[Foundation-l] A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 22 23:56:20 UTC 2007

David Gerard wrote:
> How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
> Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
> comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
> educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
> hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.
> (As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia
> comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world
> citizens. I eagerly await news and demographics otherwise.)
> - d.

Two comments

The first is that in my opinion, refusing ads is not simply an ethical 
position. My problem with ads is that when they are "google ads" type, 
they decreases if not negate the neutrality of an article. An example I 
always use is the article on tires. If we put an ads of Michelin on the 
tire article, then we can not claim it is neutral anymore (Michelin is 
from my city).
Whether it is on a .org or a .com will not change that.
I might at best consider ads on the search pages, though not happily. 
But ads on the articles themselves is really something I am not supporting.

The second is that to really bring in money, an ads needs to be on a 
"visited" website. Right now, the visited website is the .org. For ads 
(or any commercial feature for that matter) to be successful, we would 
need to orient visitors to be .com rather than to the .org. So, by 
default, the world would have access to a website 1) with ads, 2) not 
editable and 3) with stable versions.


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