On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 12:59 AM, Risker <risker.wp(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 12 January 2015 at 15:59, Andreas Kolbe
> On 12 Jan 2015, at 11:25 pm, Liam Wyatt <liamwyatt(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Now that the 2014 Fundraising campaign has finished and which,
a WMF blogpost from a week ago, "surpassed
our goal of $20 million"
According to the data provided at https://frdata.wikimedia.org/
Foundation seems to have taken $30.6 million over the period from
2 2014 to December 31 2014.
This is $10.6 million more than the $20 million fundraising goal
in the blog post. (At any rate, that's the
sum I get; I'd welcome anyone
double-checking my math.)
There is no scenario I can come up with where this is actually a good
result. Sure, an extra $10.6 million might be nice in the bank, but it
massively exceeds budget. The fundraiser met its goal, with plenty to
spare, on December 17. And yet we put our readers and our users through
another two weeks of fundraising. Given that we were already really
pushing the goodwill of the broad Wikimedia community (that includes the
users of our products)....well, as I say, this is not a good result.
People were putting Wikipedia on Adblock because of those banners, and they
were doing it long after the goal had been reached.
According to the yeardata-day-vs-sum.csv spreadsheet at
the daily takings for December 2 through
December 16 were:
This makes $20.6 million, meaning the $20 million target mentioned in the
blog post was met on December 16.
Moreover, from November 1 through December 1 inclusive, the Foundation took
another 8.4 million, based on the numbers in that spreadsheet.
The total for the two-month period from November 1 through December 31 is
just north of $39 million.
I'd say I was speechless, but actually I am
working extremely hard to hold
my tongue here, awaiting an explanation for this. And yes, I think the
Wikimedia community deserves to know why this happened.
The automated thank-you note to donors apparently said,
“Over the past year, gifts like yours powered our efforts to expand the
encyclopedia in 287 languages and to make it more accessible all over the
world. We strive most to impact those who would not have access to
education otherwise. We bring knowledge to people like Akshaya Iyengar from
Solapur, India. Growing up in this small textile-manufacturing town, she
used Wikipedia as her primary learning source. For students in these areas,
where books are scarce but mobile internet access exists, Wikipedia is
instrumental. Akshaya went on to graduate from college in India and now
works as a software engineer in the United States. She credits Wikipedia
with powering half of her knowledge.
“This story is not unique. Our mission is lofty and presents great
challenges. Most people who use Wikipedia are surprised to hear it is run
by a nonprofit organization and funded by your donations. *Each year, just
enough people donate to keep the sum of all human knowledge available for
everyone. Thank you for making this mission possible.*”
Looking at the numbers, it hardly seems defensible to say that "just enough
people donate to keep the sum of all human knowledge available for
Not when the Foundation
– had tens of millions in reserves in July 2014,
– has just taken close to $40 million in two months, and
– reported spending only $2.5 million on Internet hosting in the 2013/2014
And there is one other thing. This is a much more minor issue in
comparison, but there is something irksome about the first sentence of that
message, about readers' donations powering the Wikimedia Foundation's
"efforts to expand the encyclopedia in 287 languages".
A slide at Wikimania 2014, titled "Reality Check", reported that of the
(then) 284 language versions of Wikipedia,
12 are "dead" (locked)
53 are "zombies" (open, no editors)
94 are "struggling" (open, < 5 editors)
125 are "in good or excellent health" (5 editors or more)
Note here the classification of all Wikipedias with 5 or more editors as
"in good or excellent health". I believe the example of the Croatian
Wikipedia, widely reported to have become the fiefdom of fascists a little
over a year ago, demonstrates that a Wikipedia needs a lot more than 5
editors to be viewed as "healthy" by the public.
And if readers were left with the impression that their money funds crucial
efforts by the Wikimedia Foundation to build content in these smaller
Wikipedias, or to perform a quality assurance function there, then I
believe that impression, too, would be almost completely mistaken.
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