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

Heather Ford hfordsa at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 01:45:10 CET 2011

I agree with you (mostly), Dror. I was a part of the Wikimedia 
Foundation Advisory Board once and an enthusiastic contributor as you 
were. I'm still enthusiastic about the potential - I just feel like 
there are problems here that will not be solved by money alone.

On 2011/02/06 12:25 PM, Dror Kamir wrote:
> 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.
> Dror
> 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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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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