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Talk:Task force/Recommendations/Financial sustainability 1

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Latest comment: 14 years ago by Kalki101 in topic TECHNICAL SOLUTION

Advertising and strategy

Note: It is not a binary yes-or-no for advertising. See en:Wikipedia:Advertisements#Arguments for optional adverts.

Looks as if I am destined to create this page by default. Advertising: why on earth not? It is ubiquitous. Every time you drive by Times Square or the Taj Mahal, ride on a bus, or read a paper, you are subjected to advertising. Sometimes it is really useful by informing me of that great cheap holiday or that new ski resort - sometimes it isn't. I'm a grown up, I see advertising every day, and I know how to use it or discard it: and I don't need a bunch of pious wikipedians to tell me how to live my life: bring it on! 22:15, 21 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

  1. This would be psychologically devastating to the community. The loss in "human capital" (read: sheer editing willpower) would be immeasurable.
  2. Resources can be precious for many users, and junk data/cycles would not discriminate.
  3. This could be seen to jeopardise neutrality, particularly in cases where ads might be targeted to specific groups of users. In the case where ads were not targeted, the audience would be so broad as to arguably be of lesser value anyway. Consider point 1, and ask yourself if it's worth it. — 17:13, 24 January 2010 (UTC)Reply
Point #3 above is the most important of all. Let's take Wikipedia for example: Part of the appeal of Wikipedia is it has no loyalties, except to the knowledge that it holds and the people that use it. This provides an incredible sense of trust to both readers and editors. If profit and advertising were to enter the picture, do page hits become more important than quality of information? Will efforts to increase popularity of the website overpower the encyclopedic integrity of the content? Wikimedia Task Force advocates for net neutrality just one page above this one. 05:02, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Advertising is not an evil. It does not sabotage fairness or free-speech, if you don't let it or if you don't make it your primary objective. There should be no problem having a little banner on all the pages,just like the donation banner we had for a while.

As for the psychological effect on the proponents of ad-free world, just imagine how much benefit the foundation and the project could derive from just letting a little patch on the website. The ads can be regulated, and only those deemed fit by the administrators could be put up. I fail to see any bad effects on the willingness of those who really want to contribute. They should understand that this is going to benefit the community. And, there is no binding; keep the ads for a few months every year if you so desire, or even better if you could start it on a trial basis and decide after monitoring the response of the users. I say, what's the harm in giving it a try. Millions could be raised in no time, and used to make the project and the experience so much better.--Vikithesurfer 09:34, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

I disagree with your proposal to allow ads on Wikipedia (and the other projects I assume). I think that it would alienate many, many editors very quickly and they would abandon the project in droves. Even if the advertising was for only a short period of time it would irreparably damage Wikipedia's image for a huge number of editors and would lead to a major drop off in editing. I don't know how profitable advertising would be for Wikipedia but I doubt that it would be worth it because Wikipedia depends on volunteer editors to keep improving it and keep it up to date. I hope the Wikimedia people do the study they proposed and find out what editors think of advertising on Wikipedia. I think most editors would react to advertising in the way I described but it would be very useful to have some good data on this important topic available.-Chinless Fish 07:02, 26 January 2010 (UTC)Reply
I am strongly opposed to the use of advertising on Wikimedia projects. Advertising might be everywhere in society but so is the common cold. While advertising alone might be able to generate a significant amount of income it would have several negative consequences for the project.
1. Advertising will decrease the quality of the Wikimedia experience which will detract people from making donations.
a. The extra use of bandwidth and computing resources that advertising requires will make the site harder to use for those with low resource connections and computers. This will most likely hit editors and readers in poorer parts of the world which already are not covered as good as the wealthier parts of the world.
b. No matter how it is done the nature of advertising is that of manipulation. Advertising rarely state the facts about the product - instead it uses manipulation and outright lies to make people buy something the did not want in the first place. Advertising is by definition junk information and will lessen the overall quality of the Wikimedia projects - an encyclopedia is not going to improve if obvious lies are printed next to the articles. Today one of the "selling points" of Wikimedia projects are that they are add-free.
2. Advertising will jeopardise the creditability of Wikimedia projects. In the most extreme situation a big advertiser might be able to influence the contents of a project by threatening to remove his advertising but even though this is not likely to be the case even the suspicion that it could happen will have grave consequences for the perceived independence and creditability of the projects which in turn will scare away readers and editors.
3. A huge part of the Wikimedia spirit or brand is that it is done by a community, for a community. Introducing advertisers will change the spirit that has driven so many people to contribute.
Furthermore advertising is not necessary as there is a huge amount of people around the world who are willing to donate money to Wikimedia without demanding the display of their logo in return. This community-based model is far more conductive to the creditability, independence and willingness to contribute articles.
I like the idea of urging people to sign up for a monthly contribution in return of a small gift far more than the advertising model. This will be able to generate revenue without jeopardising the core qualities of the projects.-- 08:15, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply
A text advertisement can be far smaller and less irritating than what's effectively a huge text advertisement asking for donation money, and chances are it'd provide Wikimedia with more money. Donations will vary depending on times, but if money can be built up from advertisements, that's not a threat.
Also, most advertisers are interested in specific markets, and IP addresses are assigned by nation. It might not handle everyone without broadband, but making it so that less economically advantaged nations don't get advertisements displayed would fix that issue and make the spots more valuable to advertisers at the same time.
Neutrality is only an issue if people don't understand the concept of advertisements and a wiki. Most people simply ignore advertisements online, and advertisements wouldn't restrict a Mountain Dew page to only being edited by Pepsi employees, nor does not having advertisements mean that they cannot. Advertisements can be marked as advertisements - it could even have a link to a Wiki page describing what an advertisement is, just in case.
The majority of the web uses advertisements, and a huge number of websites today depend on content not professionally authored, but instead volunteered by the writers, just as Wikipedia does. They don't suffer because of their advertisements, and not all of them are simply social networking sites either. I recognize that they don't have to live up to the same standard of neutrality, but as stated earlier, that's only a realistic problem if people are not familiar with advertisements.
I'm not arguing in favor of graphic advertisements, just a small text advertisement on the sidebar or something. 22:56, 28 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

I for one am not opposed to seeing small ads on Wikipedia, I've contributed to other wikis with ads, and honestly, you don't even see them. It would be a valuable source of income, and Wikipedia would not have to "beg" for donations in order to run. I see nothing wrong with offending the "community" on Wikipedia, as there seems to be no fixed set of rules for content; one page will have something that was banned on another page etc. Let Wikipedia get with the times, either charge for the content, or allow ads for free access to the content. There is no free lunch anymore, and I do not mind ignoring small banner ads to pay for this site.

I started contributing to wikipedia with a fair amount of enthusiasm many years ago, pretty soon after it first showed up on the radar. Then i started to notice that small additions that i was making to various articles were simply deleted on basis such as "don't place famous quotes of X on the wikipedia page of X, place it in wikiquotes". Slowly, slowly i got fed up with the "new community" that somehow took over the project and, like so many other early contributors, i wound up feeling totally alianated; now i only contribute with minor edits here and there, things that will only take me a few seconds, and i never check back if those edits that i make are being reversed or not, i'm just sick of it. The bottom line, wikipedia should keep this begging for private funding business model, and, for all i care, die. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I strongly oppose any ads. I would hate to see ads for coke (or for Greenpeace, or the supermarket down the road, for that matter) when I edit Wikipedia, BECAUSE I DO NOT WORK FOR THEIR BENEFIT. And nNo one has demonstrated that we have any NEED for that money - or the horrible loss of independence it creates. I love Wikipedia for the fact that it doesn't plaster me with commercialism. Ingolfson 00:57, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

A Practical View

Before stating my opinion again, I would like to point you to a note by Jimmy Wales on Advertising in Wikipedia (I know it's old, but the views expressed are quite relevant). --> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Advertising_on_Wikipedia He says "Someday, there will be advertising on Wikipedia. Either that, or we will have to find some other way to raise money, but I can't think of any."

The editors who are serious about the project and are also pragmatic will understand the need of the time. Do an extensive poll of all the editors, but only after duly explaining them the objective of the proposal of ads and the manner in which they'll be put up. I am quite sure of a positive outcome. Such a move, if well-intentioned is hardly a reason for a truly determined editor to deter from future contributions.

As for the threat of advertisers compromising the integrity of the content bothers you, Wales says "I imagine that there will be some resistance to advertising from adamant commies, and from those who think maintaining integrity is more important. I can't really help that, and I can only state for the record that I think such people are seriously mistaken in many aspects of their world view." He adds. "I know from long experience at Bomis that advertisers don't ever attempt to dictate content". The advertisers would be in such a large no, and Wikipedia is at such an advantageous position that the thought of a single advertiser manipulating the content or quality is simply put, impractical. The final nail in the coffin from Wales "Despite the fact that such a thing would be extremely unlikely, if an advertiser ever did ask for changes to the content to flatter them, I would simply respond: go to hell." He does believe "The independence of the community is essential to the long term success of this project."

And when the foundation has become addicted to a $50 to $100 millions a year (according to estimates alluded to below), how likely is it that go to hell will really be the answer ? Shmget 03:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

I do not vouch for all-out advertising. A simple textual ad could be put up. For ex-a logo of the advertiser with a small sales pitch;not more than a single line at the bottom of pages. And I do not say use Google Ads where it is difficult to control all the ads displayed, Wikipedia can control the quality of advertisements and the advertisers as well. Estimates put the potential ad earnings in the range of US$50 m - US$100 m in one year. Even if substantially low than this estimation, the earnings would still be multifold when compared to the money raised through the strenuous(and costing) donation campaigns. I do not ask to run after money; just earn whatever is possible while maintaining the integrity of the website and the user experience at the same time.

And that kind of money will inevitably attract the kind of fox in the hen-house we would all be much better without. How realistic is it to imagine that such pile of money will not be a honey pot for 'corporate' minded people... how realistic is it to expect a board with such a budget and associated expenses will ever bite the hand that feed it ? Shmget 03:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Is the goal of the foundation only general maintainence of the website and gradual growth? Is it not unfair to devoid the users and potential users(read 'all of humanity')of the immense potential of Wikipedia? At this point when Wikimedia foundation is looking to expand and increase its scope, money is of utmost importance. The WMF is aware of that, and so should be the editors and users. This is not a for-profit business; so any amount of money generated would be used for funding new projects and exponential growth of the foundation, which would eventually benefit the users the most. There are so many users out there who cannot afford to donate substantial sums to the foundation even if they are willing. Such people would be sincerely happy to contribute in this manner; by allowing small, unobtrusive ads to appear on the pages.--Vikithesurfer 21:06, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

There is no such thing as 'small, unobtrusive ads'. They always get in the doors that way... and before you now it's 20 minutes of each hours devoted to ads and promo... Shmget 03:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply
I know I am new to this community, but I think wikipedia should never have ads. It restrict spending to hosting and hardware and stop funding staff to write policy all day and all wikimania events should be funded by attendees —Preceding unsigned comment added by JOEJOEJOE1234 (talkcontribs)


Wikipedia need a new kind of http : ex : HTTP(P2P)

We need a new kind of network, a distributed (p2p) network : we could work with w3c : and we could devellop it ! ( as http 6 , with mozilla, and extensions for internet explorer )

For instance : on ubuntu : there is APT : and APT-P2P : you would control the integrity of information : because there would allways be the need of a central server : like with [1]

Why do you need a distributed (p2p) network : because this IS THE SOLUTION for sustainability : the problem is technical : choose a technical solution . When choosing also this technical solution this will decrease a lot the "energy" and capital, wikipedia need.

Please Consider it deeply.

The solution here is not economical but technical : we need to invest on an other type of web : for freedom, for the free culture, for humanity.

My opinion is : if you choose an "financial solution" : you will follow the mainstream economy: and "somehow" that will mean wikipedia informations will be sell : and less, and less free ( and neutral ). (and happy new year )

I THINK YOU ALL WRONG : when you think with economy you knew : WIKIPEDIA ,and the world, and people need a Free Economy.You have done a great job : but continu : freedom, the free culture : AND FREE ECONOMY !

"'Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.'" --Kalki101 18:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Example of working "http (p2p)",

COST : ZERO : no server needed ( but ...) Cost if you want a good network and rapid access ? With this technology the sustainability cost will be reduce to approximatively 30% : with 30% of the actual server and brandwith.

THe big problem here is to get this technology into the visitor browser : that why I add we should work with w3c, mozilla and others. -- 23:14, 30 January 2010 (UTC) I hope you understand that collaborative content, is synonym of collaborative distribution ( share/participation with the user).Reply

I hope you understand this p2p strategy is now the GOOD SOLUTION in the market : Adobe flash RTMFP, etc.

I hope you understand the concequences of your choices, when there is other better solution : that will not sell the wikipedia philosophy to any kind of power in the society.

Hope you really understand : that freedom, is not just a word : but a choice.

I hope you really understand what are open system and closed systed, and the need of openness, against the closed system !

Hope you understand, or we can all say goodbye to wikipedia ( and what it is now ).

BYE --Kalki101 19:07, 6 February 2010 (UTC)Reply

Free economy

THe fondation : is the only one who can launch a Free economy that can works (with parternship with other fondation in the free culture and other "free and local economy" ) : You know there is more than 2000 alternatives economy working around the world ! ( and i don't speak about some internet economy ). There are also writers and specialists in this field.

Just think about it : if nothing happen : I know what sort of economy will win, and what kind of society this will produce : think about it. ( and just do it )

--Kalki101 18:35, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Tiered donor membership levels

I think that something like this may be a good idea. Perhaps people could donate money and the amount given can somehow be noted on their user page (if they want it to be shown). When someone donates money to Wikipedia, they could have the option of having the money donated in the name of a particular user (most likely their own user name). This donation could be noted on their user page in a number of ways. One way would be to have a page showing all their previous donations in a manner similar to their user contributions page and preferably showing the grand total somewhere on the page. Another option would be the addition of some sort of marker on their user page showing what donation tier they are in. This would work best if it was prominently displayed and if user who did not qualify for the marker could not add the marker to their user page. That way other people could see who really was a donor or just pretending to be. I'm sure other people can think of good ideas along these lines and it would be great if they add them below. All of this should be optional and users could choose to hide any indications of their donations with their preferences if they want.-Chinless Fish 07:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

I sincerely doubt that the major part of people who donate to Wikipedia, do it to claim their contribution. Of course, this will most likely have no negative effect on the donations, i'm doubtful of this concept raising any substantial amount for the foundation. --Vikithesurfer 09:33, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Narrow the scope on advertising discussion

I suppose the people who are apposing the idea are thinking of large video and audio banners at the top of the article.

I suggest narrowing the scope significantly and see if people still oppose the idea. I suggest one text add at the bottom of the article. Bandwidth would be trivial as would be other issues mentioned above. I consider myself a major editor and discussed it with others and none are apposed to this type of advertisement to raise money to power wikipedia. Do it for a trial period on a limited number of pages. I'd be surprised anything significantly negative comes from it. 05:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

I have been an English Wikipedia contributor for many years. I oppose not merely banners and videos but text and any other form of 3rd-party paid speech. If Wikipedia were to put up 3rd party advertising, text or otherwise, I would be sorely tempted to obtain a copy of the pre-advertising content, put it on a decent sized hard drive and set up a competitor that distributes the hosting costs to the users. I do not know if I would personally give in to the temptation. However, I know someone would. The resulting division would sap editing and funding resources from both encyclopedias.
Wikipedia depends, for its very existence, on editorial contributions from its users. Depending also on monetary contributions seems quite in keeping with this philosophy.
If Wikipedia were funded by advertising, I would not bother to spend my time to create content for it. They would now have me as a customer, not as a participant. Let them use the money they get trying to manipulate me to pay someone to create content. I want no part with them. --BrotherE 16:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)Reply
I am in favor of small text ads. There are other wikis out there with massive graphic advertisements, and while they might be smaller than Wikipedia, they still get editors. I think if we can have a huge text advertisement asking for money in the form of donations, we can have really small text ads noted as advertisements on the page. It really is a valuable source of income. 22:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

The consequences may be drastic

I believe Wikipedia should not have adds. I can give two reasons.

First of all, Wikipedia does not need ads because its fundraising model is already doing very well. In fact, it is a major success in the world of fundraising. As a general rule one should not try to "improve" something that is already doing very well, as there's a risk of making it worse (and this risk may not be acceptable). Wikipedia should only consider running ads if it were on serious financial trouble and appeals to donations were not working. That's definitely not the case, and Wikimedia is still very far from running out of fundraising options -- not to mention all the possible innovative ideas that are yet to be invented. So, while it's always useful to investigate alternative paths and be prepared for the future, there's no real need to consider advertising at this point. It's safer to keep things as they are.

But my major objection are the quite predictably adverse effects that advertising would produce. Advertising (which is founded on competition and manipulation, rather than cooperation and justice) clashes with the sense of community that is in the essence of Wikipedia. It may be crossing a line with no way of going back. To put this in more scientific grounds, consider the book "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely. Chapter 4 describes several social experiments that demonstrate that there exist two different and quite incompatible domains in our lives: one ruled by social norms and the other by market norms. They work better if they are kept separated; if we "contaminate" the social domain with market norms, then the market norms take over and wipe out all the benefits of social relationships. In the case of wikipedia, it's clear that both donations and editing are social exchanges. People do because they want to contribute to a greater goal. On the other hand, running ads on Wikipedia would violate this by introducing business relationships. We, as a whole, would be paying our part of the deal by clicking on ads. Donations would not have the same significance and would eventually stop. This implies that once Wikipedia starts running ads, advertising would no longer be an option but would become a necessity. More importantly, advertising would turn Wikipedia into a website just like any other. Google could do the same, powered by Google Ads. Now, would you contribute with writing and editing "Googlepedia" as much as you contribute to Wikipedia? I'm quite sure many people would start viewing their efforts as merely unpaid work on which Google and its advertisers are making money. Editing would significantly decrease. Perhaps Wikipedia would then start paying for the best articles? Meanwhile, it's not unlikely that somebody would copy all the Wikipedia content to start a new encyclopedia project -- this one, "finally", without adds. "A truly free encyclopedia..." 06:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Of course we should not go for ads. Goes against all Wiki etiquette. Ingolfson 00:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

I agree wholeheartedly with the arguments above. Ads should be kept for commercial sites. 23:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Hide-able advertisements?

I'm obviously in favor of small text advertisements, but I'm wondering - does it change anything for anyone against if the advertisements could be hidden by users?

If users could change some site variable that allows them to hide advertisements, those who don't want to see them could simply turn them off. Those who don't mind them could leave them on and indirectly contribute to Wikimedia in the process. It could be done by cookies and the like so that you don't have to be logged in to switch them off or on.

Usually, advertising networks online are against stuff like that, but I have a feeling they'd consider an exception when working with such a web giant and important online nonprofit. It may even be possible to get them to go with the default being advertisements turned off, so that only those who are okay with them can see them.

On neutrality, I feel as though that would help. I don't really think ads are a problem there, but an option to turn them off - something advertisers clearly wouldn't prefer - would show Wikimedia as being in control and in favor of the users, not financial gain.

What does everyone think? 23:04, 28 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

If there were to be ads allowed, I certainly, as a lesser of two evils, favor an opt-out. But then I already use AdBlock, and if such opt-out was not available, a fitler will be promptly added to it. But the bigger concern is the notion that Wikipedia is not sustainable. If commercial interest can afford to subsidized wikipedia, it has to be that the profit generated by these ads for the advertiser is greater than what they are willing to pay the foundation... ultimately that profits come directly from the pocket of wikipedia users... The current situation demonstrate that these same users are willing to give some of that money directly to the foundation, without the need for an expensive and intrusive middle man, why on earth switch to a wasteful system to replace an efficient one that has worked well enough so far. Shmget 03:40, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply
I think this is an excellent point, namely, doing the math to see where the money would come from. I suggest that everybody who supports ads should first think this through very carefully. Money from advertisement would come as a fraction of the money paid to advertisers by Wikipedia users. In contrast, suppose we construct the most compelling donation system, in such a way that users donate as much as they could possibly be willing to spend on Wikipedia. It seems unfair to me to secretly and forcefully extract even more money from users through advertisement.
In addition, it is quite possible that both users and companies would start thinking that, by paying for ads, they are already sufficiently contributing to Wikipedia. Donations might stall, and the final revenue may end up being smaller than what we could possibly get from donations. But now Wikipedia would become totally dependent on ads, which is a bad outcome for all.
Note that, to really make money from ads, the ads have to be very intrusive. With optional, concise, textual ads, you're never going to get all the financial miracles of advertising. However doing this may completely kill the donation system, which would be a shot in our own feet and on the Wikipedia brand.
By the way, suppose advertising doesn't work. How do you market that? "Sorry, we made a mistake, please donate again"? I don't think it would work. 15:45, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

Opt-in ads

I think you're on the right track here, but why not go a step further? Rather than make ads hideable, make advertising OPT IN. This would provide a way for each user to effectively make a small donation to WMF *at no cost to themselves*, by just clicking a button. Put a blank space on the page somewhere, and post the occasional banner similar to the current ones asking for donations, but instead ask the user to turn on advertising. If turned on, targeted ads show up in that space, but if turned off it stays blank. The decision need not be permanent - if a user gets tired of looking at them, just click a button and they're gone. I'm wondering if this kind of structure would mitigate the potential negative feelings of the community toward advertising, especially if the default was that ads are disabled. Those who really don't like them would never ever see one.

In order to mitigate any potential negative effect on direct cash donations, you might even display for the user the amount of money WMF has been paid in return for ads they've seen. Since the amount would be a few pennies, it might even motivate/embarrass people into donating a few dollars to make the amount more seemly.

At the risk of confounding two issues, I have a further suggestion if WMF does decide to accept ads. I'm in favor of the notion of creating an endowment in general, and I wonder if it might be a good idea to dedicate the income stream from advertising to the endowment rather than spend it directly. It's a small point, but it decouples current-period revenue from any current-period actions, and so might help maintain both the fact and the appearance of impartiality that is so crucial to Wikipedia. -- 19:52, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

If ads were to be forced upon us, I agree that advertising money going directly into endowments is the best defense against the neutrality problem.Chamberlian 22:07, 31 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

(unindent) This is an excellent idea, "I wonder if it might be a good idea to dedicate the income stream from advertising to the endowment rather than spend it directly. It's a small point, but it decouples current-period revenue from any current-period actions, and so might help maintain both the fact and the appearance of impartiality that is so crucial to Wikipedia."

I support on/off buttons for opt-in ads on a nonprofit Wikipedia for all readers (via cookies).

I support opt-in ads. See :en:Wikipedia:Advertisements#Arguments for optional adverts. It doesn't take a lot of readers opting-in to make a big difference. Wordpress.com and their millions of blogs is doing well, and with ads so rare that most people don't know they use ads. --Timeshifter 23:48, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply

Government sponsorship / donations

Very much opposed to that. MAYBE we could accept "no strings attached" donations. But we should NOT compromise our independence by taking on any grants etc... Ingolfson 00:53, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply


Very good idea. Will take a long time to build up to a good level, but then Wikipedia is not intended to last a few months only, so what if we take a decade or two?

Restricting the endowments to CORE needs (such as hosting) is a very good idea. The worst we could do is create an endowment for staff costs. That would violate the core volunteer ethos - if donations for staff costs aren't forthcoming, then obviously Wikimedia would need fewer staff (just hypothesizing, not talking about the current staff). Ingolfson 00:59, 30 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

No not the government. wikimedia would be attacked by those who do not want tax money used for that which they disapprove of ... everyone would dissaprove of something.
I originally suggested the endowment proposal, the above mentioned objection has been bought up multiple times but in reality can an endowment really hurt fundraising activities. Does a benefactor really need to be aware if the organization they are donating to has a nest-egg or an endowment for a certain part of their operations. Has anyone donated to the RED Cross or Doctors without Borders, does it matter what the internal structure and expenses of an organization is like, how does it affect their ability to raise cash. People generally have to believe in the cause and support the end goal, how an organization manages the money doesn't matter as long as it is within the purview of their goal. In the midst of the current economic situation and uncertain future, having a fund wouldn't be a bad idea for any organization especially wikimedia. It should eventually make the organization self-sufficient, that was my intention, going from donation to donation every year is a risky business model that might work for larger charities not necessarily for other organizations. Also, any benefactor is more likely to contribute to a one-time permanent solution to the financing problem and really make the different in the long term, instead of flipping the bill for the year, year after year.--Theo10011 18:18, 31 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

An endowment for core funds is the best of the financial changes proposed.Chamberlian 22:13, 31 January 2010 (UTC) This seems like a no brainer. Last I checked, donating to wikipedia from Canada was not tax deductible. This is silly! I have a very large budget for donations per year, but I can't justify NOT taking advantage of our tax refund program.Reply

Buy a supercomputer

Continuing with proven success of soliciting donations of money from individuals and institutions makes sense, since I think Wikipedia was started as an alternative to subscription sites. What good is a computer if it is too expensive to use? If more money is raised than spent, it could be invested to be a source of income. If Wikimedia doesn’t own its own supercomputer, buying one might reduce expenses. I think they cost a lot less than ten million. Or, maybe I’m wrong. -- Chuck Marean 02:56, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply

Use conditional ads

Conditional ads means: determine whether or not to show ads based on the viewer. That sounds very general and vague, but in practice it means: only show ads to people coming in from search engines.

The monetary benefit of ads is almost entirely in search engine queries. Showing ads to regular readers/people who typed the URL in directly is pointless. It'll generate minimal income and maximal annoyance. On the other hand, people coming from search engines are SEARCHING for things. If someone arrives at English wikipedia after searching Google for info about an anime series, it is entirely natural to show an ad for that series in addition to the content.

Regular users and editors wouldn't even notice conditional ads.

(Minor note: since a lot of regular users actually use the search engines to search wikipedia specifically, e.g. by searching for "planet jupiter wiki" or whatever, we could simply look at the search term they used to get here, and suppress ads if the search term contained "wiki" or "wikipedia" or whatever) 23:54, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply