Why Wikipedia doesn’t have advertising? Hint: follow the money (to Wikia)

I just did this interview and I couldn’t hold my tongue any more….

> 1) Can you summarize your strongest argument in favor of allowing advertising on
> Wikipedia? Is it simply about giving users the choice of how they want to support the site,
> or is there something more?

a) You can set it an forget it (i.e. put Google Adsense, Yahoo, etc. on the page and just let them run).

b) You can let people turn the ads off if they want to

c) You can let people select the number of ads they want to see: 1, 2, or 3 per page.

d) Firefox makes $50M + a year from Google Adsense… is there anything wrong with Firefox?! Have they been corrupted? NPR and PBS have sponsors and have theirs services been corrupted??!

> 2) Do you see -any- value in keeping such a resource totally free from corporate influence,
> or is this not something users should worry about?

Jimbo Wales has a fringe, anti-corporate bent to him, and it’s holding Wikipedia back.

If Jimbo doesn’t like advertising then the 100 key people at Wikipedia don’t like advertising. The *majority* of the leadership and core 100 members of the Wikipedia community don’t seem to think for themselves, but rather follow Jimbo’s wacky anti-corporate stance blindly.

This is highly ironic since Jimbo is doing a highly commercial Wiki project backed by VCs.

Oh wait, Jimbo is doing a highly profitable, advertising-based Wiki project for personal gain while pitching that Wikipedia not have advertising. Hmmmm…. perhaps Jimbo doesn’t want advertising on the Wikipedia because he knows that his for-profit Wikia would suffer if it did.

The Wikipedia community needs to leave Jimbo’s amazing leadership behind and realize that they would have $50M in the bank right now like Mozilla if they put up one advertisement on Wikipedia. Jimbo’s stance is killing the Wikipedia. The Wikipedia could have 50 full-time people and a huge endowment if they would follow Firefox’s example and stop listening to Jimmy Wales and his hypocritical anti-advertising stance.

2 thoughts on “Why Wikipedia doesn’t have advertising? Hint: follow the money (to Wikia)

  1. How does wikipedia expects to pay off their VC backers? Those are the type of guys who’d require 30% to 50%+ return on their money. Also, advertisers would kill to get on wikipedia entry, you cannot get a more targeted traffic than from a wiki page.

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