[Foundation-l] fundraising idea

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Sun Nov 18 09:36:37 UTC 2007

This is similar to a proposal I half-jokingly suggested on the ComCom
mailing list. A toolbar for Firefox that gives instant Wikipedia or other
project search and when the user hits a certain number of WMF page views
they are invited to make a nominal donation to pay for their usage.

This would keep the load off the WMF servers, and it would be totally
opt-in. If you set it at 500 pageviews and ask for $5 or $10 then when you
click on the donate button in the toolbar it takes you to a page detailing
what your money will do - not much - but it is a small, easy-to-make

Anyone who codes is free to suggest other features you could put into such a
toolbar. I can see you could have a pulldown of wiki-favourites. I'm sure a
few other features could be added in to make the toolbar more useful.

This also suffers from the issues pointed out with server-side
micropayments, but I believe it would get more uptake and be easier to do
than hooking into Mediawiki to track a user's pageviews.

This is not as an alternative to the fundraising drive, but as something
intended to keep donations coming in throughout the year.

Brian McNeil
-----Original Message-----
From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of GerardM
Sent: 18 November 2007 08:56
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] fundraising idea

It is a good idea. One thing is to be understood. We give our information
away for Free ie we give our information away. This is something we feel
strongly about. So when implemented, it is needs to be an opt in system. The
beauty of your suggestion is you can say: I am going to give 2500 monetary
units and for every read I give one away. You may find that you passed this
border and it is not unlikely that the system will be kept in place.

PS what is the overhead on such a system ?

On Nov 18, 2007 8:48 AM, Colin Maroney <cjmaroney01 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi.  I have just this minute subscribed to the list and read about your
> fundraising difficulties, discussed in early Nov.  I came after having
> thrown $25 your way, the average donation i see.  I have an idea as to how
> you guys could make money ethically, unobtrusively, wiithout alienating
> customers, and it's cheap to implement.
> Micropayments.  Ask people to voluntarily become subscribers to a
> micropayment system.  They give you $5 up front.  You charge them .01 a
> page, or maybe .05 tops.  I like $.01 better, because it is literally the
> least you can ask.  Charge their account, you don't need to ask for a
> credit
> card each time, you have $5, just take it out of that until it's gone.
> You can embellish the program a bit.  Don't charge for contributions or
> edits or other "giving" activities, only for article views.  In fact
> giving
> activities could earn you a credit, although there are "cheating" issues
> with that.  Make sure you remind them that they just donated a penny, and
> hey, thanks for that, we appreciate it.
> When they use up the $5, which will probably take a while, it's 500
> articles, but they will use it up eventually, and then you start  by
> emailing them a reminder and then nagging them at the bottom of the
> article
> that they need to refill their account.  DO NOT STOP SERVING THEM PAGES.
> Anyone can still see Wikipedia for free, but you should make your point
> that
> hey, it costs money, and you're asking for a friggin penny a hit, so come
> on.
> How many articles do you serve a day?  a buck a hundred will add up fast.
> And it is an ongoing source of funding, permanent really, as long as
> people
> are willing to do it.  So you have to sell them on it, but i think it
> could
> work.  It's technically easy to implement, i would think, you'd need a
> login
> and then just track session hits.  You'd want to make real sure to avoid
> double-charges or other BS that could piss people off, and you'd need to
> be
> careful that people couldn't get in and force payments from the wrong
> account, although there's not much incentive to do that, since you can
> still
> see if free if you want to.
> what do you all think?
> --
> == -- == -- == -- == -- ==
> Colin Maroney
> cjmaroney01 at gmail.com
> -- == -- == -- == -- == --
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