Summer Milestone 9 NikiA Future and Logistics

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We all have learned something in the past two months as the result of our participation in this crowd research project. While we could have started with different goals and different availability, we met one milestone and worked as a team. Here are some comments:


What model (startup, platform, research) and what approach you'd like to follow?

We voluntarily joined a summer research. This platform remains a research project (or may not go beyond what other platforms offer), if we cannot work with trust and power among ourselves. If badges or other issues is taking trust away, we need to think twice. Logging hours and timesheet is not very attractive for volunteer research. If hours should be recorded, then hours should be linked to expertise and weighted accordingly. Not every full-time employee is paid the same just because they work on the same project. Each of us may need to answer: what keeps me motivated to continue?

Another factor that we proposed in the paper (beside trust) was prototype task or Milestone 0. I would consider, paper submission (and the first website) as the prototype task that was created where X number of people participated. Now, the requesters (leaders of the project), should select those workers/people that they want to continue and get their project going. Those selected will be the ones who can decide what approach/model they want to continue. Waiting too long or being too open about announcing designs may not be a wise approach for market interest. Then, depending on the approach, it is easier to plan for RA funds, paid workers, shareholders, etc.

Research can go as long as we wish; however, if marketing and a platform that is attracting users and keeping them has been part of the initial goal, sooner it should become a company that is generating money (VC, grant, crowdfund) and has paid worker to work on the features and make the platform available. Timing is more important in the business than research. This research can still continue along with a company, but the nature will be different.


How do you keep track of contribution?

Excellent question. When paragraphs were written for the paper, I assume each person had done it with his/her best ability and not just writing lines to show they have worked on a milestone (or for a badge). However, at the end, maybe the entire writing of someone may have been removed and others might have been changed a lot to get to a paper that can be submitted (that is not less than writing it). Another example, one may post one topic which is important and one may post several with less of importance. They are all contribution. I have a tendency to say it is the quality that matters not quantity but then I encounter the question that if something is of low quality for an experienced person may be of quality for a young college student. In this research, how can we define levels and evaluate the contribution (… another part of our platform for the future we may want to practice …)

Some may attend four one-hour hangouts in one months, some may go out of their routine life for a few nights to meet a deadline when the work has to be done and be ready to help. Evaluation, tracking, and badging may not be easy in this setting that people participate with different education, experience, intention, and availability. We cannot expect the same from everyone. I understood from initial meetings that badges were to be used to define the author order. In an academic publication, usually the first and last author are of importance. So, honestly the order should not create much discussion.

Engineering research is an essential part of this work and it can be tracked in githubs and by PRs. People in that team do not talk much but their presence and contribution is of high value.


Badging…

It depends on their purpose (author ordering, next milestone selection, …), but anyhow it should be able to create a sense of trust and appreciation.

- Badges should have different weights.

- Some badges should only be given by certain individuals. e.g., #milestonesubmisstion to be give only by DRIs.

- Those individuals who give a badge with more weight should be of equal weight in the system.

- If there is a rule for badge giving, all DRIs, hangout chairs,… should be aware and treat all milestones and hangouts the same.


Leadership…

I like what Alison Cossette proposed in the last project meeting with attention to availability, expertise, and type of representation.


Logistics

It depends on the model. However, if we are letting new people in, we should also think of removing those inactive participants too. There are more than 550 people on Trello. How many have been active in the past two months? I think Trello cards and meteor could be a way to find active people and remove others.