Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

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Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Nathan Awrich
Here are some areas on the English Wikipedia where the donation drive and
banner have been discussed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Gadget/proposals#Bring_Back_Hide_Fundraiser_Notice

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#.22Support_Wikipedia:_a_non-profit_project._Donate_Now_.3E.3E.22

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F

It has also been discussed a few times on the #wikipedia-en IRC channel.

I don't know if other projects have had similar reactions, but I do know
that some projects have disabled the banner. It was for a time not available
on the Spanish Wikipedia, and remains unavailable (last I checked) at the
Russian Wikibooks. A quick survey of interwiki links on the en.wp Barack
Obama page suggests that most or all Wikipedia projects are displaying the
banner now.

My observation is that the comments have been almost universally negative,
and in fact a number of people - including long time administrators and
previous donors - have said that this year they will not be donating at all.
Reasons have included the banner itself, a sense that the foundation does
not use its money appropriately, or concerns related to allegations made by
Danny Wool last spring.

I don't remember this sort of strong negative reaction before - is it
expected? Are we seeing something a little different this year in terms of
reaction? Has it translated into any change in the pace of donations?

Nathan
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Chad
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 10:17 AM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Here are some areas on the English Wikipedia where the donation drive and
> banner have been discussed:
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Gadget/proposals#Bring_Back_Hide_Fundraiser_Notice
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F>
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#.22Support_Wikipedia:_a_non-profit_project._Donate_Now_.3E.3E.22<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#.22Support_Wikipedia:_a_non-profit_project._Donate_Now_.3E.3E.22>
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F>
>
> It has also been discussed a few times on the #wikipedia-en IRC channel.
>
> I don't know if other projects have had similar reactions, but I do know
> that some projects have disabled the banner. It was for a time not
> available
> on the Spanish Wikipedia, and remains unavailable (last I checked) at the
> Russian Wikibooks. A quick survey of interwiki links on the en.wp Barack
> Obama page suggests that most or all Wikipedia projects are displaying the
> banner now.
>
> My observation is that the comments have been almost universally negative,
> and in fact a number of people - including long time administrators and
> previous donors - have said that this year they will not be donating at
> all.
> Reasons have included the banner itself, a sense that the foundation does
> not use its money appropriately, or concerns related to allegations made by
> Danny Wool last spring.
>
> I don't remember this sort of strong negative reaction before - is it
> expected? Are we seeing something a little different this year in terms of
> reaction? Has it translated into any change in the pace of donations?
>
> Nathan
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

I don't know about others, but I've been disabling site notices for
a very very long time now. I've yet to ever read one that was ever
useful to me. I think that registered users should most certainly
have the ability to remove the banner entirely (and they can, via
simple additions to their personal stylesheets, or in the case of
enwiki, a gadget that does it for you).

I would even go so far as to say that anon users should be able
to remove it as well. We're about providing free content, not
shoving a donation banner in people's faces when they don't want
to see it. Even allowing anonymous users to hide it won't matter
much.

When a user sees it, one of two things will happen:
A) They will donate, then the message is no longer relevant
B) They aren't donating anyway, in which case they probably
     don't want to see the message.

Just my 0.02USD.

-Chad
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Hoi,
With all respect, on the English Wikipedia there is a gadget that allows
signed in users to disable the fund raising banner. So what is the issue ?

When people take an interest in what Mr Wool has to say, they should in my
opinion look into what Mr Wool says and how he says it. When he was to write
a Wikipedia article it would be deleted because of the negative and
extremely non-neutral point of view. I would invite the people who take Mr
Wool seriously to go to his blog and analyse his tone and his message. Once
this is done and they are still inclined not to support the WMF, I would
shrug and consider it their right to do as they please.

 As to negative reactions to the fund raiser, they are a tradition.
Thanks,
       GerardM

On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 4:17 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Here are some areas on the English Wikipedia where the donation drive and
> banner have been discussed:
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Gadget/proposals#Bring_Back_Hide_Fundraiser_Notice
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F>
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#.22Support_Wikipedia:_a_non-profit_project._Donate_Now_.3E.3E.22<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#.22Support_Wikipedia:_a_non-profit_project._Donate_Now_.3E.3E.22>
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard#Will_the_ugly_banner_go_away.3F>
>
> It has also been discussed a few times on the #wikipedia-en IRC channel.
>
> I don't know if other projects have had similar reactions, but I do know
> that some projects have disabled the banner. It was for a time not
> available
> on the Spanish Wikipedia, and remains unavailable (last I checked) at the
> Russian Wikibooks. A quick survey of interwiki links on the en.wp Barack
> Obama page suggests that most or all Wikipedia projects are displaying the
> banner now.
>
> My observation is that the comments have been almost universally negative,
> and in fact a number of people - including long time administrators and
> previous donors - have said that this year they will not be donating at
> all.
> Reasons have included the banner itself, a sense that the foundation does
> not use its money appropriately, or concerns related to allegations made by
> Danny Wool last spring.
>
> I don't remember this sort of strong negative reaction before - is it
> expected? Are we seeing something a little different this year in terms of
> reaction? Has it translated into any change in the pace of donations?
>
> Nathan
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Al Tally
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hoi,
> With all respect, on the English Wikipedia there is a gadget that allows
> signed in users to disable the fund raising banner. So what is the issue ?
>
> When people take an interest in what Mr Wool has to say, they should in my
> opinion look into what Mr Wool says and how he says it. When he was to
> write
> a Wikipedia article it would be deleted because of the negative and
> extremely non-neutral point of view. I would invite the people who take Mr
> Wool seriously to go to his blog and analyse his tone and his message. Once
> this is done and they are still inclined not to support the WMF, I would
> shrug and consider it their right to do as they please.
>
>  As to negative reactions to the fund raiser, they are a tradition.
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
>

And what about anonymous users who donate? We should have to go to some
gadget to disable it - it should hide when hide is clicked.

I've never seen reactions this bad. If the WMF really expect to get as much
as they're hoping for, they really ought to do something about this.

--
Alex
(User:Majorly)
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Al Tally
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 4:01 PM, Al Tally <[hidden email]>wrote:

> We should have to go to some gadget to disable it - it should hide when
> hide is clicked.
>

Should have said "shouldn't"

--
Alex
(User:Majorly)
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Bryan Tong Minh
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 4:58 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>  As to negative reactions to the fund raiser, they are a tradition.
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
>

But to this extend I have only seen it with the Virgin stuff. And yes,
it is ugly and certainly not very convincing to give money.


Bryan

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Robert Rohde
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 8:07 AM, Bryan Tong Minh
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 4:58 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>  As to negative reactions to the fund raiser, they are a tradition.
>> Thanks,
>>       GerardM
>>
>
> But to this extend I have only seen it with the Virgin stuff. And yes,
> it is ugly and certainly not very convincing to give money.
>

I can only assume you weren't around at the start of last year's
fundraiser when the scrolling marquee of death made people want to
storm the WMF with pitchforks and torches.

By comparison, the complaints this year seems tame.

That's not an excuse not to listen to editor complaints though.  As
discussed at Meta, collapsing the thing should do more to surpress it
[1], and banner is somewhat bigger and more obnoxious than it needs to
be.

Fact remains though that it does seem to be generating substantially
more income than the early phase of last year's drive.

-Robert Rohde

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fundraising_2008/design_drafts#Collapsed_version_needs_to_be_minimal

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 10:17 AM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
[snip]
> I don't remember this sort of strong negative reaction before - is it
> expected? Are we seeing something a little different this year in terms of
> reaction? Has it translated into any change in the pace of donations?

Hm? Every previous one has had strongly negative reactions from some
contributors.

(I do not know for sure if this is better or worse but, for example,
to me it appears appears far less significant at this point compared
to the reaction at the time of the virgin unite thank-you.)

The general public is already banner-blind. I'm not aware of any
significant negative response from the general public to any of these
fundraisers.

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Guillaume Paumier
Hello,

On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 5:45 PM, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hm? Every previous one has had strongly negative reactions from some
> contributors.
>
> (I do not know for sure if this is better or worse but, for example,
> to me it appears appears far less significant at this point compared
> to the reaction at the time of the virgin unite thank-you.)

It seems to me the amount of discontentment is about the same as for
the previous fundraisers. On the French language Wikipedia, it even
seems to be lower than last year.

--
Guillaume Paumier
[[m:User:guillom]]

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Bryan Tong Minh
In reply to this post by Robert Rohde
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 5:24 PM, Robert Rohde <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 8:07 AM, Bryan Tong Minh
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 4:58 PM, Gerard Meijssen
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>>  As to negative reactions to the fund raiser, they are a tradition.
>>> Thanks,
>>>       GerardM
>>>
>>
>> But to this extend I have only seen it with the Virgin stuff. And yes,
>> it is ugly and certainly not very convincing to give money.
>>
>
> I can only assume you weren't around at the start of last year's
> fundraiser when the scrolling marquee of death made people want to
> storm the WMF with pitchforks and torches.

Forgot about that one. In that case it really is tradition :)


Bryan

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich

Gregory Maxwell writes:

> Hm? Every previous one has had strongly negative reactions from some
> contributors.
>
> (I do not know for sure if this is better or worse but, for example,
> to me it appears appears far less significant at this point compared
> to the reaction at the time of the virgin unite thank-you.)
>
> The general public is already banner-blind. I'm not aware of any
> significant negative response from the general public to any of these
> fundraisers.

My take is the same as Greg's, but let me add a little more. First,  
it's always the case that there's a negative reaction to anything  
instantiated as a banner. That's a given, like the tides. Second, the  
thing to remember about the negative reactions you see is that there's  
no reason to believe that they are representative of *general*  
reaction, since they are statistically nonrandom (not least because  
the impulse to offer criticism is greater than the impulse to offer  
praise, and much greater than the impulse to offer the sentiment "I am  
not bothered by this").  Third, the evidence we have suggests that we  
are doing rather better on fundraising this year than last year.

This doesn't mean criticism should be ignored (and, believe me, it  
isn't). But the sky isn't falling, and in fact things generally seem  
to be going well in comparison to last year.


--Mike





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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

David Moran-3
As far as my own reactions go, I'm not terribly bothered.  Yes, the banner
is visually irritating (I don't think it minimizes enough when you hide it),
but that's kinda the point.  Annual pledge drives on public television
channels are irritating too, but that's the price of having PUBLIC
TELEVISION.  Wikipedia is not Google, and I think the banners are a helpful
reminder to people of that.

Also, on a personal level, I wouldn't mind a personal option to turn them
off, but I think turning them off project-wide is insane.  Wikipedia lives
on donations, therefore we must solicit donations.  Suggesting that
Wikipedia could or should survive on the donations of people who think of it
first, without prompting, is unrealistic in the extreme.  Wikipedia is a
charity; this is how charities behave.

Personally, I like having it there.  I mean to donate before the year's out,
but I'm broke now.  If that banner wasn't there I'd forget about it sooner
or later and then never donate.

David Moran
aka FMF


On 11/7/08, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Gregory Maxwell writes:
>
> > Hm? Every previous one has had strongly negative reactions from some
> > contributors.
> >
> > (I do not know for sure if this is better or worse but, for example,
> > to me it appears appears far less significant at this point compared
> > to the reaction at the time of the virgin unite thank-you.)
> >
> > The general public is already banner-blind. I'm not aware of any
> > significant negative response from the general public to any of these
> > fundraisers.
>
> My take is the same as Greg's, but let me add a little more. First,
> it's always the case that there's a negative reaction to anything
> instantiated as a banner. That's a given, like the tides. Second, the
> thing to remember about the negative reactions you see is that there's
> no reason to believe that they are representative of *general*
> reaction, since they are statistically nonrandom (not least because
> the impulse to offer criticism is greater than the impulse to offer
> praise, and much greater than the impulse to offer the sentiment "I am
> not bothered by this").  Third, the evidence we have suggests that we
> are doing rather better on fundraising this year than last year.
>
> This doesn't mean criticism should be ignored (and, believe me, it
> isn't). But the sky isn't falling, and in fact things generally seem
> to be going well in comparison to last year.
>
>
> --Mike
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Jimmy Wales-3
In reply to this post by Robert Rohde
Robert Rohde wrote:
> I can only assume you weren't around at the start of last year's
> fundraiser when the scrolling marquee of death made people want to
> storm the WMF with pitchforks and torches.
>
> By comparison, the complaints this year seems tame.

Indeed.  Every fundraiser brings out a few pitchforks, sometimes because
of things we've done badly, but other times based on general principles.

At the same time, I think the request that it be made dismissible or
collapsible are directly on target.  Since the option exists in user
preferences, surely it can be exposed with only a little effort.

--Jimbo



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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Al Tally
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> At the same time, I think the request that it be made dismissible or
> collapsible are directly on target.  Since the option exists in user
> preferences, surely it can be exposed with only a little effort.
>
> --Jimbo
>

Not for anonymous users though.

--
Alex
(User:Majorly)
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Jimmy Wales-3
Al Tally wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> At the same time, I think the request that it be made dismissible or
>> collapsible are directly on target.  Since the option exists in user
>> preferences, surely it can be exposed with only a little effort.

> Not for anonymous users though.

Can it be done with javascript and a cookie?

--Jimbo

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Gregory Maxwell
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Al Tally wrote:
>> On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> At the same time, I think the request that it be made dismissible or
>>> collapsible are directly on target.  Since the option exists in user
>>> preferences, surely it can be exposed with only a little effort.
>
>> Not for anonymous users though.
>
> Can it be done with javascript and a cookie?

Yep, it's no longer unsafe to set cookies for anons.

Though, Is it really desirable to make the message dismissible for anons?

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Al Tally
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 7:24 PM, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Yep, it's no longer unsafe to set cookies for anons.
>
> Though, Is it really desirable to make the message dismissible for anons?
>

Anons may be the ones donating. And as someone said earlier, if they want to
donate, they'll click donate, and if they don't, they should have an option
of removing it so it's not interfering.

--
Alex
(User:Majorly)
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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
2008/11/7 Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]>:

> Though, Is it really desirable to make the message dismissible for anons?

If it's a cookie, presumably that means it'll only be dismissed for
that reader (and anyone else on the same machine). If they've taken
the time to read the banner enough to see a [dismiss] button, they've
probably taken it in - after all, most of us don't scan banner ads for
"go away now" buttons normally!

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Gregory Maxwell
On Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Andrew Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 2008/11/7 Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]>:
>
>> Though, Is it really desirable to make the message dismissible for anons?
>
> If it's a cookie, presumably that means it'll only be dismissed for
> that reader (and anyone else on the same machine). If they've taken
> the time to read the banner enough to see a [dismiss] button, they've
> probably taken it in - after all, most of us don't scan banner ads for
> "go away now" buttons normally!

I dunno, with dismissible watchlist notices I often dismiss them then
wish I could get them back later. Perhaps I'm weird (though I also
know enough to flush the cookie).

I thought part of the point of the big persistent banner was that
after someone has seen it a few dozen times they'll eventually click
through to see what it's about. ::shrugs::

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Re: Donation banner and strongly negative reactions

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
2008/11/7 Nathan <[hidden email]>:
> I don't remember this sort of strong negative reaction before - is it
> expected?

Yes - the fundraising banner always creates a strong, initial negative
reaction when it goes up.

Last year, we had dismissability for logged in users (which led to a
smaller version of the banner which still included a thermometer), and
no dismissability for users who are not logged in. This year, both
logged in and logged out users can collapse the banner to a smaller
version. Many Wikipedians have expressed annoyance at the size of the
collapsed version, especially because it includes a bright red button.

Several wikis now have a gadget in the user preferences to hide the
banner completely. The gadget instructions can be found here for those
who want to copy it to their wiki:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fundraising_2008/design_drafts#Enable_the_gadget_in_smaller_wikis_too.2C_please.21

I've asked Rand to work with the technology team towards a
significantly smaller default collapsed version for logged in users
(e.g. just showing the current amount and a plain link to donate, plus
an expand link). But, in the absence of data showing whether or not
the current collapsed version incentivizes donations by repeat
viewers, we won't make it smaller for logged out users at this point.

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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