A modest proposal.

Just posted to foundation-l:

How about using the old domain, wikipedia.com, as a site for stable Wikipedia versions, with ads on? The ad money, as well as paying our comparatively small hosting and staff costs, could go toward educational programmes for those people who could benefit from our hard work but aren’t comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens.

(As far as I can tell, pretty much all opposition to ads on Wikimedia comes from people who are in fact comfortable, well-fed first-world citizens who have no problem accessing this material at all. Including opposition on the new thread. I have asked for demographics otherwise and eagerly await any.)

The thread is ticking along nicely, with ideas on how to, why not to, alternatives and of course a ton of ideas on what we could actually do with BUCKETS OF CASH.

Update: I have since changed my mind.

2 thoughts on “A modest proposal.”

  1. I’m not sure about the grandiose ideas about what to do with the money but whatever floats your boat, I suppose. You’re not planning to hurt anyone, so…

    I think the idea’s pretty good. The opposition is mostly nonsensical. http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-April/029528.html in particular is bullshit top to bottom. It’s not “nonneutral” to point to Michelin in a Google-ad way. It hurts my head trying to work out what that even means. Anyway, how much ingenuity would it take to *not* have Michelin’s ad on the [[tyres]] page. Florence seems to think that you would be obliged to please the advertisers. I don’t see why you would. Obviously there are governance issues here, but simply assuming that opening up (some restricted portion of) the site to ads means kowtowing to advertisers’ every whim is ridiculous.

    Whether Wikipedia is anywhere like something I feel should be provided to thirdworld inhabitants is another matter, but hey, missionaries give them bibles, so I suppose that a regurgitation of orthodox liberal promarket pabulum wouldn’t hurt them much.

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