Saturday, December 12, 2009


Wikipedia is asking for donations. And why does a non-profit project that is created and edited by anyone with web access need money? According to Wikipedia (Haha, I've always wanted to write that.), the money goes to people and technology. The exact quote: "Even though Wikipedia is one of the top 5 most visited websites in the world, we employ fewer than 35 people." They took down the thermometer graphic they had up, but I believe their goal is $7.5 million for this year. And when I last saw it, it was up to $2.9 million. Seems like $2.9 million would be enough to support 35 people, especially when there's really no overhead. If everyone worked from home and were paid equally, that's an almost $83,000 salary. To create and edit Wikipedia. Which anyone with web access can do. And not get paid for.

The question to ask is: "Do you need Wikipedia?" If Wikipedia charged a small fee for use of its site, would you pay?

You may use Wikipedia a lot. In fact, instead of the thermometer image (likely because they don't want you to see how ridiculous the amount of money they're making is), they've now chosen to use banners with quotes from donors. Check this one out: "As a professional scientist, Wikipedia is my go-to source for ideas and concepts new to me. Donate for this? You bet!" I am officially scared.

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