<CPOV> post-10 years' celebrations, the add debate once again?

Heather Ford hfordsa at gmail.com
Sun Feb 6 18:41:27 CET 2011

Re. Hunter's piece, seems amazing to me how much there is about how 
Wikipedia could better raise its money without looking at the 
Foundation's rapidly increasing operating budget. Hunter says that 
Wikipedia 'depressingly, seems to be perpetually on the fringe of 
solvency'. But if you look at the Wikimedia Foundation Financial Reports 
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports you'll see how 
well they're doing financially and how every year seem to make comments 
about how they raised more money than they ever wanted. See below:

'The total operating budget for the 2010-11 annual plan is $20.4 
million. In comparison, 2009-10 projected spending will be $8.7 million 
(against a plan of $9.4 million). In 2008-09, the Foundation spent (cash 
expenses excluding depreciation and in-kind expenses) $5.2 million; in 
2007-08, $3.0 million; in 06-07, $1.4 million; in 05-06 $0.5 million; in 
04-05 $0.1 million. In general, spending has increased every year, as 
the projects and the organization have grown.'

Um. But Wikipedia - at least the English version - is stagnating, right? 
Is all this extra spending necessary/worthwhile? Would love to have this 
debate before working out how to feed the ever-growing beast.

On 2011/02/06 12:01 AM, Dror Kamir wrote:
> Hi,
> I tend to agree with the first talkback - This idea is even worse than 
> introducing ads, it is actually a proposal to introduce covert 
> advertising.
> Ads are not merely an aesthetic nuisance (on the contrary - in many 
> cases they are very artistic and aesthetic). Ads are a tool used for 
> persuading people, and as such they can turn into harassment (like 
> having a group of people going with you wherever you go, each of them 
> try to persuade you to do something or think something. Unless these 
> "people" are ads, such an experience justify calling the police or 
> having a psychiatric examination). Ads are also, by definition, 
> biased, while Wikipedia still tries to adhere to neutral point of view 
> (hopefully).
> Marking ads and/or separating them from the regular content of 
> newspapers, magazines, TV shows etc. is a common practice to ensure 
> fairness. Commercial productions sometime use covert advertisement, 
> but WP is not a commercial production, and if regular ads seem 
> inappropriate to many Wikipedians, covert advertisement would be even 
> worse.
> Dror
> בתאריך 05/02/11 23:42, ציטוט Geert Lovink:
>> http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/05/wikipedia-affiliate-links/
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Heather Ford
UC Berkeley School of Information
http://hblog.org | https://twitter.com/hfordsa
New blog on information privacy and identity:

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