Welcome to the March issue of Contributoria.
The theme of the issue around a ‘sense of self and sense of place’ emerged during the month as the proposals transformed into fully fledged articles dealing with some complex issues of our time.
Whether you choose to read first the frank look at gender which Allison Declercq wrote about, or the extreme displacement of people Raymond Joseph found talking to the people of Blikkiesdorp In South Africa , or maybe you’ll be surprised by the plight of the Roma in the liberal democracy of Sweden, the fundamental issues of identity and position are addressed from many viewpoints in the world.
The past month has also been a hive of activity for the Contributoria team. Under the bonnet there’s some big changes which open up new funding pathways for our writers - read about those in detail here.
There’s also some smaller changes which you might have missed including a system of notifications to help writers keep track on the progress and comments on their articles as well as giving writer’s profiles more prominence by including them onto the proposal and articles directly.
Away from the technology, I was very pleased to get the opportunity to meet with a group of our South African writers. Thanks to an invitation from the South African Freelance Association, I was able to talk with members in Cape Town while being simultaneously being broadcast into other locations including Johannesburg and Durban - a first for all of us!
Many questions arose, and, not unexpectedly, the question of points exchange was discussed. Last month’s points rate conversion was steep, we know. The rate does change all the time and can, as they say in those finance ads, go up as well as down.
The rate was adjusted in February based on the high rate of growth we’ve been experiencing over recent months and was clearly a bigger adjustment than previous months. It was maybe too big a change, it’s not an exact science, and the rate was eventually softened towards the end of the month.
For the next month, we hope the new funding opportunities, new technology features and increased pool of members - together with the seemingly endless ingenuity and hard work of our writers - will mean an exciting, collaborative and profitable period, for us all.
Sarah, Dan, Matt.