Sunday, December 06, 2015

#Wikimedia and what it could do with money

Some say that the Wikimedia Foundation is having enough money and does not need as much as they do. Some who say such things are fairly influential and are so convinced of their opinion that they happily give their opinion to the Washington Post. It is one way of making their opinion count most and it is sad for numerous reasons.

It is as easy to argue that the Wikimedia Foundation deserves more money. It could do with more money and it would be obvious if the point of view differs just a little. These people are active in the English Wikipedia and they are involved in policies, they do not take it kindly when they are ignored or opposed. The Wikimedia Foundation has as its aim to share in the sum of all knowledge. When we are to evaluate if the WMF has enough money, it should be in the light of what it aims to achieve.

I can imagine that Wikipedia suffices for some Americans, America is relatively well described. I can imagine when young professionals find that their subject is well described in English that because of this they are content, do not see the need for more activity. If that describes there point of view, then they are not aware of the discrepancies with other countries, with other cultures and in other languages. When we are to be afraid of Syrians, Wikipedia shares the blame because it does not cover Syria and Syrians with the same quality it does for Americans.

People may express their point of view. However, when are they held to account for their actions? When Joe Public reads that these fine Wikipedians arguably find that WMF is a fat organisation not worth the money it asks for, the WMF and its fundraising effort suffer. From the point of view of these precious Wikipedians, it is fine. They voiced their opinions before and they may have evaluated what others have to say.

However, they are in their own circle, they will not suffer the consequences. So my question to them is can you convincingly prove, not suggest but prove that we are done, that we do not need more money to do a better job, a job that is to deliver the sum of all knowledge.

In this blog I have said it time and again, we do not even share in the sum of all knowledge available in the Wikimedia Foundation. So I am sad to say that these precious Wikipedians costs us a lot of money, money that we could spend effectively in the quest to bring information to the world.
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