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Wikipedia Founder Releases Personal Appeal

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the give-the-gift-of-knowledge dept.

The Internet 444

brian0918 writes "In an apparent reply to the low turnout for their fourth quarter fundraiser, Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales has just released a personal appeal for donations to the Wikimedia Foundation. 'Wikipedia is soon to enter our 6th year online, and I want to take a moment to ask you for your help in continuing our mission. Wikipedia is facing new challenges and encountering new opportunities, and both are going to require major funds.'" The fund drive will run until Friday, January 6th.

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Donate, I did! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379093)

I made a genarous donation.

Then I went back and edited it. Now Wikipedia owes me money!

Re:Donate, I did! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379140)

Considering your spelling you will honestly need the money to finish College first.

Re:Donate, I did! (3, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379265)

you will honestly need the money to finish College first.

Gee, what college sent you the mail-order degree? He should graduate from the eighth grade first.

energy is liberated through blasphemy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379095)

Please remember that "Energy is liberated when an individual breaks through rules of conditioning with some glorious act of disobedience or blasphemy. This energy strengthens the spirit and gives courage for further acts of insurrection. Help me defile gOd and his name.

Jehovah fucking Yahweh, I curse you in the name of Satan the Almighty. Evil lives in me and I walk with Satan all the days of my life cursing and mocking you god (the dog), filthy fucking maggot. My hate grows by the second as I dream of the day when you are under my feet begging for my cock.

God I rape you and hurl blasphemy into your mind. I demand you to come down from heaven right now and get down on your stomach in front of me, lifting your asshole up to receive my cock. God I promise to fuck you and I long to rip your eyes out, kick you in the face, mutilate you, and bathing in your blood. Listen to me, I'm screaming
in your ears to come to earth and in this room for I will have my way with you, oh most cursed god of heaven (you foul piece of shit). Satan is my God and he will force you to drink cum from my dick. I will never stop sinning and blaspheming your name, presents, existence, and most of all the rotten, putrid holy spirit that fucked the mother of gOd and pregnanted that slut with jesus christ.

I stand before all the angles and saints, gOd, jesus fucking christ, mary the whore of gOd, the filthy holy spirit, and they are witnessing my denouncement of you gOd, and my ongoing blasphemy of the holy spirit. I am purposely cursing the holy spirit and its purity and will defy you god and the holy spirit all the wicked days of my sin filled life. My soul is full of evil thoughts and sins, its black with pure hatred of anything holy.

God, I will find new ways to defile and blasphemy you, because I'm seeking evil every second of my life. That is all my mind can think about. You're pain is my desire, you're name I mock, your son I defy, your mother I fuck, and your spirit I cum in.

The only prayers from me are prayers of hate and blasphemy, evil is a part of me, it dwells in my soul, cursing everything about you is the most important part of my existence, total darkness is inside of me. gOd I will rip you out of heaven and force you under my feet you fuck pig. You will listen to all my demands. I will slip into heaven and I will rape all the angels and saints and will kill them in your unholy putrid name. God I will kill you and bath in your blood. Holy spirit I demand you to listen to my hatred of your foul existence, drink my cum, and remember my blasphemy against you, you putrid, rotten, vile spirit of gOd.

I'm the meaning of gOd's pain. This is the way that you will die dog gOd. It will be a slow death, the joy of killing you will make my cock hard, I know you will feel my showers of hate and you will feel extreme pain as I beat your body and make every inch of your body black and blue. I force you bastard Jehovah to the ground and I will
put you under my feet where you belong, you putrid bastard. God you will try to run but I will strap you down and fuck your soul before I rip it out of your body. God "the dog", your life is worthless, for I'm the angel from your new God "Satan". I destroy everything holy, you are felling my hatred pierce your mind intensely, inferior god "dog" you fucking maggot. You will be screaming in pain as I strap you down under my feet, you will look up at me and I will piss down your throat.

I'm so consumed with hatred of you that I will masturbate, and when I feel that I'm about to cum, I force my evil cock full of Satan's cum down your mouth and fill it up with my vile hot cum. I will be pumping your body full of my hot cum. Inside your brain is my blasphemy. The pressure in your skull begins push through your eyes,
burning your flesh, and I laugh as it drips away. Heat burns your skin; your mind starts to boil with my blasphemy, and pure evil hatred of your fucking existence. You will not last long; it's just a matter of time until your ripped apart with my hands. You will be floating in a sea of your blood, smelling your death as it burns. My wicked cum is deep inside you as I skin you. You're eyes will bleed as you pray to me for the end of you're wide-awake nightmare. Waves of pain rap around you're soul, death is staring down at you, your blood is draining fast as I'm injecting hatred into your soul, and dying heart, with wicked sweet Blasphemy and hot cum. The demons are dancing with the thought of you in hell. Pathetic god "dog" how does it feel, you're dieing and I'm celebrating your
pain. I live to hurt and defile you the rancid god of heaven. Satan is calling you're cursed name, Satan takes you're soul dear god, and raps his cock around it. In my hand is you're heart and my cock is resting on it. I can't wait any longer so I cum inside your heart bursting it apart with my explosion of evil vile cum. I crush what is left of your heart into the dirt. The dog god is finally dead and he is burning brightly in hell as cum drips down my leg.

Google (5, Insightful)

u16084 (832406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379098)

Im sure Google will be more than happy to help

Re:Google (1)

u16084 (832406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379302)

FlameBait? GoogleADs are flamebait?? - It will Solve of their problems.

first donation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379100)

anyone second this donation?

Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379101)

That was oddly perfect time for some hit pieces in the media, wasn't it?

How can they survive non-commercially? (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379102)

I was always very surprised at how much Wikipedia took in during fund raising drives -- I use Wiki on rare occasions but always felt I should throw them a few bucks.

The problem, from what I can tell, is that as more people contribute article text, they seem to feel they have less reason to contribute financially -- which may be true.

I like seeing how Wikis have become more neutral over time, and I think we do have a great need for an information store like Wikipedia, but I don't see how it can sustain itself in the long run (at least for free). They're facing the same dilemma that many not-for-profit information companies are: people seem to have less money today than they did a few years ago. My charitable contributions have gone UP this year, but I spend all my charity dollars locally where I can see them making a difference. I'm not certain if I want to give to Wiki without knowing how the money is used. I don't mind supporting dozens of servers and bandwidth fees, but I don't want to see the founder driving a Porsche.

Note that I'm not against profitable companies -- I just don't trust not-for-profits with my money. If Wiki became subscriber only, I'd definitely subscribe, but would the quality or quantity of articles drop if the user base dropped from closing it off? For sure.

Wikipedia, and every other freely available information store, will have to find news ways to generate income. I don't believe they'll add advertisements, but I don't see what other ways they can break even. Maybe offering pay-for-articles for vanity or for advertisement but mark it as such? Just like privately funded libraries were ways for the wealthy to gain immortality, maybe Wiki will offer the "bronze plaques" so the billionaires can get recognition for their "altruism."

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (1)

NaruVonWilkins (844204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379142)

Considering that nobody's found a solution like what you're describing, perhaps it can't exist in our current economic system.

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (0, Troll)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379159)

And what's worse, it's highly popular among the "alternative" OS / FOSS crowd... who're also the ones least likely to pay for anything.

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (5, Interesting)

manavendra (688020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379194)

I agree. However, I also believe such public-interest systems *have* to be self-sufficient if they are to truly serve the purpose of providing free information to the child in Africa reeling under crushing poverty, or the future generations being able to access unbiased info.

I'm sure discussions in this domain have happened quite a few times in the past, however, but perhaps with growing penetration/contribution, it maybe be time to look for alternate sources of revenue - for example, the much-used ad-based model?

Or maybe I'm opening a whole new can of worms here...

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (0)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379205)

I don't know if I believe in the term "public interest." If the public has a need, there will always be commercial money for that need, in some way. Yet the initial market for Wikipedia was the F/OSS market, a customer base who doesn't seem to have money to spend. If Wikipedia switches to the commercial market, they'll lose the F/OSS market possibly, but is that a bad thing? Do the F/OSS advocates who sell out really care about their old crowd?

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (2, Insightful)

manavendra (688020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379273)

Hmm. Whilst I do agree with the "if there's a demand, there shall be a product" credo, it may not always be so. A project of this size, complexity, flexibility, and skill-demanding may not always be deemed economically feasible

I don't quite believe the F/OSS customer base doesn't have money to spend. If they did not any money to spend the project wouldn't have gone one for 6 years.

Switching to a commercial market may not be a bad thing, but who's to say it won't lose its (growing) neutrality on issues?

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379320)

You're right on all accounts -- but how many dotcom geeks are left to spend money openly on F/OSS projects?

Maybe they don't need money, maybe they need a big hosting company to donate the servers and bandwidth freely in exchange for a tagline:

Wikipedia
Hostly freely by GoDaddy

Or something of the sort.

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (5, Informative)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379255)

I'm not certain if I want to give to Wiki without knowing how the money is used. I don't mind supporting dozens of servers and bandwidth fees, but I don't want to see the founder driving a Porsche.

There's a budget on-line, a quick read of it shows that the founder isn't paid a salary. Still, I do understand your point, I aim my charitable donations and volunteer work very carefully myself.

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379286)

I've reviewed it.

My problem is that it is very hard for me to trust the charities to handle my money properly. I've always thought about how charities could detail their money coming in and their money going out, and I came up with a solution. I'm not sure if anyone already has used this solution, so I don't know if its new and unique or already something everyone (but me) knew.

First, every donation would get a receipt number (say 2006010112321.0005000). The receipt number would contain the amount donated at the end (US$50.00 in this case). The charity would post EVERY donation receipt number and a total of all donations.

This would allow every person who donated to confirm that their donation was actually listed on the site. If your donation didn't make it to the site, you know it was embezzled or laundered out of the charity. This is a good checks-and-balances solution to making sure the charity is disclosing all the money it receives.

A not-for-profit who wants my money should also display money going OUT and how it was spent -- you can easily scan and publish receipts for services and products purchased. In the end, I don't want to see huge salaries and wasted money on trips and events that are more vacations than charity work. For those, I'd rather pay a for-profit company that competes than an not-for-profit company that is really a for-profit company in disguise.

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379299)

I aim my charitable donations and volunteer work very carefully myself.

Lot of that goin' around.

KFG

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (4, Informative)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379325)

I like seeing how Wikis have become more neutral over time

This is going to sound like trolling, but I honestly see the opposite occuring as Wikipedia becomes more popular. As proof, check out the currently (as of Dec 3 2005) disputed articles [wikipedia.org] . The history itself shows a rise in the count.

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (4, Funny)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379362)

And what else is rising? Oh, right, article count.

Re:How can they survive non-commercially? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379329)

Well, the founder could well already be driving a Porsche; but rest assured, it's because he made all his money earlier, not because of your donations. :)

The budget is clearly laid out (2, Informative)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379360)

There is a link to the Q1-2006 budget at the top of every English Wikipedia page, detailing the expected needs.

WikiAds? (4, Insightful)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379104)

It's only a matter of time. Either Wales is going to have to turn to ads to generate some revenue, or look into getting a grant from a University or the Feds. However, either solution is going to infringe on his desire to present a neutral viewpoint, even if just in principle.

Still waiting on Google (2, Interesting)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379164)

By 2007, it will cost several million dollars just to keep Wikipedia running. If Google comes through on its past statement of support, and other companies join in, then Wikipedia probably wouldn't need to go to ads. Some ideas that have been suggested for non-invasive implementation of advertisements would be to only display them for anonymous users (not registered users), or to have a separate site that only hosts high-quality, highly-accurate articles, and make that site ad-based.

Re:Still waiting on Google (1)

manavendra (688020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379376)

Whilst I agree on principle that it'd be good to see Google coming true on its statement of support (we all know it has deep enough pockets to support Wiki), however, it may not happen for:

  1. It now has shareholders to answer, and they may not see the advantages/ROI
  2. Wiki *may* lose its neutral stance on sensitive issues (unless you want Google's version of truth) - I know I'm going out on a limb here..
  3. With its support (read money), Google may want the control, which defeats the F/OSS purpose
Just my £0.02

Re:WikiAds? (1)

davidu (18) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379200)


Newspapers take advertising to support themselves. There is a clear editorial wall between Journalists and AdvertisingSales in a newspaper. Why would it have to be any different at Wikipedia?

For a really solid read on how journalists take their bias and potential conflicts seriously please read this: Malcom Gladwell's Disclosure Statement [gladwell.com] .

-david

Re:WikiAds? (1)

zanimum (942727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379225)

While this is true, many magazines are quite contrary to that statement. Plus, all writers at a newspaper are trained to understand such an editorial wall, there's no way we could guarantee everyone with an Internet connection would understand policy like this. Nick Moreau Canadian press contact Wikimedia Foundation

Re:WikiAds? (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379308)

Jimbo has stated in the past that there would never be ads on Wikipedia under any circumstances, though - so while it might otherwise be possible to draw a clear line between content and advertising, people would lose a lot of confidence in him and what he says if he decided to implement them after all.

Besides, other websites manage to go without advertising, too, especially those of non-profit organisations. Thinking about alternatives to donations is a good idea, but so far, it still seems a bit far-fetched to predict the inevitable death of the donation-based financing model in the short-term future.

Wikipedia... more like Wankopedia amirite? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379114)

Yes, wikipedia needs your help again, so a poor starving child in africa can beat poverty by reading some of its great articles.

Why does Wikipedia do what it does?

Forget Jimmy Wales' self-indulgent tripe. He doesn't give two shits about any starving kids in Africa. If he did then he would be smart enough to realize that Africa is still a continent that is struggling to invent things like the wheel. This is a continent where people know they have HIV and knowingly have sex without condoms, and openly admit it without any shame, guilt, or whatever.

Generally speaking people, by human nature, do things out of self-interest. The "editors" of wikipedia don't care about african kids with flies picking at their eyebrows. They edit pages because it's another circlejerk internet community like K5, Fark, Something Awful, Slashdot, or take your pick. Wikipedians are internet attention whores just like your lowly K5 troll.

But they are making an ENCYCLOPEDIA!!!!

The problem with wank-o-pedia is that it is an MMORPG approach to a supposedly "community collaborative effort." By its very nature, the people ringing up thousands of edits are the worthless dross of society who have nothing better to do than sit and edit articles all day. They would be playing another game, with better graphics, like WoW, except for one of two reasons. One, they outgrew traditional video games. Or two, they have deluded themselves into thinking wikipedia is actually some kind of great boon to mankind.

Don't believe me?? Well, don't take my word for it. Just consult their own pages on Wikiholism or check out the number of editors with Wikistress.

The problem with a gamer's approach to editing an encyclopedia is you primarily get input from people with a gaming mentality, and if anyone has played online counterstrike, halo, or wow online you will probably agree that these aren't your ideal academics to be creating an encyclopedia.

Wikipedia has the same constructs as any other MMORPG. Instead of experience points, you run up edit counts. Instead of equipment, you keep a list of articles you contributed to. Instead of PVP there are "revert wars" which lead to a fancy Arbitration Committe and Dispute Resolution.

The problem is that the only type of people who would be interested in going through any of this crap are the typical obsessive compulsive types who thrive in MMORPG type systems. Any casual intellectual or academic who just wants to lend some specialized expertise to an article is going to face a throng of bloodthirsty wikipedians who don't like newbies invading their turf (i.e., articles.) Oh yeah, they profess to be a friendly sort and they even have official "policies" to be nice and accommodating but when push comes to shove it's really just about the game.

Well, the problem is the casual academic who just wants to make a few edits probably knows about 300x the amount of information about a subject than does the clueless, obsessed, addicted, Wikipedia editor. After all, if wikimmorpger actually was smart enough to add to all of these articles, he probably would have a real job and wouldn't have so many hours of time to throw into the black hole of wikipedia.

But that's just it. The casual academic will yield to the seasoned wikiveteran everytime. Why? Because academic already knows this stuff. He's just trying to help a little. If he gets reverted then no big deal, he has no great stake in the project and at the end of the day he cares about it far less than wiki-addict does.

And that's why Wikipedia, with its current method of doing things, will always produce nothing but garbage.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to ask old Jimmy Wales just how many HTTP requests wikipedia actually gets from the African continent.

Re:Wikipedia... more like Wankopedia amirite? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379167)

So tell me, did you copy your Kuro5in troll piece to *every* online forum that mentions Wikipedia?

And could you form a coherent analogy for once? I mean, "Instead of equipment, you keep a list of articles you contributed to." What the hell? That doesn't even make sense! I mean, it's not like at 20 articles edited you automatically level up to admin, 100 and beaucrat... or anything like that.

Parent has a point. (4, Interesting)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379353)

Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism [kuro5hin.org] .

Too many experts are turned away by the teeming, uninformed Wikipedians who tear down useful contributions under the mistaken notions of "balance" or "being informative." Look at Panera Bread [wikipedia.org] ; 25% of the article is unequivocal information, the other 75% are advertisement and random facts. It also doesn't use proper paragraphs, and the entire article lacks structure. This is a typical Wikipedia article, but you see many of the same flaws in "Featured" articles. People don't know what to write in this supposed "encyclopedia," nor how.

And yes, Africans probably care more about staying alive than reading Wikipedia. To anyone considering donating to Wikipedia: your money would be better spent in the hands of an AIDS-related charity or a broad-action organization [makepovertyhistory.org] . Believe it or not, people can still starve to death even if they can look up Calculus [wikipedia.org] in Wikipedia.

This is a charity well worth giving to. (5, Interesting)

Winckle (870180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379115)

I gave just 5 pounds last year, but I am about to give what I can, what surprised me most was the christmas card I recieved even though i live in the UK. I had completely forgotten since I made my donation in July. The donation helps keep knowledge free, think just how often you use wikimedia websites.

Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (5, Interesting)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379118)

Do they just want more money to fund the project, or are they actually in dire need?

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379183)

Wikipedia has just made rank 25 of all websites on Alexa. There's some costs to replace broken servers, then there's bandwidth, and three employees to pay. The rest of the money will go into new servers, wich are needed due to the ever-increasing popularity. So, the less money they take in, the slower the site will become.

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (0, Troll)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379196)

Do they just want more money to fund the project, or are they actually in dire need?

They're not "in need". Jimmy Wales just wants to start drawing a huge salary, and continue traveling the world [wikimedia.org] (at Wikimedia's expense, of course).

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (2, Insightful)

zanimum (942727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379257)

Every organization needs to promote itself, and Jimmy's speaking engagements at conferences help build the trust and understanding of Wikipedia by academics, etc. Also, I'm not entirely sure how much of his trips Wikipedia funds, as Mr. Wales certainly still puts out money towards the project. The main issue is adding servers to our collection, and paying our two full time employees and one contractee (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings [wikimediafoundation.org] ) to keep everything running perfectly. Nick Moreau Canadian press contact Wikimedia Foundation

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (0, Flamebait)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379330)

Every organization needs to promote itself, and Jimmy's speaking engagements at conferences help build the trust and understanding of Wikipedia by academics, etc. Also, I'm not entirely sure how much of his trips Wikipedia funds ... Nick Moreau Canadian press contact Wikimedia Foundation

You're a "press contact" for Wikimedia, and you're "not sure". Yeah, ok. It's just a coincidence Jimmy goes to all these conferences in Paris, London, Scandinavia, et cetera.

Wikimedia pays for all of Wales' travels, and everyone knows the Wikipedia "board of trustees" is a farce, with Jimmy Wales having two pocket votes [wikimedia.org] (in addition to his own). When you donate to Wikimedia, you're not donating to wikimedia. You're donating to Jimmy Wales' personal vacation fund.


Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (1)

zanimum (942727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379375)

As an volunteer in college, I don't know every nook and cranny of The Wikimedia Foundation, though I am very knowledgable about most aspects. Show me a page documenting Jimmy's travels are always entirely funded, if you're so boldly confident. Even if they are, it still is a valuable investment in convincing all of the skeptics of the project that matter.

You are welcome to your opinions on Wikimedia's Board of Directors, but they have both been instrumental in the operation of the project, by their own merit.

Nicholas Moreau
Canadian press contact
Wikimedia Foundation

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (4, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379275)

What a lie. Check the 2005 budget [wikimediafoundation.org] for yourself. There are four employees (two full time - Jimbo's assistant and Wikimedia's chief developer and two part time - a coordinator for the International Wikimedia meetup and an intern to help physically maintence the servers). Notice, Jimbo isn't one of them.
 
As to travel, the entire 2005 budget was $17,000. For comparison purposes, Wikimedia speds roughly the same amount on office supplies. Are they using too much paper too?

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (1)

midom (535130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379284)

You could have put a link to expense report, then I could mod you 'funny'. Now you're just troll ;-)

This is how it is (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379231)

Well, this is how it has always been. Almost all of the funds are needed to keep up with the exponentially-increasing traffic [alexa.com] to the site. Without those, the site will just get slower and slower (and slower).

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379239)

They're not in desperate need, no, if by desperate you mean "We're about to have all our servers kicked out of our co-lo becuase we are three months overdue on bandwidth fees", but if by desperate you mean, "We are running uncomfortably low on money, and our server and bandwidth expenses are only going to go up, and we'd really like to maintain a decent quality of service, so please donate", then yes.

Re:Is Wikipedia in serious trouble? (1)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379331)

Both could be called in Dire need. It is unfortunate that they are "running uncomfortably low on money, and our server and bandwidth expenses are only going to go up" and that the founder had to write an appeal.

They need look no further than their own policies (-1, Troll)

bconway (63464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379121)

I have been a long-time supporter and donate-r of the Wikimedia Foundation, since its inception, in fact. However, I am left with a strong distaste for the project, as I'm sure many others are, because the Wikipedia has gone from a free, editable-by-everyone encyclopedia to one accessible for contribution by only an elite few. As such, I'm witholding all my donations until I see a change in their policies and believe that they'll continue to fly straight in the future. Until then, good luck guys.

Re:They need look no further than their own polici (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379192)

Wikipedia has gone from a free, editable-by-everyone encyclopedia to one accessible for contribution by only an elite few.

"An elite few?" Isn't that a bit hyperbolic?

Re:They need look no further than their own polici (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379314)

"An elite few?" Isn't that a bit hyperbolic?

The few, the proud, the ones who edit. Be an army of one and donate!

Re:They need look no further than their own polici (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379219)

to one accessible for contribution by only an elite few

I always wanted to be elite. I guess I've finally got my wish! Thanks, Wikipedia!

Re:They need look no further than their own polici (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379227)

I don't understand, which "elite few" are you talking about here??

I've rarely seen my edits, to both new and existing articles, been removed.

Re:They need look no further than their own polici (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379247)

This is just not true. Anonymous editors can still edit articles. There is a difference in that they can no longer start articles. However, creating an account takes mere seconds, so your accusation that it is "accesible for contribution by only an elite few" is simply false. There do exist tools that allow administrators to "protect" articles that are experiencing especially heavy vandalism, however, this is used only as a last resort.

WTF? (2, Interesting)

ari_j (90255) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379254)

What the hell are you talking about? I'm not elite and I'm not part of any such few, and yet I have contributed substantially to Wikipedia and have done so recently.

If they are preventing average Joes like me from contributing, I haven't seen any evidence of it. Care to point us to some?

Re:They need look no further than their own polici (4, Informative)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379270)

An elite few? I'm not sure in what parallel universe you're using Wikipedia, but last I checked (a few hours ago), it was still editable by anyone - you don't even have to create an account to do so.

Sure, there are semi-protected pages now, and you need an account that's (IIRC) 4 days old to edit those. Calling accounts that are older than 4 days "an elite few" is ridiculous.

Of course, there's regular protections as well, but those are either temporary, in which case they're not bad (pages get protected when there's edit wars, but arguably the "anyone can edit anything at any time" model didn't work at that point - the edit war is proof of that. So protecting a page for a day or two so people get their act together and talk about their differences is reasonable), or (in the very, very few cases where pages are permanently protected) they're affecting pages that have been the target of high-profile vandalism in the past. Would you like to go back to a world where the main page has to be checked every ten seconds to see if some clown inserted a goatse picture? I wouldn't.

All in all... if you're not happy with Wikipedia or the way it's handled, feel free to start your own. You can even use Wikipedia's data to get started - it's all on http://download.wikimedia.org [wikimedia.org] . Maybe you'll come out on top in the end - who knows.

Until then, good luck guy.

Re:They need look no further than their own polici (1)

fuzzy12345 (745891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379272)

I have been a long-time supporter and donate-r of the Wikimedia Foundation

Yeah, it shows. I think I've read some of the pages you contributed to.

Just sue... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379123)

all the wikipedia ripoffs that have flooded every search engine...

Re:Just sue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379143)

for what?

Re:Just sue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379241)

Money, of course.

That, and a copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money Online".

Re:Just sue... (2, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379238)

I'm assuming this is a joke. All Wikipedia text is licensed under the GFL [wikipedia.org] , which is free and open, allowing anyone else to copy and modify the text (so long as it remains free and open). This means that other sites (like Answers.com, etc.) are legally allowed to copy text from Wikipedia (as long as they correctly describe the copyright terms, which they do). In fact, I believe an agreement is in place to allow them to mirror Wikipedia content more efficiently.

Personally, I don't understand how Answers.com makes any money from their adds. Who would go to Answers.com instead of just checking out the latest version on Wikipedia? I would prefer if they didn't exist, since, as you said, they simply dilute search engine results. In any case, what they are doing it legal and no big deal.

Re:Just sue... (1)

zanimum (942727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379301)

Actually we prefer casual visitors (with no intention of contributing) to access our information off other people's servers. Having casual visitors access our information off mirrors is actually beneficial, as it lightens our server's load. Also, Answers has made significant financial contributions towards our project. Nicholas Moreau Canadian press contact Wikimedia Foundation

fuck wikipedia; I need my money. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379125)

fuck wikipedia; I need my money.

On A More Serious Note, (1)

u16084 (832406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379135)

I use Wiki quite alot... but i never actually paid attention to its "Cause" .. All that energy/effort money for "A Poor Kid" , i believe that $750K used to run wiki last year would of been a better "generous offer" - Like BOOKS

Re:On A More Serious Note, (2, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379258)

Wikipedia is nothing more than a MMORPG disguising itself as an encyclopedia. It would get a lot more respect if it just owned up to what it really is, and cut out all the lofty, "bringing information to the masses" poseur BS. Jimmy Wales' only goal out of all of this is gratification of his ego (though the free travel, and a hefty salary doesn't hurt either [wikimedia.org] ).

Re:On A More Serious Note, (0, Flamebait)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379335)

Most insightful comment about wikipedia EVER!

Wikipedia + Adwords = $ (4, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379161)

I'm sure the partnership with google is a viable mechanism to support Wikipedia into the future. The text only ads aren't overly intrusive and are automatically added based on keyword selections in the page. Seems to be a natural fit. ..in fact, I'd take a guess that rumors of google's involvement are why donations are down.

Be careful, though (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379262)

The last time it was even suggested that Wikipedia might go to advertisements, a large portion of the Spanish Wikipedia split off and formed Enciclopedia Libre [wikipedia.org] , drastically setting back the entire site. Only more recently are they being merged back together.

Re:Wikipedia + Adwords = $ (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379277)

There has traditionally been a lot of resistance to the introduction of advertisements to Wikipedia. In fact, a section of the Spanish Wikipedia forked the project [wikipedia.org] , simply because the inclusion of ads was being proposed. I think the best thing for Wikipedia to do is to stay independent for as long as it is viable.

Re:Wikipedia + Adwords = $ (1)

r3m0t (626466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379289)

Google will donate rackspace and servers (or maybe money) with no strings attached. I don't think that has anything to do with the poor turnout of donations.

Re:Wikipedia + Adwords = $ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379304)

I disagree. I find adwords to be highly distracting and annoying, especially when I'm trying to read technical information. Simple non-graphical ads off to the left side of the page I'd find acceptable.

I always love it when forums are adwords-supported, so all of a sudden, your postcount is lining the sysop's pockets.

Re:Wikipedia + Adwords = $ (2, Informative)

zanimum (942727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379337)

We will not have ads on Wikipedia, in the far-forseeable future. Most people don't know of Google's potential support-- which is "unstringed". Nicholas Moreau Canadian press contact Wikimedia Foundation

Community Collaborative? (3, Insightful)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379171)

Why would a community collaborative project such as Wikipedia even need sponsorship, other than bandwidth fees? (And they don't go through $750K a year in bandwidth fees). There should be little or no administrative overhead, and I've never seen an advertisement for Wikipedia (and don't know a reason why I should expect to).

While freedom of information is a great goal, it's on of the few that I feel doesn't require large monetary contributions, but rather large intellectual contributions.

I'll keep giving my money to Child's Play [childsplaycharity.com] , The Red Cross [redcross.org] , and Doctors without Borders [doctorswit...orders.org] .

Re:Community Collaborative? (4, Informative)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379281)

Why would a community collaborative project such as Wikipedia even need sponsorship, other than bandwidth fees?....

If you look at the budget, [wikimediafoundation.org] you'll see that the purchase of servers is the biggest line-item.

Re:Community Collaborative? (1)

Datrio (857008) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379287)

Just one thing to note - you're donating to the Wikimedia Foundation, not to Wikipedia.

You can find the working draft for the 2006 Q1 budget at Meta-Wiki http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_budget/20 06/Q1 [wikimedia.org] .

Re:Community Collaborative? (1)

midom (535130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379315)

Bandwidth without servers is not that worthy. Do you know any hosting provider where several billion dynamic pageviews and terabytes of content would fit the 750k$/year bill? I'd be glad to hear it! :)

Re:Community Collaborative? (2, Informative)

r3m0t (626466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379316)

The money is for:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Budget/2005 [wikimediafoundation.org]
Hardware (they have dozens of caches, apache servers, and DB slaves)
~$100,000 a year hosting
~$132,000 a year to pay for 2 full-time and 2 part-time employees
~$30,000 a year legal expenses...

There's some serious money needs.

Re:Community Collaborative? (2, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379334)

"Why would a community collaborative project such as Wikipedia even need sponsorship, other than bandwidth fees?" - see for yourself [wikimediafoundation.org] . Wikimedia has spent roughly $400,000 dollars on hardware this year alone (the inevitable downside of having your traffic double every 4 months). Hosting adds roughly another $100,000 per year to the costs. And that's not counting the tons of other actual expenses that a real life charity (as opposed to some person's hobby on sourceforge) has to deal with - legal fees, banking fees, office supplies. So please check your facts before spreading FUD.

Re:Community Collaborative? (4, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379343)

Wikipedia is one of the most heavily loaded sites on the internet (currently ranked #24 [alexa.com] ). Apprently (for instance [wikimedia.org] ) they push hundreds of megabytes of data per second.

Servers are not cheap, and Wikimedia needs lots of them. [wikimedia.org] They list 129 new servers in 2005. Looking at the hardware stats of these servers, they obviously cost many thousands of dollars each (can someone give me more accurate pricing?).

All of these things are not cheap. Also note that Wikipedia needs more server coordination that many other sites, because the content is dynamic and the database huge. If you're just looking up info, that's fine, the content can be mirrored across many different servers across the world. But when you edit material, there must be a way to propagate those changes quickly. In fact, those of us who edit Wikipedia know that it becomes much slower when you enter edit mode, since all such changes have to go through a central server (as I understand it), rather than just the "closest and faster" server available.

All of this to say that running Wikipedia is by no means cheap. Yes, they really do need that much money ($100,000/year for servers and bandwidth is pretty cheap when you realize how much they manage to accomplish with it). Hopefully the donations will always be enough to keep up with the demand for this content.

(P.S.: Yes, some of the servers they use were donated. These donations are also vital to the ongoing success of Wikimedia.)

Low turnout? Shortfall? (4, Informative)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379182)

In an apparent reply to the low turnout for their fourth quarter fundraiser
"Apparent" here, meaning "Something I've made up".

The 2005 Wikimedia Budget says [wikimediafoundation.org]
Only $160,000 was available at the start of the quarter, creating a budget shortfall of $161,200. A fund drive starting on 1 December was scheduled at the meeting as well. --Daniel Mayer 18:18, 1 October 2005
Since that fund raising drive is now $50k above the budget shortfall, it's not a shortfall anymore. The present $200k raised in the fund drive is about twice what was raised by the same drive in February last year...

Now, it's possible that there is now a massive shortfall for 2006/Q1, but if the submitter knows something about that, perhaps he feels like sharing it, rather than just mindlessly speculating.

Re:Low turnout? Shortfall? (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379372)

Considering that Wikipedia's traffic has been doubling every four months, and that in a single year it has gone from 35 servers (January 1, 2005) to 165 servers (January 1, 2006) and 0 employees to 4 employees (an executive assistant, a developer, an intern to maintence the servers, and a coordinator for the international meetup) -- comparing bugets from 2005Q1 and 2006Q1 is clearly wrong.

Fund-raising suggestion (3, Funny)

Tsar (536185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379186)

Perhaps he should call well-known philanthropist and First Amendment Center [firstamendmentcenter.org] founder John Seigenthaler [wikipedia.org] and ask him to help spread the word [usatoday.com] !

Easy fix (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379191)

Turn on google adsense on the pages.

They also sent me a holiday wish for donating (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379206)

Today I had received a letter from Wikimedia Foundation (yes, not an e-mail!) sent by international mail, saying something like "Wikimedia thanks you for your support and wish you pleasant holidays and new beginnings". It was even written in Swedish, where I live. I think that was pretty cool of a non-profit organization. :-)

External Links (1)

scolby (838499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379211)

Let's say there's an article about, oh, I don't know, cookies. At the end of that article, chances are there are links to the websites of a few cookie manufacturers. Why not start charging companies for the right to have links to their sites on article pages? Inobtrusive advertising. Sites that aren't used as a means of generating cash could still be linked for free, but there'd need to be some kind of screening process.

Why fund Wikipedia? (5, Interesting)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379212)

TFA says: "Thousands of people, all over the world, from all cultures, working together in harmony to freely share clear, factual, unbiased information"

At least one culture, namely the Chinese, is permanently excluded from this harmonious collaboration since November 2005. This is because China deems Wikipedia "detrimental to society" (or at least not so unbiased in a few articles).

This is not Wikipedia's fault, but whenever I try to access Wikipedia from Anonymouse, it says Wikipedia has blocked access from that very anonymizing gateway... hilarious. I really don't have time applying proxies or go throguh SSH accounts in the West.

I think Wikipedia needs to start distribute its stuff in a decentralized fashion, letting others deliver the stuff through their pipes. And it also should have encryption enabled to circumvent the censorship in the filter regimes.

Re:Why fund Wikipedia? (2, Informative)

r3m0t (626466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379339)

This is not Wikipedia's fault, but whenever I try to access Wikipedia from Anonymouse, it says Wikipedia has blocked access from that very anonymizing gateway... hilarious. I really don't have time applying proxies or go throguh SSH accounts in the West. I think Wikipedia needs to start distribute its stuff in a decentralized fashion, letting others deliver the stuff through their pipes. And it also should have encryption enabled to circumvent the censorship in the filter regimes.

There are 50 changes a minute at peak times on the English Wikipedia - and peak times are a few hours every day.

Distributing "in a decentralized fashion" would not work. People must have the latest revision, otherwise when they press "edit" they will either get old text (think Lotus Notes) or be confused by a change.

Besides which, the database http://download.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/ [wikimedia.org] is 13.1GiB, and that's compressed. And that's just the English Wikipedia, and without images.

Good luck distributing that. Add the encryption and... owch.

Re:Why fund Wikipedia? (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379364)

The reason such anonymizing systems, like Tor [wikipedia.org] are blocked from Wikipedia, is because they can be used by vandals/spammers who have been blocked from editing to continue vandalising [seul.org] the site. It's too bad that such measures have to be taken, but the real solution here is political, not technical. I think your method of using a Freenet-like decentralized system probably won't fly for the same reasons. Vandal fighting would become impossible, and it would become almost impossible to track which contributor added which content.

Well Spent Money (2, Informative)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379215)

I've been using Wikipedia a lot lately. Some of it for work related items but mostly because I'm so freakin' bored at work. Nothing like spending five hours reading random articles. Lots of interesting stuff out there. Anyway, I just tossed them $25. Well spent money in my opinion. Whenever I need information on something I will either turn to Google or Wikipedia or both to get the answer I need. It is definitely something that is worth spending a few bucks a year to keep on the net. Hopefully they raise the money they need to keep going.

Wikipedia (1)

evildogeye (106313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379220)

I sent $100. The least I can do, considering it is the first place I go almost every time I need information on any subject.

Traffic According To Alexa (0, Troll)

u16084 (832406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379222)

# en.wikipedia.org - 64% # ja.wikipedia.org - 9% # de.wikipedia.org - 8% # es.wikipedia.org - 3% # fr.wikipedia.org - 2% # zh.wikipedia.org - 2% # wikipedia.org - 2% # ar.wikipedia.org - 2% # tr.wikipedia.org - 1% # it.wikipedia.org - 1% # he.wikipedia.org - 1% # nl.wikipedia.org - 1% # pl.wikipedia.org - 1% # pt.wikipedia.org - 1% # Other websites - 2%

Things needed to access the internet:
A Computer to start...
Maybe Some Phone Lines
ISP??
whos gonna provide all that? Oh wait, Wiki Will have another Fundraiser. If The poverty level is at its "Mentioned Level", all that wiki stands for, is useless

why we need money (5, Informative)

midom (535130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379252)

Obviously donated money doesn't go to someone's Porsche budget. All expenses are shown in public budget reports. All purchases are shown in purchase reports. All of them can be seen on http://wikimediafoundation.org/ [wikimediafoundation.org] - it's quite transparent there.

Running a read-only site would be much easier, we could do that with much smaller budget. What money is spent for - supporting collaboration infrastructure. We're running on 100 servers now, all quite cheap and efficient. We're pumping out 500mbps of information now, but we're still doing that low budget. But it all needs to grow and scale, and though software is doing that quite well, resources are needed.

This is very low-budget operation, comparing to other huge sites. There's no corporate funding, no huge revenue streams. I've seen sites running with same budgets but only 1% of Wikipedia's load. A donation made will go into collaboration infrastructure, rather than being forgotten forever. A donation made may allow thousands of articles to be created, extended and viewed. There is a price for information, but you won't find lower margins ;-)

Re:why we need money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379386)

Really?

From: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Finance_report [wikimediafoundation.org]

You have around 16500 dollars in travel expenses. Do your servers need a regular vacation in the Bahamas? Or was that for Jimmy Wales?

I guess I'm gonna have to do it (2, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379278)

It isn't like Wikipedia is some lame-ass piece of shareware I use twice a year; I use it almost every day, expecially when I'm arguing on Slashdot and need a quick citation. Where else can you reliably go to get the gravitational constant [wikipedia.org] , an article on Duverger's law [wikipedia.org] , a bio of Robert Johnson [wikipedia.org] or a really cool picture of a dragonfly [wikipedia.org] ?

Get sponsored by corporations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379280)

I don't know if they have tried, but why not try getting corporate sponsorships? From my viewpoint asking for money from the users are the last resort (although it teaches that nothing is for free, which is healthy). I'd imagine big companies like Intel, IBM, GM etc. would not write off such an idea in exchange for a logo somewhere on Wikipedia. I think it's a much better approach than running ads on the site, and with a public transparent deal (ensuring that they won't have any editorial control what so ever) would be clever.

Wiki have got to be a bit more clever (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379283)

I am a regular wiki user and happily contrib. to the site quite often - however the fundraisers are badly organised and in need of a look at. It is highly ironic that the whole system is very transparent, yet at the same time appears very opaque.

I look at the front page and see that with this fundraiser they have already amassed over 200k! I realise sites like wiki do cost a fortune to run due to the general costs of operating something that huge - but for the average user it appears to be big sums they have already raised, yet they are asking for more!

You don't exactly encourage contributions when you have a big banner on all pages happily stating that you already have that kind of money - it doesn't send out the "poor and needy" message does it?!

Also they probably want to have a look at the timing of these things - Post holidays is not a sensible time to be trying to ask people for money - generally everyone is broke, full up with food and tired out. Gifting £10 after the credit card statement has come in for the Christmas purchases is going to be a lot less likely. You have to be smart as well as kind hearted, Mr Wales.

Jan 6th? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379296)

The fund drive will run until Friday, January 6th.

Why do fund drives have a time limit? What, are they going to reject donations on the 7th?

Re:Jan 6th? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379361)

What, are they going to reject donations on the 7th?

No, silly. That's when the next fund drive starts.

KFG

How about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379318)

No damn it. Stop asking for money, Wikipedia is starting to be like Freenode.

Fix Wikipedia first (4, Insightful)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379332)

Wikipedia is broken. I'll donate some money if you fix it.

-End the correction wars
-Respect different viewpoints
-Respect expertese
-End people fucking up good articles

Re:Fix Wikipedia first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379340)

There's a practical limit to viewpoint respect, though. Some viewpoints, I'm sorry to say, are just flat out wrong, and based on myth, lies and/or mental illness.

Reasons not to contribute... (3, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379352)

I have been using and writing on Wikipedia a long time, and am unhappy with the way it is run. On Slashdot, many of us know the story of how Linus's lieutenants came to him one day and demanded he relinquish some control of the OS since centralization in him was causing problems.

One of the highest bodies on Wikipedia is the Arbitration Committee. Originally it was appointed by Jimbo, who I thought made several poor choices. Then last year there was an election to ArbCom, and I think the community made excellent choices to who would go ArbCom. Then in the interim, Jimbo appointed two more arbitrators, one of which I think is of very poor quality. Now he is changing the democratic election of last year, which I think went very well, and is trying to change it so it is more centralized towards himself. I think there are many signs of the problems, but this is just one of them.

While I think Wikipedia covers science and mathematics articles well, it has many problems when it comes to political matters, the Seigenthaler [slashdot.org] matter yet again just being a sign of the problem. I think Wikipedia should simply acknowledge that a "neutral" standpoint is not realistic with regards to history and politics. Wikipedia should concentrate on scientific articles and the like, and cede articles like George W. Bush to partisan wikis like Demopedia and Wikinfo.

I'm tired of the Wikipedia mess and am not contributing any money.

Continuous donations? (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379365)

I've donated to Wikipedia twice in a year. At this point, I've given probably four times the amount of money that I would for, say, Encarta. I love Wikipedia, but 1) I don't have a permanent copy of it on a DVD, like I would for Encarta, and 2) I feel like I'm being "forced" to buy the latest upgrade of Wikipedia when they set up these pleas for donations, since the performance of my encyclopedia directly depends on these fund drives.

I'm all for charitable organizations and such, but Wikipedia is a little bit of a different beast. Organizations like the Red Cross can keep asking for donations continuously because that's what they do - they give the money out because there is always a need. Wikipedia always has a need too; however, it being an encyclopedia, I want a usable product after some amount of donation.

Whew (1)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14379371)

I'm glad somebody finally released some of this "personal appeal" stuff. I've been needing to get that for ages. I wonder how much it costs?

Enlist media help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14379381)

Whenever a good cause needs money, media personalities are usually good about donating money or raising awareness. How about asking John Siegenthaler?
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