Wikipedia's got 3-4 months to live?!?! (and Wikipedia's technological blocking of consensus)

Very strange stuff going on in the Wikipedia world… first I get beat down by all kinds of Wikipedia folks for suggesting that Wikipedia place an OPT-OUT advertisement on the Wikipedia (i.e. you could turn it off if you wanted), and now comes this nugget:

  • “At this point, Wikipedia has the financial resources to run its servers for about 3 to 4 months. If we do not find additional funding, it is not impossible that Wikipedia might disappear”. The warning by Florence Devouard, chairwoman of the Wikimedia Foundation was certainly dire, and Lift07 was as good a venue to make an appeal. But it is another illustration of how difficult it is to find the proper business model in the digital age, and more precisely in this case in what Florence called the “gift economy”.

So, I guess the question is would you rather have a Wikipedia with one text advertisement you could turn off, or would you rather not have the Wikipedia?!

Slashdot reports that a spokesperson for Devouard has basked away from the dire comments.

Anyway, at the end of the day Wikipedia should do what Mozzilla/Firefox did and just have a modest amount of text-based advertising form Google/Yahoo and give users the ability to opt out.

I find it really ironic that a certain percentage (and I’m not gonna give percentages anymore :-) of the Wikipedia core team feel that they should decide for the entire Wikipedia audience the advertising policy.

What happen to consensus people?!?!?! The truth is much of the consensus at Wikipedia occurs on mailing lists, IRC chat and discussion pages that the public a) doesn’t even know about and b) are hidden behind technological walls that normal folks can’t get past (i.e. IRC, discussion pages).

If the Wikipedia wants real consensus on the issue of advertising why don’t we place a poll on the top level of the Wikipedia that asks people how they would like to fund the Wikipedia: a) by looking at one advertisement or b) by donating money. The reason they won’t ever put that survey up!? Because 80% of people would opt to see an advertisement and the vocal minority that controls Wikipedia with an iron fist/IRC channel will block it.