Beginning in 2015, the Wikimedia Foundation will begin to run advertising on Wikipedia. At least that is according to the latest message they flash across the screen when visiting the website. In the spirit of the Holidays with Bell Ringers and an increase in people begging others for money, the Foundation has once again sought the perfect time to pull on people’s heartstrings and beg people to start donating to Wikipedia. The great news is that we do not have to see a mug shot of co-founder Jimmy Wales next to the message, but what I did read within the message was interesting.
Upon opening up a new page on Wikipedia, I was recently met with their standard “Dear Wikipedia Readers” message that talks about how they are such a popular site (top 5 in the world) and yet have no money and need you to help by donating to Wikipedia. They further go on to talk about how your donation to Wikipedia will help support servers, staff and programs. The final please comes in the last sentence with states that you donation is tax-deductible and that your donation will help keep Wikipedia “online and ad-free” for another year. Although I have never sought to be barred in any state, I do have a juris doctor and it comes in handy when people manipulate logics in their own favor. However, this time the Wikipedia Foundation has basically said that if they do not get enough money for donations, that they may be offline next year and also they may start running advertising.
Don’t be fooled, Wikipedia will always be ad free:
I for one am calling the Foundations’ BS. As long as Jimmy Wales and his countless volunteer editor following are alive, the site is going to remain like Jamestown and no one will support advertising on the website as long as Jimbo continues to take a strong stance. Mr. Wales has stated that he is not against advertising on Wikipedia, but the truth is that mere talk from Mr. Wales does not make something true. Jimbo is completely against advertising on Wikipedia. Period!
If the Wikimedia Foundation decides to run advertising on Wikipedia, they will likely continue to lose the few volunteer editors they have left on the website. In fact, the majority of editors now favor keeping the website ad-free. So, I am one for calling the Foundations bluff. If the donations stop coming in, they will not start running ads as suggested on their banners. It is another simple manipulation to get people like Emily Dreyfuss to start donating to Wikipedia. It makes people feel sorry for the Wikimedia Foundation and the fact that they need money to keep up their infrastructure. However, what most people don’t know, only a tiny percentage of your donations to Wikipedia are actually used for infrastructure, they are used by the Wikimedia Foundation and the community of volunteer editors have a big say in where this money goes.
Where your money really goes:
Calling the bluff:
So now it’s time to call the Foundation’s bluff. Knowing where they actually spend your donation should be shocking. I for one will never donate to the Foundation until they start telling the truth. This means the whole truth without manipulating countless number of people who blindly donate after reading the Foundation’s call to action banners that are starting to become more annoying than pop ads on The Examiner. Kind of a long sentence, but you get my point. Stop donating to Wikipedia and let’s see what really happens. I for one am calling BS on the Foundation as ads will never become a part of Wikipedia!
by Michael Wood – Michael Wood is an online marketing expert and owner of Legalmorning.com. He specializes in reputation and brand management, article writing, and professional Wikipedia editing. He is an expert Wikipedia editor and has helped hundreds of businesses and people post their articles to the site where they have otherwise failed. He is a regular contributor to many online publications including AllBusiness Experts, Yahoo, Business Insider, Business2Community, and Social Media Today. Wood is not employed or affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation or any of its projects.