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

Dror Kamir dqamir at bezeqint.net
Sun Feb 6 21:25:17 CET 2011

Wikipedia is only one of the projects of the Wikimedia Foundation. Their 
goal, as they present it, is to encourage free content policy and to 
support the creation and distribution of free content worldwide. They do 
manage to collect more donations each year (although they present it as 
"money for Wikipedia", since this is the "brand" that everyone knows), 
and they do spend more every year. And yet it would be wrong to judge 
the usefulness of these spending by the activity on Wikipedia. The 
question is whether they are successful in promoting the entire aspects 
of their goal. I don't have a decisive answer to that, partially because 
some of their new ideas are in a very early stage (that is, money is 
already spent for hiring people and planning, but it is hard to tell 
whether there will be fruits at the end of the road).

Disclosure: I used to be an enthusiastic volunteer of the WM Foundation 
and even traveled to conferences on their expanse. I'm still involved in 
some of their project, though much less than I used too. To be honest, I 
have never been in full agreement with the Foundation's policy, but I 
value their work.


בתאריך 06/02/11 19:41, ציטוט Heather Ford:

> 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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