Wikipedia in Financial Distress?

March 30, 2008

In the past week I have noticed there were a few newspaper articles and blog posts on Wikipedia.

 

wikipedia-logo.png 

Wikipedia is a free multilingual, open content encyclopedia project operated by the non-profit, Wikimedia Foundation. The site has been established since 2001, and is the fastest growing and most popular general reference work available on the internet.  It ranks number 7 on the top sites in Canada. 

Wikipedia has over 10 million articles posted in 253 different languages.  Just the other day, in a post by Mike ArringtonWikipedia had reached its 10 millionth article.

All of the articles posted on Wikipedia have been written interactively by volunteers from all around the world. The site can be edited by anyone, with an exception of a few pages, and that poses a problem.  

Dave Winer wrote a post on how random people think they have authority to write on Wikipedia, this is a problem because it creates invalid information and readers become wrongly informed. Just imagine how many people do it considering, we did it once as a class demonstration.

 

It has about 10-15 people who are actually paid employees of the company and they edit and monitor recently added content. Wikipedia wished to expand their staff to about 25 people by 2010. 

In an article found on the Globe and Mail website it stated that some people who contribute monetary donations to wikipedia thought that the organization is being reckless with the donations it receives, while others thought they should be spending more of the funds. Wikipedia needs the funds to keep their site up and running. This is why they seek out people who would like to donate to the site. Wikipedia is a site that needs to think of the long run because, according to most it is here to stay. Looking for donations is crucial for the sites operations. The donations keep the site in working order and pay the few employees on the payroll.  Alfred P. Sloan is donating three, 1 million dollar installments over the next 3 years. With his donation, he hopes that Wikipedia can become more financially stable in the years to come.

The sad thing is though, if wikipedia didn’t focus on donations they would have to go to the alternative of advertising on the wikipedia site. I don’t know about anybody else but I do not want to see any ads on the site. Ads just create clutter and confusion in my opinion. Hopefully Wikipedia will continue to look to its contributers for financial support, or we will soon be seeing ads on the wikipedia page.

 

Jen 

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7 Responses to “Wikipedia in Financial Distress?”

  1. Katelyn Murnaghan Says:

    I agree with you. I hate how Google has those advertisements on the right side of the page. I take away from the page I think..

  2. Katelyn Murnaghan Says:

    **it

  3. romizuddin Says:

    I think everybody just hates ads, whether they are on the TV, in my newspaper or on the Internet. What I hate most about ads in the sites is any kind of useless links and unwanted pop up ads.

  4. Nihiltres Says:

    The statement “[Wikimedia] has about 10-15 people who are actually paid employees of the company and they edit and monitor recently added content.” is blatantly incorrect. The foundation that runs Wikipedia and its sister projects never gets involved in editing unless there’s a legal concern (or as individuals, and not foundation employees). Volunteer administrators, including me, do the editorial work of managing the encyclopedia. Anyone can become one; it just takes experience with the site and trust from one’s peers. I’m not paid, and I don’t mind; the experience is quite intellectually satisfying.

    Further, you say that “[…] random people think they have authority to write on Wikipedia, this is a problem because it creates invalid information and readers become wrongly informed. Just imagine how many people do it considering, we did it once as a class demonstration”; this is not necessarily true. While people do sometimes write nonsense, or even make mistakes, there’s a community of users out there who check articles over, clean them up, and revert or remove nonsense and outright vandalism. At least one study has shown that vandalism is reverted in an average of four minutes. With the median being much shorter, it is evident that Wikipedia is generally reliable. If you’re not convinced, try checking out how Wikipedia goes about assessing quality by visiting the shortcut “WP:ASSESS” (which redirects to a more descriptive pagename).

    Please, if you are to write about Wikipedia, be informed; there’s a big community out there watching. 🙂

  5. pKay Says:

    But what if the ad’s can be used for good?

    Technically as wikipedia is a non-profit organization and maybe it can use add revenue for charities?? (It said somewhere that due to it’s immense popularity… revenue of ~100 or so million per year is possible)

    But yeah, they are annoying and no one wants them…. Who knows whats going to happen to wikipedia….

    Cheers!
    pkay.

  6. jencampbell Says:

    Thanks very much for your comments

  7. mellaz Says:

    Kately google somehow have to make some income and these ads are one of many ways good gain revenue in the web industry.


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