back to article Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

It's that time of year again. As the Christmas lights go up, Wikipedia's donation drive kicks off. Wikipedia claims that the donations are needed to keep the site online. Guilt-tripped journalists including Heather Brooke and Toby Young have contributed to Wikipedia in the belief that donations help fund operating costs. …

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Stop

Thanks for bringing this to light. I've already donated once and I won't be doing it again.

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Anonymous Coward

one thing....

...give to your local charity / non profit instead, most are dying on their arses due to these mega charities (Help for hero's, Oxfam, Cancer research etc) and there huge marketing campaigns.

You £5 or whatever will be much more appreciated.

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Re: one thing....

Totally agree. Any charity squandering monumental amounts of money on plush London offices, slick TV adverts and armies of paid canvassers don't need my cash

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Re: one thing....

@System 10

Damn straight, if they can afford to pay canvassers they're doing charity wrong in my book. I make sure they don't get my money and redirect it to other charities actually doing research for worthy causes instead. (Oxfam are particularly bad in this regard, or at least they were last time I checked...)

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WTF?

Useful to scrutinise charities

I think the RSPCA is also overdonated in relation to the service they provide and in relation to charities which help people not animals. Clearly both the RSPCA and Wikipedia do useful work, but givers do need to think about sustaining smaller and also worthwhile charities which need smaller funding over longer terms to be effective. One thing Wikipedia do which I support and which I suspect gets up Andrew's nose is their take on freedom of information in relation to copyright business models which intend restricting such.

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Re: Useful to scrutinise charities

There was an interesting report on Radio 4 last night about more-or-less this subject. The author founded a charity that isn't in the least bit interested in that self-perpetuating-keep-asking-for-money model, but has a proper, strategic plan to deliver sustainable solutions on the ground and they're working on a timetable to shut themselves down in 2018, with their job done.

An incredible, inspirational woman. Can't recommend the article enough: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20762278

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Mushroom

Re: one thing....

I used to audit charities.

I give as directly to causes as I can these days - avoiding the middle man.

The minute you need a paid bureaucracy is the minute it is less a charity - don't get me started on paid fundraising agents.

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Re: one thing....

TV spots are often given either free or paid for as part of a CSR programme by a broadcaster. Larger charities are statistically more efficient in terms of pounds-to-cause, under much more stringent scrutiny for malpractice than smaller outfits, and for many reasons have lower proportional operating costs (e.g. salary demands are lower due to the CV recognition employees gain). Many canvassers work for expenses only, and others are subsidised in-kind via donations from marketing firms and corporates.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Useful to scrutinise charities

The article is indeed fantastic.

Unfortunately, if you go to http://www.afrikids.org/ghana it is all couched in the usual development-mumbo-jumbo. Thus if you had simply stumbled upon this webpage, it would be very hard to distinguish it from Oxfam or any other of the mega-charities.

If you do try to decode the webpage, it sounds like Afrikids doesn't actually *do* much itself, except provide cash and support to other projects which do the work. Which begs the question, should we be supporting those projects directly instead?

Maybe we do need these intermediary organisations, to raise funds and to act as trusted third-parties to identify, vet and monitor the organisations that the funds are distributed to. But who vets and monitors the intermediaries?

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Paris Hilton

Few¹ politicians or media figures now dare criticise Wikipedia²

¹[weasel words]

²[citation needed]

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Meh

Out of that entire article

that's the bit you choose to take issue with? It's just a bit of hyperbole and not central to the theme of the piece which is about wikimedia trying to guilt trip people into donating more money into it's already massive cash pile.

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Facepalm

Re: Out of that entire article

"It's just a bit of hyperbole"¹ ..... "massive cash pile"²

¹[citation needed]

²[citation needed]

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Re: Out of that entire article

"It's just a bit of hyperbole"¹ ..... "massive cash pile"²

¹[citation needed]

²[citation needed]

{{ref|http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/20/cash_rich_wikipedia_chugging/}}

Newspapers articles have always been acceptable sources for Wikipedia.

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Re: Out of that entire article

@Sabroni - it seems to me that Destroy All Monsters was employing what is known as a "sense of humour".

@Destroy All Monsters & El Presidente - well played good sirs, well played.

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Devil

Re: Out of that entire article

"Newspapers articles have always been acceptable sources for Wikipedia."

Not El Reg. This particular vessel has been regarded by the Wiki-jobs as the work of Satan for some time. At least since their "naked short selling" débâcle.

Anyone know if they're over their sulk yet? (If not, I doubt this article will have helped get us off their naughty list)

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Re: Out of that entire article

I didn't know that - and nor does Wikipedia amusingly...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Melly#References

check out number 7... it's a link to an el reg article about, mostly, wikipedia...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Out of that entire article

> Anyone know if they're over their sulk yet? (If not, I doubt this article will have helped get us off their naughty list)

So what you are saying is that wiki isn't neutral at all and holds grudges against those who criticise it.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Out of that entire article

>So what you are saying is that wiki isn't neutral at all and holds grudges against those who criticise it.

Interesting. I'd never thought of it like that but I suppose most of the contributors from the time will have moved on from their fiddling and/or forgotten about the incident... meanwhile the wiki never forgets... so it could well still be "holding a grudge" so to speak, or at least the remnants of one.

The article I was recollecting was something of an exposé with, if I recall correctly, a particularly condescending review of the shenanigans of a crook with a penchant for warping "reality" via "sock puppets". It caused quite a fuss over there which prompted a follow-up over here. The wikifiddlers as they were known at the time responded by turning The Reg's page on Wikipedia into something quite derogatory, then locking it, then adding El Reg to their naughty list ("list of sources which are not reputable and not allowed to be cited" or something like that)

I've had a quick scan over there but can't see any trace of the locking or any conspicuous slurs, so I'm wondering if their "history" of the event has been cleaned up a bit. Might have a deeper look into it when I get a chance. I'm pretty sure I took a screen grab or two at the time - such was the level of entertainment.

If anyone's interested in having a poke around, this is where it all happened:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Register&action=history&year=2007&month=12&tagfilter=

There's even a contribution (authentic - in his inimitable dialect) from amanfromMars!

The Reg article which set it all off was (comments are worth a look too):

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/06/wikipedia_and_overstock/

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WTF?

Re: Out of that entire article

So Wackypedia is using an article that says it shouldn't be used for serious research that uses that page as an example but confirms it was accurate as of time of writing as a reference? Oookay.... Someone over there has a wry sense of humour.

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FAIL

Re: Out of that entire article

Yes and I am THE one who coined the term, "Wikipedia Nazi Moderator" - because many of the moderators I have run across are just shit head little tyrants, running their own little pages and groups just like the neo-nazi arse licking cretins in the third reich.

Imagine say someone writing a page about John Lennon (of the Beatles), and for some reason he is actually alive, he reads the page, says, "Ere By Gum Laddes, Twern't born in Derbyshire, was born in T's Clappam, owt' was T Grand Master of Eccy Thump too, Eeeee - better correct it - Ere Bah Gum!"

So he does, correct the information about himself in the Wikipedia page... and so 5 minutes and 22 seconds later the idiot Wikipedia Nazi Moderator comes along and says:

Delete, Delete, Delete, Delete

Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit,

Delete, Delete, Delete, Delete

Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit,

"John Lennon of the Beatles was born in Derbyshire and played with dollies his whole life."

Wikipedia Nazi Moderators and their stinking little turf wars, and now this?

In Australia we had "The Dodgy Brothers", and Wikipedia has it's Arsehole Nazi Moderators...

The Dodgy Brothers were actually a comedy send up of all the discount salesmen on TV selling crap.

Nice to see the Nazis have taken up the Dodgy Brothers style of spruiking...

"Yesss We are Sooooo Poooor at Wikipedia, our Pricks of the Thousand Year Empire have run out of editor... vandal.... Yes so give us all your money, we need more because we have got non, and our personal Leer Jets need to be converted to run on biofuel... because we are an ethical company....

And ummmm We are really good and we help kids cheat in tests and all that.... so give us all your money..."

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Trollface

Re: Out of that entire article

[[Original Research]]

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Trollface

I wanna hear from amanfrommars on this one...

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Anonymous Coward

No thanks. I'd prefer it if my brains didn't start leaking out of my eardrums.

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I dunno, he made a post the other day that was almost comprehensible... I do hope he's alright.

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Stop

"so why does it keep pestering you"

As far as I can make out, anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole.

I'm sorry to be so crude, but my limited interaction there (and any perusal of the admin boards) bears this out in spades. It one of the few places a sociopath or other dysfunctional soul can get their hands on power and influence just by being who they are.

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Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

> anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole

Sadly that is usually true far beyond the bounds of Wikipedia. Indeed you could remove "on Wikipedia" from that statement and be just as correct.

Me? I'm of no importance, and happy to stay that way :)

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Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

I agree FartingHippo - but "one of the few places a sociopath or other dysfunctional soul can get their hands on power and influence just by being who they are"? Have you looked at any of your political representatives or into a few boardrooms recently?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

"As far as I can make out, anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole."

There's a larger underlying problem here, and Wikipedia is not alone in suffering from it.

Firstly, there's the whole "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory" that continues to bear fruit. Secondly, there's the problem that people who really want to be obstructive bureaucrats with power and influence for minimal risk and effort often gravitate towards committee structures. And thirdly, (and this one tends to be more obvious in open source software land) abrasive, arrogant, rude and thick-skinned personalities thrive in the absence of any sort of social repercussions.

When the Arsehole Percentage of an organisation reaches some critical threshold, non-Arseholes find time spent within that organisation to be increasingly unpleasant and depart for pastures new, leaving behind the socially malajusted individuals you are talking about. The only way to fix this is for there to be a large influx of non-arseholes who can tolerate the current wikimasters long enough to pierce the current groupthink. And I don't know about you, but that sounds like an absolutely miserable job. Hence the situation we find ourselves in!

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DN4

Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

> and this one tends to be more obvious in open source software land...

Hardly. Abrasive, arrogant, rude and thick-skinned personalities abound but minimum risk and effort? That does not get you far there.

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Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

>"As far as I can make out, anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole."

>There's a larger underlying problem here, and Wikipedia is not alone in suffering from it.

Malcom Tucker: "You don't get in this room without bending the rules".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOiW4R2uNTs curiously, its Safe For Work.

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Big Brother

Courage

I look forward to reading your entry in WikiP in a few days time.

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Happy

Re: Courage

I went to Andrew O's wiki page, and was very disappointed to see how bland it was. No insults from global warmistas, freetards or Wikipedians or anything... If I could be bothered I'd check the editing history and see what's been edited out.

Perhaps it's time to make my first Wikipedia edit?

Andrew Orlowski is a noted competitive conkers player, having won the World Conker Championships in 2008 and 2009. He was accused of conker-doping in 2010 and controversy rages in the sport as to whether injecting one's conkers with whipped cream should be seen as cheating, or a fetish...

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So it appears that wikipedia has started to do opinion officially now.

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Coat

@JayBizzle

That's not news, it's just a piece of gossip

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Trollface

I read that Wikipedia needed more money on Wikipedia

You can never trust anything you read on Wikipedia.

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At least Wikipedia don't employ chuggers... yet.

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Facepalm

Anyone care to help out in this entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountable_Fundraising#Accountable_fundraising

even without a visual editor

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Anonymous Coward

Jimmy Wales walks into a bar

[citation needed]

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Happy

Re: Jimmy Wales walks into a bar

Jimmy Wales walks into a bar

Ouch!

It was an iron bar.

[insert Tommy Cooper Laugh here]

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Facepalm

*** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

1) There is no such thing as a non profit making business, they are non-profit *distributing* businesses, they still need more money than they spend, those profit may or may not end up somewhere you dont want. Oxfam's director get paid how much? Company car much? Last time i checked, it was around 100K per year + plus a charity funded BMW 7 Series, needless to say, i dont give to them.

2) A company can never have too much cash, they are always on the look out for more, money is like oxygen - you always want to make sure you have a good supply that can never run out.

3) I am sure the government looks at how much is donated then increases tax, since if you have that much spare cash then you can pay more tax.

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Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

> There is no such thing as a non profit making business, they are non-profit *distributing* businesses

I'm not quite sure I understand the distinction you're making there. There are lots of charities with paid staff, some even highly paid. I'm sure for many, it might even make sense to pay high salaries if it gets them effective staff.

However, as someone notes above, there are a vast number of small non-profit organizations, many of whom work on a entirely voluntary basis. Here's a pitch for one I'm somewhat involved in: A non-profit started by some moms to open a sensory-friendly gym for children with autism and sensory processing disorder: http://www.SenseAbilityGym.com/

Little organizations like that need less than the cost of the charity-funded BMW to operate for a full year, so it's discouraging to see the giant nonprofits hoover up as much philanthropy as possible, but especially when it is in far excess of their needs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

> 3) I am sure the government looks at how much is donated then increases tax,

That is counter productive. If you donate £100 to a charity (and sign the form saying so) the charity claims the tax back on the £100 you donated. If the government increases your tax because of the donation then all it is doing is increasing the refund it gives the charity.

The effect of this is that the rich can decide whether their tax goes to the government or their favourite charity. They also end up being rewarded for their generosity with OBEs, MBEs, KBEs etc.

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FAIL

Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

Businesses are supposed to make money yes, well let's get more specific and say that a businesses generally exists to make a profit. Charities exist to provide a service (and/or enhanced research into various medical issues). A Business (by definition) != a charity. Wikipedia is a listed *non-profit* charity, they are not supposed to make a profit, although like many big non-profits it seems that the higher ups are raking in sweet salaries while the lifeblood (those who contribute articles and useful editing) get sweet fuck all.

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Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

Tim I thought that was pretty cool and donated my plant money for the month to those guys. I don't have any autistic children and I am not close with any but I still thought it was a cool idea.

Maybe when Wikilovers peruse this forum they won't blast us for criticizing them and instead see what you posted and say to themselves, "Hmmm this guy just asked nicely and someone made a donation."

I hope maybe this act would encourage them to be more thoughtful as I don't get anything out of hating the people of WP, disappointment would be a better word.

Happy Holidays my British/Australian friends from USA!

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JDB

Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

Thanks for the link Tim - I have a son with SPD and will definitely look into making a donation to this place (not anywhere near me, but I love what they're doing). We built our own "gym" in the basement - but it sure would be great to have a resource like this locally.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

"A company can never have too much cash, they are always on the look out for more"

Write that in your copy book one hundred times.

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Anonymous Coward

if only...

I'd be happier if it wasn't a waste to time to contribute, because so many edits get reverted by over-zealous page 'owners' ... and while it's full of useless pages on obscure things, other quite well used bits of software aren't allowed their own pages as they are deemed not noteworthy enough. As if an extra page costs them any huge amount of money! And isn't the point of an encyclopedia to collect as much data as possible?

Yes it's a handy resource, but it's also annoyingly alienating for someone who would actually like to join in, but can't be bothered to bang their head against their numerous brick walls.

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Alert

Re: if only...

I'd be happier if it wasn't a waste to time to contribute...

because of the stinking deletionists. I gave money to Wikipedia a while back, but I'm fed up with those jerks removing information that's not notable enough. The whole point of Wikipedia is that it's not paper.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: if only...

Wikipedia thanks you for your contribution whichis keeping the servers running nice and quickly so that those dedicated to removing lists of Pokeman characters and non-entities of minor actors can crack on with the job and rid it of non-notable rubbish.

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Alert

Re: if only...

Yup. Bugger the deletionists.

That page linked on editor trends was interesting, the conclusion seemed to be - "Current result: Non-vandal newbies are the ones leaving."

This is probably because the cabal of deletionist assholes delete anything these non-vandal newbies try to add, putting them off immediately so they never bother again. The deletion rules are entirely subjective and the people that make the decisions happily discard any and all arguments about notability/whatever as they see fit, and any arguments by the non-vandal newbies are dismissed with little more than 'LOL n00b!'

So it's no wonder everyone gets put off contributing.

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