[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment
millosh at gmail.com
Fri Mar 15 02:08:45 UTC 2013
On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 2:51 AM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Last year's financial report shows almost exactly $2.5m for "Internet
>> hosting". I'm not sure quite what that covers
> Only data-center usage (facilities, bandwidth, power). It does not
> include capital expenditures (servers, storage, network gear, etc.;
> budgeted at $1.9M in 2012-13) nor ops engineering staffing, nor of
> course any software engineering staffing or the basics of an
> organizational support structure (management/administration, legal,
> What's a bare minimum amount? It's a hard question to answer, because
> it depends on what you consider an acceptable bare minimum.
> - Is it acceptable for the projects to be without legal defense?
> - Is it acceptable to revert back to a single data center mode of operation?
> - Is it acceptable for ops to just barely be able to keep the lights
> on, with minimal effort dedicated to backups/monitoring/maintenance,
> - Is it acceptable for there to be no software engineers to aid with
> reviewing code contributions, and making improvements to the software?
> and so on.
> WMF has operated in the past without staffing and with very minimal
> staffing, so clearly it's _possible_ to host a high traffic website on
> an absolute shoestring. But I would argue that an endowment, to
> actually be worthwhile, should aim for a significantly higher base
> level of minimal annual operating expenses, more in the order of
> magnitude of $10M+/year, to ensure not only bare survival, but actual
> sustainability of Wikimedia's mission. The "what's the level required
> for bare survival" question is, IMO, only of marginal interest,
> because it is much more desirable, and should be very much possible,
> to raise funds for sustaining our mission in perpetuity.
I like the fact that megalomania is infectious and escalating disease,
which has roots in reality :)
I started to write something like: Come on, it's better to have a bare
minimum than nothing. Then I realized that WMF endowment needs two
year of Mozilla's income. Thus, quite possible for WMF, as well. Not
in two, but yes in five or so years.
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