Wikimedia Needs Your Help

Okay, I don’t ask for money. At least, not for myself. But on occasion, I have asked you to donate to what I feel are worthy causes. If you are offended by that, feel free to read on down to another post.

For those who are still here, the Wikimedia Foundation, the folks behind the popular Wikipedia (“The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”), needs your monetary help. Why? Well, for starters, it costs about $75,000USD per month to run Wikipedia! $75,000. Per month.

Secondly, the goals (or “wishes” as Foundation Chari Nibart-Devouard put it) for 2007 are four fold:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Reliability
  3. Outreach
  4. Recognition

All four goals revolve around money. In order to keep operating, they need money to hire people (as of December of last year, they employed only eight people!) to do the necessary work. Some of it is administrative, some of it is for developers. All of it costs money. Some of the work includes increasing the reliability of the information on Wikipedia. Or as the Chair put it “Content quality, not quantity, is the measure that matters.” Toward this end,
the Chair believes the Foundation must reach out to everyone, including large donors who do not recognize that Wikimedia is a non-profit (under the US tax code 501(c)(3)).

The bottom line, as the Chair put it, is that there are “deficits” that need to be corrected. Some have already been. Others are ongoing. Some must wait for the right opportunities.

But all of this depends on money.

Some of you, perhaps with good personal reasons, do not wish to or cannot support Wikipedia. Fine. I’m not here to try to change anyone’s mind and I certainly can’t force anyone. But for those who see value in having the Wikipedia as a ready source of information on 1.6 million topics (and growing), please go here and donate.

Thank you. [Thanks for Robert Scoble for the heads up]



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