If a foundation does good work, you’d want the foundation to receive more money to do more good work.
For example, Wikipedia would benefit from many more tech investments, for example in the excellent wiki data and wikimedia research initiatives; or think of wiki vandalism and fake news.
It’s well known in the non-profit world (and intuitive) that spending money in marketing does indeed help achieve larger goals in terms of deployed funding.
Beyond funding, the fact that people (hacker news is not a representative sample) don’t recognize Wikimedia and the fact that it’s responsible for something that is used daily is a problem. It detracts from the project and removes visibility.
Edit: made it more readable
It's almost worse when the other party has heard of Wikimedia, because then your (by-now rehearsed) introduction comes across as wooden and weirdly defensive.
And if you think all that is bad... the annual conference for the Wikimedia community is called Wikimania. Try explaining that to passport control.
You were doing the lords work.
did you ever consider saying that you work at Wikipedia?
Then somehow, my brain connects this to Wikimedia and thinks it's for-profit?
Wow, you weren't kidding. This is genuinely the first non-pornographic website in years that has ads which are so aggressive that they make it past my uBlock Origin.
But then most of community saying, the site needs to make money from ads so it can maintain it, etc etc. I should've replied back - but not this much ads. And they use FOSS software anyway.
On the other hand, if I choose to donate money to Wikmedia, 80% of it goes to other places, like their "content" sites, which consists of this bunch of mediocrity:
Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Wikivoyage, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, and Wikidata.
I don't give a shit about any of these projects, the only one I really don't want to go away is Wikipedia, and the rest could die and I wouldn't even blink, except as those projects also support Wikipedia. Increase Wikipedia's expenses if you must! Double it! Triple it! Just don't pretend that the foundation is struggling to support the thing that most people donating actually care about.
There are offshoots in those, yes, but that doesn't make it a huge waste. Remember wikipedia was a very, very long shot for a very long time. To fund successes, you have to fund a lot of potential failures.
In other words, if you trust what the wikimedia foundation is doing, then you should donate to them and trust what they do with it (but feel free to challenge it and voice your opinion as a donor). And if you don't trust what they're doing, then you shouldn't be donating to them in the first place IMO, regardless of their ownership of Wikipedia.
With regards to the comparison to Gecko & Servo: If 80% of the development effort was going towards those projects being used only for integration with FirefoxOS, I would have the same complaint. Mozilla isn't doing that, though, and even when they were funding FirefoxOS, they didn't spit a half page banner in my face every time I opened Firefox saying "Firefox will be dead if you don't send us money!" when they were really talking about FirefoxOS.
In case it wasn't abundantly clear, I'm pointing fingers at Wikimedia's scummy donation-soliciting practices on Wikpedia.
> if you don't trust what they're doing, then you shouldn't be donating to them in the first place IMO, regardless of their ownership of Wikipedia.
I don't. So I don't. And, in fact, will be happy to argue in a bar that they shouldn't be donated to. If I could donate purely to support Wikipedia only, however, I would, and I would also argue that others should too. But I can't. So I don't.
Wiktionary already covers a large number of languages where other online dictionaries have noticeably poorer content, or there may be no other real online dictionary at all. Wiktionary’s entry template puts a lot of emphasis on etymologies, for instance, and these etymologies are often not easy to find on the web (as opposed to dusty print dictionaries one might not have ready access to).
I really didn't intend for this to come across as a broadside against all of the Wikimedia properties. A projects by themselves, I would say they're all okay, I guess, but they're none of them projects I would siphon money from Wikipedia to fund.
> which consists of this bunch of mediocrity: Wiktionary
I use Wiktionary very regularly, and find it incredibly useful.
Presumably you don't use all of Wikipedia either, what makes you 'give a shit' about the other 99.9+% of content?
With regards to the usefulness of Wikipedia versus Wiktionary, I like to think about their impact on the world.
Wikipedia: Eclipsed every online encyclopedia, massively, and most print encyclopedias in most degrees, and is a huge source of knowledge to a great many people who otherwise would not be able to have access to that knowledge.
Wiktionary: Is another dictionary.
It's hyperbole, sure, but it ain't by much.
That said, if you like Wiktionary enough that you want to donate to it? More power to you. I don't, particularly. And y'know, maybe this is an elitist attitude that stems from the fact that I speak English and English dictionaries abound. So grant me that I may be mistaken, and let me say "hey, also, throw in all of the hosting for Wiktionary into what I want to donate for as well, and I will be fine with it." If that's the case, then there's still a good 75% of any donation I make funding things I, yes, "don't give a shit" about. Lemme tell you, Wiktionary isn't exactly a large expense on the WMF books.
I regularly donate to a fair number of charities. If I have to donate $100 to WMF to get $20 of value of Wikipedia, I won't. If I could donate $20 to WMF to get $20 of value to Wikipedia, I would. Even if 5% of my donation went elsewhere, that would be fine. It doesn't, so it's not, and I will continue putting my charitable contributions somewhere I think they will be used to more effect.
Edit: That branding research is another avenue for wasting our donation money.
Komen does nothing of value except give people expensive happy feelings. It's not in the same league.
Hearing things like this only makes me with more that people could donate to individual projects and not the WMF at large.
By having a high expense situation and constantly begging for donations, it puts wikipedia, the main venture, at risk if other wikimedia ventures don't pan out.
If it was a struggle to keep wikipedia's lights on, I'd consider donating myself, but if it's for wikimedia to expand other projects with questionable benefits, I'm not inclined, and portraying the latter as the former rubs people seriously the wrong way.
Isn't that kind of problematic too though? The idea that donations may only go to organizations that would struggle otherwise? (I know I'm inferring something you didn't explicitly say, but I do think that is a fairly common sentiment as well)
I'm ok with donations to a specific mission or a group with a very clear this-is-what-we-need-to-fund style goal and budget, and obviously if they are achieving their mission then they don't need more donations.
I'm not normally comfortable with the broad-mission style organisations. A large pool of money to be spent on an amorphous goal, by a group of essentially unknown people of unknown ability and beliefs? That is a scandal waiting to happen, and probably going to be mired in admin fees and corruption over the medium-long term if it isn't already.
Any charity that isn't struggling to keep the lights on is fundamentally suspect.
A big difference that you might be looking for is that nobody is keen to give money to a company. People have (surprisingly effective) methods to find the cheapest producer. If the government is behaving appropriately this effect generally squeezes profit margins until they are uniform and thin. In theory. Practice is often close enough to theory to keep the system humming along.
Given how incredibly well-funded Wikimedia is, their yearly extort^Wdonation-drive with 50%+ viewport-sized banners plastered all over Wikipedia, claiming that the encyclopedia you're viewing is in dire need of your money to barely sustain itself for the rest of the year, actually makes me rather angry every time I see it.
Recommended reading for those unaware of how (and what) Wikimedia is actually doing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2...
And while these types of things can get "fluffy", if this branding change results in just a small percentage of additional people becoming more aware of the broader goals and projects of Wiki(m/p)edia, it was money well spent.
I may have a partial match in goals with Wikipedia. If 20% of the money goes to goals I support and 80% goes to goals I do not support or that are even contrary to my goals, how much should I give?
I decided for me to donate to projects that better serve my goals.
Expenses were $81.4 million in 2018 (up from $69m in 2017). Cash is $73.9m (up from $49.5m). Wages were $38.5m.
Here is their audited 2017-2018 financial report [PDF]:
If they are a net negative in the world, I would withhold donations.
It's not about good or bad, it's about opportunity cost. Most people have a limited budget for donations.
Yeah I'm sure Cuke and Papsi would have no problem with that as their coca-cola soft drink products are instantly recognizable as soon as you drink them.
The price i'm paying with my few donations i made over the years, are donations i don't bother to check what they are doing with it.
Why? I'm not part of it. I'm just here, reading stuff on wikipedia.
I don't know what they wanna try out. I don't know who or why so many people are part of it. I haven't written a single article. I fixed stuff but thats it. Perhaps they need it to build the community around.
They got my trust.
Easier editing for example. Or education about how to edit.
I don't have any lexika in my house. Everyone i know which has some form of it, its old.
I also don't think that a redactional lexicon is much better than the wikipedia. Why should it be? Bias perhaps but gathering facts is hardly a bias thing.
Wikipedia is free, i can freely distribute it, i can clone it, i can edit it. This is the most comprehensive datacollection with public access i know.
I definitely agree that WMF has definitely enough money, and maybe the money is not used in the best way. But others do it at much larger scales while WMF is getting most of the heat.
Would you prefer wikimedia shift into selling user data and putting advertisements? If not, then donate.
I'm sure you didn't intend it this way, but this phrasing sounds like a threat of some sort, blackmail.
Something non-profits successful at fundraising strike me as especially fertile land for.
No further fundraising is required, ever, if properly managed.
On top of that, assuming they will have zero effective cost increases is wrong. There is so much growth left in content and users. How much has Wikipedia grown in the last five years? How well do they cover non English languages? What if they had the same size article base in English as every other language? What if every internet connected user could use Wikipedia?
Saying we could freeze Wikipedia costs in 2019 based on $90M in the bank is shortsighted.
The page on The Wikimedia Endowment is actually quite interesting if you're into finance and investing - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Endowment.
It turns out, the folks who planned out the endowment were very thoughtful. Check out this great read on the motivations, challenges, and plans of the endowment. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Endowment_Essay
And when they will _actually_ need more money, they can always ask.
Changing that name to encompass a project which is quite different will be detrimental.
Literally never seen anyone write "Wikicommons", in all the years I've heard people talk about Commons, but heh.
I don't really understand how they manage to (in my opinion) waste time on nonsense like this. The services run great, the contribution volume is immense, and the quality of the tools is improving constantly. I want the Wikimedia Foundation's treasury to keep more funds to deal with conditions which may arise, and seek donations when they expect the most success (rather than the most desperation).
I want the Wikimedia Foundation to make it as attractive and convenient as possible for all interested persons to contribute to, and access, this immense cultural resource, but basically nothing else; and I just don't see how messing about with the names is an efficient way to carry out that job.
(I feel compelled to point out that my example isn't anti-MS: "word" hardly colonizes the idea of "word processor")
Change for change's sake is bad. Think of the tech debt.
Now what are you going to do about busybody deletionists with power driving away every single new contributor - and most of the old ones?
I have seen the future, and there is no place for human writers in it.
Can't disagree with that enough. Wikipedia owes its incredible quality to the human editors doing thankless work behind the scenes. A machine-driven alternative would be awful.
But that won't be the case for too many more years.
People will try to sell people on burning the modern library of Alexandria yet again. Good thing we can backup offline copies! I've been in the woods for the last few months and offline simple english wikipedia has been awesome. Some of the articles on more serious subjects are comedy gold mines in simple english.
Or for that case when you get transported back in time...