I agree that praying emojis look like a certain
type of religious
practice, a hand gesture that implies certain religions and not others.
I assume the fundraising team would have the good sense not to describe
their campaign as a crusade or a jihad. Even if they had carefully targeted
that emoji to cultures where it was close to common currency, I think it
But I'm also concerned at the 98% look away bit. Presumably this was
tested and at least in the short term it raised more funds. The problem may
be longer term, it looked to me the sort of counterproductive message that
normalises not giving rather than normalising giving.
We need to remember the long term impact of our messaging on the people
who are less inclined to give as well as the short term impact on
donations. To me that 98% pitch looked like as much of a mistake as the £5
coffee ad that fed the overpaid and wasteful meme.
I've seen some marketing from other organisations in the last few months
that has been more along the lines of "We know that money is tighter than
usual for a lot of the people who usually support us, and if you are one of
them we get that you can't give us money this year. But if you find
******** useful, and you are one of those people who is financially OK in
these troubled times, then please make a donation". Most people can
identify with one or other of those groups, and I suspect neither would
think the worse of us for pitching to them in those terms.
On Sat, 5 Dec 2020 at 14:24, <wikimedia-l-request(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
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1. Re: Annoying ads (Chris Gates)
2. Re: Annoying ads (Gnangarra)
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2020 08:57:48 -0500
From: Chris Gates <vermont(a)vtwp.org>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Annoying ads
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
I opened a browser I’m not logged in on to see what these ads were.
Here is the text, unedited, of the second ad I was shown (after closing
“Hi reader 🙂. Sorry for the interruption, but this Saturday Wikipedia
really needs your help. This is the 3rd appeal we've shown you. 98% of
readers don't give; they look the other way 😢. All we ask is $2.75 and
then you can get back to your article. We ask you, humbly: please don't
scroll away 🙏🙏.“
It would be quite helpful if the WMF’s marketing and fundraising-focused
teams weren’t so intent on destroying Wikipedia’s reputation. I, and I’m
sure most editors, don’t care that praying and crying emojis illicit more
money. There are social and reputation costs to portraying Wikipedia
crying, praying beggar about to go broke. And though I understand the
employees responsible for pushing this nonsense in front of every reader
evidently do not care about the costs of their actions, and only whatever
money they can get from it, it remains wholly unacceptable.
Tell me: why should I volunteer to work on a project whose owners,
regardless of the incredibly large quantities of money they already have,
seek frequently to illicit donations through methods that damage
Wikipedia’s reputation? Why would I give hours of my time a week to make
Wikimedia projects clear of vandalism and abuse, seeking to give readers
the impression of a functional and reliable source of information,
that some marketing person could undo all of the volunteers’ work through
some ad campaign?
And yes, I also understand that volunteers complain every time this
happens. There’s very good reason to do so, as every time these campaigns
go out they are worse than the last, wholly ignorant of community wishes,
and taking no views into account other than those who reflect purely a
of getting more donations.
On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 05:22 Fæ <faewik(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Let's try kicking this perennial thead
This morning (5 Dec 2020) I paused cooling my porridge when looking up
how Wikipedia describes 'Latinx' usage on my cellular, I was faced
with a *2 page* advert.
* The advert meant nothing of the article could be seen, not even the
title, without having to pass the two pages of several big blue
* There's some statements in those notices that, frankly, look
unencyclopaedic like "People told us we'd regret making Wikipedia a
non-profit". That's a literally untrue Trumpian political sentence if
ever I saw one.
* The 2 pages close with "We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away"
followed by a single option of a "MAYBE LATER" link (not a 'go away
forever please' link, and yes, it's really in shouty all caps).
I might have passed on thinking, gah, not again, but there is a
further sting in this tale. After working out that there was a "No
thanks" link back at the start in a font smaller than all the notice
text, you are faced with a second big red fundraising notice. This one
has a sad weeping emoji in it, because you are going to "look the
other way". I guess the idea is to make it feel like you are
heartlessly walking past a beggar on the street without having the
humanity to look at them, not sure how else this is supposed to read.
It closes with the same "humbly" sentence, but this time with two
emojis that are begging or praying hands. Personally I find being
prayed at slightly offensive, Wikipedia being a haven of logical
thought, not a church, but that's probably me being too black hat.
Isn't it about time the $100,000,000+ a year WMF made a design choice
to stay classy and avoid multiple full page banners begging the public
for money like it was about to go bust? It looks desperate because
there's no other honest way to describe it.
Stay safe, wear a mask,
On Tue, 5 May 2020 at 12:58, WereSpielChequers
> Given the large reserves that the WMF carries, and the savings from
> cancelling events such as Wikimania 2020, I would have thought that
> was one organisation that could afford to pause its fundraising for
> months. At least in countries where the
economy is in freefall.
> In a few months time lots of people will still be in a financial
> the large number of people who are currently going to be worried
> their financial future will hopefully be
divided into those who have
> their jobs. or got new ones and those who
were right to be worried.
> Hopefully some of those who come through this financially OK will be
> position to donate.
> On Tue, 5 May 2020 at 11:25, <
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