[Foundation-l] new site notice now ready

Brad Patrick bradp.wmf at gmail.com
Thu Dec 28 18:16:03 UTC 2006

Please, no one is dissing editors, especially of non-WP projects.  We are,
however, talking about the large numbers which must be of concern to WMF.
That means traffic, and that means money.

Based on the financial reality of needing to raise more money, for hardware,
software, bandwidth and staffing (in broad strokes), what is the solution to
question of financial support?  Dig deeper?  Blame the community of editors
(as opposed to readers) for not donating enough?  Get the starving college
kid to give $3 instead of $2?

We are a top 10 website running as a non-profit.  That itself is
extraordinary.  Everyone else is for profit.  We are unique.

The independence Danny spoke of is real - we are not beholden to any vendor
or company.  We easily could be, if we chose.  To the contrary of the
"patronizing" comment, the data show - unequivocally - that the area for WMF
to focus to leverage amount per donor and total revenue is on donations
greater than $50 USD and up.  We will have a full breakdown of the
statistics later, but for now, some figures clumped by rough levels of

Donations to WMF from 12/15/06 to 12/28/06:

2 people have given very large gifts ($25,000 and our anonymous matching
49 people have given 500-10,000 USD ($67,594)
739 people have given 100 - 499 USD ($96,222)
1184 people have given 50-99 USD ($68,728)
2346 people have given 25-49 USD ($70,106)
5340 people have given 10-24 USD ($77,189)
4204 people have given 1-9 USD ($19,059)
891 people have given less than 1 USD ($481)

If one day of corporate matching brings us on the order of $60,000 per
company, that is an enormous advantage over asking the community for more.
Don't you think?  If we have a $100,000 per month bandwidth bill later in
2007, it will still need to be paid.  I will assume you would rather the
projects stay online than die.  If we buy another 300 servers, where should
the money come from?  It seems clear that the reality here is beyond some
level of understanding with at least a portion of the  people who read this

In short - we need the money.  The community is who benefits.

On 12/28/06, SJ Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Dec 2006, Robert Scott Horning wrote:
> > daniwo59 at aol.com wrote:
> >
> >> 14. To the editors and other contributors--Wikipedia and all the other
> >> projects do NOT exist so that a bunch of bored people have some place
> to play in
> >> their leisure time. They exist to spread free knowledge and free
> culture. Our
> >> target audience is not the editor per se, but the
> user-without-a-user-name who
> >> comes to rely on our projects for information, whether its a student, a
> >> traveller, or someone with an obscure interest and a passion for
> learning. As
> >> editors and contributors we are serving them, and not being served.
> That is why
> >> we keep all the sites going, no matter how costly it is. And let's be
> >> grateful  to the groups and organizations that help us meet these
> costs.
> >>
> >> Danny
> >>
> > I hope this isn't a prevalent attitude among all board members to slam
> > editor/contributors this hard.
> >
> > I do agree with the general sentiment that we need to be mindful that
> > there are individuals beyond the active editor/commentator community
> > that typically participates with the creation of Wikimedia content, but
> > at the same time an acknowledgement needs to be made that without the
> > active and contientious maintainance of Wikimedia content the WMF would
> > have nothing to host.  Or it would age and "bit rot" away.
> >
> > Forgetting or trivializing the work of the people who have developed the
> > content will only drive away current and future contributors.
> > --
> > Robert Scott Horning
> Robert, I couldn't agree more.  I'm amazed to hear people saying "we're
> GROWING so fast... it NO LONGER SCALES to support our efforts through our
> community".  To the contrary, that seems like the only long-term scalable
> solution, and one that the foundation could do more to acknowledge.
> It is unintentionally patronizing to say "every donation is appreciated...
> thank you... but we need more than your small donations can manage", and
> it is also misguided.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are regularly
> raised for charities and political campaigns through small donations.
> We have even discussed some of these efforts on this list in recent
> months.
> As to the repeated asides that there are key things that need to be done
> 'for the good of the project' that the Wikipedia community isn't doing, I
> would like to see some specifics; a lack of organized priorities among the
> community is different from a lack of interest, time, or expertise.
> SJ
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Brad Patrick
General Counsel & Interim Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
bradp.wmf at gmail.com

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