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Thread: Why does Wikipedia need my money...?

  1. #1
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Why does Wikipedia need my money...?

    The site is done completely by volunteers. And Jimmy Wales himself was quoted as saying Wikipedia is estimated to be worth 3 Billion dollars. (Yes, that's billion with a B).

    So why do I need to contribute to their "fundraiser" to the tune of $16 million?
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  2. #2
    big on TONING dynamo's Avatar
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    Probably to pay the salaries of people who do site maintence and to pay for the servers.
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  3. #3
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    They don't need it, but they'll take it if you want to give. No matter how rich, it's good to be a little richer.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Just because something is worth $3 billion does not mean that they have any cash laying around. If Wikipedia is worth $3 billion it is largely, if not entirely, because of the potential for advertising. Wikipedia does not run ads so it doesn't realize any of that potential. If they're not going to advertise, they have to cover their operating expenses some other way. That's where you come in.

    Wikipedia is not a commercial website so they rely on donations to get by. They could charge you to use their service but instead they allow you to use it for free.
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  5. #5
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    $16 million is one half of one percent of their estimated net worth.
    If they can't find one half of one percent in the sofa cushions, then they're mis-managed.

    I ain't convinced.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosch232 View Post
    $16 million is one half of one percent of their estimated net worth.
    If they can't find one half of one percent in the sofa cushions, then they're mis-managed.

    I ain't convinced.
    What aren't you convinced about? What revenue do they have coming in to cover their costs?

  7. #7
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    if wikipedia went completely commercial, had ads and popups all over it then they'd be makin the big bucks, makin somewhere around their "net" worth probably. by them asking for donations, they're pretty much asking for support so they can keep the site clean and running, which i find admirable since i can't stand sites that have 30,000 ads on their page or those annoying popups that show up in the middle of the page right when you're in the middle of reading the article (some of them dont have the x-out and i have to refresh the page to get rid of it, and thats if it even works. so goddamn annoying).

    i can see what you're saying though, Bosch, about just dipping into their potential, maybe allowing a "few" ads to help cover the cost. i just think theyre trying to avoid that all together
    Last edited by soclydeza; 12-23-2010 at 08:38 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Just because something is worth 3 billion doesn't mean they got 3 billion as others have said. Ever notice no ads? How is Wikipedia going make money if doesn't advertise or charge any fees or any sort?
    "It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.
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  9. #9
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik00117 View Post
    How is Wikipedia going make money if doesn't advertise or charge any fees or any sort?
    Beats the hell out of me. So, if they don't have income, explain the net worth of 3 billion.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosch232 View Post
    Beats the hell out of me. So, if they don't have income, explain the net worth of 3 billion.
    Several of the post of above explain it.

  11. #11
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    Beats the hell out of me. So, if they don't have income, explain the net worth of 3 billion.
    Simple you take the number of page views they have, use industry standardized formula to calculate the number of visits, how many clicks they can get etc. Catch here is, they don't advertise, they don't charge, and as far as I'm aware they don't have any VIP services where someone pays extra.

    If your financially able, and use wiki leaks why not donate $10-$20

    If anything I think they should advertise. I'd not against advertisement. Heck I've gotten some good deals from ads.

    The other day I wanted some motorcycle gloves on a motorcycle website reading reviews of different gloves, see and Ad for a pair of gloves I bought them.
    "It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.
    "It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
    "It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.
    "It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik00117 View Post
    If your financially able, and use wiki leaks why not donate $10-$20

    .
    hehe, guess we know where Nik spends his time!

  13. #13
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, it's a huge resource.
    But 16 million a year?

    Clearly I'm in the wrong business, and need to be farming out server space/storage or something.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

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    By doing some quick research - wiki doesn't need your money but the owner refuses to make money off of it at this stage. A few sources say the owner pockets 25% of donations. He figures enough people would rather donate than have ads on the site. So far, he's right.

  15. #15
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    The people at Wikipedia are worried that ads would appear to be a compromise of their integrity. I personally don't think anything is wrong with ads as long as they do not affect the neutrality of the articles on Wikipedia. IMO Wikipedia is one of the better "charities" do donate to these days.
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  16. #16
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    The people at Wikipedia are worried that ads would appear to be a compromise of their integrity. I personally don't think anything is wrong with ads as long as they do not affect the neutrality of the articles on Wikipedia. IMO Wikipedia is one of the better "charities" do donate to these days.
    I gotta agree, they need to put in ads IMHO.

    But taking 25% of donations for salary??? That's a bit extreme now don't get me wrong I'm not against this man getting paid for his work...If he were to collect 25% of profits then so be it. But 25% of $16 million is 4 million, I mean why not just set a salary??? Say $150,000 per yr adjusted for inflation (he does run a pretty big site)

    Also Bosch, Wikipedia is huge...They aren't on your typically $9.99 monthly website hosting service...Even a fully dedicated box would cost $200 a month and I'm sure they get enough traffic to carry thousands, upon thousands of boxes. ? With a complicated server system as I'm sure Wikipedia has it requireds work etc...wikipedia is huge and 16 million a yr to run it is reasonable...
    "It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.
    "It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
    "It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.
    "It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

  17. #17
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous1 View Post
    A few sources say the owner pockets 25% of donations.
    Hmmm, this needs to be verified. Does this include business travel expenses during the course of the year? Because I'm sure he has to travel and speak in order to keep fundraising going. To be honest I think he deserves more than $4 million a year but that's just my opinion.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosch232 View Post
    Don't get me wrong, it's a huge resource.
    But 16 million a year?

    Clearly I'm in the wrong business, and need to be farming out server space/storage or something.
    For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 Wikimedia Foundation's expenses were as follows (all figures USD; as audited by KPMG):

    Salary and wages: 3,508,336
    Awards and grants: 208,662
    Internet hosting: 1,056,703
    In-kind service expenses: 502,558
    Operating: 3,864,420
    Travel: 476,663
    Depreciation and amortization: 524,341
    Special event expenses: 70,407
    Other: 72,703

    An organization as large as Wikipedia/Wikimedia is much more complex and expensive to run than you seem to realize.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    And based on those numbers it is highly unlikely that the founder could be pocketing a quarter of donations.
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  20. #20
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    It is an interesting discussion.

    I don't, however, consider wikipedia to be a charity. The local food bank (which I do support regularly)... That's a charity.
    Last edited by Bosch232; 12-29-2010 at 06:18 PM.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    That's fine. You certainly don't have to donate.
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  22. #22
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    One could argue that the populace has already contributed by donating the knowledge base..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Sanchez View Post
    They could charge you to use their service but instead they allow you to use it for free.
    They couldn't charge for their services because it's based on volenteer content. No content, no site...

    Codeguru

  24. #24
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codeguru View Post
    They couldn't charge for their services because it's based on volenteer content. No content, no site...

    Codeguru
    That's a good point. And that's exactly why Wikipedia requires donations to raise money in order to avoid relying on advertising revenue.

    (Although, at this point - as opposed to at start up - they could probably turn it into a pay service but it's value would still be severely diminished. Another model - perhaps giving contributors credit towards their membership - could be used for a pay service, as well. That would have the additional benefit of encouraging contributions but there would be a real problem with ensuring that they are legitimate/correct contributions.)
    Last edited by Jorge Sanchez; 12-27-2010 at 08:15 AM.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd View Post
    One could argue that the populace has already contributed by donating the knowledge base..
    Some people have already contributed to the knowledge base.

    The Red Cross doesn't cease to ask for donations simply because some people volunteer for the organization.
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