Lend Me Your Skills

Hooking hackers at a loose end up with socially valuable open source, open data and community projects.

Ask for a hacker


Wikimedia Outreach: Account Creation Improvement Project →

Wikipedia’s sign up procedure is pretty complicated. Go to Facebook’s homepage and the signup procedure is exceptionally simple. The amount of text on the Wikipedia sign-up form is about 10 times higher than that on Facebook. Wikipedia’s sign up form has all sorts of scary warnings about policy and so on.

The Account Creation Improvement Project is something Wikimedia are trying to do about this: by doing surveys of why people sign up and trying to find ways to simplify, streamline and make a lot easier the process of signing up for a user account. Why bother? Well, you need a user account on Wikipedia in order to create new articles, to move pages and to not be pestered by CAPTCHAs. If you don’t have an account, you cannot edit semi-protected articles or articles that are part of the Pending Changes trial. Plus it’s harder to collaborate with people.

If you are a designer, a developer, copywriter, or a user experience expert, your help would be appreciated. In addition, the project will need to deal with making sure any solution is standards-based, accessible and translatable into other language editions of Wikipedia. Whatever your skills, there’s something to work on here.

Help make Linux more accessible

Do you know about accessibility? The GNOME project and other free desktop environments like KDE and Xfce need help being made more accessible for disabled people, blind people and people who have physical issues that prevent them from using a computer in the standard way.

If you work on making open source operating systems and desktop environments more suitable for people with accessibility issues, you are helping them in a direct way: if a disabled person can use open source software, it reduces the cost of technology for them and this software can be modified to fit specific disabilities and issues.

The GNOME Accessibility Project needs programmers, testers and documentation writers. See the participation page.

GNOME is used by default in Ubuntu, so that might be a good starting point for improving accessibility in Linux, but for KDE there is the KDE Accessibility Project (KDEAP, see Wikipedia too).