[Foundation-l] New fundraising site

Matthew Britton matthew.britton at btinternet.com
Tue Dec 25 23:11:21 UTC 2007

Erik Moeller wrote:

> People love to hear stories. We have great stories to tell. I'm
> convinced that people are more likely to donate after reading one of our
> stories around Wikipedia. But we are talking about a webpage and
> therefore our stories have to be short and they need to have a clear plot.

Ooh, this sounds fun. Can I try?

> Just have a look at the example of Patricio Lorente. The story has four
> parts:
> 1) Introduction of Patricio as a normal kind of guy. There seems to be
> nothing unusual to tell about him.
> 2) Something happened in the life of Patricio. Something that changes
> his attitude towards life in general.
> 3) Patricio gets involved with Wikipedia. He begins to do something very
> special and useful.
> 4) You don't want him to stop his very special and useful work just as a
> result of a lack of money, don't you? Donate.

Hmm. Sounds to me like it's Patricio I need to donate to, not the 
Wikimedia Foundation. If enough people get together and raise him a 
years' salary, he can take time off work to edit Wikipedia! On the other 
hand, if the money goes to the Foundation, he needs to be back behind 
his desk on Monday. And his employer has a strict policy against 
personal use of the Internet.

Clearly there is room for improvement here.

> In the next days and weeks we should collect as many good stories as we
> can.

Now that's a good idea.

> I might find some time over the holidays to work on some additional
> stories for the site. But if you have any ideas yourself, feel free to
> post them, to me or to the list. :-)

I tell you what, you can have my story for free. Of course I'd normally 
demand royalties for an epic of this magnitude, so I hope you appreciate 
my generosity.


Bored university student discovers Wikipedia, as most university 
students do; finds it to be a useful source of information and, being 
bored, wonders if making the odd edit here and there might not be a good 
way to while away the time. Edits some pages, then a few more, then a 
few hundred more; decides this Wikipedia thing seems to be going places, 
unlike self; still bored, starts getting more involved with the project. 
Contributes, maintains obscure project pages, eventually gets made 
administrator. Attempts to brag about this to friends, is labelled as 
nerd, loses friends.

Starts using IRC channels, subscribes to mailing lists, deletes pages, 
blocks vandals. Becomes caught up in drama, semi-forced into resignation 
of adminship, decides to leave. Fails to do so due to lack of 
self-control; returns under alternative name, writes anti-vandalism 
tool, reverts vandalism. Remembers "university student" part too late; 
fails exams, is annoyed, quits. Does not edit for a month, is labelled 

Relocates education; resolves only to edit when sufficient time presents 
itself; returns under original name. Finds time is short, limits extent 
of contribution to vandalism reversion, failed adminship requests, jokes 
that aren't funny, borderline trolling, and sarcastic mailing list 
posts. Watches English Wikipedia community dig itself deeper into hole, 
decides association with said community was a bad idea in the first place.

With your hard-earned cash safely in the Foundation's grubby mitts, can 
go on to fail exams yet again and live a life of poverty!


Actually come to think of it, this, er, might put people off donating. 
Perhaps best not to use it.

> Any feedback is appreciated. :-)

> Happy holidays to all!
> Erik

Indeed. Have a great time, everyone.


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