Wikipedia Rich in Friends As Well As Content

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January 1, 2011; Source: CNET | Wikipedia, which bills itself as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” depends on more than just the willingness of individuals around the globe to contribute articles and maintain the accuracy of the online site’s editorial content. It also needs people to contribute cash, especially to remain free of advertisements.

Judging from the results of the holiday fundraiser that its parent, the Wikimedia Foundation, kicked off in mid-November, the website has a very committed group of supporters. CNET reports that Wikimedia raised $16 million, its most successful campaign to date. “This year is a little more incredible than most because this year we celebrate Wikipedia’s tenth anniversary,” said founder Jimmy Wales. “It’s so important that we kick the year off just like this: by fully funding the Wikimedia Foundation’s budget to support Wikipedia and all the sister projects as we head into the next decade of our work together.”

All told, the foundation received more than 500,000 donations, which averaged about $22 each. “This fundraiser had all the ingredients of what we love about Wikimedia projects: people come together, contribute what they have, and together we do something amazing,” said Wales. Wikipedia turns 10 on January 15.—Bruce Trachtenberg

  • Gregory Kohs

    I wonder when the news media will figure out that the Wikimedia Foundation spends on program services only 41 cents of every dollar they scam from donors, which earns them ONE STAR (out of four!) from Charity Navigator in organizational efficiency. In fact, their KPMG audit discovered that it only takes about $2.5 million to keep the servers running, provide ample bandwidth, and staff a team of code developers to keep things running smoothly. Why, then, is the ask for $20 million?

    I also wonder why the news media never thought to cover the 2009 story of how the Wikimedia Foundation needed extra office space, and as if by magic, they hand-picked Jimmy Wales’ for-profit corporation to be their landlord, THEN obtained competitive bids, THEN asked Wales’ for-profit company to match the average of the competitive bids.

    I too wonder why the media don’t seem to care that the 2010 market research study of past Wikimedia Foundation donors was awarded to the former employer of the WMF staffer running the project, without any competitive bidding whatsoever. And when the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation was asked how much the project cost, the guy asking the question was banned from the online discussion.

  • ?

    Gregory Kohs must not be a good cook, because his copypasta is covered in failsauce.

    The 41% figure is BS. Looking at the budget for 2010, nearly 50% of the 20 million goes to technical services, then another 20% to other program services. (source: ) Even if the programs and technical services were operating in a magical vacuum where they didn’t need extra help to do the fundraising, management, and administrative tasks, that’s already 70%. That’s low for a charity, by the numbers, but the Wikimedia Foundation is a bit of an exception: Charity Navigator noted this past year that it was the single fastest-growing charity in the US. Overhead costs are to be expected as the organization sets up increasing organizational infrastructure to handle the expansion.

    Yes, Wikimedia’s tech services alone could be run for $2.5 million, and then Wikimedia would have to pay more on top of that for a small management team, and, the kicker, it would be a total mismanagement of the project. Wikimedia’s in an expand-or-die market. Gregory Kohs might like Wikipedia to die, but the Foundation isn’t so stupid as to take his advice.

    Gregory Kohs is still parroting a story from 2009 in his copypasta, wow! The Foundation needed office space for a few usability developers. Wikia’s space was the logical choice since it was nearby, had everything the developers needed, and had other developers working on the same problems in the same office. Kohs just wants you to see the dollars so you think it’s a problem, instead of looking at the big picture where it’s a rational decision. (source: )

    Oh, and finally, we get to the butthurt! The “2010 market research study of past Wikimedia Foundation donors” is his little thing, because he tried to “volunteer” to do the study so that he could put in crap that would make the Foundation look bad. Oh, and the guy who was banned from that online discussion? His name was Gregory Kohs. This guy has been hanging around blogs and newscrap for 4 years now since his paid-editing service was banned from Wikipedia. Bitter, much?

  • Christopher

    Brilliant. Pleased to see someone finally present the facts that Mr Kohs so frequently distorts.