[Foundation-l] About rumors...

Bradypus Bradypus_wp at yahoo.fr
Sat Feb 17 11:05:35 UTC 2007


Thank you for clarifying that point.
However, on a different subject, I note that the page you refer us to begins 
"the Wikimedia Foundation - which owns the online encyclopedia Wikipedia"

Owns? O_o  [sigh]


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Anthere" <Anthere9 at yahoo.com>
To: <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 11:21 AM
Subject: [Foundation-l] About rumors...

> I was away from my computer for 4 days last week, to participate to a
> conference (LIFT) in Switzerland. During this conference, the organiser
> asked me questions about the financial situation of the projects. I
> answered with plain honesty and unfortunately with some words which
> raised the attention of a blogger in the room.
> Never mind that the words were taken out of context, never mind the
> smiles that went with the words, the words were out. Twisted.
> So, if some of you have heard that Wikipedia might close in 4 months due
> to financial difficulties, these are the words I am talking about.
> For more on the discussion on the matter, please see the blog of Mr
> Guissani. I had a long discussion with him on financial matters on
> friday morning.
> http://www.lunchoverip.com/2007/02/the_wikimedia_c.html
> I think that summarize things pretty well.
> ---------
> The day the WMF will plan to close Wikipedia for lack of funds, believe
> me, you'll know. Before the press.
> Will Wikipedia close in 4 months ? NO. NO. AND NO.
> ---------
> All of our financial statements for year 2004, 2005 and 2006 are public
> and audited. Please find them here:
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Finance_report#Audited_financial_statements
> We also have a page where we state our needs for the coming 6 months.
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/What_we_need_the_money_for.
> (as a reminder, our fiscal year goes from june to june)
> TO make it short, we currently have above 1 million (exact figures to
> pick up from Carolyn, perhaps 1,5) in bank, available for use.
> Current monthly expenses as of today are about 75 000 dollars.
> We had an (optimistic goal) of hardware investment of 1,6 million before
> june. We can expect bandwidth and hosting costs to naturally follow. We
> also need more human help, at least hiring a permanent executive
> director, a CTO and probably more developers.
> Just have a look at the page and do count yourself. If you add current
> daily operations + hardware investment + increase in bandwidth +
> increase in hosting + 3 to 5 additional employees, we are already over
> that 1.5 millions that we have in hand.
> So, as of today, I think we can quietly say that
> "yes, we have about 3-4 months of operations at hand". Not 6 months. Not
> 1 year. Not 2 years. Roughly 3-4 months.
> If you look at the bottom of this page,
> (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/What_we_need_the_money_for#Retained_revenue)
> you'll see that the recommandations of auditors is always to try to have
> 6 months of reserve. We are far from it. We have roughly 4 months.
> Having 6 months of reserve is financially wiser.
> Did you have a way to know this previously ?
> Yes you did. It was listed in the site notice during the full month of
> fundraising. So, there is nothing new to wikipedians. There might be
> something new to press though.
> ---------
> I repeat, we are not going to disappear. We have been in worse state in
> the past. Well, in december 2006, some expenses were delayed, delayed
> till the money from the fundraising was flowing in, and we could pay the
> bills.
> Someone mentionned image server a few days ago. Image server was planned
> in september hardware quote. But purchase was delayed till december.
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution_Hardware_sept_2006
> Because given our cashflow situation, it would have been unreasonable to
> buy the image servers.
> This should not happen. We should not come to the point where we delay
> hardware investment. We should aim to provide the best service, not just
> the service we can afford.
> We should not try to pretend we do not need money. We do need more
> money. People at the Foundation are trying to find creative ways to
> collect more, with services (datafeed), royalties from brand use
> (Wikipedia in particular), matching donations etc... but raising the
> money for the projects should not become only the business of 10 or so
> employees. This should be many people concern. Because Wikipedia is not
> the website of a few people, not even the website of the community, it
> is a common good.
> ant
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