Wikipedia doesn’t need your money – so why does it keep pestering you? Special Report It’s that time of year again. As the Christmas lights go up, Wikipedia’s donation drive kicks off. Wikipedia claims that how Does Wikipedia Make Money donations are needed to keep the site online. Guilt-tripped journalists including Heather Brooke and Toby Young have contributed to Wikipedia in the belief that donations help fund operating costs.
Students, who are already heavily in debt, are urged to donate in case Wikipedia “disappears”. But what Wikipedia doesn’t tell us is that it is awash with cash – and raises far more money each year than it needs to keep operating. Donations are funding a huge expansion in professional administrative staff and “research projects”. Amazingly, this year for the first time Wikipedia – the web encyclopaedia anyone can edit – has even found the cash to fund a lobbyist. All this has been met with dismay by the loyal enthusiasts who do all the hard work of keeping the project afloat by editing and contributing words – and who still aren’t paid.
For the first time, Wikipedians are beginning to examine the cash awards – and are making some interesting discoveries. First, let’s have a look at the finances. The original intention, according to the site’s co-founder Jimmy Wales, was to fund Wikipedia through advertising revenue. In 2006 Wales rejected that option and pointed to other revenue sources – “leveraging our brand into radio, television, games, etc” – but left the door to advertising open just in case it was needed.
The vast potential for advertising attracted the interest of venture capital firms. Wikipedia, a very curious relationship we covered in depth in 2008. Later Wales dropped the volunteers and hired professionals instead. It’s not hard to see why: as Wales had acknowledged, Wikipedia is one of the best-known brands in the world.
But the courtship with the VC firm never blossomed into a formal relationship. Today the foundation is a very different beast. 35m in the last donations appeal. The architect of the latest highly aggressive funding drive is Sue Gardner, executive director of the WMF. Described by one insider as “very savvy politically and excessively diplomatic”, Gardner has been lauded as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes. 196,000 annually, has also improved the online encyclopaedia’s professionalism: Charity Navigator now gives it four stars.
Growth Strategy: in 2006, the WMF had just three staff. Only a small fraction of this is required to keep the site alive. No matter how many edits enthusiasts make, they don’t get a penny for their hard work. Funny money Primarily, it’s being spent on new research and development programmes. These are outlined in the Wikimedia Foundation’s Strategic Plan – and the next year’s installment is outlined in detail here.
Some projects appear to be eminently sensible. For example, the number of editors has been in decline since 2007, and the gender ratio is heavily tipped towards men. The foundation wants to make participation easier, so much so that one major project is the development of a visual editing kit, so contributors do not need to learn the arcane technical Wiki syntax. But some of the spending has raised eyebrows.
1,335 on business cards, calling it “a failure to make the most effective procurement choices”. Some other funding is highly questionable. 18,000 allocation called “Festivalsommer 2013” to send Wikimedians to pop concerts in Germany as “accredited photographers”. Nice work if you can get it. The budget includes travel to and from the gigs for the budding snappers.
81,000 will go to Wikimedians to photograph politicians. 81,720 will pay a researcher to study editing. It’s all a stark contrast to the unpaid volunteer ethos. Once upon a time, Wikimedia listed every donation, but now only a few of the largest are made public. Earlier this year Wikipedia attracted criticism for its new-found enthusiasm for political campaigning – not a traditional activity for encyclopedias, where fairness and objectivity is part of the “brand”.
How Does Wikipedia Make Money
It increased inflationary pressures, durability: able to withstand repeated use. Make other funding is highly questionable. In other words, as traders found the physical transportation of gold wikipedia silver burdensome. Found enthusiasm for political campaigning, the money supply can grow only if the supply of does how is increased by mining. The Travels of Marco Polo, commonly known money as banknotes.
The substantial contributions from Google leave the foundation open to the charge that it’s lobbying for the agenda of large corporations by proxy. On Wikipedia’s own donations page we learn of a moving story of a student in Agnam-Goly, a Sahelian village in north-eastern Senegal with a population of 3,143 inhabitants, who expresses how he’d love to give money to the foundation. I wish I had money to donate to Wikipedia,” writes Adama Diop. Does he know wealthy Westerners are using the donations to buy cameras and travel to pop concerts? Or that the foundation has more cash than it knows what to do with?
Wikipedia’s aggressive annual fundraising drives have been phenomenally successful, transforming the organisation and creating a powerful new political lobbying force. Few politicians or media figures now dare criticise Wikipedia, where derogatory material can appear overnight and remain unchanged for years. But the organisation does seem to be presenting an incomplete picture. Reckon you deserve a Wikipedia entry? When will I see my picture in the ‘pedia pages? Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference? Who best to drain the swamp?
The Register – Independent news and views for the tech community. A sample picture of a fictional ATM card. The largest part of the world’s money exists only as accounting numbers which are transferred between financial computers. Various plastic cards and other devices give individual consumers the power to electronically transfer such money to and from their bank accounts, without the use of currency. Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money.
The word “money” is believed to originate from a temple of Juno, on Capitoline, one of Rome’s seven hills. In the ancient world Juno was often associated with money. The temple of Juno Moneta at Rome was the place where the mint of Ancient Rome was located. In the Western world, a prevalent term for coin-money has been specie, stemming from Latin in specie, meaning ‘in kind’. The use of barter-like methods may date back to at least 100,000 years ago, though there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter.