"Peter Southwood" <peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:

> I agree.
> The situation may well be metastable, in that the WMF may
> get away with alienating the crowd for a long time, until it
> reaches a tipping point, when the reaction becomes
> catastrophic and non-reversible. At which point there will
> be a large number of people who will say they told them so,
> but it may well be too late to reassemble the
> debris. Something will survive , but maybe not Wikipedia as
> we know it. How far we are from the tipping point is
> anybody's guess. At present the vast majority of the crowd
> are probably totally unaware of the problems, but I
> personally would not bet the survival of Wikipedia against
> them staying and continuing to produce for free if there was
> a major walkout by the volunteers who currently keep the
> show on the road. Will the level of donations remain viable
> if the general public witnesses a meltdown? Would you bet on
> it?
> […]

That is irrelevant for threatening WMF.  If at some point in
time WMF would no longer raise enough funds, its staff would
just have to pick new jobs somewhere else (just like all
other employees do in a similar situation).  Working at WMF
probably has some amenities, but noone bases their decisions
on fears that as an effect their contract might be termi-
nated in ten or twenty years.  Even less so do trustees plan
that they can replace their summer holiday with a trip to
Wikimania till eternity.

And it's also irrelevant for writing an online encyclopedia.
You don't need the current level of funding as only a frac-
tion actually goes to expenditures necessary for /that/, and
if you have viewers, you will have (more than sufficient)

So while a reaction may be "catastrophic and non-re-
versible", if the possible effect is a minor nuisance at
worst, then it cannot be a motivating factor.


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