This practice is useful for motivating contributors , who volunteer time to translate content of a commercial nature, related to a product or project that they care deeply about.
Finding ways to motivate contributors is one of the most challenging issues in building a vibrant Collaborative translation community, especially in situations where they are not remunerated for their work. This can be even harder in situations where the content being translated is of a commercial nature, because contributors may feel that the commercial organization is profiting unduly from their volunteer work.
One kind of non-monetary reward which has been found to work in this kind of situation, is to offer the volunteers some branded products (e.g. t-shirts, mugs, baseball caps) which are only given to "valued partners" of the organization (as opposed to the vanilla branded products that are handed out for free at conferences). Surprisingly, people who care deeply and are passionate about a product or project, value this kind of item, as it affirms their status in a given community (e.g. the community of users of product X).
Links to related patterns
- This practice is but one of many ways of many ways to motivate contributors.
- Adobe and Symantec have used this practice, in the context of community translation of some of the content related to their software.