[Foundation-l] new site notice now ready

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Sun Dec 31 18:15:22 UTC 2006

On 12/31/06, David Strauss <david at fourkitchens.com> wrote:
> The Cunctator wrote:
> > On 12/30/06, David Strauss <david at fourkitchens.com> wrote:
> >> Michael Noda wrote:
> >>> On 12/30/06, The Cunctator <cunctator at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>> On 12/28/06, daniwo59 at aol.com <daniwo59 at aol.com> wrote:
> >>>>> 7. We are already paying a steep cost. While it doesn't appear in the  audit,
> >>>>> the fact that we do not have advertising is costing us. This is  unrealized
> >>>>> income at a minimum of $60k a day and probably much more. In other  words it is
> >>>>> many millions a year. Yet, the Board and the community have chosen  to avoid
> >>>>> ads so that we can maintain our independence.
> >>>> You have a strange definition of cost. Wikipedia is missing out on
> >>>> tons of money by not being in the porno business. You don't get to
> >>>> write that up as a cost.
> >>> The technical term Danny was alluding to but didn't use was
> >>> [[opportunity cost]].
> >> And opportunity cost is the measurement we should be using. There's no
> >> sense in treating expenditures any differently from unrealized income.
> >
> > If we were a for-profit entity, I would agree. The purpose of
> > Wikipedia is not to maximize income or profit. All things being equal,
> > more income -> more realization of Wikimedia's goals, but the
> > introduction of ads would not be keeping things equal.
> Nowhere did I say the goal should be maximizing profit. Nowhere in the
> concept of opportunity cost is the necessity to maximize profit.
> Opportunity cost is merely a tool for considering the impact of
> alternatives. Part of such consideration is that a cost is not
> inherently different from unrealized income.
> > Adding advertisements would fundamentally change the nature of
> > Wikipedia. Additional income to the tune of $60K a day would too; but
> > I believe it would be a hard argument to make that the difference from
> > the increased money would necessarily be fundamentally improving. I
> > rather suspect that one of Wikipedia's core reasons for success has
> > been its minimal reliance on monetary transactions (related to its
> > minimal reliance on experts, minimal reliance on long-term planning,
> > etc.).
> Such a fundamental change is part of the "cost" consideration for
> running ads. Opportunity cost isn't about just money. In almost
> everyone's opinion, the opportunity cost of running full-blown ads is
> higher than the potential income they would generate.
So, then "opportunity cost" does not equal "unrealized income".
"Opportunity cost" equals "unrealized income" minus "unrealized
costs".  And that means that "expenses" *are* fundamentally different
from "unrealized income".

Now, factor in the fact that many "unrealized costs" are completely
intangible and can't easily, if at all, be expressed in terms of
money, and it makes the whole concept of opportunity costs extremely
limited in potential application.

The "minimum of $60k a day" Danny was alluding to is a pure gross
income figure.  It doesn't reflect any of the costs of that $60k/day -
both out of pocket costs as well as costs in terms of lost
contributors and lost goodwill.  And not even beginning to consider
the fact that advertising in ways which don't fall under the
"qualified sponsorship" exceptions in the IRS code could cost the
Foundation its charititable status.

> >> That said, there are other reasons to not have porn ads.
> >
> > There are other reasons not to have any ads. (See above, or think of your own.)
> Your response is built on your disputed notion of advertising.
Who cares if it falls under some artificial definition of advertising
or not?  I'm sure you could find 100 dictionary definitions which
include what's going on, and 100 other definitions which don't.
Answers.com says "A notice, such as a poster or a paid announcement in
the print, broadcast, or electronic media, designed to attract public
attention or patronage."  I'd say sitenotice qualifies under that
definition.  Whoopdedoo, who cares?


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