[Foundation-l] "Personal Appeals for individual editors" strikes the right chord

Alec Conroy alecmconroy at gmail.com
Sun Dec 5 18:32:03 UTC 2010

I just wanted to write in to compliment all those who are behind the
banners on the site right now--   Personal Appeals from individual
editors with inspiring visions about how Wikimedia can help change the
world for the better.

This, to me, is is what a 'Wikimedia Fundraiser' should feel like--
it's hopeful, it's upbeat.  It's visionary, it's populist.   It's
polished and sleek without boring and homogenous.  It pulls at the
readers heartstrings, and it effectively communicates 'why' everyone
cares so much about this movement.   The personal appeals remind us
that we're not "just a cool website" run by a gaggle of geeks-- we're
a social movement trying to help bring light to all the corners of the

Personal Appeals for Individual Editors keeps the greatest things
about the Personal Appeal from Jimmy Wales banner that's been  so
successful.   This only downside to running the Jimmy banner is
Jimmy's voice is only one voice--  and Wikimedia isn't about one
voice, it's about billions of voices and billions of visions, all
working together.

Thus, I love that the new banners are featuring a multiplicity of
visions--  each personal appeal is, in fact, personal.  We all have
different reasons that people from all over the world have come
together to contribute and edit together--  a beautiful thing indeed.
And that beauty has been allowed, in these current ads, to really
shine through to our readers-- readers who may know about the site's
usefulness, but maybe don't know about the passion of our community
and the visions we share for transforming the world for the better.


Last year, the banners seemed to be a lot more monolithic in their
tone, a lot more generic and imperative in their plea for funds.  They
just didn't seem to capture the true awesomeness of wikimedia, they
seemed like 'something an ad company would design'.   (Mind you, my
aesthetic-based predictions aside, last year's banners were a
record-breaking success, which is why I'm glad we hired professionals
to do this, instead of just letting me make those decisions. :)  )

But, as impressed as I was with last year's fundraiser,  I'm really
loving this year's banners.  The personal appeals from individual
editors are a campaign I'm proud to call our own.  It "feels" like us.
  It has the voice I kinda want Wikimedia to project.  This new
campaign doesn't 'feel' like it was designed by some cookie-cutter PR
firm, this campaign  feels like it was designed by "us", the members
of the movement.  (And mind you, I don't actually know who did this,
so if professionals did it, that's just an even greater testament to
their skill at having 'got' the wikimedia movement".

The fundraiser is probably a thankless job.  A few people have to try
to do very important work, while everyone else gets to stand back and
advise, instruct, critique, and satirize.   Since I've show up a
couple of times in the past to complain when I felt things we were on
the wrong track, so I felt especially called to come and speak up when
I felt so passionately that those same people are people are doing a
truly stupendous job.

So great work!   I think new banners are an invaluable tool--
communicating not just our need for funding, but also sharing our
amazing vision with our readers.   Many thanks to all who are working
so hard on this!


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