[Foundation-l] Wikipedia Executive Director?

Michael Snow wikipedia at frontier.com
Thu Dec 9 18:54:10 UTC 2010

On 12/9/2010 9:24 AM, Zack Exley wrote:
> The fact is that most of our donors -- and more of our potential donors --
> don't know what Wikimedia Foundation is, or only have a dim notion of it. If
> they're on Wikipedia and the banner is talking about something else, they
> think it's an ad for a third party. That's bad!
> We need to connect with millions and millions of readers. Only 1% click the
> banners when we're doing well. Less than 1% of those clickers donate. So we
> can't afford to write banners that don't make sense to people.
> Let just hope that Media does as well as Pedia!
While I understand the challenges in communicating effectively with a 
variety of audiences, I think the point that's been raised is that for a 
project that is all about trying to describe things as accurately as 
possible, much of the community feels that in order to maintain a basic 
level of accuracy, it's worth it to forgo whatever additional money we 
might raise by giving it up. To phrase it differently, this is not a 
messaging decision that should be left to the outcome of AB testing. 
That's an argument to which I'm sympathetic.

Obviously, more education is needed and will probably always be needed 
about Wikimedia and the behind-the-scenes work that supports Wikipedia. 
I appreciate that and hope we will continue to seek ways to incorporate 
it into the story for fundraising and other communications. We need to 
both make sense and be accurate. If it's accurate and doesn't make 
sense, it probably won't be effective, but also just because something 
makes sense to people doesn't make it accurate, and that's equally a 

--Michael Snow

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