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My name is Faisal Khan and I’m a Payment Consultant.
For years I have been troubled by the quest to build a payments wiki. Every now and then, I would revisit the idea, but each time I would tell myself “now is not the right time”.
The interest I got was average. A lot of people contacted me regarding the project and asked how they could contribute towards it. For many of you who do not know what I am envisioning, I decided to make a detailed FAQ on this project.
Open-Source Wiki Project FAQ
What is the Open-Source Money Wiki Project?
The Open-Source Money Wiki Project is a community effort to create, curate and manage the largest repository of all things banking, payments, finance, economics and financial services on the web. Anything and everything to do with the aforementioned subjects will be classified into the Wiki. From people, profiles, companies, events, products, services, lists, directories, presentations, videos, papers, how-tos, references, blogs, portals, databases, information repositories, etc.
Is it Not-for-Profit or For-Profit?
The Open-Source Wiki Project will be not-for-profit. All accounts related to the money the project raises, would be public domain.
What will be the URL?
Who is running it?
I am (so far). However, I cannot do it alone. I need a large number of volunteers and experts from relevant industries to contribute and collectively run this project.
What are the goals?
To have a comprehensive go-to information repository that is curated and maintained by people in the banking, finance, payments, economics and financial services space. It only makes sense to have people from the field to build this wiki. There is a lot of information out there on the internet. Tons! People spend countless hours searching for it. Our goal is to find all of the information, classify it, organize it and publish it. There will be a full-time curator assigned to this project and a handful of community experts who will aid you in finding the necessary information. Somewhat akin to your local librarian, who helps you find the information you’re looking for.
Doesn’t Wikipedia suffice?
Wikipedia is a fantastic resource. There is no challenging that. Wikipedia is an all encompassing resource, which makes finding information difficult to search for at times. In addition to this, Wikipedia has strict rules as to how a page can/should be made, how references have to be provided, etc. The Payments Wiki project is geared towards a specific niche. the whole goal is to have a concentrated resource that the community can access and contribute to, without the restrictions and/or limits set out by others. We will perhaps never be able to replace Wikipedia, but we would definitely draw upon the strengths of Wikipedia and incorporate that into our project.
Why the need to have a separate effort for this project?
Primarily, because no such resource exists. Information about payments, banking, economics, financial services, money, etc. exists as scattered pieces all over the internet. If we can find this information, classify it and curate it into a single repository, the collective power of the repository increases, at the same time, it provides a motivation for others in the field to come forward and contribute.
How big will it eventually become?
There are many estimates, but over the course of a year it could be anywhere from 3,000 – 5,000 pages. Eventually, the Wiki will grow to something like 20,000 – 30,000 pages.
Why does the Wiki need money?
As with everything in life, this project too requires money. Money for full-time (employed) curators, project managers, taxonomy specialists, reviewers, HTML editors/assistants, system administrators, office, internet connection, utilities, etc. A non-funded effort will take considerable time for the wiki to be constructed. The catalyst is to employ people whose full-time job description is to immediately sift through the content at hand (we have plenty of content in raw format), classify it, curate it and publish it on the Wiki. If we manage to publish 20-25 pages per day, we would be able to achieve our goal of publishing 5,000 pages in the first year.
How can one contribute money?
We will be setting up a contribution page. Our initial goal is to target corporate sponsorships at about US$ 750/month. Our goal is to have sponsorships from about 20-25 companies. In addition, there be various slots for individual contributions.
Why do you need volunteers for it?
We need volunteers for both business and non-business functions. Within the business functions, we need people in the field to share their resources with us. For example, someone may know about a video that might be helpful to our readers, or a website that provides great articles on economics, maybe even a database of all the payment systems in the world, etc. We cannot find everything out there. We rely on the curated wisdom and judgment of others so that the wiki can grow. For non-business functions, keeping track of volunteers, project management, maintaining the wiki, back-office communication, donation management and follow-up, server management and back-ups, template designs, taxonomy and nomenclature related work, virtual administration.
Where does the baseline content come from?
As someone who envisioned this project many years ago, I have been collecting and saving resources related to the money, payments, banking, economics, financial services space for years now. My method of saving is via bookmarks and in many cases, I have downloaded the content in its entirety. I have amassed over 50,000+ bookmarks and these would be the starting point for the wiki.
What type of content matter would be allowed on the Wiki?
Anything and everything pertaining to the subject matter at hand. We would like to have an exhaustive repository that has documents, spreadsheets, web links, articles, infographics, podcasts, videos, tables, PDFs, calculators, online-courses, raw databases, raw data, spreadsheets, indexes, profiles, news, press releases, reports, classification, people, conferences, trade-shows, suppliers, job-portal, directories, Q&As, reference.
Are there any paid positions in this project?
There will be some paid positions for the project, but most of these would be non-business functions (back-office, project managers, UI/UX design, etc.) Can I provide (content) submission and get paid for it? No. At present the Wiki Project would not be incorporating content based on paid submissions.
Why a Wiki? Why not a database or a directory listing?
A wiki makes more sense. Today’s wiki platforms allow a multitude of content to be placed, including video, podcasts, documents, files, etc. at the same time allowing 100s if not 1000s of volunteers to be able to contribute content towards the wiki. If a Wiki is to be made, what best avenue of approach than to use a Wiki engine.
How do the sponsors benefit?
Sponsors benefit by coverage. If someone is contributing Dollars towards the Wiki it is only fair that we have advertising turned-on, on the platform. Again, this is another differentiator from Wikipedia, as we can set our own rules and one approach to benefit contributors is to provide them visibility (i.e. coverage) on the ads being served on the wiki.
Where would it be hosted?
The Wiki would be hosted in the US.
How can information be used from it?
You can use information from the Wiki in any manner you see fit. Though there will be guidelines (on the whole and for specific sections), one would use the wiki no different as one uses the content and referencing from Wikipedia.
What if I want to author and maintain a page? How does that work?
Simply create one. Moderators/Curators would look at it and if applicable, approve it. If you would like to maintain the page, simply put a request in and it will be reviewed.
Can I make my company’s own page?
Absolutely! Company wiki pages are welcome. We will provide a base template. Companies are then free to maintain their own page themselves as long as they adhere to the template rules.
Can I make my own page (for an individual)?
Certainly! Not only is it encouraged, but having individual pages on the Wiki for people in the field of specialization that the Wiki is focusing on, is much needed. We will provide a base template. Individuals are then free to maintain their own page themselves as long as they adhere to the template rules.
Can I maintain a page on a given subject matter?
Yes. If the given subject matter has not already been covered, contributors can certainly create a new page on a given subject matter and then curate/maintain it. We will provide a base template. If a base-template does not exist, then one will be made and provided for. Maintainers can then curate their own page themselves as long as they adhere to the template rules.
Who curates the content submissions?
Content is curated by Community Leaders and an in-house curation team.
Is there a mailing list for this project?
Yes. There is a general mailing list for the wiki, you can sign-up for it here.
Who decides on the nomenclature and taxonomy of the Wiki?
We do. All of us. Initially, we will have a Taxonomy specialist on board and they will continue to refine the taxonomy based on the continuous input from those who submit and curate the content.
Is there an advisory board?
Not at present. An advisory board will be constituted between 3-6 months into operations.
Where is the office of this Wiki Project located?
There is none. We are all over the world. I’m strongly influenced by remote working, and I think this video by Jason Fried (CEO of 37Signals) explains it well. 37signals Works Remotely from Basecamp on Vimeo.
Would there be community leaders?
Absolutely. The more the merrier. Without Community Leaders taking charge, the Wiki might just collapse. Community Leaders are more than just experts in a particular area. They are the architects of that section, they police rules/regulations so that the Wiki is not abused, they routinely patrol the pages to ensure all is well. In any community driven project, one of the key roles is that of the Community Leader.
How do I get in touch with you?
I’m available on email (see below). Alternatively, you can contact me via the various social media avenues as listed on my blog (faisalkhan.com).
If I have an idea / suggestion for improving the wiki, whom do I contact?
You can email me: fk /at/ faisalkhan /dot/ com.