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

Titoxd@Wikimedia titoxd.wikimedia at gmail.com
Mon Apr 23 08:17:58 UTC 2007

You do have to consider whether irritating a non-negligible portion of the
content-writing community will help us accomplish our mission better,
though. As I pointed out to Gmaxwell on IRC yesterday, yes, there may be
only a few "loud" (for lack of a better word) users that completely oppose
advertising, but if they distribute their message properly and play their
cards right, you could be talking about an Enciclopedia Libre-type of split.
Wikipedia's advantage, at least on the English Wikipedia, is that it is THE
Wikipedia, and a fork claiming that they're the descendent of the NPOV
policy or some other claim may come back to hurt us in the longer term.

-----Original Message-----
From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of David Gerard
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 1:09 AM
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

On 23/04/07, Brianna Laugher <brianna.laugher at gmail.com> wrote:

> So, do we in fact need ads (or other income streams) to keep the sites
> live or not? David seems to be suggesting we do. Others have suggested
> we do not.

I'm suggesting we might find it very useful indeed, rather than living
hand-to-mouth as we do now.

Of course, it might stimulate serious thought to securing other
revenue streams, as it seems to be doing, to stave off such an
unaesthetic idea.

> Jean-Baptiste is right, that Wikimedia is a nice oasis. So is that a
> first-world conceit that doesn't mean much, or if we were to introduce
> ads might we not all lament it in five, 20 years when we see the
> Foundation wasn't going to collapse, after all?

Not just the possibility of failure, but the possibility of not doing
nearly as well on our mission as we could. "To educate everyone with a
broadband connection" is not entirely convincing.

- d.

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