MentorMob is Growing up Big and Strong

MentorMob has been live for just over a year helping people all over the world organize and share learning resources for free.

But we’re just getting started.

Organizing the vast amount of knowledge available online is an enormous project (obviously), and we could never even have gotten started without collaborators and insights from thought leaders in open source, who have taught us that in order to build a healthy online community, we’ve gotta

  1. identify the people who want to work on new, collaborative projects and introduce them to ours, and
  2. make sure that our project is attractive to those people.

Below are some thoughts from the founders of Erli Bird—a place for startups to get feedback from bleeding edge early adopters—and Larry Sanger, who cofounded Wikipedia and explains how it got so many people to write and edit articles for free.

Make your Voice Heard with Erli Bird

Our goal is to help early adopters discover innovative new startups and have their voice heard. We want to help you have a direct impact in lending your expertise and feedback to help shape today’s most promising companies. And in the process, you’ll get rewarded for it. Complete your objectives, earn rewards, climb the leaderboard, and redeem your points for great discounts in our awesome startup store…every startup needs help from early adopters—whether the company is backed by $500 or $15M.

How Wikipedia Began, by Larry Sanger

We had to overcome another problem faced by very many projects: how do you get the people who have merely declared their interest actually involved, putting in large amounts of time on the project? It’s one thing to gather people together; it’s quite another to get them to do something. That’s the problem of motivation.

The solution to this problem has at least four parts: openness, which attracts the eyes of new people; ease of contribution, without which people just won’t want to take the time to get involved; free information,which gives them an altruistic reason to get to work; and strong collaboration,which both provides people with much-desired personal visibility and amplifies their efforts.

So I’m saying that these four concepts explain how a large group of people was not only gathered together, but also motivated, to work on Wikipedia. The website was open to all; it was easy to contribute to; people loved the idea that it was free, so that the world would always benefit from their work; and they collaborated, egging each other on.

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