How about this:
* Change the color of the "Donations" sidebar link, and bold it
* Add a short, sweet note, perhaps at the bottom: "Please help keep
this site running!
<link>'''Contribute'''</link> to the
I really support the second suggestion to put a permanent Teaser as a
bottom line - after the copyright notice and set apart clearly from it.
The message of this Teaser could be changed in time.
I suggest to put such a small teaser notice on every page, on every
article of Wikipedia and I would like to make some comments on it,
because I think I have some experience here since 1996:
1) All who discuss the fundraising issue on this list should feel a deep
responsability for the thousands of authors and millions of users of
Wikipedia. Users, Authors and Admins have the right that we discussing
the flow of money for Wikipedia make the right decisions to guarantee:
* the best technical environment for user have easy and fast access 24
hours a day
* the same for all the authors and admins giving their free time for
publishing and maintenance
Bad technical performance in the past due to hardware issues should
therefore never happen again. As the numbers of users, authors, traffic,
etc. grows exponentially, there is a need of exponential growth of
hardware, housing space, traffic and therefore also a need of
exponential growth of funding. Funding needs - as have been shown here -
can be quite precisely projected out of past growth statistics. And - as
there is the responsability towards the users and knowledge workers
contributing to Wikipedia - there should be always some money on the
bank as a special case reserve fund and not a living on a nearly blank
purse. At the same time money from donations should be spent as
economically as possible to meet the responsability towards the people
2) The fund raising issue should therefore be split between:
a) a constant funding for constant needs with respect to the growth rate
of Wikipedia, hardware needs etc. This need of constant funding should
not be met by special calls "we have problems, please give us some
money", but by a constant, better publication of this funding issue on
the websites leading to constant flows of money meeting the constand
needs of growing Wikipedia & Co.
b) special funding calls for new, special projects as special funding
events to start new projects, etc.
3) Establishment of a constant funding scheme
The constant funding must be a scheme guaranteeing that the incoming
money growth rate meets the growth rate of Wikipedia. As this growth
rate is caused by the number of visitors, pages viewed etc. we need a
mechanism that a doubling of visitors, page views at least leads to a
doubling of the funding, etc.
It is evident, that the present link for donations on the upper left on
Wikipedia is not enough to guarantee this relation of more visitors fund
enough for more hardware etc. It is clearly to weak for this at the
moment. I suppose this could be quite easily solved if we put more ideas
together here. My suggestions:
a) Put a teaser as proposed above
"Add a short, sweet note, perhaps at the bottom: "Please help keep
this site running!
<link>'''Contribute'''</link> to the
on the end of each article, not only on the homepage. A Website like
Wikipedia is like an Ants heap, millions of people are coming in by
hundredthousands of entry pages and leave them by other or same
hundredthousends of doors. We tend to see Websites from the homepage
point of view, thats how the website makers see it. But in reality only
a small percentage of people ever see the homepage. Therefore it is
advisable to put a message on every page, but to put it at the end of
the page so it does not disturb people in their reading. When people
arrive by reading at the end of the page then you most probably have
those people who liked what they read. That means you have most probably
also those people who are more likely to donate then others, who stop
reading after the first lines.
b) Adapt the FSF funding idea - recommend people to buy their books over
Wikipedia affiliate links -
The ISBN numbers on Wikipedia lead to the page where you find different
options for finding the books including online bookshops. If Wikimedia
would register at Amazon, Barns & Nobles and other online bookshops and
change the present links on this page to affiliate links, there would be
also a constant flow of money for the foundation without any
advertising, without changing anything from non commercial to
commercial. Only the links have changed, not the page and the online
bookshops themselves. I hope you get what I mean - do not change any
text here in order to get funds, just keep it free of greed ;-) but
offer them as affiliate partner links like FSF seems to do it.
On the funding information pages one could also inform every reader that
he can make a donation automatically if he is buying book, media etc.
anyway but chooses a link via the wikipedia links for online bookshops
on the general information page about where to find books. I think that
many people would be happy to buy their books knowing that Wikimedia
gets a funding by doing this and they do not have any trouble in
transferring money to the foundations, credit cards, Pay Pal etc. and
they even do not pay more then they would do otherwise.
I think that Jimbo made a good point in his last e-mail suggesting that
different options should be tested and what will be the results. Its my
own experience with the internet - it is much better to do small tests
and if it works go that way further on, if it does not work just leave
it again. It saves much time of discussions what will happen when -
you mostly just don't really know it before testing.
4) Save the funding calls for special occasions
As already said, my feeling is that special calls for funding should be
left for special occasions, special project ideas etc. But not for
constant money needs like hardware etc. I am confident, that this money
needed for all normal operations will be received with ease by just
implementing a charming, also alterating bottom line donation message on
every page plus affiliate links for bookshops which are mentioned anyhow
on the page.
just my 2 cents