Monday, April 18, 2011

Gill's Notes::HuffPo volunteers were clearly volunteers

Huffington Post has a stakeholder business model. it is a model that recognizes employees, investors, volunteers, suppliers, contributors, multimedia producers, researchers, sponsors and advertisers.
Each stakeholder provides a different input and the combination of content and resources is what makes HuffPo
the online internet paper it it.

Anyone making their resources available has a choice to quote for their services and receive an agreed payment or collaborate and receive 3rd party benefits ( increased profile, other job or publishing offers etc) so for every stakeholder there is a clear exchange.

Under contract law Party A offers Party B a product or service and Party B agrees to payment and delivery terms thus forming a contract.  In the case of the volunteer bloggers, huffPo never offered them terms which included payment, she offered them exposure and the volunteers valued that and exchanged their time for eyeballs NOT CASH.  No volunteer blogger has a contract which said that in exchange for their content they would receive a cash payment of $X because then they wouldn't be a volunteer!

Volunteering has increased in the US and a report published today shows that Americans volunteered billions
The report found that 63.4 million Americans volunteered last year, giving more than 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $169 billion.

It is clear that HuffPo volunteers were volunteers as they happily submitted their content without any expectation to receive a cash payment.  Like Wikipedia, this model is mass collaboration where every stakeholder CHOOSES to collaborate or not!  Now, it may be that the business and financial model evolves in the future, however, it is clear that these content producers contributed their blogs of their own freewill without any contract for payment.  So if you are going to volunteer in changing the world..then be a proud volunteer and give your service with love and gratitude as others have given for you:)

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