GNU FDL is too restrictive for writers to make use of then it may be possible that this will not happen.

I wish I were at liberty to say how much money the Unification Encyclopedia Project will be paying for each article. Anyway, you'll see the quality of the work EP produces as soon as the editor in chief decides to start releasing articles. Current plan is to wait until the early 2008 and release them all at once, although my preference is to show and/or release some of the works in progress. Ed Poor 15:22, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

Moved from the Talk page, as the other discussions seem to be here. - Kookykman|(t)(c)

i think to actively create an extra level of formalised hierarchy and start to flag-up who's a 'proper writer' and who's 'not' can only be a negative thing.

Yes, this is a terrible idea that threatens the whole concept. If some people are getting paid, why volunteer? 05:35, 6 August 2005 (UTC)