[Foundation-l] This is not an Advertisement

David Strauss david at fourkitchens.com
Fri Dec 29 15:38:41 UTC 2006

You missed Brion's point. It doesn't matter if it's actually an ad.

Besides, your definition of ad labels almost all forms of sponsorship
and underwriting "advertising."

Bruno Martelli wrote:
> Hi everyone.
> I have read Brion Vibber's long message yesterday. I appreciated the 
> frankness of the message: however, I have a different opinion, and I would 
> like to explain that below.
> His analysis could maybe (roughly) summarized as follows: "we need the 
> money, we really need it, we understand that a little adv is annoying, but 
> it's really tiny, it's not exactly advertising, and it's only for one 
> day". 
> 1) A company pays and gets some webspace with its name and 
> hopefully a logo in it. This is proper 100% advertising. The same one 
> which every big company does every day all over the world on TV, web, 
> magazines, etc. 
> 2) The icon is thin, should we deduce that the advertising is just  
> tiny and harmless? When measuring the impact of it, one should look at 
> all parameters: the adv is tiny on 
> each page, little in time (1 day), but really enormous in number 
> of web pages (some millions: every page on every project!). Summing all 
> up, it is a huge advertising campaign, reaching many thousands of 
> people. 
> 3) Reaching many thousands of people (editors and readers) with a little 
> annoying message. That is what it is, concretely. There is a name for 
> things like that, which everyone knows and detests: it's "spam". Don't we 
> all detest spam? I think so, there should be no need of discussion about 
> that.
> 4) For this simple reason I disagree with the choice of the WMF of putting 
> name and logo of a donating company on each page. We editors do our little 
> constant work everyday against self-promotion on the encyclopedia. We say 
> "no" to unknown artists, tourist agencies, little companies who simply try 
> to write few lines about themselves on a single page. Recently, a message 
> (was it from the WMF?) was written in order to wake the troops: "we 
> are losing the battle against self-promotion!". In the meanwhile, we see 
> a big company spammed *everywhere*... One could argue that promotion 
> "inside" the encyclopedia is different from "outside", but the web page is 
> the same.
> 5) We need the money. Ok, but how much? Of course I have no idea of the 
> answer. My humble opinion is however that we shouldn't spread names and 
> logos all over the encyclopedia. Donations from big companies have to 
> be encouraged, but they should be thanked in a single appropriate page, 
> not in the main namespace. Of course we will get less money from each of 
> them, but we could stress this fact when asking for funds: "following our 
> policies, we have no ads: please be generous". Some very well known NG 
> Organizations apply this policy since years, and they are still alive and 
> in good health.
> A thing is maybe worth saying to avoid misunderstandings. I know 
> what the GFDL says, I am not by far "anti-commercial" or whatever like. I 
> am happy that more people earn some money thanks to our work: this kind of 
> license is simply magic.
> That's all.
>   best,
>  Bruno Martelli AKA Ylebru (from it:wiki)
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at wikimedia.org
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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