About this project
NOTE: We met our funding goal for this project in only five days! If you still want to contribute, read what our stretch goals are or head over to Practicing Ruby and hit the red "subscribe" button to become a monthly supporter for $8/month.
Because Practicing Ruby does have some monthly revenue, we're actually going to start the search for contributors and begin collaborating with them right away, rather than waiting for Kickstarter to pay us. Stay tuned for more updates!
Practicing Ruby has published nearly 100 in-depth programming lessons for intermediate and advanced programmers since November 2010. Some of our best works have been from contributors, and we'd like to make it possible to publish many more contributed articles within the next year.
The challenge we currently have is paying contributors a reasonable stipend for their work. Although Practicing Ruby does have a small core of paying subscribers who support the project, the amount of money we take in each month isn't nearly enough to support contributed works on an ongoing basis.
The goal of this Kickstarter is to fund the development and publication of ten new contributed articles. Contributors will be paid a $500 honorarium on successful completion of their article, and Gregory will provide up to five days of collaboration and editing time with each contributor to help make sure their article is in excellent shape before it is published.
100% of the funds we collect through this Kickstarter will be given to contributing authors -- Gregory's time will be funded by the subscribers who already are supporting Practicing Ruby.
If this Kickstarter gets funded, we will make an active effort to seek out potential authors from diverse backgrounds. A call for participation will be sent along to various organizations that support underrepresented groups in the technology world. Potential contributors include anyone with an interesting and deep story to tell that relates to Ruby programming, it is not necessary to be an expert in the field or a professional writer to contribute!
All works will be published under the Creative Commons BY-SA free documentation license, with source code and raw manuscripts made available for those who want to build upon the materials or remix them in some way.
Risks and challenges
Over the years, Practicing Ruby has published a total of 19 contributed articles, which represents about 20% of the content in our archives. However, not every attempt at collaborating with potential contributors has resulted in successful publication.
In the past, we've had a handful of contributors decide to not complete their articles mid-way through the process. We've also rejected a couple articles in the past, when we felt that the completed work didn't fit the overall theme of what we are trying to do with Practicing Ruby.
All in all, the success rate for contributions has been about 70%, and if we end up increasing the frequency of contributed works, there is potential for that number to get a little worse before it gets better.
When a work does get declined for publication but it is clear that the author completed a meaningful work, we usually offer the contributor a choice of taking their full honorarium, half of the honorarium, or not getting paid at all. Historically only a handful of rejected contributors have asked to be compensated at all, but this is a risk in that we may end up funding the creation of ten articles, and then only end up publishing 7 or 8 new works.
We make every effort to avoid this kind of situation, including helping authors with their research, their code samples, and their prose. But this is a risk worth knowing about it!
All that having been said, we have had overwhelmingly good experiences with the majority of our contributors, and they have consistently produced some of the highest quality and most-loved content in Practicing Ruby's archives. If you back this Kickstarter, that's what your money will go towards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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