Thinking away from Making Money Online (for a change)

I know that most of us are here mainly to talk about how to make money online, how to get somebody signed up under you as a referral and how to sell an eBook, that claims to teach you how to make a million overnight (but has those top secret tips that you have read 100 times already).

Today, I would like to spend some time talking about a few things that you could do online to help the Internet community around you. Yes, I am talking about some of those non-profit jobs that can help grow the abundance of free information on the web further to new levels.

Wikipedia content provider

I doubt if any of my readers haven’t visited wikipedia at least once in your life. For me, wikipedia (other than probably Google), is the bare minimum requirement to live a life online. Wikipedia is a great concept where anybody could edit information and this will be periodically validated. And most of the time the information is kept updated at unbelievable speed thanks to thousands of dedicated editors around the globe.

Contributing towards the biggest known wiki’s cause is one of the things that you could do if you are willing to think away from making money online.

DMOZ Editor

Just like wiki, the ODP (Open Directory Project) is another area where one could contribute as an editor to approve the new directory listing and changes. One needs to be really honest and balanced and make sure that vested and business interests are not taking priority while being a DMOZ editor. I tried to become one a couple of times, but they somehow don’t people easily! Why don’t you try your luck?

Answer online or work in forums

Well, answering online can be in any of your favorite forums or communities. I must say that, sometimes it has got certain benefits like getting traffic or backlinks. However, it can be done with genuine interest of serving people around you as well. I have been active in Yahoo Answers even before I realized that it could be used as a mechanism to build backlinks. Similarly, working with WordPress support forums etc can be a great online community activity to support the free blogging platform cause.

OSI – Open Source Initiative

Go open source if you have a great idea that can be leveraged to the benefit of millions of people. Though I have been a big Microsoft fan and did not quite recognize the power (and need) of open source software, I am trying to change slowly. I think, contributing to the open source software is one of the most virtuous things one could do in his/her programming life.

Free consulting

This one is tricky… Is there anybody out there who do it on a regular basis? All of us know that time is precious. While one could bill for many of the services that you offer online, you could as well offer some free services to those who are underprivileged. Oh, well… that may bring me back to the Make Money Online topic.

Over to you…

Have you done wikipedia editing yourself? Is there a DMOZ editor amongst my readers?

And I would like to know if there are any other ‘good samaritan‘ roles online, than the ones listed above.

Comments

  1. Raju :

    Never expected this article on this blog, that too at this time :) Pleasant surprise I must say! Participating in free forums (like Java, linux forums or non technical forums as well) is another way to help people

  2. Richael Neet :

    I am a regular moderator on various forums online. I had also worked as a volunteer live support agent for a web hosting company before It closed down operations.

    I also support the idea of volunteer jobs online. It does not only build your knowledge base, it may also improve your reputation and standing online. Taking Yahoo Answers into account, if you become a regular contributor in a particular topic, there is a huge possibility that people will appreciate your work and in return, spread your name/website name amongst his/her contacts.

    Another pointer I would like to add is: writing voluntary posts for new upcoming blogs. Usually its the opposite; new bloggers write for well known blogs in order to build traffic and backlinks. But you, as an established blogger, can take time off to help the newbies to take off in their blogging career. If you can not write guest posts, another alternative is to announce the new blog via a post on your own blog. Give a share of your traffic to the new blog.

  3. George :

    Host a blog like dollarshower and help many others by resolving their troubles.

    George’s last blog post… Mahindra Scorpio Refresh Launched

  4. It’s a shame that Wikipedia is still underestimated by a lot of people. Although its entries have contain some mistakes, but, however, it often contain information that are not published anywhere else. So I think that before editing entries we should be convinced that what are we want to improve – it’s true.

  5. qarla :

    Hey Ajith, A bit off topic here, I want to ask if you have any idea in making a news sitemaps for Blogger hosted domains. My site recently accepted for Google News. And I don’t have any idea in making a News Sitemap.. teehee.. :)

  6. I have participate in wikipedia contribution some time mostly for topics related to my country.

    At times am also on some forums… time factor is a constraint however.

    Kurt Avish’s last blog post… Yuri Gagarin Happy Birthday To The First Man In Space!!!

  7. Ajith, This is good thought from you.
    Glad that there are people who think like this these days.

    I applied to DMOZ three times, got denied. Dont know what they are expecting from an editor.

    And I do a lot of free consulting. Though it takes away lots of time, you will win loyal friends and readers. It helps in building the community around the blog. And its a good way to learn from others.

    Kudos to this post and to you.. :)
    Arun Basil Lal

  8. Harish :

    I don’t know much about directories. But one thing I would say is that I have never seen a person not browsing wikipedia even though he has internet. Wikipedia has inspired all those who have internet. And I have once edited wikipedia.

  9. Hi Ajith – Another “good samiratan” role is to build a free site or give other skills to non-profits who are providing services that you agree with. I have one client where my work is done completely free of charge and that is my way of supporting them.

    Other free consulting can get tricky. I have times when I will answer questions on twitter but get frustrated when I am bombarded by questions when I am busy or at odd hours. I just try to tell myself that just because I am asked a question doesn’t mean I have to answer immediately.

  10. Nihar :

    Ajith,

    I am surprised that lot of ppl don’t know about wikipedia?

    I daily visit Wikipedia. It is one of my favorite sites.

    Didn’t know about DMOZ. let me check.

  11. @Raju, why man? I guess, you got misled by my domain name 😆 .

    Yes, there’re pleanty of forums where one can be active in order to be part of a community and learn from each other. When I am away from work and blogging, I spend a lot of time on Yahoo Answers, DP forums, Sitepoint etc.

    @Richael, I really appreciate the fact that you have been part of various online forums. And hey, I never thought about writing for upcoming blogs. You really brought in a unique point here… As you said, mostly people write on big blogs to get traffic and new readership but how many of us are willing to write for upcoming blogs?

    @George, I am trying my best to help out people with whatever little I know :)

    @old domains, wiki is definitely underestimated by many. As you said, there are minor mistakes here and there but the good thing is that it’s working on an ‘evolving model’ where things get corrected during the course.

    @qarla, I doubt if a news sitemap is any different from a normal one. For self-hosted blogger blog like yours you may want to try a sitemap software gsitecrawler. I have never used such software though. One common mistake a lot of people make is to upload the blogger’s atom.xml as the sitemap. This may not add any value as a sitemap as many of the information that Google or other search engines expect from sitemap will be missing in that atom feed.

    @Kurt, great man… Since your blog itself is dedicated to mauritius you can leverage that knowledge further by updating wiki topics related to the same. By the way, the other day somebody has enquired (on twitter) about mauritius for a holiday and I referred him to you :)

    @Arun, mostly people apply for DMOZ editor post in order to get a listing for themselves 😆 I have done this as well initially before I realized the importance of that role… Even I got rejected twice 😛

    And you have a good point about free consulting. I usually answer two-three mails a day on blogging tips etc. Most of them tend to stick with you when they get some good free help.

    @Harish, you are right about wikpedia… Even for me, it’s like a everyday habit to first search for wiki before anything else. As for the directories, DMOZ is mostly a collection of the authentic categorized services. Mostly an entry into DMOZ is considered great for a website.

    @Kim, you are right about the free sites (especially .org ones). Sometimes for a good cause it makes sense to offer such services free. I was recently approached by a representative of a church in Bangalore to build a small site for them… Though I am not into that area, I was able to provide them some help on how to go about it.

    And you are right about the other extreme of providing free help. Sometimes people take it for granted :)

    @Nihar, wikipedia rocks! As for DMOZ, it’s not very easy to figure there but I was mainly talking about an editor’s job in DMOZ.

    Thank you all for your view… Due to bad health conditions, my post cycle and comment moderation activities has taken a beating. Will come back soon…

  12. Although i have never tried editing any Wikipedia content, i have been active in a few technology forums related to Computers and programming. I have also helped a couple of people set up there blog from scratch.

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post… Apple Introduce new Talking iPod Shuffle

  13. @Madhur, I used to be majorly active in technology forums during my programmer days… If you search devx, you could still find some of my tips (dated…10 year back or so) Right now, though I could still code, I am more active in non-programming forums leaving the programming part to younget smart guys.

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