Monday, November 08, 2010

The effect of a $ 100M in advertisement money on the #Wikimedia Foundation

It is an article of faith that #Wikipedia will not host advertisements. Every year there is at least once a discussion that concentrates on the amount of money that we are missing and the effect of advertisement on the NPOV of Wikipedia articles. It is not relevant to ponder the large amount money that adverts may generate if there is no plan what to spend money upon.

Spending money is as difficult as raising money. The Wikimedia Foundation indicated in the past that their growth is such that they do not have the capacity to accommodate such amounts of money at this time.

The infrastructure, the organisation of the WMF will have to change; the role of chapters will become more important and as the chapters mature, they are increasingly able to run the programs and spend the money that will realise the aims of the Wikimedia movement. In order to build the capability to spend,we will invest in our people. At this moment many people are hired through agencies, investing in training will grow our communities and it gives involved people something to aspire to in their Wiki-career.

Wikipedia - T-shirtphoto © 2008 Mike E. Perez | more info(via: Wylio)

Big companies buy start ups. When every year such a large amount of money is available, it is possible not only to develop new functionality. Buying companies like Wylio will quickly provide functionality where we are weak. Functionality that holds us back will be either developed or subsidised because with a larger war chest the arguments why this is not done become even less acceptable.

I [[Edit]] Wikipedia backgroundphoto © 2008 Seth Woodworth | more info(via: Wylio)

Changes in the organisational structure of the WMF will have to take place; the most obvious one is to split the Office in two.One part becomes part of a US chapter and the other part becomes the world wide WMF organisation. This will prevent projects like the public policy project from being controversial. When more money is available, chapters will be trusted to run programs that make sense in their country and projects run in the USA will be evaluated in the same manner as projects run elsewhere.

This central organisation will coordinate and with a yearly budget of $ 100M worldwide there will be Wikimedians who will make it their job to make sure that this money is spend to the best effect.

1 comment:

emijrp said...

Yep. I think that the change is not here yet, but it is coming.

$100M is a lot of money, perhaps a probably sum for the next future years, but I think that the most valuable resource in Wikipedia are the volunteers.

I don't know if you can write an encyclopedia like Wikipedia with a budget of $100M, but it is sure that it can be written with volunteers effort. We just did it.

So, I think that we need to improve the motivation of the community to continue doing great advances.