Megan Hernandez <mhernandez@...> writes:

> As Lila’s email said, we launched our end of year English fundraising
> campaign on Tuesday. I wanted to share a little more background on the
> mechanics of the English Wikipedia campaign, and where we are on our goals
> this year to-date.
> Starting today, banners are being shown to 100% of anonymous readers on
> English Wikipedia in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Our end
> of year campaign goal is $20 million. As Lila mentioned, our goal is to
> serve more powerful reminders to be able to limit the total number of
> banners each reader sees. We are constantly experimenting with new methods
> to reach our readers and optimize the donation experience.

I know I used to write an email internally every year, saying our banners
are getting out of control, but that's because every year they get bigger
and more obscuring of the content. This year, as usual, is not an exception.
However, this year the banners didn't just get bigger, the copy seems to be
more fear inducing as well.

Today I had a coworker private message me, worried that Wikipedia was in
financial trouble. He asked me if the worst happened, would the content
still be available so that it could be resurrected? I assured him that
Wikimedia is healthy, has reserves, and successfully reaches the budget
every year. Basically I said there wasn't much to worry about, because there

The messaging being used is actively scaring people. This isn't the first
person that's asked me about this. When they find out there's not a real
problem, their reaction quickly changes. They become angry. They feel

My coworker told me that he donates generously every year, which is rare for
him because he doesn't often donate to charities. He said this year's ads
are putting him off. He doesn't feel like he should donate.

I understand that efficient banner ads are good, because they reduce the
number of times people need to see the ad, but it's not great when people
stop posting funny banner memes and start asking Wikimedia to switch to an
advertising model (seriously, do a quick twitter search).

- Ryan Lane

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