Wiki-poordia


Wikipedia is facing the heat, and it’s not even summer. The global financial crisis seem to have a long lasting effect on the Wikimedia Foundation, so much so, that they started dropping hints (even more than before) that they are now going bankrupt. They are definitely getting poorer 😦

First, they just had a simple Donate Now button.

Now they have hordes of new stuff. They are starting to get poorer! This is what I call the Donate-o-meter. They want to show you, that $6 Million is their goal, so go for it and donate!

Donate-o-meter

Donate-o-meter

Then,  they had it in their server error messages. This is what they had to say.

Our servers are busy … try again after a few minutes … The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organisation which hosts some of the most popular sites on the Internet, including Wikipedia. It has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to help, please donate.

Server Error

Server Error

When nobody listened (or at least a few did) they had testimonials and comments given by donors displayed on the top of each page! This one’s from a $100 US donor.

Wiki-donor

Wiki-donor

And this one’s from a 30 Euro French donor.

Wiki-donor2

Wiki-donor2

Finally, when this unexpected thing cropped up today, I knew that Wikipedia was truly down in the dumps. They might actually file for bankruptcy now. Wikimedia Foundation founder Jimmy Wales appeals for cash.

Message For A Letter

Message For A Letter

Pretty strange, huh. I clicked on the link (like most of you would obviously do, and, probably have already done) and and saw this letter. It said:

Dear Reader,

Today I am going to ask you to support Wikipedia with a donation … small number of paid staff, just twenty-three … annual expenses are less than six million dollarsyou will help us cover the increasing cost of managing global traffic to one of the most popular websites on the Internet. Funds also help us improve the software that runs Wikipedia …  Your donation will help keep Wikipedia free for the whole world.

The Letter

The Letter

Those words kept ringing in my mind.

Your donation will help keep Wikipedia free for the whole world

Is that a threat? Scaring people into believing that Wikipedia will no longer be free, if we do not donate? Wikipedia is one of the most primary and important sources of education (especially school projects) and also quizzing knowledge, facts and trivia. If this dies, then God save us all.

Just pray they don’t file for bankruptcy!



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4 comments

  1. Ankur Banerjee · December 29, 2008

    They can solve this funding problem in a single blow but they won’t. That’s exceptionally stupid. Just have freakin’ ads on the website dammit! With the amount of traffic they get, it’s a surefire winner. And since the only reason why Google launched Knol is because they wanted some resource where they could place ads, if Wikipedia finally decides to put Google AdSense ads then they could probably cut a deal with Google to get portion of the ad revenue too. Already their commercial arm, Wikia, does this. Maybe they’ll reach $6 million this year, but at the rate at which it’s growing it’ll need more money next year – and that may become difficult for them to get.

  2. Aditya · December 30, 2008

    @Ankur Banerjee: They can, you’re right. But would Wikipedia be the same, even after putting ads on their pages? No! It would spoil the entire experience of uninterrupted knowledge acquisition! However, a small banner ad never hurt anybody…

  3. Ankur Banerjee · December 30, 2008

    @Aditya: Look at the sidebar. Many pages are long and after all the stuff in the sidebar they’ve a lot of space. If they put text ads there, then it won’t affect reading! And if they use third-party automated systems like AdSense, then there’s no way the ads can influence content (which may be a possibility if Wikipedia has direct relations with advertisers).

  4. Aditya · December 30, 2008

    @Ankur Banerjee: Hmm… Now that’s a point. Now where did I keep Jimmy Wales’ e-mail id?

    And, you are not allowed to use @ on my blog. Only I, the administrator, have the authoritah to do th@t!

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