Sam,

On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 10:37 AM, Sam Wilson <s...@samwilson.id.au> wrote:

> Peter,
>
> Fair enough, I agree that the idea that Wikimedia would have been a
> success if it'd be made commercial is crazy.



You say that now, but originally, Wikipedia was registered as a dotcom,
with the idea that the site would host advertising one day. However, it
soon became clear that the presence of advertising would be profoundly
demotivating for Wikipedia’s unpaid volunteers.



> "Has it crossed my mind how
> much we could have made if it had ads? Sure. But it wouldn’t be the
> same." reads to me as just a hypothetical "if it were as it is today
> *and* had ads", rather than any serious suggestion that that would ever
> have been the case.



It wasn't hypothetical at all 15 years ago. The entire Spanish Wikipedia
community left in 2002, starting a rival project, the Enciclopedia
Libre[1], when Bomis[2], Jimmy Wales’ company at the time, was short of
money and there was talk of introducing ads in Wikipedia.[3]

It took the Spanish Wikipedia years to catch up with (and eventually
overtake) the Enciclopedia Libre. *Thereafter*, advertising was never
seriously discussed again, and Wikipedia was promoted as a purely
altruistic endeavour.


I reckon it makes sense to the non-editor people
> it's aimed at.
>


It endorses and perpetuates, in the Wikimedia Foundation's voice, the myth
that Jimmy Wales is some sort of Jesus who gave up the chance to make
billions out of the kindness of his heart (rather than because volunteers
told him they wouldn't work for free to make him rich). It aggrandises
Wales while painting volunteers out of history.

As you say, "it makes sense" to the ignorant it is aimed at. (That's
actually a useful definition of "alternative facts".)


Anyway, about my grammar nickpicking? ;-)
>


Let's look at the current wording again:

"We will get straight to the point: Today we ask you to help Wikipedia. To
maintain our independence, we will never run ads. We depend on donations
averaging about $15. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone
reading this gave $3, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come.
The price of a coffee is all we need. When I made Wikipedia a non-profit,
people warned me I’d regret it. Over a decade later, it’s the only top ten
site run by a non-profit and a community of volunteers. Has it crossed my
mind how much we could have made if it had ads? Sure. But it wouldn’t be
the same. We wouldn’t be able to trust it. Most people ignore my messages.
But I hope you’ll think about how useful it is to have unlimited access to
reliable, neutral information. Please help keep Wikipedia online and
growing. Thank you. — Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia Founder"

The shortcomings around this particular passage can be fixed. For example:

"We will get straight to the point: Today we ask you to help Wikipedia. To
maintain our independence, we will never run ads. We depend on donations
averaging about $15. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone
reading this gave $3, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come.
The price of a coffee is all we need. Wikipedia is the only top-ten site
run by a non-profit and a community of volunteers. It wouldn’t be the same
if it were a commercial project. Most people ignore our fundraising
messages. But we hope you’ll think about how useful it is to have unlimited
access to reliable, neutral information. Please help keep Wikipedia online
and growing. Thank you. — Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia co-founder

That has matching pronouns as well.

Andreas

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enciclopedia_Libre_Universal_en_Español
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomis
[3] http://www.wired.co.uk/article/wikipedia-spanish-fork



>
> —Sam
>
> On Thu, 24 Aug 2017, at 05:06 PM, Peter Southwood wrote:
> > Sam,
> > I can't get back to the banner for some reason, so I risk misquoting it.
> > Please take this into account.
> > What I find offensive is the implication that the foundation would even
> > have Wikipedia if they were doing it commercially. I and a significant
> > number of other contributors would not have helped make it what it is
> > today if it had been a commercial site. To support this opinion, there do
> > not appear to be any commercial projects of this type even vaguely
> > approaching the success of Wikipedia. The banner implies that there would
> > be a roughly equivalent project available to sell. This I find offensive
> > as it denigrates the voluntary contributions done by all the unpaid
> > contributors.
> > I see this as misrepresentation and disrespect to the crowd that is the
> > source of the product, therefore offensive.
> > It is possible that I am alone in this opinion, but I suggest that a
> > survey of the people who actually created and maintain the content of
> > Wikipedia would show that I am not.
> > At this point, I suggest that WMF do just that, run a survey to find out
> > who builds the encyclopaedia, and how they feel about this. The golden
> > rule of crowdsourcing is don’t alienate the crowd, especially when they
> > are doing your work for free. The one thing we ask in return for our work
> > is a little recognition and respect, and to know that we do a thing
> > intrinsically worth doing. Again, I realise I do not necessarily speak
> > for everyone, but suspect that I speak for many.
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> > Behalf Of Sam Wilson
> > Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2017 10:26 AM
> > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] New style banner - A heads up
> >
> > "Offensive" seems a bit over the top! Who's it offending? Seems pretty
> > okay to me, personally. :-)
> >
> > Anyway, the only thing I notice with it is that it starts with "We
> > will..." and then says "When I made..." etc. Shouldn't these pronouns
> > agree?
> >
> > —Sam.
> >
> > On Thu, 24 Aug 2017, at 04:07 PM, Peter Southwood wrote:
> > > The old style is excessively large and in your face. The new style is
> > > almost, but not quite as bad. The content remains offensive and
> > > misleading Cheers, Peter
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> > > Behalf Of Joseph Seddon
> > > Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 5:02 PM
> > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] New style banner - A heads up
> > >
> > > Hey Wikimedia-l
> > >
> > > Apologies for the short notice.
> > >
> > > I wanted to give you a heads up on a banner test that will soon be
> > > going live.
> > >
> > > We've been working on a new style of banner that is specifically
> > > designed to have the same native look and feel as the rest of the site
> > > and interface. It's intended to be understated and you'll see is very
> > > different to our currently best performing banner:
> > >
> > > Current:
> > > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein?banner=B1718_0823_en6C_d
> > > sk_p1_lg_dsn_cnt&force=1&country=US&uselang=QA
> > >
> > > New Native feel:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein?banner=B1718_0
> 823_en6C_dsk_p1_lg_dsn_native&force=1&country=US&uselang=QA
> > >
> > > Any feedback is welcome.
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> > > --
> > > Seddon
>
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