I think this is an interesting and somewhat complex idea.
If we have a volunteer to take this on, including the necessary admin work, I would say go for it. There are two concerns which I will discuss further below: Permission, and Purpose. Then I'll discuss how it might be done.
The necessary admin work includes:
- Sign an NCI Alt up for Marketplace and install the Magic Box;
- Select one or more freebies to be placed on Marketplace;
- Determine whether they can be placed on Marketplace; (see below)
- Create the Marketplace pages for each freebie;
- Load the Magic Box
This is a lot of work, but it could be done as incrementally as a volunteer wanted, so it need not be a huge investment of time on a weekly basis.
Permission: Can Freebies be Placed on Marketplace?
As Linda points out, the form does not say we will or will not put them on Marketplace. I expect that most providers will be happy to have their work distributed in any form, so long as their name and landmarks and such are preserved. If we have a mailing list of everyone, I'd suggest that the volunteer drop a notecard on them saying we plan to do this and asking that they get back to us if they do not want their contribution distributed in that way. Then we go ahead and if anyone complains after the fact we apologize and remove their freebie if that's what they want. I expect no hassle on that.
Purpose: Does This Idea Advance NCI's Purpose?
As Linda pointed out to me personally, if our purpose is to help new citizens, this idea does that. We could include whatever NCI info we wanted in the offerings and use them to bring people to our locations and whatever we wanted.
It is possible that we would like to say "No, they have to come to our location to be helped," but that seems off to me: probably we want to help in any way we reasonably can.
How Should We Do It?
So at this point, I am in favor of the idea. How might we proceed? Here's my suggestion:
- We post somewhere publicly, probably in this forum and perhaps via some signs, that there are ways people can volunteer to help NCI. We list this as one of the ways, and we ask for volunteers.
- When someone volunteers for a task, we decide quickly if they are suitable, and if so, we go ahead. To me, wanting to help is a big part of "suitable".
- We authorize them to do the project.
- We pick someone to guide them. Initially this would be someone from the SSL group. Later on, we might actually build up a group of experienced guides.
- We quickly determine any special guidelines for the project. These should be broad, not overly detailed.
- We might make a list of objectives to be met, perhaps with priorities.
- We set the person up with any special capabilities they might need, such as building or access to an alt.
- We set them free to do the work, keeping their guide informed and following the guide's occasional and limited advice.
The basic idea is: If someone wants to help, let them help. Give them a little guidance and let their creativity and energy be applied as freely as possible.
So, for me, this idea is a perfect example: If someone wants to volunteer to do it, I think we can quickly generate some guidance and let them go ahead.