[Foundation-l] Is popularity a good thing for us?

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Sun Dec 16 14:51:21 UTC 2007

On 16/12/2007, Ayelie <ayelie.at.large at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Dec 16, 2007 8:23 AM, Jon Harald Søby <jhsoby at gmail.com> wrote:

> > The Foundation has repeatedly stated that it can not and will not reveal
> > details about this. What, then, is the use of this speculation? As I've
> > said
> > to others, it accomplishes nothing. We have encyclopædias to write, let's
> > focus on that instead.

> ... and a freely-licensed image collection to build, libraries to collect,
> books to write, dictionaries to work on, quote collections to gather,
> species data references to create, news articles to publish, learning
> materials to prepare...  ;)

To change the subject:

This gets to the point of what we're doing this for. WMF's job is not
in fact to run a hideously popular and expensive web site - it's to
generate a body of work that's freely reusable by all.

So. Plus and minus points of popularity?

+ Proves we're doing something of value.
+ We get attention and hence contributors.
+ We have power to comment in the press to further our mission.
+ We get an income to get staff to help further our mission.

- Immediatism is the enemy of considered working, and being top-10
means we have to do far too many things really fast.
- Costs a fortune to run the site.
- We're a target for attacks from ad-banner trolls.
- Mass popularity reruits volunteers from closer to the bottom of the barrel.

Please add more. Is there a case for trying to make ourselves less
popular so we can get on with work?

- d.

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