[Foundation-l] How Kul is that?

effe iets anders effeietsanders at gmail.com
Thu Feb 7 09:05:51 UTC 2008

Dear Simon,

Sometimes I wonder about why you send certain emails. You sent this
out of the blue, very confusing (maybe not to you, but that is quite
common to the people who write it) email that suggests that you tried
to write a personal advice to Kul. However, you did not send it to
him, but to the foundation-l mailinglist. A public list, of which I am
not even sure all foundation employees read all posts (I actually hope
they don't because if they do, they spend a lot of time on it in which
they could do probably more useful stuff).

If you want to write an advice to Kul, please just send it to *him*.
Maybe the problem was you could not locate his email address on the
Foundation website, which is indeed not good, but if you would have
sent it to the contact address on the contact page,
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Contact_us , I am confident they
would have forwarded it appropriately.

However, your email does, except for it's shape and wordings, suggest
more that it is all about making a point to the community, that you
want to start a discussion. If you want to do so, maybe it's more
useful to just write it a little more general, and make the topic a
little more clearer: you want that the WMF researches the
possibilities of advertizements. In that way we could have a more open
discussion about the topic :)

Best regards, Eia

2008/2/7, simonpedia <simon op cols.com.au>:
> Or should I say, How is that, Kul?
> Look mate (I hope you don't mind me calling you this, as I've been in your
> position too many times),
> I understand that you have a rod up your back created by the Foundation's
> philosophy. So can I throw in a few heresies here, and a direct comparison
> with Rotary, as it's a philanthropic whose Foundation's philosophy (I think)
> is not dissimilar to the WMF's.
> The WMF's founders are no doubt innovators; they have created a "new star"
> which has tens of thousands of people's hopes up. But they are not
> Entrepreneurs, they are Philanthropists. At least, by their actions, that is
> how they see themselves. The problem here is that they sit on the combined
> goodwill of their star gazers without shifting economic resources out of an
> area of lower, into an area of higher, productivity and greater yield"
> (using J,B. Say's definition: around 1800 "The Entrepreneur shifts economic
> resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity
> and greater yield")
> The only people making money (yielding) out of Wikipedia, etc are PR
> companies who charge their customers for keeping their articles current. If
> you'd like some ammunition for this argument I can provide it. The founder's
> honest beliefs have led to the time consuming distraction of gaining revenue
> via lots of little donations; quite logical if you are a philanthropist. But
> even Rotary produces magazines and newsletters around which they (and their
> chapter's publishers) wrap advertising revenue. And I would never suggest
> that these ads would be sold on the basis of the content produced. This is a
> point of contention for every publisher and, whether it's admitted or not at
> the moment, this is a business that the WMF is in.
> So until the attitudes change, which they undoubtedly will, if for no other
> reason than to acknowledge that some volunteers around here know so much
> more about a subject than PR professionals and should be paid accordingly, I
> can only hope that the donor meetings serve good food and are entertaining.
> In the meantime, as an experiment in how much time and money is lost in
> asking for donations instead of simply offering a space for a dollar
> figure/month or minute, why don't you just test the water and ask an
> advertising agency how much for just the one spot ?
> The board should at least be informed as to what they are saying NO to these
> days.
> We can see that good talent is everywhere. If we consider Erik's elevation
> to a high rank as an example of a process in action, then Germany is made
> poorer by him not having had an apprentice, who steps in to fill his old
> role. This is the point I'm trying to make. Go outside the community and
> you're bringing in professionals like yourself. That's great. But be aware
> that this is a new form of philanthropy. Wikimedians don't need "a service"
> provided to them other than a decent technical infrastructure, and treating
> their work as anything but professional is denigrating. So they need proof,
> and hope that if they work hard, they might be elevated too. Enough heresy
> for today. Good luck. simon
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