A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

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A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

David Gerard-2
How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.

(As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia
comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world
citizens. I eagerly await news and demographics otherwise.)


- d.

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

geni
On 4/23/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
> Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
> comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
> educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
> hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.
>
> (As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia
> comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world
> citizens. I eagerly await news and demographics otherwise.)


Been kicking this around on IRC all day. General view is that it would
have to be handled very carefully both in terms of community relations
and PR wise.

Ideally it would be nice to see more than a stable version (no
shortage of wikipedia mirrors out there already).

I don't know exactly how many hits wikipedia.com gets but I doubt it
could pay our hosting and staff costs on it's own.

--
geni

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

David Gerard-2
On 23/04/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Been kicking this around on IRC all day. General view is that it would
> have to be handled very carefully both in terms of community relations
> and PR wise.


Hence floating it here. At present wikipedia.com is all but deprecated.

Could someone please forward this to the strongest objectors from last time?


> Ideally it would be nice to see more than a stable version (no
> shortage of wikipedia mirrors out there already).


*The* stable version, the checked and lovely product. No change
whatsoever in wiki-anything.org.


> I don't know exactly how many hits wikipedia.com gets but I doubt it
> could pay our hosting and staff costs on it's own.


We get one hell of a lot more readers than we do editors. If the known
not-bad version is on .com, that'll encourage linking to it.


- d.

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

> How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
> Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
> comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
> educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
> hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.
>
> (As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia
> comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world
> citizens. I eagerly await news and demographics otherwise.)
>
>
> - d.

Two comments

The first is that in my opinion, refusing ads is not simply an ethical
position. My problem with ads is that when they are "google ads" type,
they decreases if not negate the neutrality of an article. An example I
always use is the article on tires. If we put an ads of Michelin on the
tire article, then we can not claim it is neutral anymore (Michelin is
from my city).
Whether it is on a .org or a .com will not change that.
I might at best consider ads on the search pages, though not happily.
But ads on the articles themselves is really something I am not supporting.

The second is that to really bring in money, an ads needs to be on a
"visited" website. Right now, the visited website is the .org. For ads
(or any commercial feature for that matter) to be successful, we would
need to orient visitors to be .com rather than to the .org. So, by
default, the world would have access to a website 1) with ads, 2) not
editable and 3) with stable versions.


Anthere


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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 4/23/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
> Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
> comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
> educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
> hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.

This idea seems to inevitably lead towards a sharp distinction between
a "for readers" Wikipedia and a "for editors" Wikipedia. I'm not
convinced that distinction is helpful, rather, I would try to work to
make the current editorial processes of Wikipedia more transparent
(this is the main thing stable version functionality provides:
transparency about what it is you are looking it).

A very simple change in this direction, for example, would be to have
a little banner for any page that has been touched less than an hour
ago:

"This Wikipedia article has been edited very recently. Wikipedia is _a
work in progress_ that can be edited by anyone. Please review our
disclaimers before using information presented here."

Again, more transparency, more information to the reader about what
Wikipedia _is_. The interests of the encyclopedia come before any
money-making opportunities, and I'm not convinced that the .com/.org
split would help these interests. I am, in fact, concerned that it
would lead to more confusion and division.

Now, that said, one advertising-related idea that has been discussed
and not completely shouted down is a kind of "opt-out" advertising
which is opt-in by default for readers, and opt-out by default for
registered users. I'm not convinced it is necessary either, but it
seems like the most sensible gradual next step. But as for all the
great programs that ads could support, how about we spec these out and
budget them first, and try to raise funds for them the old-fashioned
non-profit way? I find it, for lack of a better word, asinine to
justify ads with all the great things we could do if we had money.
Shouldn't we have a much better idea of what these great things are
_before_ we try to get more money?

--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

David Gerard-2
On 23/04/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> non-profit way? I find it, for lack of a better word, asinine to
> justify ads with all the great things we could do if we had money.
> Shouldn't we have a much better idea of what these great things are
> _before_ we try to get more money?


Think of the ad money, think of things to do with it, then add them to the list!

(where's the list?)


- d.

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 4/22/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Two comments
>
> The first is that in my opinion, refusing ads is not simply an ethical
> position. My problem with ads is that when they are "google ads" type,
> they decreases if not negate the neutrality of an article. An example I
> always use is the article on tires. If we put an ads of Michelin on the
> tire article, then we can not claim it is neutral anymore (Michelin is
> from my city).
> Whether it is on a .org or a .com will not change that.
> I might at best consider ads on the search pages, though not happily.
> But ads on the articles themselves is really something I am not supporting.
>
If this is done, the .com site should be run independently.  A
separate corporation, with a separate board, a separate set of books,
a separate staff, etc.  The .com site would have no more power than
Answers.com to affect content.

> The second is that to really bring in money, an ads needs to be on a
> "visited" website. Right now, the visited website is the .org. For ads
> (or any commercial feature for that matter) to be successful, we would
> need to orient visitors to be .com rather than to the .org.

There are *already* sites out there which make *a lot* of money using
Wikipedia content.  Wikipedia.com would be at least as successful as
they are, and it'd have one huge advantage - the right to use the
Wikipedia trademark.  Presumably it'd get a pretty sweet live feed
too, but apparently other mirrors already get that.

Anthony

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Mark
Anthony wrote:

> On 4/22/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> Two comments
>>
>> The first is that in my opinion, refusing ads is not simply an ethical
>> position. My problem with ads is that when they are "google ads" type,
>> they decreases if not negate the neutrality of an article. An example I
>> always use is the article on tires. If we put an ads of Michelin on the
>> tire article, then we can not claim it is neutral anymore (Michelin is
>> from my city).
>> Whether it is on a .org or a .com will not change that.
>> I might at best consider ads on the search pages, though not happily.
>> But ads on the articles themselves is really something I am not supporting.
>>
>>    
> If this is done, the .com site should be run independently.  A
> separate corporation, with a separate board, a separate set of books,
> a separate staff, etc.  The .com site would have no more power than
> Answers.com to affect content.
>  

Some sort of separation would almost certainly be legally necessary
anyway, because selling ads is a commercial activity not really related
to the charitable purpose of the Foundation, and so if any significant
amount of money came from it it'd be problematic.  A for-profit and
tax-paying but wholly owned subsidiary could be set up to handle that,
much like the Mozilla Foundation, a charity, owns the Mozilla
Corporation, a for-profit company.

That's separate from whether it's a good idea, though.  I would side
against it.

-Mark


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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 4/23/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Two comments
>
> The first is that in my opinion, refusing ads is not simply an ethical
> position. My problem with ads is that when they are "google ads" type,
> they decreases if not negate the neutrality of an article. An example I
> always use is the article on tires. If we put an ads of Michelin on the
> tire article, then we can not claim it is neutral anymore (Michelin is
> from my city).

I am slightly confused by this attempt at a line of reasoning. I do
think that compromising our neutrality would be essentially an ethical
problem, although of course there would be our reputation on teh line
as well.

Furthermore, I find arguing from a *specific* type of advertising
compromising our integrity, to the conclusion that all adverts would
necessarily have the same effect, is highly suspect logic.

That said; what you say does very clearly underline the point that as
geni and David said above, everything would have to be thought through
very deeply and carefully.

But to think on the proactive, positive side of this question, can
somebody point out which kinds of adverts *would* not compomise our
values?

> I might at best consider ads on the search pages, though not happily.
> But ads on the articles themselves is really something I am not supporting.

Putting ads on search pages is a *bad* *bad* *bad* idea. Our search is
the worst and most irritating feature of the whole mediawiki software,
and to compound it by putting adverts on it, ARRGH, words fail me.

>
> The second is that to really bring in money, an ads needs to be on a
> "visited" website. Right now, the visited website is the .org. For ads
> (or any commercial feature for that matter) to be successful, we would
> need to orient visitors to be .com rather than to the .org. So, by
> default, the world would have access to a website 1) with ads, 2) not
> editable and 3) with stable versions.
>

Reply to 3):
As was said above the wikipedia.com pages would be teh safe and sweet
checked out and stable versions, and thus preferrable by schools etc.
That would help direct traffic towards them gradually, likely the site
would be faster too.

Reply to 1):
I confess that I daily visit many sites with ads on them, and they
only annoy me if they pop up to obscure the text or when they slow
down the page loading. I think if we avoided both those and the other
possible egregious annoyances - pages would load fast, and ads would
not be popping up in your face - I personally think it might well be
what I myself would check first wikipedia.com on many instances, when
I was not actively searching for things to edit.

Reply to 2):
Perhaps it was not spelled out, my understanding (I certainly think it
would be fundamentally a requirement) is that teh article pages should
certainly each and every time *advertise* (heh) the fact that we have
the editable version which may either be more up to date, or on the
other hand may have deteriorated to some degree, and which we would
welcome work on, if the reader knows about the subject, or is
otherwise happy to volunteer to improve our content in genereal.

As a final thought, I think movement in this should be very careful,
paced, considered and deliberate, and even after the site went up, I
find it provable that for a long time the .org side would quite easily
dominate the popular imagination.

--
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Kat Walsh-4
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 4/22/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Two comments
>
> The first is that in my opinion, refusing ads is not simply an ethical
> position. My problem with ads is that when they are "google ads" type,
> they decreases if not negate the neutrality of an article. An example I
> always use is the article on tires. If we put an ads of Michelin on the
> tire article, then we can not claim it is neutral anymore (Michelin is
> from my city).
> Whether it is on a .org or a .com will not change that.
> I might at best consider ads on the search pages, though not happily.
> But ads on the articles themselves is really something I am not supporting.

I don't think that that's true; arm's length advertisement such as
Google ads would have no realistic way to affect content. Michelin
would have no relationship with us, and we wouldn't care who put ads
or didn't put ads and thus we would have no incentive to favor anyone
who did. (The more layers of separation between the individual
advertisers and those producing the content, the better.)

Would this affect others' *perception* of our neutrality? Maybe, and
that's a big issue to consider. I've heard the argument that we might
be seen as non-neutral come up more from active editors than people
who are only users. Most of the people I talk to who aren't actively
involved in the site don't realize we don't have ads already, though a
small number are happy that it is one of the last ad-free reference
sites you don't have to pay to access.

> The second is that to really bring in money, an ads needs to be on a
> "visited" website. Right now, the visited website is the .org. For ads
> (or any commercial feature for that matter) to be successful, we would
> need to orient visitors to be .com rather than to the .org. So, by
> default, the world would have access to a website 1) with ads, 2) not
> editable and 3) with stable versions.

Indeed, the visited website is the .org. Putting ads on the .org would
bring in boatloads of money at a time, probably more than we are able
to deal with. Putting ads on a less-visited .com? Maybe only small
raft-loads, or a few teacups full; I really don't know. (Of course,
many people do still assume that we are a dot-com and link there
instead of the .org...)

My primary issue with something like that is that I want people who
are interested in editing to have as easy a time as possible figuring
out how to do that, and so I'd want a huge, spinning, singing,
dancing, blinking sitenotice that said "hey, come help us edit" and
linked to the editable .org.

But people visit the non-editable mirrors all the time, and their
viewership helps bring in funding to other sites that are largely
based off of the content produced by the Wikimedia community.

I am not a fan of ads on the main site, not because of neutrality
issues, but because they're distracting and ugly, and the content
isn't useful compared to other things that could be taking up the
screen space; I want us to pursue other funding options. But I don't
think they are contrary to our mission, and I do think we could do a
lot of good work from the steady stream of additional income.

-Kat

--
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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Jean-Baptiste Soufron-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Yeah what a great idea.

What a useless foundation to end up in creating an ad-sponsored  
encyclopedia ! The youtube of content !

Face it : there is no need for money, except for the amount of money  
needed to create the illusion that the foundation serve a purpose.

The only goal the foundation should concentrate its energy on is  
making wikipedia more free... not trying to find business models that  
do not exist.

But go on : you will generate the money you actually would not need  
to spend if there were no foundation in the first place.

And you will really put an end to the beautiful experience that it was.

Best,

JBS

Le 23 avr. 07 à 01:41, David Gerard a écrit :

> How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
> Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
> comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
> educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
> hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.
>
> (As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia
> comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world
> citizens. I eagerly await news and demographics otherwise.)
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l


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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Christophe Henner
Even if I'm not strongly against the idea, I must say I won't
encourage it. Many many problems would occur.

First of all, from the community. We all remember what happened just
six month ago with this tiny virgin unite logo, do you remember? I do.
Now imagine the same situation but now with google adds... even if
it's not editable, for the contributors it wouldn't change a thing.

Now, we're claming for ages that we won't have adds... who would think
we're serious if 4month ago we said "adds? no way" and now we say
"Adds? Yes, on every single article"... Is that serious, not really...

Let's continue about PR, in January we had "problems" with some
AP/Reuters/AFP news claiming wikia is the commercial side of
Wikipedia... try to guess what would happen "Hey they're no more
neutral blablabla, they're having adds...". I know, I know we
shouldn't care too much of the media, but if we want to make things
move to move forward in the Foundation ends we have to keep being
"neutral" in every single part of the projects.

Now about the stable/editable. At the moment it remains hard for
people to understand "anyone can edit" the website. Even if the
Community is becoming really big, we still needs more and more
volounteer. If we set up the stable, people, in the end, will only go
on the stable version, and so soon or late there will be a lack of
volounteer...

Finally, as I said in an other mail one of the Foundation ends is "The
mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people
around the world to collect and develop educational content under a
free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it
effectively and globally.", this mean, setting up a non editable
advertised website, don't fit with this. So this mean is not, imo, a
solution.



On 23/04/07, Jean-Baptiste Soufron <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Yeah what a great idea.
>
> What a useless foundation to end up in creating an ad-sponsored
> encyclopedia ! The youtube of content !
>
> Face it : there is no need for money, except for the amount of money
> needed to create the illusion that the foundation serve a purpose.
>
> The only goal the foundation should concentrate its energy on is
> making wikipedia more free... not trying to find business models that
> do not exist.
>
> But go on : you will generate the money you actually would not need
> to spend if there were no foundation in the first place.
>
> And you will really put an end to the beautiful experience that it was.
>
> Best,
>
> JBS
>
> Le 23 avr. 07 à 01:41, David Gerard a écrit :
>
> > How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
> > Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
> > comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
> > educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
> > hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.
> >
> > (As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia
> > comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world
> > citizens. I eagerly await news and demographics otherwise.)
> >
> >
> > - d.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


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schiste
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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Kat Walsh-4
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 4/22/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Now, that said, one advertising-related idea that has been discussed
> and not completely shouted down is a kind of "opt-out" advertising
> which is opt-in by default for readers, and opt-out by default for
> registered users. I'm not convinced it is necessary either, but it
> seems like the most sensible gradual next step. But as for all the
> great programs that ads could support, how about we spec these out and
> budget them first, and try to raise funds for them the old-fashioned
> non-profit way? I find it, for lack of a better word, asinine to
> justify ads with all the great things we could do if we had money.
> Shouldn't we have a much better idea of what these great things are
> _before_ we try to get more money?

This sounds very strange to me coming from you, possibly the last
person save Jimbo I would think would have difficulty thinking of
things WMF could do with lots of money.

Here's a small list:
*more operational staff
*developers, developers, developers
*sponsoring free software projects that produce tools we use to run the site
*more local meetings and small conferences of Wikimedians
*more outreach into schools and communities
*more outreach into poor communities, perhaps giving them computers
loaded with Wikipedia and cameras to take pictures of their area that
don't exist on the web.
*buying more hardware to place caches in datacenters where other
people can give us bandwidth
*buying rights to content we would like to make free
*sponsoring student research on Wikimedia projects and conference fees
*locating and scanning old PD materials
*buying subscriptions to databases for community members to use for sources
*producing more print materials
*hiring people with specialized skills to fill in gaps -- translators
to start off every new wiki with a starter set of important pages,
musical groups to create recordings of free music
*better image quality on the site
*capacity for more video and multimedia content
*setting up more local offices for volunteers to work together
*placing advertisements in subject-specific publications and sites to
attract volunteers who know about areas where we don't have enough
content

Some of these may or may not be good ideas; each one of them could
easily start a thread debating the merits. Some of them were brought
up when Jimbo asked what we could do with the hypothetical $100M, and
I'm sure there are some good ones I'm forgetting.

The point is that it's easy to think of things we could do with more
money to further our goals, and it's hard to get enough money to do
them. At our current pace, we'll never get enough money to do them;
we're always just barely keeping up with keeping the lights on, the
servers running, and the office staff functioning on caffeine and
hope.

That's not what I want our future as an organization to be.

I'm not committed to any particular way of raising the money. I am
committed to certain things we will *not* do -- for example, nothing
that involves altering content, and nothing that involves giving
exclusive rights to any particular resource of ours. Coming up with a
good way to do this that doesn't exhaust our donors is hard, and help
with this is always welcome (are there any professional fundraisers on
the list?).

But to plan out what we could do if we weren't resource-limited... I
think that's the easy part.

-Kat

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Brianna Laugher
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
What if we used wikipedia.com (or wikimedia.com, which RDRs to
wikimedia.org which is a portal for our dozen-odd projects) as a
non-editable showcase for stable, featured content from the other
projects. properly tie everything together on a single topic from
wikipedia, wiktionary, wikibooks, wikiquote, wikisource, wikiversity,
wikinews and of course commons. It would be advertising for OURSELVES.

toss in a permanent sitenotice for fundraising, cafepress etc links,
WMF press releases...
Wikimedia World.

Have we tried using it for advertising for ourselves? I mean a huge
chunky donate form, + soft redirect to .org, might encourage people to
both donate, and remember the url correctly. :)

cheers,
Brianna
user:pfctdayelise

On 23/04/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable
> Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our
> comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward
> educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our
> hard work but *aren't* comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.
>
> (As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia
> comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world
> citizens. I eagerly await news and demographics otherwise.)
>
>
> - d.
>
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> foundation-l mailing list
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> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Erik Moeller-4
On 4/23/07, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Have we tried using it for advertising for ourselves? I mean a huge
> chunky donate form, + soft redirect to .org, might encourage people to
> both donate, and remember the url correctly. :)

I like this idea. I think wikipedia.com could be an excellent place to
have a page of the type:

"Welcome to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is not like other web companies out there. [a bit of
passionate text about what makes us different] Now, if you want to
read Wikipedia content, please go to .. If you want to support
Wikipedia, please go to .."

This would allow us to retain redirects from article URLs as well.
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Gregory Maxwell
On 4/22/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 4/23/07, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Have we tried using it for advertising for ourselves? I mean a huge
> > chunky donate form, + soft redirect to .org, might encourage people to
> > both donate, and remember the url correctly. :)
>
> I like this idea. I think wikipedia.com could be an excellent place to
> have a page of the type:
>
> "Welcome to Wikipedia.
>
> Wikipedia is not like other web companies out there. [a bit of
> passionate text about what makes us different] Now, if you want to
> read Wikipedia content, please go to .. If you want to support
> Wikipedia, please go to .."
>
> This would allow us to retain redirects from article URLs as well.

+1

Of course I think we should be doing a little of this on our primary
URLs too.  But the .com would be an obvious target.

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Kat Walsh-4
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 4/22/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I like this idea. I think wikipedia.com could be an excellent place to
> have a page of the type:
>
> "Welcome to Wikipedia.
>
> Wikipedia is not like other web companies out there. [a bit of
> passionate text about what makes us different] Now, if you want to
> read Wikipedia content, please go to .. If you want to support
> Wikipedia, please go to .."
>
> This would allow us to retain redirects from article URLs as well.

I'd support doing that right away unless there's a good reason not to,
actually. :-)

-Kat

--
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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Kat Walsh-4
On 4/22/07, Kat Walsh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 4/22/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I like this idea. I think wikipedia.com could be an excellent place to
> > have a page of the type:
> >
> > "Welcome to Wikipedia.
> >
> > Wikipedia is not like other web companies out there. [a bit of
> > passionate text about what makes us different] Now, if you want to
> > read Wikipedia content, please go to .. If you want to support
> > Wikipedia, please go to .."
> >
> > This would allow us to retain redirects from article URLs as well.
>
> I'd support doing that right away unless there's a good reason not to,
> actually. :-)
>
> -Kat

And here's a draft to get started with:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia.com_draft

-Kat

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Sage Ross
In reply to this post by Kat Walsh-4
On 4/22/07, Kat Walsh <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I am not a fan of ads on the main site, not because of neutrality
> issues, but because they're distracting and ugly, and the content
> isn't useful compared to other things that could be taking up the
> screen space; I want us to pursue other funding options. But I don't
> think they are contrary to our mission, and I do think we could do a
> lot of good work from the steady stream of additional income.
>
> -Kat

There is lots of empty screen space on the left, below the interwiki
links.  Text-only boxes that match the color scheme are only minimally
distracting.  I'm vaguely uncomfortable with putting ads up, but I
think it could be done in ways that are minimally invasive.

-Sage

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Re: A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Gregory Maxwell
On 4/23/07, Sage Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There is lots of empty screen space on the left, below the interwiki
> links.  Text-only boxes that match the color scheme are only minimally
> distracting.  I'm vaguely uncomfortable with putting ads up, but I
> think it could be done in ways that are minimally invasive.

and I hate to say it, but my personal view is that  adwords would
likely be more useful and relevant to many readers than the external
links sections on many of enwiki's articles.

It is true that this is more a negative comment about the degree of
editorial oversight over our external links sections, than a reason to
do ads...   But really, there is no discussion about "ads on
Wikipedia" because Wikipedia is already filled with ads.  The question
is about  also running ads which fund the foundation's mission and
which are clearly separated from the content and minimize the
introduction of bias.

It certainly would be nice if we had a good model for operational
sustainability, but with individual donations as a function of
pageviews decreasing and no reasonable expectation of increasing
growth allowing us to reach lower incremental costs of growth (we're
already paying rock bottom prices for bandwidth and hardware), we
*will* need to get creative if we ever want to do anything more than
operate the worlds largest game of [[nomic]] and maybe if we intend to
keep running at all.

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