This practice applies mostly in the context of a volunteer-based Collaborative translation initiative.
Recruiting and retaining good contributors is difficult.
Therefore, make sure there are many paths through which people can move from being "passive" readers of the content, to highly active contributors.
Typical levels of involvement are:
- passive reader
- one-time contributor
- occasional contributor
- frequent contributor
- "guru", or sub-community leader
- alumni status
At each level of involvement, there should be many different doors that allow the contributor to move to the next level.
When a contributor finds himself unable to keep his current level of involvement, there should be mechanisms that allow a smooth transition to a lower level of involvement.
Links to related patterns
- This practice is similar to Support Variable Levels of Involvment. The main difference is that Flexible Contributor Career Path focuses on the dynamics of moving from one level of involvement to another.
- Lurker to Contributor Transition is one part of the typical career path which is particularly crucial.
- Kiva.org has found that they needed to pay a lot of attention to supporting Flexible Contributor Career Path, in order to recruit and retain good volunteer translators.