Fundraising & Networking updates

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Fundraising & Networking updates

simonpedia
Eric,
 
Thought I should wait until yu have your feet under the desk.
Could I have some feedback from you and the team here (or Wikieducator’s
group).
 
1.           I know that advertising is a no no, even though when a do a
Google on most organisations/companies it brings me back a Wikipedia page,
usually in the top five, adorned with a company logo. This advertising (or
product placement) goes on for many products and services, from aeroplanes
to universities. Is there any reason the WMF wouldn’t create a
company/product templates, so it’s made plain to an occasional reader, and
charge for it?
 
2.            As one reads through this monthly thread, and tries to make
some sense of all the semi related conversation (between the usual suspects)
before they are archived after 30 days, does it ever occur to the team how
impossible it is for a newbie to get orientated? The idea of a forum in
which threads aren’t cut (I,e, where discussions go back years) and
conversations can be related (redirected) across elists and the workers
identified, has been raised quite often. Is there any reason why they aren’t
used? (Apart from “We don’t want to change!!!”)
 
3.            The aim of the Foundation is to spread knowledge. Its major
costs are hardware and software development. It wants to continue its
projects, unencumbered by commitments to private donors, while ensuring they
are kept forever, hopefully in the context in which they are created.
Logically, the only alternative to ‘pan handling to privates’ is for WMF’s
projects’ contents to become part of the global networks of NRENs, which are
funded by the public purse. Is there any reason why a group of NRENs would
not be considered as permanent hosts?
 
4.           Considering all the never-ending talk going back years, about
improving Communications in and between projects and groups, will you be
revisiting your Jan 2007 proposal? HYPERLINK
"http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html"
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html
 
And congrats. It’s been interesting to watch the progress of a trusted
member of the global community into an Nth American professionalizing Head
Office. Hopefully we might see a slight change in the culture to better
support the shared learning of the global groups from which “the
organisation” is composed. I’d hate to think we are watching Rotary being
reinvented.
 
BTW, this comparison may be of some use. OCLC and WMF. Both are a
globalizing org of library-centric good guys. One hard copy centric,
delivering furiously; one soft copy centric, interacting furiously. Both
lousy communicators. This is how OCLC handle the idea of a global Council.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.oclc.org/memberscouncil/works/default.htm"http://www.oclc.org/me
mberscouncil/works/default.htm
 
All the best, simon
 
PS. Does that note about Wikieducator count as “product placement”?
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
In addition to these meetings, we've also had some first exploratory
discussions with Sun Microsystems about developing some kind of
partnership(s) - this is still very provisional, and we'll follow up
in the next month.
 
We will continue our major donor strategy,  and we hope to have a
dedicated head of fundraising to lead this process by February. (We
work with a dedicated recruiting agency that specializes on such
positions.) As we mature as an organization, we hope to also add
additional sources of revenue, beginning with a more systematic
approach to business development (led by our new head of BD, Kul
Wadhwa, as recently announced), and working towards a
grants/partnerships strategy later this year. Grants, which are
typically contingent on certain conditions being met, require the rest
of the organization to be functioning reliably & neatly, so we're
putting the other pieces in place first.
 
Let me know if you have any questions about any of these developments. :-)

 


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5:39 PM
 
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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Erik Moeller-4
On 1/15/08, simonpedia <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 1.           I know that advertising is a no no, even though when a do a
> Google on most organisations/companies it brings me back a Wikipedia page,
> usually in the top five, adorned with a company logo. This advertising (or
> product placement) goes on for many products and services, from aeroplanes
> to universities. Is there any reason the WMF wouldn't create a
> company/product templates, so it's made plain to an occasional reader, and
> charge for it?

I think this is a very odd definition of "advertising" or "product
placement"; the logos are there because these are the official
identifying marks of the company, and thereby add to a comprehensive
encyclopedic description thereof. They are added by our readers under
"fair use", and there's no top down decision that we want them - it's
the community that judges them to have informational value. Turning
this into any kind of officially sponsored content seems highly
problematic, as it would blur the line between content and ads much
more than even Google ads would.

> 2.            As one reads through this monthly thread, and tries to make
> some sense of all the semi related conversation (between the usual suspects)
> before they are archived after 30 days, does it ever occur to the team how
> impossible it is for a newbie to get orientated? The idea of a forum in
> which threads aren't cut (I,e, where discussions go back years) and
> conversations can be related (redirected) across elists and the workers
> identified, has been raised quite often. Is there any reason why they aren't
> used? (Apart from "We don't want to change!!!")

I don't understand your question; what archiving are you talking about?

> 3.            The aim of the Foundation is to spread knowledge. Its major
> costs are hardware and software development. It wants to continue its
> projects, unencumbered by commitments to private donors, while ensuring they
> are kept forever, hopefully in the context in which they are created.
> Logically, the only alternative to 'pan handling to privates' is for WMF's
> projects' contents to become part of the global networks of NRENs, which are
> funded by the public purse.

Erm, no. There are many revenue sources that can be combined to
sustain the organization in the long run. For example, institutional
support from charitable foundations, grants, and business development
all do not qualify as "panhandling to privates". On the hosting front,
we are actively building relationships with non-profits, public
organizations & for-profits to support & expand our infrastructure.

> 4.           Considering all the never-ending talk going back years, about
> improving Communications in and between projects and groups, will you be
> revisiting your Jan 2007 proposal? HYPERLINK
> "http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html"
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html

Probably not in this form - if that was a good idea, the community
would have picked it up and run with it already. But I do think we
should find new ways to facilitate volunteer promotional activities.
These don't initially need to take place in a dedicated project;
improving the self-organization tools e.g. on Meta and more
prominently pointing people to the right places seem like good
beginnings.

Best,
Erik

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Chad
On Jan 16, 2008 4:39 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 1/15/08, simonpedia <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 1.           I know that advertising is a no no, even though when a do a
> > Google on most organisations/companies it brings me back a Wikipedia page,
> > usually in the top five, adorned with a company logo. This advertising (or
> > product placement) goes on for many products and services, from aeroplanes
> > to universities. Is there any reason the WMF wouldn't create a
> > company/product templates, so it's made plain to an occasional reader, and
> > charge for it?
>
> I think this is a very odd definition of "advertising" or "product
> placement"; the logos are there because these are the official
> identifying marks of the company, and thereby add to a comprehensive
> encyclopedic description thereof. They are added by our readers under
> "fair use", and there's no top down decision that we want them - it's
> the community that judges them to have informational value. Turning
> this into any kind of officially sponsored content seems highly
> problematic, as it would blur the line between content and ads much
> more than even Google ads would.

I don't. For any company you Google who happens to have a Wikipedia
article, you see a page with their logo and a company description.
Now, it may be a neutral description, but the company is still there.
People pay SEOs truckloads of money to get that kind of Google
ranking for their companies, and an entire industry has emerged
from search engines (as you know). You mean to tell me that these
companies who are otherwise paying very heavily to get that top-ranked
spot aren't getting free advertising from us? We may not be getting paid
for it, but companies left and right are advertising all over Wikipedia and
this must stop.

Chad

On Jan 16, 2008 4:39 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 1/15/08, simonpedia <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 2.            As one reads through this monthly thread, and tries to make
> > some sense of all the semi related conversation (between the usual suspects)
> > before they are archived after 30 days, does it ever occur to the team how
> > impossible it is for a newbie to get orientated? The idea of a forum in
> > which threads aren't cut (I,e, where discussions go back years) and
> > conversations can be related (redirected) across elists and the workers
> > identified, has been raised quite often. Is there any reason why they aren't
> > used? (Apart from "We don't want to change!!!")
>
> I don't understand your question; what archiving are you talking about?
>
> > 3.            The aim of the Foundation is to spread knowledge. Its major
> > costs are hardware and software development. It wants to continue its
> > projects, unencumbered by commitments to private donors, while ensuring they
> > are kept forever, hopefully in the context in which they are created.
> > Logically, the only alternative to 'pan handling to privates' is for WMF's
> > projects' contents to become part of the global networks of NRENs, which are
> > funded by the public purse.
>
> Erm, no. There are many revenue sources that can be combined to
> sustain the organization in the long run. For example, institutional
> support from charitable foundations, grants, and business development
> all do not qualify as "panhandling to privates". On the hosting front,
> we are actively building relationships with non-profits, public
> organizations & for-profits to support & expand our infrastructure.
>
> > 4.           Considering all the never-ending talk going back years, about
> > improving Communications in and between projects and groups, will you be
> > revisiting your Jan 2007 proposal? HYPERLINK
> > "http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html"
> > http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html
>
> Probably not in this form - if that was a good idea, the community
> would have picked it up and run with it already. But I do think we
> should find new ways to facilitate volunteer promotional activities.
> These don't initially need to take place in a dedicated project;
> improving the self-organization tools e.g. on Meta and more
> prominently pointing people to the right places seem like good
> beginnings.
>
> Best,
> Erik
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Rich Holton
On Jan 16, 2008 7:17 AM, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Jan 16, 2008 4:39 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 1/15/08, simonpedia <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > 1.           I know that advertising is a no no, even though when a do
> a
> > > Google on most organisations/companies it brings me back a Wikipedia
> page,
> > > usually in the top five, adorned with a company logo. This advertising
> (or
> > > product placement) goes on for many products and services, from
> aeroplanes
> > > to universities. Is there any reason the WMF wouldn't create a
> > > company/product templates, so it's made plain to an occasional reader,
> and
> > > charge for it?
> >
> > I think this is a very odd definition of "advertising" or "product
> > placement"; the logos are there because these are the official
> > identifying marks of the company, and thereby add to a comprehensive
> > encyclopedic description thereof. They are added by our readers under
> > "fair use", and there's no top down decision that we want them - it's
> > the community that judges them to have informational value. Turning
> > this into any kind of officially sponsored content seems highly
> > problematic, as it would blur the line between content and ads much
> > more than even Google ads would.
>
> I don't. For any company you Google who happens to have a Wikipedia
> article, you see a page with their logo and a company description.
> Now, it may be a neutral description, but the company is still there.
> People pay SEOs truckloads of money to get that kind of Google
> ranking for their companies, and an entire industry has emerged
> from search engines (as you know). You mean to tell me that these
> companies who are otherwise paying very heavily to get that top-ranked
> spot aren't getting free advertising from us? We may not be getting paid
> for it, but companies left and right are advertising all over Wikipedia
> and
> this must stop.
>
> Chad
>
> What is it that you want to stop? Are you suggesting that we remove all
company articles? Or just their logos?

Even without company logos, the wikipedia article may still rank high on
search engine results. Is that significantly better?

And, why should we change our practices because of the practices of search
engines?
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Mailman archives (was Fundraising & Networking updates)

Birgitte_sb
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4

--- Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 1/15/08, simonpedia <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 2.            As one reads through this monthly
> thread, and tries to make
> > some sense of all the semi related conversation
> (between the usual suspects)
> > before they are archived after 30 days, does it
> ever occur to the team how
> > impossible it is for a newbie to get orientated?
> The idea of a forum in
> > which threads aren't cut (I,e, where discussions
> go back years) and
> > conversations can be related (redirected) across
> elists and the workers
> > identified, has been raised quite often. Is there
> any reason why they aren't
> > used? (Apart from "We don't want to change!!!")
>
> I don't understand your question; what archiving are
> you talking about?
>

It seems to me, he is talking of the mailman archives
of this mailing list[1].  Besides threads being broken
up by the change of month there are other problems
that have been mentioned to some degree in the past.
Periodically "permanent" urls to the archives are
re-shuffled leaving broken links.  Certain mail
clients seem to not get archived at all, for example
none of Aphaia's post can be found in the archives
outside of someone quoting her in their reply.
Certain mail clients seem to archive without line
breaks making those messages difficult to read [2].
Those are all the problems I can remember with the
archives.

Birgitte SB
[1]http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/
[2]http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-December/036323.html


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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Andre Engels
In reply to this post by Chad
2008/1/16, Chad <[hidden email]>:

> > I think this is a very odd definition of "advertising" or "product
> > placement"; the logos are there because these are the official
> > identifying marks of the company, and thereby add to a comprehensive
> > encyclopedic description thereof. They are added by our readers under
> > "fair use", and there's no top down decision that we want them - it's
> > the community that judges them to have informational value. Turning
> > this into any kind of officially sponsored content seems highly
> > problematic, as it would blur the line between content and ads much
> > more than even Google ads would.
>
> I don't. For any company you Google who happens to have a Wikipedia
> article, you see a page with their logo and a company description.
> Now, it may be a neutral description, but the company is still there.
> People pay SEOs truckloads of money to get that kind of Google
> ranking for their companies, and an entire industry has emerged
> from search engines (as you know). You mean to tell me that these
> companies who are otherwise paying very heavily to get that top-ranked
> spot aren't getting free advertising from us? We may not be getting paid
> for it, but companies left and right are advertising all over Wikipedia and
> this must stop.

So, what is your alternative? Should Wikipedia not be having pages on
companies? I am all with Erik on this. I am not against advertising on
Wikipedia, although pros and cons should be considered well if we are
ever going to do it. But IF we ever get advertisement on Wikipedia,
the NUMBER ONE rule should be that those advertisements in no way
influence the content of the encyclopedia. Never ever should there be
material in Wikipedia from a paying sponsor which would be removed had
they not been a paying sponsor - or vice versa.


--
Andre Engels, [hidden email]
ICQ: 6260644  --  Skype: a_engels

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Chad
> I don't. For any company you Google who happens to have a Wikipedia
> article, you see a page with their logo and a company description.
> Now, it may be a neutral description, but the company is still there.
> People pay SEOs truckloads of money to get that kind of Google
> ranking for their companies, and an entire industry has emerged
> from search engines (as you know). You mean to tell me that these
> companies who are otherwise paying very heavily to get that top-ranked
> spot aren't getting free advertising from us? We may not be getting paid
> for it, but companies left and right are advertising all over Wikipedia and
> this must stop.

It's publicity, it's not advertising. There is a difference. If they
pay us to put their logo on our article about them, that's advertising
and has all kinds of issues associated with it (it's not neutral, for
a start - the decision on whether or not to have a logo on a given
article should be based on editorial concerns, not financial ones). If
it's there purely by our choice, that's free publicity for them,
certainly, but it's neutral and pretty much uncontroversial.

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Chad
On 16/01/2008, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I don't. For any company you Google who happens to have a Wikipedia
> article, you see a page with their logo and a company description.
> Now, it may be a neutral description, but the company is still there.
> People pay SEOs truckloads of money to get that kind of Google
> ranking for their companies, and an entire industry has emerged
> from search engines (as you know).

The thing is, this isn't really the issue. Search engine optimisation
is trying to ensure that wilsonpharmaceuticals.com (a hopefully
fictional site) gets a good google ranking when someone searches for
"medication" or "drugs" or one of our beloved spam-product names -
Google would not automatically rank them highest, so you need to game
the system to make it so.

It *isn't* trying to ensure that wilsonpharmaceuticals.com is the top
Google hit for someone looking for information *about Wilson
Pharmaceuticals* - that is exactly the behaviour Google is intending
to give, and any company which is spending stupid amounts of money to
ensure they have a good search result for their own name is... not
spending its advertising budget sensiblyy (well, outside of naming
conflict issues etc - remember prince.com?).

> You mean to tell me that these
> companies who are otherwise paying very heavily to get that top-ranked
> spot aren't getting free advertising from us?

Only if we start out by defining it as "advertising"! This seems to be
falling into the trap of assuming that any writing about an
organisation acts advertising for them - arguably the case - and
therefore is to their benefit and therefore a bad thing - somewhat
less apparent.

(Subjects get all kinds of subtle small benefits out of us having an
article on them, mostly entirely coincidental. Should we be
restricting our coverage to only things which don't benefit - or, I
suppose, suffer - in any concievable way from the article's
existence?)

> We may not be getting paid
> for it, but companies left and right are advertising all over Wikipedia and
> this must stop.

How, exactly, would we "stop" it? Stop writing about anyone who we
might think has a motive to advertise themselves? Hold companies
ransom - "pay up or we won't write about you?" Deliberately restrict
what we write unless they pay us and make it "honest" advertising?

I really don't see how this would work.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Chad
I'm not as concerned about the major Fortune 500 companies that already
have a major presence and who's having an article (or not) on Wikipedia
largely won't affect their business.

I'm talking about small start ups and under-the-radar companies. These are
groups and individuals who do not have that massive Google rank you find
for Microsoft, Adobe, DuPont, and Viacom. Those companies care about
their Wikipedia articles (PR reasons), but the smaller companies care more.
To them, a link on Wikipedia is golden. They know we're in the top 10 sites,
and they know that many many people go there for information and consider
it authoritative. This being said, for them to get a link (or even better, an
article), helps them tremendously. It gets their name out there. People
who might've never heard of them before can now get information on them.

Last time I checked, "Getting your name out there" is a major aspect of
advertising.

Chad

On Jan 16, 2008 12:37 PM, Andrew Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 16/01/2008, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I don't. For any company you Google who happens to have a Wikipedia
> > article, you see a page with their logo and a company description.
> > Now, it may be a neutral description, but the company is still there.
> > People pay SEOs truckloads of money to get that kind of Google
> > ranking for their companies, and an entire industry has emerged
> > from search engines (as you know).
>
> The thing is, this isn't really the issue. Search engine optimisation
> is trying to ensure that wilsonpharmaceuticals.com (a hopefully
> fictional site) gets a good google ranking when someone searches for
> "medication" or "drugs" or one of our beloved spam-product names -
> Google would not automatically rank them highest, so you need to game
> the system to make it so.
>
> It *isn't* trying to ensure that wilsonpharmaceuticals.com is the top
> Google hit for someone looking for information *about Wilson
> Pharmaceuticals* - that is exactly the behaviour Google is intending
> to give, and any company which is spending stupid amounts of money to
> ensure they have a good search result for their own name is... not
> spending its advertising budget sensiblyy (well, outside of naming
> conflict issues etc - remember prince.com?).
>
> > You mean to tell me that these
> > companies who are otherwise paying very heavily to get that top-ranked
> > spot aren't getting free advertising from us?
>
> Only if we start out by defining it as "advertising"! This seems to be
> falling into the trap of assuming that any writing about an
> organisation acts advertising for them - arguably the case - and
> therefore is to their benefit and therefore a bad thing - somewhat
> less apparent.
>
> (Subjects get all kinds of subtle small benefits out of us having an
> article on them, mostly entirely coincidental. Should we be
> restricting our coverage to only things which don't benefit - or, I
> suppose, suffer - in any concievable way from the article's
> existence?)
>
> > We may not be getting paid
> > for it, but companies left and right are advertising all over Wikipedia and
> > this must stop.
>
> How, exactly, would we "stop" it? Stop writing about anyone who we
> might think has a motive to advertise themselves? Hold companies
> ransom - "pay up or we won't write about you?" Deliberately restrict
> what we write unless they pay us and make it "honest" advertising?
>
> I really don't see how this would work.
>
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>   [hidden email]
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

KIZU Naoko
In reply to this post by Rich Holton
On Jan 16, 2008 10:46 PM, Rich Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > What is it that you want to stop? Are you suggesting that we remove all
> company articles? Or just their logos?
>
> Even without company logos, the wikipedia article may still rank high on
> search engine results.

It is.
See companies' articles on the projects which banned fair use - German
or Japanese Wikipedia. No logo I assume may not harm the page ranking
of those articles.

For example:
For IBM, googling only for Japanese pages:
Japanese Wikipedia article is ranked as 2nd or 3rd (depends on how the
result is interpretated), seconding to the company official page.
Googling only for German pages generates a similar result.

>Is that significantly better?
It is however determinded by readership - hence by the community in
each language. And generally, it is even slightly more informative to
include their logos than omitting.

> And, why should we change our practices because of the practices of search
> engines?
>
> _______________________________________________
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>



--
KIZU Naoko
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/Britty (in Japanese)
Quote of the Day (English): http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/WQ:QOTD

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Andrew Gray-3
In reply to this post by Chad
On 16/01/2008, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'm not as concerned about the major Fortune 500 companies that already
> have a major presence and who's having an article (or not) on Wikipedia
> largely won't affect their business.
>
> I'm talking about small start ups and under-the-radar companies. These are
> groups and individuals who do not have that massive Google rank you find
> for Microsoft, Adobe, DuPont, and Viacom. Those companies care about
> their Wikipedia articles (PR reasons), but the smaller companies care more.
> To them, a link on Wikipedia is golden.[etc]

Surely this can be dealt with appropriately by inclusion criteria on
the various local projects - I know enwp has some guidelines on a
cut-off for companies, though I have no idea what they are, and I'm
sure most other projects do as well.

If we want to worry about small insignificant organisations, don't do
something that relates to all organisations.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

simonpedia
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Thanks for this Erik,

Let me keep the threads together.

-----Original Message-----
From: Erik Moeller [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 January 2008 8:40 PM
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Fundraising & Networking updates

On 1/15/08, simonpedia <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 1.           I know that advertising is a no no, even though when a do a
> Google on most organisations/companies it brings me back a Wikipedia page,
> usually in the top five, adorned with a company logo. This advertising (or
> product placement) goes on for many products and services, from aeroplanes
> to universities. Is there any reason the WMF wouldn't create a
> company/product templates, so it's made plain to an occasional reader, and
> charge for it?

I think this is a very odd definition of "advertising" or "product
placement"; the logos are there because these are the official
identifying marks of the company, and thereby add to a comprehensive
encyclopedic description thereof. They are added by our readers under
"fair use", and there's no top down decision that we want them - it's
the community that judges them to have informational value. Turning
this into any kind of officially sponsored content seems highly
problematic, as it would blur the line between content and ads much
more than even Google ads would.

>>> You're quite right. It is an odd definition of advertising, and
presentation isn't what I'm making a point about. It's just that we ARE
seeing a blurring between the lines of info and ads, in ALL media. If a wiki
wants to promote a company, then it should be made clear. At the same time,
by taking this approach companies can easily justify the expense, as they
can simply do a Google and see its usage.

I can't see how it could become problematic. By creating a company or
product template all it does is allow a company to say "we support the WMF",
while knowing full well that they can't lie due the beady eyes and open edit
policy around here. It allows them an easy way to take from the advertising
account rather than the feeble donation account. It also gives their
PR/advertising teams a reason to take interactive stuff more seriously than
they do with the overrated and costly broadcast media.

I could go on about how things have changed in media over the past 30 years,
and how your response is typical of discussions about "media support" for
government and non government promotions these days. But all that changes is
the way value is allocated. If the new model isn't recognized by something
like this, then it tends to be undervalued (in all its meanings), if not
ignored. I'm sure your German eyes will glaze over as you learn the US
media's concept of running (advertising) for (a) President.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  

> 2.            As one reads through this monthly thread, and tries to make
> some sense of all the semi related conversation (between the usual
suspects)
> before they are archived after 30 days, does it ever occur to the team how
> impossible it is for a newbie to get orientated? The idea of a forum in
> which threads aren't cut (I,e, where discussions go back years) and
> conversations can be related (redirected) across elists and the workers
> identified, has been raised quite often. Is there any reason why they
aren't
> used? (Apart from "We don't want to change!!!")

I don't understand your question; what archiving are you talking about?

>>>I'm talking about the elists. If you get the daily digest, one is
naturally led back to a block of monthly archives. Every thread is cut in
this manner. And if you believe that this conversation is not watched by
people who are both internal and external, trying to make sense of the
community culture ... (let's not go there, I'm sure you do). So when
someone, who understands the internal WMF dynamics well, starts (for
example) talking about improving the communication tools and processes in
and between projects (all of which are created "bottom up"), its broader
context will be lost to 'externals', unless they can track back and learn
what's been discussed over years.

Like any culture, it's a bit hard to explain the utility of using one forum,
which combines and directs the subject matter of threads from different
groups' conversations, and compare it to elists which, around here, are
separated by project (and necessarily, language). But it's easy to compare
between the utility each approach provides to archiving. This example goes
back to June 2001. http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=71

This means that, to give one latest example
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikicouncil, when a small group wants to pick
up the threads of a past beginning, that they needn't begin from scratch,
and overwhelm their talk page with the same kind of conversations. They need
only to understand that their idea was just a bit early for the mainstream,
and like your comms idea, can be picked up where it was left, as the need
becomes more obvious to the general community. I had chase all over the
place TO GET ORIENTATED and find your comms prop. Who knows what golden
ideas could be renovated into today's contexts?    

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> 3.            The aim of the Foundation is to spread knowledge. Its major
> costs are hardware and software development. It wants to continue its
> projects, unencumbered by commitments to private donors, while ensuring
they
> are kept forever, hopefully in the context in which they are created.
> Logically, the only alternative to 'pan handling to privates' is for WMF's
> projects' contents to become part of the global networks of NRENs, which
are
> funded by the public purse.

Erm, no. There are many revenue sources that can be combined to
sustain the organization in the long run. For example, institutional
support from charitable foundations, grants, and business development
all do not qualify as "panhandling to privates". On the hosting front,
we are actively building relationships with non-profits, public
organizations & for-profits to support & expand our infrastructure.

>>> OK, Excuse my "panhandling' terminology. What I'm saying here is that
you can only have one of two approaches if you want to "expand our
infrastructure", which is the costly bit just now. Either the WMF looks at
success as getting more servers and bandwidth, or says that they are just
means to an end. If it's the latter, then they're saying, "We're in the
content business" and by content I include software development, and media
in all its formats.

I've spent as few years monitoring the development in some NRENs, for whom
Wikimedia is a drop in the ocean (bandwidth and CPU wise). Regardless
whether you talk P2P or grids, they need a global org who looks at building
libraries like Wikipedia, not trying to chase the old National centric
dream. http://www.worlddigitallibrary.org/project/english/index.html
Your ideas about communications and FloNight's ideas about a global council
are the beginnings of a new global institution, which many large non profits
and government agencies are trying to get their head around. So long as we
can get past the domain centric idea of what is "our infrastructure" and
"their infrastructure", and identify which groups are shared between them we
might recognize the public utility.

All I see is global groups, like this one, who have poor communications. But
my comments above presuppose that knowledge is just a tool to get something
done, not a library to be "delivered".  

> 4.           Considering all the never-ending talk going back years, about
> improving Communications in and between projects and groups, will you be
> revisiting your Jan 2007 proposal? HYPERLINK
>
"http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html"
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026707.html

Probably not in this form - if that was a good idea, the community
would have picked it up and run with it already. But I do think we
should find new ways to facilitate volunteer promotional activities.
These don't initially need to take place in a dedicated project;
improving the self-organization tools e.g. on Meta and more
prominently pointing people to the right places seem like good
beginnings.

>>> I think you're right, and made one suggestion. But I will repeat that
timing is everything, and 12 months is a long time in this immediate world.
Your new position proves cream rises to the top pretty quickly these days.
The (half) joke I make is that in an overly promoted world we need to
develop the science of InReach. "The right tools" will be the one's
preferred for the occasion, e.g IRC, skypecast, mebeam, or vrvs for the
regular stuff and accessgrid if communities want to share Atlantean and
Alexandrian conferences. Like wikipedia, it's a matter of sucking and
seeing.

Anyhow, I'll use the cpg as the basis of my endeavours to present tools
global groups can play with, and hopefully in time, agree upon. Ultimately
it's up to them and the bright network geeks I've spoken with in NRENs to
figure out what is utility, what is valuable and (ergo) what is sustainable.


Regards, simon

Best,
Erik



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Re: Fundraising & Networking updates

Thomas Dalton
> I can't see how it could become problematic. By creating a company or
> product template all it does is allow a company to say "we support the WMF",
> while knowing full well that they can't lie due the beady eyes and open edit
> policy around here. It allows them an easy way to take from the advertising
> account rather than the feeble donation account. It also gives their
> PR/advertising teams a reason to take interactive stuff more seriously than
> they do with the overrated and costly broadcast media.

I can't see many companies paying just to get a "we support the WMF"
notice on the article about them. What I thought you were suggesting
was removing the logos from all company articles unless they pay us -
that's a very different thing, and completely fails NPOV, which is one
of our most important policies.

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