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Wikipedia Meets $16M Budget Goal

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the burn-that-portrait dept.

The Almighty Buck 255

netbuzz writes "Thanks to some 630,000 individual contributions that averaged $22 apiece, Wikipedia has reached its fundraising goal of $16 million, founder Jimmy Wales announced over the weekend. Writes Wales, '... this year is a little more incredible than most because this year we celebrate Wikipedia's tenth anniversary. It's so important that we kick the year off just like this: by fully funding the Wikimedia Foundation's budget to support Wikipedia and all the sister projects as we head into the next decade of our work together.' The online encyclopedia now boasts of being the Internet's fifth largest site, which renews questioning by some as to whether it can afford over the long haul to stand by its policy of refusing advertising."

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Pay to skip the ads (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743336)

I think we are increasingly moving toward a model where people will subscribe to sources of information/entertainment if they don't want to see the ads, or they will get a free version that includes ads (and possibly presents other limitations in format or content).

Wouldn't surprise me to see Wikipedia go this way.

First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll See (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743428)

Wouldn't surprise me to see Wikipedia go this way.

This is fine reasoning, even the opinion article linked to advocates this. But there is an important issue that needs to be addressed first and that is how ads are handled for each particular page. Google's highest bidder model is what I am most afraid of. These don't even have to be selling advertisements. For example if I went to the page on Anti-lock Braking Systems I would suspect automakers would pay large amounts of money to be the ad banner for that page with the simple statement of '<highest bidding automaker> provides the #1 ABS with a safety rating surpassing all others.'

And, though insanely lucrative, a part of me fears that this would really disrupt or even destroy the concept of a peer reviewed encyclopedia. When I edit a page and look at it, I don't want to see some banner ad with lies or half-truths at the top of it and you know as well as I that that is exactly what advertising degrades to. The problem is that online advertising has become so savvy that these pages would specifically be targeted en mass by manufacturers and bid on through whoever provides the advertising for Wikipedia. And I will make the statement that giving them the ability to put advertising would be severely detrimental to the integrity for Wikipedia ... if not for no one else than at least to a high degree for me.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743440)

Why not use something like this site, if you support the site, you can disable the ads.?

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743562)

Why not use something like this site, if you support the site, you can disable the ads.?

Actually, if you have been a registered member for long enough, you get this option anyway.

As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (2)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743694)

I always thought this was self-destructive behavior on Slashdot's part.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743962)

Why self destructive?

I have the option to disable the ads but I don't mind the one or two ads when it helps support this site and judging by other's comments here I'm not alone in this.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (5, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743976)

I always thought this was self-destructive behavior on Slashdot's part.

I can't speak for others but just the fact that I was given the option to block ads at the site level is enough for me to allow them. I feel that little checkbox is a sign of respect from this site and since I'm too cheap to pay to be a subscriber, I show my respect by leaving the ads in place.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744028)

I've always left the ads on for Slashdot, mostly because Slashdot's ads aren't annoying.

Now, for sites like Slate, or CNN, I use Adblock quite regularly, mostly because they love the FMV-With-Blasting-Audio ads and the "hey look it's a giant fucking flash video covering the article up, now hunt for the close icon that we camouflaged somewhere vaguely near one of the four corners to get it to fucking go away" ads.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743982)

Well there are probably a lot of casual readers who aren't even registered who don't get this option.. It makes sense to reward those with decent karma with an opt-out, they do contribute an essential part of slashdot..

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743728)

So why don't they do an Opt In ad system? I use wikipedia a lot, and I'm willing to see ads on it. Unlike other sites, Wikipedia can make the ad section blatantly obvious, so to distinguish between ads and content. You'd still have advertisers falling over themselves to advertise there.

Allowing the users to enable ads would be a nice way to supplement my $30 donation.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744296)

I agree with this, although honestly, if they can continue to make ends meet through donations, I think they should continue to do so until they project that they simply can't. And with good management, continued focus, and more than a little luck, that time may never come. I think they will be okay as long as they don't suddenly go berserk with some sort of flashy, expensive boondoggle project.

There is also my concern that once advertising shows up, a Somebody Else's Problem field might pop-up around Wikimedia, and contributors may start to assume that the ads are now paying the bills and that they don't need to contribute monetarily any more.

If they went with any ad-supported model, they would have to make it very clear that the ad is not part of the article, nor does the ad's information suggest that it is of the same quality as the article. I won't even call some of the crap that goes in Internet advertising a half-truth, a lot of it is just plain lies and deception. There is no place for such advertising to be supporting a project where people go to get facts, let alone present the possibility for such ads to be seen on the same page as that content.

Having said that, an opt-in system with respectable advertisements may make it easier for lazy, busy, or poor people to donate by doing some clicking. I use Wikipedia alone enough to not want to begrudge them a huge potential source of income if it will actually improve the site and the viewers are willing to tolerate it by their own choice.

When I read some articles off the beaten path about certain companies and products, they do read like they are copied verbatim from a company's literature about itself. Which is probably exactly what is happening, either because its an easy way to get verbiage for a new article, or because their staff is making the entry. This is one of the more well known drawbacks of the model. Bearing that in mind, advertising may not be able to do any more damage to the factual nature of the content as the authors themselves might be doing anyway. At least ads will have something marking off their fiction from the reputedly factual portion of the page.

Re:First Address Targeted Advertising, Then We'll (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744326)

Wikipedia can make the ad section blatantly obvious, so to distinguish between ads and content.

I think you missed eldavojohn's point. The fear is that the ads will inevitably leak into the content -- that is, not only will you have the "blatantly obvious" ads on some separate section of the page, you'll also have content rewritten to push products. And this fear is quite justified. Any time you take money from someone, you have aligned your interests with theirs. We /.ers love to complain, with good reason, about the "Senator from Disney" and the blatant corporate spin in the mass media, and it's easy enough to see why this happens: campaign contributions and advertising money set the agenda. There's no particular reason to assume Wikipedia would be immune to this sort of corruption.

Re:Pay to skip the ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743446)

And its no longer a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

MOD PARENT DOWN!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743714)

This is a 100% bona-fide TROLL. Mod parent down, or be burned at the stake.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743840)

Blow your daddy wikipedia sucks and is full of lies

Re:Pay to skip the ads (5, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743718)

I think we are increasingly moving toward a model where people will subscribe to sources of information/entertainment if they don't want to see the ads, or they will get a free version that includes ads (and possibly presents other limitations in format or content).

Wouldn't surprise me to see Wikipedia go this way.

Honestly, I would expect them to stay just the way they are, if they want to badly enough. Think about it: They're already the fifth most popular website. They are unlikely to become substantially more popular than that, which means that their operation costs are already close to their peak level. Now consider this:
1) The cost of bandwidth and servers, which has got to be some large fraction of their expenses, go down over time.
2) They made their financing goal for this year, a year in which by (1) their costs are likely to be higher than in future years.

Also, $16M in the scheme of things is not a lot of money. If that's their yearly budget then all it would take is one billionaire to provide them a $350M or so endowment in a will or something and they would be set forever just on the interest. (That is, once interest rates get back above 0% again.)

Realistically, the biggest threat to Wikipedia is ISPs violating network neutrality. If Wikipedia had to pay whatever tithe each ISP decided they were entitled to in order to reach their subjects, that could explode their costs pretty quickly and require them to seek other sources of funding.

Re:Pay to skip the ads (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743828)

... or Wikipedia could just refuse to pay a single penny, and go ahead and let that ISP cut them off (or degrade the performance to the point of frustration/unusability). Within 2 days that ISP's support lines would be flooded with angry callers wondering what happened to the source of information they pretty much rely on to run their lives.

TFA misses the point (3, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744260)

TFA misses the point.

He's used to dealing with companies whose goal is to make money.

The goal of Wikipedia is not to make money.

The goal is to have reliable, objective information, and it's an ongoing effort to do that already.

Advertising will make it worse. If Pepsi-Cola is a major advertiser, will that affect the presence of unflattering material on Pepsi-Cola's page? The experience of advertiser influence on print and broadcasting media is that it will.

Financial analysts made similar recommendations for Craigslist. Craigslist could make more money if they took advertising. But the purpose of Craigslist wasn't to make money. Craig already had money. He wanted to do something cool.

It's like saying, "Your household is operating according to the wrong model. If your wife were to work as an escort, and if you were to sell your children for body parts, you could make a lot more money." But the purpose of your household isn't to maximize your income.

Hey! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743344)

You're not supposed to cite Wikipedia!

Re:Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743830)

They are the First Foundation.

Re:Hey! (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744120)

That's OK, as long as the Second Foundation isn't Windows Presentation Foundation.

I don't normally say this, but... (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743356)

...I'd be fine with advertising on Wikipedia, so long as it's the silent, non-flyover non-flash on-topic kind. Actually, Google Adwords would go perfectly on there...it would remain unobtrusive, stay topical, and provide some income.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743396)

Except that Google Adwords has requirements about the content, which is why Wikipedia doesn't do that: they don't want to be restricted to what the advertiser wants.

(For example, Google might consider the "Bikini Waxing" article to be porn)

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743430)

Wikipedia is the fifth largest website in the world.

I'm sure Google would be willing to create a special policy for it.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (2, Informative)

GoCoGi (716063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743618)

Yes, and after Wikipedia has become dependend on the income from Google they can start changing the policy as they wish.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (3, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743712)

Yes, and after Wikipedia has become dependend on the income from Google they can start changing the policy as they wish.

So Wikipedia should ask for the policy to be specified contractually, with a specified re-negotiation interval and a defined re-negotiation process that requires mutual agreement for any changes. The contract should also specify that either party may walk away, but that, say, six months' notice is required. That would give Google an out, but ensure that Wikipedia has time to restructure their fundraising.

Really, all of these sorts of problems can be solved. This is what contract negotiation is for.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743978)

I think the 5th largest website will have no problem finding a replacement for something as simple as a text ad service that is willing to negotiate.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743438)

Isn't there an option in AdWords to use a preselected set of advertising if no "automatically generated" advertising is found based on the web page? As in, couldn't they just leave the adwords box blank for certain pages? It wouldn't be that hard to automate, if what I'm thinking is accurate...

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743852)

(For example, Google might consider the "Bikini Waxing" article to be porn)

Couldn't Google simply choose not to advertise on that page?

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743406)

...and easily blocked by a variety of add-ons/extensions/adblockers. Works for me.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743462)

See, everyone wins!

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743484)

I've been saying this for a while, and I'm sure advertisers have been foaming at the mouth. I don't see anything wrong with non-invasive ads that are topical to the page I'm viewing. If I'm reading a history article maybe I would actually click on an ad that shows some related books at amazon.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (2)

tukang (1209392) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743944)

Maybe a lot of articles will suddenly become related to products. Pass

Opt in system (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743950)

Wikipedia might be a good candidate for opt in advertising. Leave ads out by default, but give us the option of indirectly paying for usage. Who knows, opt in ads on Wikipedia might even be able to generate more revenue per view than most places.

Re:I don't normally say this, but... (2)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744176)

Google Adwords would go perfectly on there...it would remain unobtrusive, stay topical, and provide some income

Provide some income, yes. The rest is subjective, and for many people false. When I look up encyclopedic or scientific information, any ad on the same page would be obtrusive and not topical: I did not ask for this information, and it has NOTHING to do with my query. When I look up "shoe" in an encyclopedia, I want to see encyclopedic material, not a link to nike.com. This is because Nike provides actual shoes, and not objective factual information about shoes. In fact, Nike is notorious for bullshitting and lying through their teeth in their shoe information releases, a.k.a. "ads".

And when I want to buy something, then may be I'll use Google, TYVM.

Begging (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743358)

Is begging for donations every year really a viable model for one of the most popular websites in the world?

Re:Begging (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743374)

Ask NPR, it has been their business model for quite some time.

Re:Begging (4, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743520)

Sometimes I feel like I prefer the ads than the constantly begging for money...

Re:Begging (5, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743760)

I prefer to put my money where my mouth is and support public radio. After not watching any commercial news for probably the last few years and just relying on NPR and BBC for the most part, I happened to visit a relative when the TV news came on. I am not exaggerating when I say the news show had a jittery cartoon-like appearance in its speech and presentation style. And it was mostly commercials. That is the mindless garbage you get when you let someone else pay for your news.

Re:Begging (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743874)

That's why NPR does both! "This listener supported show is brought to you by Gigantacorp. Gigantacorp: trying to fuck you in the ass since 1952. And by listeners like you. Who donated. Which you don't. Fucker."

I wouldn't mind as much except that NPR gets tax money. And, no, it's not a small amount either, NPR loves to pretend that it is by simply not counting the grants they get via parties that are solely funded by tax money. Plus they ignore that listener donations are tax writeoffs, meaning that they too are effectively tax dollars.

So either ditch the tax money, or ditch the ads. I'd go with ditching the tax money personally, since it's not like NPR produces non-biased anything. Might as well admit it and just be the full-on corporate whores they actually are.

Re:Begging (4, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743966)

>Sometimes I feel like I prefer the ads than the constantly begging for money...

Indeed ... until, I's warrant, you have reason to consider the power and influence the companies that adverise, then exert over the content broadcast.

Corporate censorship is pernicious as government censorship (esp. as we've seen recently where the two walk arm-in-arm).

Re:Begging (3, Insightful)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744266)

That's great, because Wikimedia is not begging. They would be begging if they gave you nothing in return. As it stands, they encourage you to become a patron. When people slander them by calling them beggars, it only shows how little these people appreciate the Foundation's work.

Re:Begging (3, Funny)

JDRucker (1828236) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743616)

But NPR doesn't have a creepy stare hovering over you as you watch all of their content.

Re:Begging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743382)

Is wikipedia up and running?

Both questions have the same answer.

Re:Begging (1)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743486)

Worked so far hasn't it? However like they've said, costs are increasing every year, so in the coming years you may indeed be right.

and (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743642)

using a communal resource freely and not donating for its costs, a viable model for decent behavior ?

Ad campaign = less viewership (4, Interesting)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743388)

That begging campaign got so annoying that I haven't been to wikipedia in the last two months. I don't think I'll go back either, so consider that my contribution -- an infinitesimal decrease in server load and bandwidth required to keep the site running.

Re:Ad campaign = less viewership (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743466)

That begging campaign got so annoying that I haven't been to wikipedia in the last two months.

The non-invasive banner ad at the top was too much for you? Or was it the begging?

Re:Ad campaign = less viewership (5, Funny)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743506)

It was the non-stop display of smug holier-than-thou photos of Jimmy Wales and all his cronies that did it for me.

Re:Ad campaign = less viewership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743606)

It was the non-stop display of smug holier-than-thou photos of Jimmy Wales and all his cronies that did it for me.

I'd much rather see a static picture of Mr. Wales than Punch the Monkey (now! or else!)... or whatever banner ads are nowadays.

Re:Ad campaign = less viewership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743948)

Jimmy Wales is my god.

Re:Ad campaign = less viewership (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744040)

It was the non-stop display of smug holier-than-thou photos of Jimmy Wales and all his cronies that did it for me.

Just think of it... The Jimmy Wales mug, the Time Magazine mug from Zuckerberg, and the mug of Cristopher Walken.

All staring at you. Staring deep into your soul.

Wales wants what you have. Zuck knows what you have. And Walken will be damned if he doesn't convince you to give it to them.

Re:Ad campaign = less viewership (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743578)

The non-invasive banner ad at the top was too much for you? Or was it the begging?

Actually I found it incredibly annoying. If they only had size attributes on the image it would've been a lot better. Unfortunately almost every time I went to an article and tried to follow a link before the image loaded I ended up clicking on something else as the browser moved the page down...

Re:Ad campaign = less viewership (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743784)

For me it was the incompetence. After the first ten times I've closed your fucking ad, stop showing it to me. It's obviously a waste of everyone's bandwidth (assuming I visit enough other sites to remove it from my cache...)

oh gee. alright. (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743654)

so, because they begged, you are not going to wikipedia. before, you had no issues using the communal resource everyone came together and created, for FREE. however, when they asked you to give a hand for the costs, you have suddenly got irritated.

maybe its good that you are contributing to the effort, by not going.

Re:oh gee. alright. (2)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743974)

I quit contributing when the "editors" started going completely bonkers a couple years back. Prior to that, I contributed to articles fairly frequently, and money on occasion.

But enjoy your high horse.

Re:oh gee. alright. (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744116)

then tell it LIKE that. you said begging campaign annoyed you. thats worlds apart from what you are saying now.

way to go people (0)

jtrainor (820767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743394)

You've just contributed to a website where people argue constantly over who's poop should appear as a picture in the article about poop.

Re:way to go people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743448)

yeah and that's about like, 0,001% of the whole content in Wikipedia?

Re:way to go people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743476)

[citation needed]

Re:way to go people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743514)

if it makes you feel better all that money is probably going to wikimedia side-projects few will ever care about!

A real pity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743408)

Such a big site and no advertising. Oh, what a waste!

For the sarcasm challenged: NOT! (just in case).

Thanks for paying for my free info source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743454)

Suckers! I ain't ever giving them a cent.

Advertising is evil (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743464)

To quote TFA: "Advertising is not evil."

I beg to dissent. Advertising is evil. It could destroy Wikipedia, making it a selling its precious body to the economic interests of its advertisers.

On the other end, such an important thing has outlived its business model. I agree it can't survive on donations.

Now, if an illuminated biG market player could take it on itself, standing forever to the no-adv policy, wouldn't that be Great?

Re:Advertising is evil (3, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743750)

I'm going to assume your "biG" is a Google reference.

So you're saying that Google, a company that makes almost every penny of its income in the form of advertising revenue, should buy Wikipedia and offer it as a free service to everyone, denying themselves the only possible reason they'd ever want to buy it?

Don't get me wrong, having Google support Wikipedia is a great idea given their drive and desire to make information available to all (Google Maps/Earth, Google Books, etc), but there would have to be ads.

If Google did it, it would probably be AdWords, so it wouldn't be terribly intrusive and the ads would be useful, but there would be ads. And google-analytics, which wouldn't be even less desirable.

Bad Maths [citation needed] (0)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743542)

630,000 individual contributions that averaged $22

630,000*22=13,860,000
13,860,000 < 16,000,000
?!

Re:Bad Maths [citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743602)

^^^ Bad understanding of averages

Re:Bad Maths [citation needed] (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743686)

630,000 individual contributions that averaged $22

630,000*22=13,860,000
13,860,000 is less than 16,000,000
?!

^^^ Bad understanding of averages

^^^ bad understanding of well-established vernacular.

OP is correct if 'average' is taken to refer to arithmatic mean, which it (almost always) does. The major exception, unsurprisingly, seems to be when dealing with passive-aggressive aspies (aka wikipedians).

Re:Bad Maths [citation needed] (2)

ToreTS (811203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743822)

Correct understanding of averages, actually.

Re:Bad Maths [citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743638)

16,000,000 / 22 ~= 727,272

I guess 727,272 falls into the range "some 630,000 individual contributions" OR they used a different definition of average.

Re:Bad Maths [citation needed] (4, Informative)

Aldanga (1757414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743652)

TFA says:

More than 500,000 donations averaging $22 apiece were made to the Wikimedia Foundation, while local Wikipedia chapters generated another 130,000 gifts worldwide.

The summary is incorrect.

Re:Bad Maths [citation needed] (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744156)

WHA-aat?! The summary is incorrect, say it ain't so.

To the point being made, it appears the person summarizing the article tried to state the donation information, More than 500,000 donations averaging $22 apiece..., to 630,000 individual contributions that averaged $22. Both statements seem to indicate that there are other contributions. (Individual contribs do not include corporate contribs, do they? And "more than 500,000" could mean 630,000 or 630,000,000 or 500,001.) However, the "more than" statement is easier to read and understand that it was likely a lot more than 500,001.

"renews questioning by some" (1)

shallot (172865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743558)

renews questioning by some

Well, from the looks of it, it seems to have only re-invoked the same old perpetual whining. I know January 3rd is a slow news day, but seriously, again with the generic, unsubstantiated argument?

Re:"renews questioning by some" (1)

ToreTS (811203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743850)

Funny that they used that wording in an article on Wikipedia. In their early days, they were known for using a lot of unsubstantiated claims in articles of the form "Some argue that..." They've cracked down on it though, and implemented a "Weasel Word Policy" that prohibits such vague claims.

I hope... (5, Funny)

ido50 (967259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743574)

I hope that means I won't have to see Jimbo's creepy face any more.

Ads? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743586)

I don't care what I will be rated, I just want to say fuck advertising.

Re:Ads? (2)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743704)

You brave anonymous coward.

Just die (-1, Troll)

trifish (826353) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743604)

andnothingofvaluewillbelost

(Plenty of karma to burn, so feel free, I don't care.)

speak for yourself (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743664)

i have used wikipedia to great extent. only witless morons who are not able to notice citation and references the articles are constructed from, talk blabberscrap about wikipedia.

Re:speak for yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743708)

or edit articles and get slapped down by mods

Mostly Donated By ... (1)

ardeez (1614603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743672)

Mostly donated by journalists :-)

Wikipedia, too big to fail!!!

Hey, I know... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743730)

Just collect a tax on ISPs and distribute it to content producers!

(ducks)

Jimmy Wales Not "The Founder" (5, Informative)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743744)

Obligatory just-to-try-set-the-record-straight (as the summary perpetuates the common myth) Jimmy Wales isn't "the" founder of Wikipedia, he didn't come up with the idea for Wikipedia, didn't agree with the idea initially and had to be convinced, didn't come up with the name, didn't build the initial software, and didn't create the first Wikipedia community. Most of the credit for all of the above goes to co-founder Larry Sanger; in the beginning Wales acknowledged this but he has since been attempting to rewrite history by going around marketing himself as "the founder" of Wikipedia. He is at very best "co-founder".

http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/archives/001424.html [sethf.com]

I just believe strongly in credit where credit is due, and in not taking credit for other people's work.

Re:Jimmy Wales Not "The Founder" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743878)

Sanger also left Wikipedia in 2002 and regularly wrote articles discussing why Wikipedia doesn't work. At least Wales bothered to stick around and have some faith.

Re:Jimmy Wales Not "The Founder" (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744252)

Sanger also created Citizendum, which is an alternative to Wikipedia, but it didn't have as much media exposure as Wikipedia.

Re:Jimmy Wales Not "The Founder" (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744292)

Sanger also left Wikipedia in 2002 and regularly wrote articles discussing why Wikipedia doesn't work. At least Wales bothered to stick around and have some faith.

Which does nothing to change the fact that Sanger is the co-founder and Wales is the co-founder. These are facts that cannot be changed by their actions before or after the fact.

Why would a large site need ads? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743896)

The online encyclopedia now boasts of being the Internet's fifth largest site, which renews questioning by some as to whether it can afford over the long haul to stand by its policy of refusing advertising.

Disk space is cheap.

Was the ad cost-effective? (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743916)

That banner ad wasn't just annoying - it was a rather large image, and it changed often enough that it wasn't always in cache. Given that, I suspect the ad itself was responsible for quite a bit of server load - possibly more than it brought in. I also doubt the ad was that effective. It could even have been counter-productive - "Jimmy is watching you" photoshops are now a minor meme, and not the kind an advertising agency wants to create.

So, we have an ad that was (for a non-profit) somewhat expensive, and was not (in my estimation) particularly effective. I would like to see some more in-depth analysis of that ad's cost-effectiveness, or lack thereof.

Re:Was the ad cost-effective? (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744294)

Yeah I think 16mil dollar covered that

I would have donated... (4, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34743918)

I would have donated, but apparently I'm not notable enough, and so my donation was speedily deleted.

What does it matter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743942)

Just for the sake of argument.. how does the debate even matter?

To see a comment like "The ads got so annoying..." Really? Your life is so complete, viewing a plea to support a resource makes using the resource itself not worthwhile? This is the decline of civilization, the Wal-Martification of society, and the stratification that will always ensure a knowledge gap.

Thought exercise...

An average of $22 to bypass refinance your home, cosmetics, celebrity gossip, and entertainment ads... $22 that does not support industries which contribute nothing to the world more than an ability to kill a few minutes of your life and allocate some of your income, but rather directly supports dissemination of knowledge in a way earlier periods of civilization would have KILLED for. (for realz) Kinda Fight Club, but very true how absolutely fruitless most of our endeavors are.. Sports? Movies? Cosmetics? Convenience foods? Follow the money, how do any of these pursuits lead to any degree of honestly enriching a life?

Not that there would ever be enough inertia anywhere in society to make intelligent decisions that lead to responsible politics, energy efficient transportation, tolerance, reasonable healthcare....

IDK, to hear "those Jimmy Wales ads are so annoying i stopped using Wikipedia"... on behalf of thousands of monks whose life work was copying documentation in hopes to spread or preserve knowledge, as well as millions of peasants who struggled to keep their kids healthy or give them a broader view of the world, i just wanna say y'all can poke fun, but get some goddamned perspective and stop being worthless douchebags

Burn Rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34743956)

Why does a not for profit company have a burn rate of 16 million a year?

Re:Burn Rate (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744046)

Jimbo needs more money, man, you know... he's gotta feed the monkey.

Didn't that occur to you, man?

wikipedia - live dvd (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744142)

Maybe I'm too old or daft; Does anyone remember when you could get encyclopedias in *book* form?

What would happen if wikipedia sold liveDVD sets? I'm thinking a cdrom to boot (think "toram") with firefox and appropriate index; then a set of DVDs that you swap in to search for whatever. Hell, I'd pay to install the datasets on a 500GB hard drive.

Is this feasable?

Create a permanent fund (1)

mpsi (1745762) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744172)

What they should aim for is to establish a permanent fund to get revenue on the interest, in a manner of Nobel prize. And guys like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could make a better name for themselves and better contribution to the humanity by permanently funding Wikipedia than by what philantropic projects they fund now.

Ignore and everything will be ok! (3, Funny)

santiam (1279644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744222)

Who knew that I could just ignore all the pleas and everything would turn out ok.

Now that I know that it works, I will apply it to all my problems throughout my life!

Ads?? But the annual fund raiser was a success! (5, Insightful)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744226)

I can't understand the mentality of the story summary.

The news is: the annual fund raiser was a success. It raised more money than ever before, in a shorter time than the previous fund raisers.

How does raising oodles of money without ads make someone wonder if ads will soon be required?

The news story answers this question: No, there is clearly no need for ads.

Ads could even ruin Wikipedia's funding model. Would so many people donate if there were ads and if Wikipedia had a conflict of interest (don't offend the advertisers)?

It is called pushing your point! (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744298)

The point is that some people just can't accept that a successfull site can be run without ads. So they use every single event to push their idea EVEN if the event disproves it. See climate change denialist. Hottest year, coldest winter but everything is just fine...

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