Tuesday Buzz: Meet a Micro-Volunteering All-Star

How one Wikipedia editor has improved the site's grammar by making one small change to thousands of pages. Also: web design trends to watch in 2015.

We talk a lot about the role of micro-volunteering in associations, but we often struggle to find superheroes at the practice—the people who go above and beyond what one expects of someone who does a small task.

If you’re looking for a person who fits that mold, the best place to go is Wikipedia, a site that’s essentially a giant ball of micro-volunteering. It’s often edited by a thousand hands, with no expectation of reward beyond maybe a pat on the back. A few editors consider their volunteer role as something resembling a mission, but perhaps none has mastered the concept of the thankless task better than Bryan “Giraffedata” Henderson, a user who has taken great pains to remove the grammatically incorrect phrase “comprised of” from tens of thousands of articles.

In more than 40,000 separate edits (which, we should note, are assisted by the use of automation), the software engineer has changed the wording to “composed of” or “consists of,” defending his edits in a lengthy essay in which he explains exactly why “comprised of” is bad grammar and why he cares enough to fix the problem in so many places. (Short version: Incorrect grammar on Wikipedia makes it easier for haters to disregard the site’s important mission.)

“I’m proud of it,” Henderson told Backchannel, a tech outlet on the Medium platform. “It’s just fun for me. I’m not doing it to have any impact on the world.”

Many associations would probably be proud to have a volunteer as dedicated as Giraffedata thanklessly helping them out by taking on a small but important task. How can you drive that sense of mission in your organization?

What’s Next for Web Design?

Last year may have been the year that design finally had a true breakthrough on the web—and the momentum may continue throughout 2015.

You know responsive design, flat design, HTML5, and all the rest, but are you ready to constantly refine your look through iteration or try out card-based design? Those are just two of the biggest trends Creative Bloq sees picking up in the 11 months to come.

Another one to keep an eye on? The big background.

“Front-end developer Benjamin Hollway expects more massive background images in 2015, ‘used alongside rich typography and subtle parallax effects,’ largely due to the lead taken by massive brands such as Apple and Google Nexus,” the post explains.

Any other trends you see heating up this year?

Other Links of Note

RadioShack’s days may be numbered. Bloomberg Business reports that both Amazon and Sprint are looking to purchase RadioShack locations and replace them with their own stores.

How do you explain your organization’s values to a new employee? National Fluid Power Association CEO Eric Lanke did just that recently. Here’s what he told the recent hire.

Don’t blame everyone else for your issues. Lifehacker‘s Eric Ravenscraft says that means you’re never fixing the problems you’re facing. Instead, admit you have difficulties and deal with them.

(iStock Editorial/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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