[Foundation-l] This is not an Advertisement

Birgitte SB birgitte_sb at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 29 21:00:25 UTC 2006

--- Jeroenvrp <wikipedia at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> Op donderdag 28 december 2006 21:42, schreef Brion
> Vibber:
> > JeroenVP for instance has made clear that he does
> not care about the
> > core values of Wikipedia at all (making knowledge
> available to the
> > public as free content) but only cares about not
> ever seeing anything he
> > perceives as an "advertisement".
> I assume the above statement is a way to polarise
> the discussion ever more and 
> I will ignore these remarks.
> > It's about free/open educational content. It's
> about making materials
> > open and available for use by the public,
> including the creation of
> > derivative works and redistribution.
> Exactly, but you you miss the point completely
> Brion. It's advertisement at a 
> location where the free content is CREATED, not
> redistributed/mirrored. 
> Actually I don't care about if people make money
> with Wikipedia content, the 
> same applies for Linux distributions, but we are
> talking about advertisement 
> on the location where the content is created. That
> kills our reliability, so 
> far we have that allready. It's not about
> business-models, websites, but 
> about the source off the free content. Any
> connection to what kind of 
> company, religion, political party, government,
> whatever... will harm one of 
> the basic principles of this great project.

There is no difference between where the content is
created and distributed and consumed.   It is all the
the same place.  The high number of hits logged by
Wikimedia websites would not be happening if the
primary consumption of the content took place at the
mirrors.  The success of Wikimedia is due to this
elimination this idea that content is something to be
created and then distibuted to consumer.  In Wikimedia
creation and consumption are combined and anyone is
welcome to either create or consume (or both!) from
the same outlet.

I want to explain were I think the general opposition
to advertisement comes from.  While brion is correct
that free-content is not against commercialism; free
content is against consumerism.  Advertising is a
large part of the culture of consumerism.  This is a
culture that *is* at odds with the ideas of Wikimedia.
 This is where I believe the strong reaction against
ads stems from more than anti-commercialism.

I think it is natural for people with a strong dislike
for the consumer culture to make there way to
Wikimedia.  It is natural that these people suddenly
seeing a multinational coporation in the site-notice
would have a bad reaction.  I think the reasoning
behind the sitenotice display is sound and I support
the decision.  But perhaps I would have been upset if
I had not already expected to see coporate matching
donors.  It is hard to say, I am really not that
radical.  At the same time I have seen many people who
I think are radical in their related areas defend this
sitenotice.  This makes me think the bulk of the
reaction is really due to the surprise factor. Maybe
the lesson here is that there is a need for better
internal new releases.

I think Brad's annoucement of the beginning of the
fundraising drive was very good.  If it had had a
footer silmilar to what the Wikimania Tapai team has
been doing, encouraging people to forward it and
spread it to other lists, maybe there would have been
less uproar.  It is sometimes hard to remember how
much of a communication problem still remains within
this organiztion.  Six months ago it was nearly
impossible to know what happening at the Foundation
level.  Now there are annoucements, reports, and even
timetables!  But this is not being spread much through
the larger community.  I think the LSS is a great step
forward, perhaps it is time to not only list this on
meta but make weekly "deliveries" to the village pumps
of small communities and ask any larger communities
with internal news programs to host within those

Birgitte SB

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