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Wikipedia in Trouble?

February 11, 2007

From- 901AM- New Media New Media Every Morning (Link to Article)

In a rather extraordinary example of begging for money, Florence Devouard, Chairwoman of the Wikimedia foundation has told an audience at the Lift07 conference that Wikipedia has the financial resources to run its servers for another 3-4 months, and that without further funding Wikipedia “might disappear”.

Could Wikipedia shut it’s doors? Tthe site alone would be worth at least $xxx million, if not a billion, after all, there’s literally no better property out there when it comes to traffic and authority than Wikipedia. And whoever bought it would not only have an amazing marketing tool, they could even control the truth, at least as most of us know it. Indeed, the likes of Microsoft wouldn’t need to hire people to edit entries, they could simply pay the new owner. Text Link sales alone across the site would more than pay for the servers the site uses, tens of thousands of times over. I smell a begging bluff on this one, but Devouard did make the claim.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2007 11:48 am

    The context of Florence’s comment was that we have three or four months’ reserves on hand. Our auditors recommended we keep at least six months’ reserves on hand. So we’re short on that.

    We’re a top-10 website run by a nonprofit charitable foundation. So we have no resources almost by definition. Slight growing pains.

    (The main argument against ads is that quite a lot of the unpaid volunteers who write the whole content for free really hate the idea. Also, early in Wikipedia’s history, most of the contributor base of the Spanish Wikipedia got up and *left* because of speculated plans for advertising, and formed a fork, Enciclopedia Libre. Which was an unfortunate fork, because both EL and es:wp have pretty much identical aims. So we have good reason to take the volunteer concerns about ads seriously!)

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