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  • SN-0064 Finding Freelance Workers

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Finding Freelance Workers

Collection Date: March 13, 2009
Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Deniz Gokturk
  • Email:
  • Title: Associate Professor of German
  • Institution/Organization: UC Berkeley
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor: German Studies

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name: Rich Meyer
  • Email:
  • Title: Project Bamboo Program Manager
  • Institution/Organization: University of California, Berkeley
  • Name: Connor Riley
  • Email:
  • Title: Graduate Student Researcher, School of Information
  • Institution/Organization: University of California, Berkeley

Notes on Methodology:

The collectors recorded this interview; delineated various workflows discussed in the interview and wrote them using quotes from the interview. These were then reviewed and edited by the interviewee before being posted.


The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this narrative apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes?
    (e.g. "just this scholar", "many people in the scholar's field of inquiry", "all academics", etc.)
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar?
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals?
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated?


2. Suggested keywords: Does this narrative contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:


Within the German department, I am the co-ordinator of the Multicultural Germany Project, which maintains a website to compile a growing bibliography, filmography, and chronology, as a companion resource to the book Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955-2005 (University of California Press 2007),a collection of documents that presents post-war German history through the lense of migration, published by members of the project. We would like to employ someone to update and make improvements to this website, but so far have been unsuccessful. 
In the past, we have had graduate students in the department who have computer skills help build the site and keep it updated, but they tend to have other commitments and eventually move on. Additionally, we need to keep costs relatively low, so we are limited somewhat to looking for student workers to hire for this task. 
In order to find student workers, we have tried sending emails to mailing lists for departments whose students have the necessary skills, such as the School of Information and the Computer Science department. It's unclear whether we asked through the right channels or if there simply was no interest among students, but we so far have had no success finding student employees through these channels. 
Another task for which we need a skilled freelance employee is in editing video from special conferences and performances the department hosts. We have started to post edited videos of events that we organize in our electronic journal TRANSIT <>. Our efforts on this front remain rather dilettante, however, because we don't know anyone with the necessary skills, time and software who can film and edit the video for us. This is a relatively quick task, involving usually a few hours of work, and cost is a major factor in deciding who we can hire. 
This task presents more of a problem in terms of finding student workers, as Berkeley doesn't have a production-oriented Film Department. There are video editing resources on campus where we could perhaps post an advertisement, and we have tried networking to a certain extent by asking people with film or digital media experience if they know anyone who can help, but so far we have had no success.


When trying to find freelancers to complete a task, we need to be able to:

  • Contact as many people as possible
  • Make cost and speed of completion a priority
  • Contact people with the right skill set and tools
  • Contact people through the proper channels (previous emails to students mailing lists may have been ignored due to low readership, for example)
  • Limit our contacts to the Berkeley community if necessary Being connected to a marketplace of skilled workers both within the Berkeley community, for tasks that might require more personal communication, and outside the Berkeley community for access to a more diverse set of skills, would be a great resource.

Other Comments:

The information below was comprised when transcribing the interview, to make sure pieces were not missing.  If it is unhelpful, please disregard.


Identify a task we cannot do efficiently by ourselves 
Inquire within the department for people with the necessary skills 
Ask people with relevant connections outside the department for recommendations 
Send broadcast emails to other departments whose students have necessary skills 

Ingredients: Tools and Content Departmental mailing lists 
Graduate Students 
Center for New Media contacts 



Example Link