Looking for Wikipedia article writers (topics include many of interest to effective altruists)

I have plenty of ex­pe­rience writ­ing pages on Wikipe­dia, as I doc­u­mented here. You can see all pages I cre­ated, along with their pageviews over the years, here.

Since April of last year, I have ex­per­i­mented with pay­ing peo­ple to cre­ate Wikipe­dia pages, with re­sults that I am gen­er­ally happy with. My over­all ex­pe­rience is doc­u­mented here; you can also see lists of pages I have given peo­ple to cre­ate, along with the prices for those spe­cific page cre­ations, here, here, here, and here; note that in some cases peo­ple have re­ceived ad­di­tional pay based on pageviews or for over­all availa­bil­ity, but the prices are still a rea­son­able ap­prox­i­ma­tion to the marginal rev­enue.

At pre­sent, my Wikipe­dia page cre­ation fund­ing efforts are more tal­ent-con­strained than fund­ing-con­strained: I am spend­ing money at a lower rate than the max­i­mum amount I can af­ford to spend, and there­fore the pages are get­ting cre­ated at a slower rate.

For the most part, the goal with these pages is to ac­tu­ally carry out a syn­the­sis of in­for­ma­tion scat­tered across nu­mer­ous sources and bring it on­line. While it’s not origi­nal re­search per Wikipe­dia’s poli­cies, it does in­volve a com­plex syn­the­sis and isn’t just about post­ing on Wikipe­dia what “ev­ery­body knows”. The goal is to make in­for­ma­tion eas­ily available to any fu­ture re­searcher or per­son in­ter­ested in get­ting a clearer idea of the top­ics, that they would oth­er­wise have spent sev­eral hours try­ing to figure out.

A few broad themes around which I am in­ter­ested in Wikipe­dia page cre­ation, and that might be of in­ter­est to peo­ple read­ing this blog, are be­low.

Global health [CURRENTLY THE THING I AM MOST INTERESTED IN FUNDING WORK ON]

What: Issa Rice re­cently finished the Wikipe­dia page on the timeline of global health, and is cur­rently start­ing work on a timeline of de­worm­ing. I am in­ter­ested in fund­ing similar pages on the timelines of malaria, cholera, and in­fluenza, and might con­sider ex­pand­ing to things like AIDS, par­tic­u­lar can­cers, senes­cence re­search, smal­l­pox, and other dis­eases. I am also in­ter­ested in fund­ing pages on cur­rent and his­tor­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and ini­ti­a­tives re­lated to global health (such as the red links in the timeline of global health) as well as timeline pages on pub­lic health in par­tic­u­lar coun­tries. More pos­si­ble pages to fund may emerge af­ter some fur­ther ex­plo­ra­tion.

Work so far: See links above.

Why:

  1. Help po­ten­tial donors and oth­ers in the field get a good bird’s eye view of global health: Global health dona­tions make up a sig­nifi­cant frac­tion of the dona­tions from self-iden­ti­fied effec­tive al­tru­ists. Three of GiveWell’s four top picks were in this do­main, and those three char­i­ties re­ceived over $50 mil­lion in dona­tions in 2015 (GiveDirectly, the fourth, got the re­main­ing half of the 2015 dona­tions, but a lot of it was a one-off Good Ven­tures three-year grant). Yet there is very lit­tle good, quick-to-read in­for­ma­tion that helps peo­ple put the cur­rent state of global health in proper his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive. I want to change that. I ex­pect that hav­ing eas­ier ac­cess to this big­ger pic­ture will help me bet­ter de­ter­mine the im­por­tance of marginal dona­tions to global health, and will also help oth­ers like­wise. Put­ting it on Wikipe­dia makes it available to many oth­ers. There is also the pos­si­bil­ity that oth­ers will im­prove the pages, though I ex­pect im­prove­ments to be rel­a­tively rare.

  2. Un­der­stand global health as an ex­am­ple of how some­thing went from a cut­ting-edge weird idea to the “safe” bet for philan­thropists: This can provide in­sight for po­ten­tial trans­for­ma­tions of the sort for other do­mains, rang­ing from an­i­mal welfare to con­cerns about var­i­ous kinds of ex­is­ten­tial risk to senes­cence re­search.

Mi­gra­tion law, his­tory, pro­ce­dures and statis­tics [FOR PEOPLE WITH A STRONGER POLICY INCLINATION]

What: I am in­ter­ested in fund­ing the cre­ation of pages on var­i­ous as­pects of mi­gra­tion bu­reau­cracy and his­tory. My own work so far has fo­cused on the United States, but I want to di­ver­sify (in par­tic­u­lar, I’m in­ter­est­ing in im­prov­ing cov­er­age of Canada’s points-based im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem, that lacks its own ar­ti­cle right now, and In­dia’s Emi­gra­tion Clear­ance sys­tem).

Work so far: For ex­am­ples of the sorts of pages we are talk­ing about, here.

Why: Mi­gra­tion liber­al­iza­tion is a top in­ter­est for me per­son­ally. I would like to spend most of my per­sonal non-day-job re­search, read­ing, and pub­lic writ­ing time on it. Un­for­tu­nately, writ­ing truly in­formed con­tent on it of­ten in­volves the syn­the­sis of large amounts of scat­tered in­for­ma­tion. Hav­ing some of the syn­the­sis done through the cre­ation of Wikipe­dia pages by oth­ers will be great for me. Many of the pages are likely to be of suffi­cient in­ter­est to the gen­eral pub­lic that their cre­ation is also jus­tifi­able on those grounds.

An­i­mal welfare [ONLY FOR PEOPLE ALREADY INTERESTED IN THE SUBJECT]

What: I have some ideas sur­round­ing po­ten­tial im­prove­ments of pages re­lated to an­i­mal welfare, and the cre­ation of new ones. For in­stance, I would like to fund a timeline of an­i­mal welfare similar to Issa’s timeline of global health. How­ever, given my lack of ex­pe­rience with the sub­ject, I would recom­mend this only to peo­ple who have prior in­ter­est in the sub­ject, since I can’t guide too well here.

Work so far: I did cre­ate the Wikipe­dia page on An­i­mal Char­ity Eval­u­a­tors, but it got deleted (you can see the pre-dele­tion ver­sion here). I also paid for cre­at­ing, and then ex­panded, the Wikipe­dia page on The Hu­mane League.

Why: I be­lieve that an­i­mal suffer­ing, both that in­flicted by hu­mans and that in­flicted by na­ture, is an im­por­tant part of global suffer­ing by sen­tient crea­tures. I don’t have clear thoughts on ap­pro­pri­ate steps to ad­dress these is­sues. Nonethe­less, I be­lieve that more in­for­ma­tion on the cur­rent sta­tus and his­tor­i­cal evolu­tion of an­i­mal welfare will be helpful.

Spe­cific or­ga­ni­za­tions [LOWER PAY BUT SHORTER ASSIGNMENTS]

What: I am also open to fund­ing the cre­ation of any page that has re­ceived a grant from the Open Philan­thropy Pro­ject or were con­sid­ered by GiveWell or Giv­ing What We Can.

Work so far: I have been re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing Wikipe­dia pages of three of GiveWell’s four top char­i­ties and three of its stand­out char­i­ties, plus many other char­i­ties eval­u­ated by GiveWell and Giv­ing What We Can. I also cre­ated the Good Ven­tures Wikipe­dia page. Also, Issa cre­ated a great page on the Open Philan­thropy Pro­ject (funded by me).

Why: Often these pages offer a bet­ter (both more neu­tral and more in­for­ma­tive-yet-con­cise) overview of or­ga­ni­za­tions than their own web­sites.

Others

If you browse through the lists of pages I have cre­ated my­self and funded the cre­ation of, you’ll see that my in­ter­ests span much more broadly. How­ever, to keep this post as rele­vant as pos­si­ble to read­ers of this fo­rum, I have con­cen­trated on ar­eas that are likely to be of some in­ter­est to typ­i­cal read­ers here.

If you are in­ter­ested (in the top­ics listed above or any oth­ers that I’ve worked on funded be­fore, or that you think I might fund), you may ei­ther email me at vipul­naik1@gmail.com or (if you are Face­book friends with me or have mu­tual friends) mes­sage me on Face­book. You can also ex­press in­ter­est or ask ques­tions in the com­ments be­low. Those will­ing to work longer-term with me will re­ceive ad­di­tional com­pen­sa­tion in a mu­tu­ally agree­able man­ner while still pre­serv­ing flex­i­bil­ity on both sides.

UPDATE (ADDED APRIL 25): I have suc­cess­fully re­cruited a few writ­ers, and some pages have been pub­lished or are in the pro­cess of be­ing pub­lished. I am still look­ing for more, and ex­pect and hope the over­all vol­ume of ac­tivity to con­tinue to in­crease.

Pub­lished already by new ed­i­tors:

Pub­lished by peo­ple already work­ing for me, since I pub­lished this post:

UPDATE 2 (ADDED MAY 20): If you’d like to keep tabs on the main writ­ers who are cur­rently do­ing work for me, you can check out these GitHub pages where I track their ed­its and the amounts due to them:

  • Jesse Clif­ton: He has cre­ated timelines of an­i­mal welfare and pages on an­i­mal welfare in var­i­ous coun­tries and re­gions. While the broad di­rec­tion was pro­vided by me, the se­lec­tion of many of the coun­tries/​re­gions to fo­cus on was made by Jesse.

  • Issa Rice: Issa had been work­ing for me prior to my post­ing this, and he’s con­tinued to do more work. He has worked on pages re­lated to global health and poverty alle­vi­a­tion. While the broad di­rec­tion was pro­vided by me, many of the in­di­vi­d­ual page top­ics were de­cided by Issa.

  • Se­bas­tian Sanchez: Se­bas­tian has cre­ated timelines of ma­jor dis­ease like malaria and cholera, as well as senes­cence re­search and health­care in China.

  • Alex K. Chen: Alex has been work­ing for me for a while and con­tinues to work for me. There hasn’t been any spe­cific change in his work pat­tern, and he is not re­ally part of this ex­per­i­ment, but I in­clude him for com­plete­ness.

UPDATE 3 (ADDED DEC 22): Take a look at the new con­tract work por­tal as well as my more re­cent blog post seek­ing more global health con­trib­u­tors.