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new site notice now ready

Oleg Alexandrov
It is of course very nice of Virgin Unite to match the donations
received today. I would argue however that having a logo in the
site notice is basically an advertisement for Virgin.

There is nothing wrong per se with advertisements, but it is my
belief that that logo is a bad precedent if Wikipedia's goal is
to be advertisement-free.

Oleg Alexandrov
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Re: new site notice now ready

James Hare
Danny gave a very good speech about this in the Wikimedia IRC channel. He
said that since we don't do advertising, we are giving up on tens of
millions of dollars a year. Now that we need money, we have Virgin Unite
kind enough to offer some really cool matching. Mentioning them in the
Sitenotice is our way of saying "thank you for being so awesome."

On 12/27/06, Oleg Alexandrov <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> It is of course very nice of Virgin Unite to match the donations
> received today. I would argue however that having a logo in the
> site notice is basically an advertisement for Virgin.
>
> There is nothing wrong per se with advertisements, but it is my
> belief that that logo is a bad precedent if Wikipedia's goal is
> to be advertisement-free.
>
> Oleg Alexandrov
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
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>
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Re: new site notice now ready

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Oleg Alexandrov
On 12/28/06, Oleg Alexandrov <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It is of course very nice of Virgin Unite to match the donations
> received today. I would argue however that having a logo in the
> site notice is basically an advertisement for Virgin.

The common usage of advertising is "to announce or praise (a product,
service, etc.) in some public medium of communication in order to
induce people to buy or use it: to advertise a new brand of
toothpaste."

We are not announcing or praising a product or service; we are not
selling a message. We are thanking a large corporate donor.
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
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Re: new site notice now ready

Gatto Nero
In reply to this post by James Hare
2006/12/28, James Hare <[hidden email]>:
> Danny gave a very good speech about this in the Wikimedia IRC channel. He
> said that since we don't do advertising, we are giving up on tens of
> millions of dollars a year. Now that we need money, we have Virgin Unite
> kind enough to offer some really cool matching. Mentioning them in the
> Sitenotice is our way of saying "thank you for being so awesome."

Danny gave a very rethorical speech about this in the Wikimedia IRC
channel. That was the impression of a lot of chatters who don't agree
with the use of a commercial logo.

There is a huge difference between "thank a donor for what it did" and
"put a commercial logo in Wikipedia home-page".
Writing a phrase with "The donations made in this day will be doubled
by Virgin. Thanks to Virgin!" is quite acceptable. Putting a logo
that's linked to a very, very big and spread commercial reality is not
acceptable.

By the way, the way some members of the Board described this deal made
it result as a "ad selling": "you double our donations, we will put a
logo on our projects".
At first, they said there was no deal about the use of the logo; then,
they said WMF and Virgin ther has been a "gentleman agreement".

Boh.
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Re: new site notice now ready

Erik Moeller-4
On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There is a huge difference between "thank a donor for what it did" and
> "put a commercial logo in Wikipedia home-page".

1) Virgin Unite is the non-profit arm of Virgin. It's a charitable
organization listed in directories such as GuideStar.
2) Please explain what exactly the difference between visual and
textual identification of a donor is, in your opinion.

--
Peace & Love,
Erik

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Re: new site notice now ready

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Oleg Alexandrov
On 28/12/06, Oleg Alexandrov <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It is of course very nice of Virgin Unite to match the donations
> received today. I would argue however that having a logo in the
> site notice is basically an advertisement for Virgin.


Virgin Unite, under its corporate name the Virgin Foundation, is a
proper tax-deductible registered charity in the UK. I assume its
operations in other countries are similarly registered.


- d.
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Re: new site notice now ready

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 28/12/06, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We are not announcing or praising a product or service; we are not
> selling a message. We are thanking a large corporate donor.


Correction: A large philanthropic donor.


- d.
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Re: new site notice now ready

Gatto Nero
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
2006/12/28, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > There is a huge difference between "thank a donor for what it did" and
> > "put a commercial logo in Wikipedia home-page".
>
> 1) Virgin Unite is the non-profit arm of Virgin. It's a charitable
> organization listed in directories such as GuideStar.

The logo is a big dot with Virgin Inside: no matter if there is a big
"Unite" under it, it publicize Virgin.

> 2) Please explain what exactly the difference between visual and
> textual identification of a donor is, in your opinion.

First of all, textual identification is less intrusive.
Second of all: marketing works with logos. There's a reason why a logo
is so important for the life of a company.
Try to think to the Apple of Apple. Or the stilized Windows of
Microsoft Windows. Think about how important is the Brand of
Coca-Cola, used everywhere.
"Visual" is more influent than text. If you take a look to recent
music videos, you'll see a lot of "not-so-hidden" spot of mobile
phones with logo really visible.
It's not that difficult to understand.
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Re: new site notice now ready

Brion Vibber
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Erik Moeller wrote:
> On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> There is a huge difference between "thank a donor for what it did" and
>> "put a commercial logo in Wikipedia home-page".
>
> 1) Virgin Unite is the non-profit arm of Virgin. It's a charitable
> organization listed in directories such as GuideStar.

Better not use this excuse, it won't help with the next one. ;)

- -- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
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Re: new site notice now ready

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Gatto Nero
Gatto Nero schreef:

> 2006/12/28, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
>  
>> On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>    
>>> There is a huge difference between "thank a donor for what it did" and
>>> "put a commercial logo in Wikipedia home-page".
>>>      
>> 1) Virgin Unite is the non-profit arm of Virgin. It's a charitable
>> organization listed in directories such as GuideStar.
>>    
>
> The logo is a big dot with Virgin Inside: no matter if there is a big
> "Unite" under it, it publicize Virgin.
>
>  
>> 2) Please explain what exactly the difference between visual and
>> textual identification of a donor is, in your opinion.
>>    
>
> First of all, textual identification is less intrusive.
> Second of all: marketing works with logos. There's a reason why a logo
> is so important for the life of a company.
> Try to think to the Apple of Apple. Or the stilized Windows of
> Microsoft Windows. Think about how important is the Brand of
> Coca-Cola, used everywhere.
> "Visual" is more influent than text. If you take a look to recent
> music videos, you'll see a lot of "not-so-hidden" spot of mobile
> phones with logo really visible.
> It's not that difficult to understand.
>  
Hoi,
It is also not so difficult to understand that we could do so much more
if we had more money. The philosophical question is what does hurt us
more in achieving our aims. I do know of so many things we could do and
do not because of a lack of funding that is partly the result of this
aversion to collaborating with other organisations.
Thanks,
    GerardM

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Re: new site notice now ready

Gianluigi Gamba
The agreements have been signed and the Wikimedia Foundation must oblige
to their terms.

Should a similar operation be carried out in a future, I'd seriously
reconsider the presence of the logo (certainly the feature the
donor/advertiser most wants).

The logo is more visual and intrusive - that's what it's designed for -
and conveys the idea of a partnership with Wikimedia that can seriously
influence the neutrality of the content. The risk of such an influence
is what is setting up many users - no matter how loud we scream that
Wikimedia projects won't be affected. They will anyway be, either by the
self-censorship or by the over-criticism of the editors.

Finally a personal bitter note: as a steward I feel like an
"apparatchik" who is bringing down the directives from the top.
It's not a role I like. I already do that somewhere else for living, but
it's something I'm regularly paid for.

Bye all,
G. (aka Paginazero)

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Re: new site notice now ready

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Gatto Nero
On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The logo is a big dot with Virgin Inside: no matter if there is a big
> "Unite" under it, it publicize Virgin.

A "big" dot? Are we looking at the same image? The dot of the logo is
barely large enough to cover the "Uni" of "Unite".

> First of all, textual identification is less intrusive.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

> Second of all: marketing works with logos. There's a reason why a logo
> is so important for the life of a company.

I agree, but we're hardly strengthening the Virgin logo. The Virgin
Unite logo is barely known. In any case, we'll see what we can do with
regard to logo exposure in future agreements.
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
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Re: new site notice now ready

Gatto Nero
2006/12/28, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> A "big" dot? Are we looking at the same image? The dot of the logo is
> barely large enough to cover the "Uni" of "Unite".

Iperbole.

> > Second of all: marketing works with logos. There's a reason why a logo
> > is so important for the life of a company.
>
> I agree, but we're hardly strengthening the Virgin logo. The Virgin
> Unite logo is barely known. In any case, we'll see what we can do with
> regard to logo exposure in future agreements.

The Virgin logo is widely kwnon, though.

The problem is how the Foundation is working, honestly.
Yesterday, some people told me to talk with my Local Chapter: "they
knew it", "we've talked about it for months", etc etc. I'm not happy
to understand that what has been told me was false.
This deal was presented on the first day of december, on internal-l.
And - as far as i understood - it has been told not to reveal anything
about it.
Foundation presented it in a kind of way as "We've decided, and you
have to shut up", and this is not pretty fair too.
What about Local Chapter? They're totally not representive. They're
not even informed about what' happening and what are the decision to
be made. No voice is given to local communities.

But... Do I remember wrong? Are not the local communities the real
strenght of wiki?
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Re: new site notice now ready

Erik Moeller-4
On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Yesterday, some people told me to talk with my Local Chapter: "they
> knew it", "we've talked about it for months", etc etc. I'm not happy
> to understand that what has been told me was false.

Huh?

> What about Local Chapter?

Local chapters pursue their own fundraising strategies. They are
independent organizations which collaborate with the Wikimedia
Foundation.
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

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Re: new site notice now ready

Gatto Nero
2006/12/28, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Yesterday, some people told me to talk with my Local Chapter: "they
> > knew it", "we've talked about it for months", etc etc. I'm not happy
> > to understand that what has been told me was false.
>
> Huh?

Do I have to explain it again? What is not clear?
WMI Board didn't know anything about this deal before the begin of
december, and it has been told to "not tell anyone", and they didn't
agree to anything.
But this is not what has been told to me yesterday on #wikimedia.

> > What about Local Chapter?
>
> Local chapters pursue their own fundraising strategies. They are
> independent organizations which collaborate with the Wikimedia
> Foundation.

They are independent organizations. This means "They have no voice".
Then: what about this top-down decision strategy?
How communities can express their opinions about Foundation choose?
Directly? (Oh My God, don't answer "Yes")

And if they have no possibility to partecipate collectively to the
decision about wiki-verse, what is this? "Working without being
allowed to talk" is slavery, as far as I know.
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Re: new site notice now ready

Erik Moeller-4
On 12/28/06, Gatto Nero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> But this is not what has been told to me yesterday on #wikimedia.

I don't know and cannot comment on what other people have said on IRC.

> They are independent organizations. This means "They have no voice".

We share the same communication channels. The possibility of a chapter
representative on the Board level has been discussed, but is not
currently implemented.

Mind you, chapters have a geographic focus, and generally do not have
any moral authority to represent a particular language community.

> How communities can express their opinions about Foundation choose?
> Directly? (Oh My God, don't answer "Yes")

By electing Board members, and by participating in community decision
processes (demanding more of those from time to time helps).

> "Working without being
> allowed to talk" is slavery, as far as I know.

No. This is slavery:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Cicatrices_de_flagellation_sur_un_esclave.jpg
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

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Re: new site notice now ready

daniwo59
In reply to this post by Oleg Alexandrov
First of all, I want to say that I agree with most everything Erik has  
written so far, and can't really add to his eloquent explanations. Nevertheless,  
as someone who was involved from the beginning in these discussions, I want to  
raise a few points here.
 
1. The Wikimedia Foundation has grown beyond anyone's wildest  expectations
in terms of traffic, hits, articles, and projects. We are a top ten  website.
2. We are doing this on a shoestring budget, with minimal staff and minimal  
expenses.
3. We are able to do this because of dedicated volunteers, like everyone  
writing on this list.
 
But --
 
4. The Foundation, which hosts all these projects does not want to be  
gobbled up by some big corporation, like Youtube was, like Myspace was, or like  any
other successful website was. We want to maintain our independence.
5. Independence comes at a cost. We have to buy servers, and we have to  find
the right people to manage all of the other things involved with running a  
huge foundation.
6. Considering our growth, the base of volunteers does not scale. All the  
good will in the world does not mean that people can take off exams or their  
jobs or their families to work 24/7 to keep this thing running.
7. We are already paying a steep cost. While it doesn't appear in the  audit,
the fact that we do not have advertising is costing us. This is  unrealized
income at a minimum of $60k a day and probably much more. In other  words it is
many millions a year. Yet, the Board and the community have chosen  to avoid
ads so that we can maintain our independence.
 
So where do we get the money to keep this thing afloat?
 
8. Donations from devoted users. We are grateful for each and every  
donation, and each and every donation is valuable, whether it is $1 or $100.
9. Unfortunately, however, given our size, this is not enough. Read the  
financial statements, follow the projections about growth. Compare our budget to  
the budgets of other comparably-sized websites, or even to websites smaller
than  us.
 
Fortunately--
 
10. There are people out there who want to help us. Some have selfish  
motives, no doubt, and others have purely altruistic motives. Deal with it. Such  is
life.
11. When the selfish overwhelms the altruistic, we can say no. The  Board has
said no--to some very big potential sponsors.
12. When people do help us on our terms, it is only right that we  express
our gratitude to them. We thank them. The site notice is a means of  thanking
them.
13. From this perspective, this whole debate is about what is "too much  
gratitude." That is, in my opinion, unfortunate.
 
A final statement--
 
14. To the editors and other contributors--Wikipedia and all the other  
projects do NOT exist so that a bunch of bored people have some place to play in  
their leisure time. They exist to spread free knowledge and free culture. Our  
target audience is not the editor per se, but the user-without-a-user-name who
 comes to rely on our projects for information, whether its a student, a  
traveller, or someone with an obscure interest and a passion for learning. As  
editors and contributors we are serving them, and not being served. That is why  
we keep all the sites going, no matter how costly it is. And let's be
grateful  to the groups and organizations that help us meet these costs.
 
Danny
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Re: new site notice now ready

Gatto Nero
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
2006/12/28, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:

> We share the same communication channels. The possibility of a chapter
> representative on the Board level has been discussed, but is not
> currently implemented.

I think a lot of community members think that this should be
implemented. As soon as possible.

> Mind you, chapters have a geographic focus, and generally do not have
> any moral authority to represent a particular language community.

Yes, but they could represent a community, too.
Or should we elect a wikiparliament made of members elected *locally*?

> > How communities can express their opinions about Foundation choose?
> > Directly? (Oh My God, don't answer "Yes")
>
> By electing Board members, and by participating in community decision
> processes (demanding more of those from time to time helps).

By electing some of the Board members, who are really few. Really: how
much member there are? Seven? I don't think they're representive at
all, especially cause there are no regular elections (zum beispiel,
once a year).

Participating in community decision? And how, if decision are made and
noone can complain about it? Persons are not even informed.

> > "Working without being
> > allowed to talk" is slavery, as far as I know.
>
> No. This is slavery:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Cicatrices_de_flagellation_sur_un_esclave.jpg

Opinions.
Let's call it "Modern slavery"?
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Re: new site notice now ready

Gatto Nero
In reply to this post by daniwo59
2006/12/28, [hidden email] <[hidden email]>:

> 10. There are people out there who want to help us. Some have selfish
> motives, no doubt, and others have purely altruistic motives. Deal with it. Such  is
> life.
> 11. When the selfish overwhelms the altruistic, we can say no. The  Board has
> said no--to some very big potential sponsors.

Yesterday, on #wikimedia, some people asked how sponsorpartners are
choosen or have been choosen.

The answer we had was that there were to factors used:
"1) they have the money"
"2) they're nice"

Now, 'cause of "They're nice" is a very, very generic factor, it seems
that the only importang thing is that they have the money.

But I'll be happy to understand better which have been the reasons why
a company has been choosen, and another not.
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Re: new site notice now ready

daniwo59
In reply to this post by Oleg Alexandrov
 
In a message dated 12/28/2006 7:46:15 AM Eastern Standard Time,  
[hidden email] writes:


But  I'll be happy to understand better which have been the reasons why
a  company has been choosen, and another not.



Simple--Are they doing it to get their name up in Wikipedia? Just given the  
amount of spam we face, there are plenty of companies out there who see that
as  their sole objective.
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1234