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FTBagain

Wikipedia - Just How Do They Make Their Money?

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There are obvious ways to make money on the Internet, advertising, sponsered links or even sell things!!! Wikipedia as far as I can see have none of these. So how do they make enough money to pay for their 47 staff (according to some reporter I overheard talking about the Internet award thingy that was on last week)? They are not the only website that seems to exist by will power alone...

Any insights to this, one of modern life's great mysteries, gratefully received :)

Mods - Probably not quite on topic but I would appreciate if you would leave this on the main board for little awhile. Thanks.

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Jimmy Wales probably makes plenty from speaking engagements. It's in his interest to keep the project funded. The cost of the servers seems to be the biggest expense. Wikipedia surely has an article on this, god bless it!

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I went to a talk by its founder a couple of years ago. As already said here it is funded by charitable donations including some big backers from industry and government. It's very important to them that Wikipedia is free from advertising.

P

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Perhaps the fact that it is user editable is part of the whole mystery..

Fred Dick or Harry writes an article about a major celeb that whilst not untrue contains unflattering comments.

Said celeb contacts Wiki to ask that the article be edited. They agree for a small fee?

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Why ask on this site rather than research the answer yourself? You can find all the answers here. It wasn't hard to find.

Spoilsort!

If people started DYOR (Do Your Own Research) before coming on to this forum, then what would we have left to argue about?

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I would turn it around and say why does Wikipedia need so much money, and where does all the donation go to

My (complete) guess would be on massive servers and good lawyers

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I went to a talk by its founder a couple of years ago. As already said here it is funded by charitable donations including some big backers from industry and government. It's very important to them that Wikipedia is free from advertising.

So that the people who are actually bankrolling the site don't have to identify themselves? I'd be interested to see the Wikipedia entries from their big backers and the big backers' associates, and would suspect that they're all rather complimentary. At least if the backers were advertisers, we'd know who they were.

My (complete) guess would be on massive servers and good lawyers

I'm surprised that they haven't needed more of the latter than they have. Certainly the Wikipedia entries for individuals and organisations I have independent knowledge of tend to be inaccurate and slanted to reflect the author's mindset on the issue. The 'correction' of articles by deleting references to relevant but unflattering events or issues is widespread, and the site's contributors and moderators are self-appointed busybodies with little or no knowledge of the content they're dealing with (most of whom, I suspect, didn't have what it took to undertake any professional research or scholarship and therefore decided to do it on an amateur basis instead), who are neither elected by qualified peers nor appointed through any objective process of qualification checking. The result is that they frequently take the side of the inaccurate or agenda-driven contributor in the event of disputes, and in my view Wikipedia's much-trumpeted claim to objectivity has about as much credibility as Fox News's 'fair and balanced' slogan.

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I would turn it around and say why does Wikipedia need so much money, and where does all the donation go to

Ever priced datacentre and internet network services on this scale?

No, thought not.

On another point, Wikipedia doesn't trumpet its accuracy or its objectivity, merely its content creation and editing processes. It doesn't claim infallibility, merely a belief in its method of collaborative development (which I personally believe falls short of good solo + peer reviewed academic work while being much better than typical commercial general publishing or journalistic levels of research and accuracy.

Like anything else on the internet, read, enjoy, and keep your skepticism handy.

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Ever priced datacentre and internet network services on this scale?

No, thought not.

On another point, Wikipedia doesn't trumpet its accuracy or its objectivity, merely its content creation and editing processes. It doesn't claim infallibility, merely a belief in its method of collaborative development (which I personally believe falls short of good solo + peer reviewed academic work while being much better than typical commercial general publishing or journalistic levels of research and accuracy.

Like anything else on the internet, read, enjoy, and keep your skepticism handy.

Wiki is a good starting point for finding info about anything, but I would not solely rely on it for anything vital or critical.

One thing that Wikipedia critics miss is that the references section often provides links to credible/peer-reviewed papers, so Wiki is also a quick way to find authoritative and definite texts.

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Ever priced datacentre and internet network services on this scale?

No, thought not.

No, but I have priced servers, and we have installed and used wikimedia software on these servers. 6 Million USD a year is excessive. One Deadicated Enterprise level server in a tier one data centre costs 600 quid a year all in, including support, the more servers you have the cheaper it gets. Wiki is lowish on bandwidth, but say your going to need 1000ish servers (which to me feels excessive), so your total datacentre/server cost is a maximum of £1/2 a million a year. All your other costs are staff and property. Wikipedia will need to employ some developers (but not many as the code is open source), it will need a team of DBAs and IT Monkeys, and some managers. Most/All content is contributed, so staff costs should be low...

You know wikipedia have moved to new headquaters a number of times, and the head of there organisation has a shady past? There budget is much much bigger than it needs to be. Wikimedia is a non profit foundation

http://www.itproport...rn-controversy/

http://www.wired.com...s/2005/12/69880

http://www.businessi...y-an-embezzler-

http://uncyclopedia....iki/Jimbo_Wales

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Perhaps the fact that it is user editable is part of the whole mystery..

Fred Dick or Harry writes an article about a major celeb that whilst not untrue contains unflattering comments.

Said celeb contacts Wiki to ask that the article be edited. They agree for a small fee?

You try getting anything published! All my attempts got removed.

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Perhaps the fact that it is user editable is part of the whole mystery..

Fred Dick or Harry writes an article about a major celeb that whilst not untrue contains unflattering comments.

Said celeb contacts Wiki to ask that the article be edited. They agree for a small fee?

More likely, said celeb's lawyer sends Wiki a cease and desist letter and the article is edited in accordance with the instructions therein quam celerime.

This story is the perfect example of why Wikipedia has to be treated with extreme caution. The real danger probably doesn't lie in the entries for A-list celebs or really controversial figures, because so many people will have knowledge of and opinions about them that anything grossly skewed in their entry is unlikely to last very long. The problem is with the tier of celebrity just below them: people, mainly those still alive, who aren't famous or controversial enough to make the front pages but do make the inside ones, about whom relatively few people have the knowledge to write about authoritatively, and none objectively.

In September 2006 I wrote an entry from scratch on a Danish politician who has been dead for just over a century, whom you will only have heard of if you're interested in a specific aspect of European history. I deliberately built in one (minor though significant) factual error, and slanted the paragraph covering one issue in a way that could be construed as misleading: I emphasised his success in a round of treaty negotiations, while not mentioning that he was unable to secure one of his five main objectives. I then set my students an essay question about this person. The overwhelming majority reproduced the error and the misconception, and virtually none cited any reading beyond the sources I'd cited in the bibliography in the Wikipedia article, which again and deliberately omitted some important ones. Since I wrote that Wikipedia article it has only been edited twice: once to add category headings and the other time 'for clarity' as the anonymous editor claimed, which in reality meant introducing several grammar and syntax errors without adding any substantive information. The error, misconception and incomplete bibliography are still there.

One thing that Wikipedia critics miss is that the references section often provides links to credible/peer-reviewed papers, so Wiki is also a quick way to find authoritative and definite texts.

See above. I would say occasionally rather than often, and in many cases I've seen the only references to formal publications are to the author of the Wikipedia article's own work. Despite the Wiki guidelines stating that you shouldn't cite your own publications, I have seen countless examples of academics effectively using the site to advertise their books. And just because something is peer-reviewed doesn't necessarily mean that it is ideologically neutral in relation to its subject. All peer reviewing is designed to do is to verify that research has been carried out honestly and accurately, and as a secondary objective to ensure that conclusions are supported by the evidence. An editor can still decide to publish a book or essay that has received negative peer reviews, and positive ones don't necessarily certify that the work does not take an ideological or a partisan position in any given debate. David Irving's Hitler's War got through peer review and probably still would today, even though the work is largely empathetic to Hitler.

Wiki is a good starting point for finding info about anything, but I would not solely rely on it for anything vital or critical.

I'd replace 'is' with 'can be, in some cases'.

One definite improvement to Wikipedia would be to ban anonymous contributions: anyone creating and editing an article would have to supply their full name plus either their residential address or an institutional affiliation. This would be checked out by Wikipedia before allowing them to register as an editor and would appear against all their contributions. In addition to that, some sort of system of checking contributors' bona fides could also be introduced. For example, every newly registered editor might have 'amateur status' for everything, but if they had professional qualifications or experience in a given field and could prove it, they could be assigned 'professional status' when editing articles in certain categories. While amateur status contributors would still be allowed to contribute and edit, readers could draw their own conclusions as to their contributions, based on their actual, rather than claimed credentials.

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I think my main issue with wikipedia is the traffic it takes away from other more specialised web sites which is contributors tend to err.. "borrow" from. Also its policy of becoming a link balck hole, by "no following" all external links. So it scrapes material from other sites (allegedly) yet doesn't return anything to them in the form of "link love." Due to its sheer size, and speed at which it is updated, its regarded by Google as the mother of all "authority sites" but its at the expense of other sites. Lets just upload everything to Wikipedia and Facebook and not bother with the rest of the interwebby! :lol:

For example google something at random like "daleks." Well wikipedia shows up one and two beating dalek6388.co.uk and daleklinks.co.uk. Arguably dalek6388.co.uk gives the better content (IMO) and you might expect the BBC to be up there somewhere (actually positions 7&8). However if the owners of the independent dalek sites were depending on monetization (which they are not) they would be loosing considerable traffic and income stream to wikipedia.

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I think my main issue with wikipedia is the traffic it takes away from other more specialised web sites which is contributors tend to err.. "borrow" from. Also its policy of becoming a link balck hole, by "no following" all external links. So it scrapes material from other sites (allegedly) yet doesn't return anything to them in the form of "link love." Due to its sheer size, and speed at which it is updated, its regarded by Google as the mother of all "authority sites" but its at the expense of other sites. Lets just upload everything to Wikipedia and Facebook and not bother with the rest of the interwebby!  :lol:

You could say the same for HPC, if you search for anything vaguely economic an HPC link is usually in the first page... Last week I searched for something totally off topic and HPC was the number 3 link!

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You could say the same for HPC, if you search for anything vaguely economic an HPC link is usually in the first page... Last week I searched for something totally off topic and HPC was the number 3 link!

I've noticed that two, pretty much for the same reason Wikipedia ranks. HPC does contain a lot of outbound links to other sites in its posts but since the forum upgrade (I think) these are also "no followed" too. You have to hope that humans will follow the links even if Google doesn't, and of course other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, probably ignore "nofollow" anyway.

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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