[Wikimedia-l] Rationale for fundraising record?

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Sun Jan 13 20:41:29 UTC 2013

Zack Exley wrote:
>On Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>>In previous discussions, there were questions about trade-offs and I
>>think you mentioned that the Wikimedia community would have to make some
>>choices about certain implementation details (e.g., "stickiness" of
>>banners) after evaluating the cost of these features (annoyance to
>>readers and editors) versus their benefit (increase in donations,
>>decrease in fundraising banner time, etc.). I realize it's January and
>>that the next annual fundraiser is many months away, but do you have any
>>idea when this year you'll be having a discussion about these trade-offs
>>and where?
>Any suggestions about how that might best be done? There are so few people
>who participate on this list that I would say this isn't a good place to
>measure the feelings of either WM contributions or readers.

Meta-Wiki (<https://meta.wikimedia.org/>).

I agree that this list is not representative of the Wikimedia community
(and no forum will ever be truly representative), but I don't think that's
important here.

>There's also the problem of people not necessarily knowing what actually
>annoys them or interferes with their experience the most when it's being
>discussed in the abstract.

I don't follow. There are about a million test wikis available, including
test.wikipedia.org, test2.wikipedia.org, and an entire Wikimedia Labs
cluster that can be used for testing banners. You're absolutely right that
discussing banners and annoyance in the abstract would be useless, I just
have no idea why anyone ever would. There are about eleven months till the
start of the next annual fundraiser. In that time, I think it should be
possible to come up with a few demos for the community to evaluate and

>And surveys of course have their problems.

I don't follow. This doesn't seem to have stopped the Wikimedia Foundation
or any other organization on Earth from (regularly) using surveys.

>Moreover, what are the important questions? What do some editors find
>objectionable from an aesthetic point of view? (Even though we are now
>sparing logged in users completely.) What gets in the way of readers' use
>of the site? Or other more nuanced questions about readers' reactions? For
>example, do some choices cause readers to perceive banners as ads, cause
>confusion or possibly reduce readership?

Well, are we sparing logged in users completely? Who determines that? Is
that documented anywhere?

There are many ways to annoy readers. Generally anything that invades the
content area of the site (which is physically marked on the page with
borders) is off-limits and inappropriate to me. Others may disagree,
particularly if there's enough of a financial gain. These are the types of
discussions that need to be had.

It's always possible to do a full splash-screen and it would probably
bring in a lot of money, but I don't think anyone is advocating for such
an approach. That's one end of the spectrum. The other end is having no
banners at all and relying on simple word-of-mouth. The grey areas in
between these two extremes need further thought and consideration.
Meta-Wiki is the place for this.

>Any thoughts?

Your questions are a bit silly. :-)


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