[Wikimedia-l] Outage: what I'm telling the press

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 19:43:25 UTC 2012

David, the BBC says you told them the following:




Mr Gerard joked that due to the site's limited financial resources, some of
its infrastructure relied on "gaffer tape and string".

In an error message posted to the site, the Wikimedia Foundation reiterated
its reliance on donations to fund its continued operation.

"The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organisation which hosts some of
the most popular sites on the internet," the message read.

"It has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to
help, please donate."

Despite its limited funding, the site is considered to have impressive
reliability. Its last significant down time was deliberate - the site went
"offline" for 24 hours in protest at proposed anti-piracy bills in the US.


Compare that characterisation of limited funding to the FAQ for the
Wikimedia Foundation's Annual Plan 2012–2013:



How did 2011-12 play out from a financial perspective?
>From a financial perspective, 2011-12 was an excellent year for the
Wikimedia Foundation. The 2011-12 plan called for us to increase revenue
24% from 2010-11, to $29.5 million, and to increase spending 53% from
2010-11, to $28.3 million. In fact, we significantly over-achieved from a
revenue perspective, and we also slightly underspent, resulting in a larger
reserve than planned. We're projecting today that 2011-12 revenue will have
actually increased 47% from 2010-11 actuals, to $34.8 million. Spending is
projected to have increased 36% from 2010-11 actuals, to $27.2 million.
This means we added $9.9 million to the reserve, for a projected
end-of-year total of $27.7 million which represents 12 months of reserves
at the 2011-12 spending level.[/quote]


Just for comparison's sake, the 2007 fundraising report announced
contributions totaling 2.16 million for the entire year, i.e. merely
one-sixteenth of the revenue last year. And less than Wikimedia now takes
in a month. Even so, Wikipedia was up and running in 2007.

Could you get back to the BBC, please, David, and tell them that they
somehow seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick here? And
could you drop the "gaffer tape and string" jokes next time round?


On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 5:50 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 6 August 2012 17:46, Oliver Keyes <okeyes at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > Verify what David said (I'm not technical, but it matches the description
> > I've been given). Our ops guys and girls are currently poking things,
> which
> > is slowing down a larger/more official announcement, but I'll see what I
> > can do.
> The "1:06" is from Reedy, the "waiting on vendor postmortem" is from
> Leslie Carr.
> The BBC article is ... well, I have said some of the words in those
> quotes during my life. The headline is accurate ...
> - d.
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