What, pay the creators?
They'll get in trouble with their sponsors if they move away from the principle that content should be provided by the naive exploited who should just be grateful to see their text visible in public...
The outbound exec of Wikipedia's tin-rattling nonprofit has admitted the organisation wastes public donations – and says procedures should be fundamentally changed to avoid corruption and self-interest. In a candid statement, Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, says she wants the worker bees rewarded …
I remember when geocities was around people were happy to make a hobby website on their subject of choice.
Some people just have a passion to share their knowledge and experience on the things they care about without worrying about whether or not they can get microtransactions out of people.
"Some people just have a passion to share their knowledge and experience on the things they care about without worrying about whether or not they can get microtransactions out of people."
That's true, of course. But as long as Wikipedia is going to be throwing money around, shouldn't the people who actually create the content that draws people to Wikipedia in the first place get some of that money?
And although they are willing to work for free, why shouldn't they have first claim on the income their work produces? That they are willing to work for free in no way makes it right for them to be exploited in the way that Wikipedia exploits them.
Wikipedia raises tens of millions of dollars a year, which is many times more than their actual expenses. I've seem their expenses for hosting and bandwidth estimated at $2 million a year. Even if the cost has grown since that estimate was put together, the amount of unnecessary money they receive is astounding.
Do you know many people who go to Wikipedia to administrators administrate, or do whatever it is that they do in order to justify their paycheck? Then why are *they* getting the money and not the people who create the articles that are the real reason for Wikipedia's popularity?
"And although they are willing to work for free, why shouldn't they have first claim on the income their work produces?"
Well they gave anyway that right according to the licencing terms.
If any individual feels that is not what they wanted they are entirely free not to contribute to Wikipedia.
So really it's a problem that solves itself if you have a problem with Wikipedia:
Don't donate. Don't contribute. Done.
Besides that I disagree with the underlying assumption this is "work" and not "fun" just because someone is making money. The point being if one has already got the benefit of contributing should one really feel put out after the fact if someone else is making money off it? Some may be but then if that was a concern to you in the first place maybe pay more attention to these things? I can see why people would have a visceral reaction to this but really that doesn't fundamentally make whoever is making the money wrong. You were happy to contribute before, your happiness shouldn't be negated afterwards.
For the record I have neither contributed nor donated to Wikipedia but I have seen various things I've written of use (mainly arcania on the ZX Spectrum and Z80 and Duke Nukem 3D) pop up on various places I didn't originally put them. With no realistic expectation of ever making money off these things in the first place I can't say that I am necessarily bothered if someone else does with the caveat that they are not selling them directly to people what they can get for free. For me the joy was in the writing and the publication and the fact that people found entertainment or use from them. If I had intended to make money off them then it would be another story but I didn't so it isn't.
@Zack - "Well done, Wikipedia. You have come a long way."
Yup, they have come a long way - instead of thousands of broken links and misquoted references, they now have tens of millions of broken links and misquoted references.
If they are going to pay editors, they should find some that can actually edit, instead of building the world's largest cesspool of misinformation, rumor, and outright slander. I shudder to think how incredibly stupid future generations will be if they rely on this kind of crap as an "encyclopedia".
our Charity (of which I'm one of the 5 founding directors), bar the 4 youth workers directly employed full time, pays bugger all out, in fact I estimate it costs me about £100 a year to help out as well as a few hundred hours per year.
Not all charities are the same (usually the larger ones are the ones you are thinking of).
Yeh. Hey, El Reg! Where's me money! I've spent ages composing, typing and editing this post - distilling my wisdom into these few sage words - and adding value to your site. And I want paying! Where's me dosh?
And don't think you can fob people off with virtual badges, in order to keep all the money to yourselves either!
Ooh shiny! What was that I was saying?
Paying the creators could backfire spectacularly. Like blood donors, many current editors contribute because they feel it's the right thing to do, not because they're paid for it. Where paid blood donations have been trialled, the quality of donated blood drops precipitously as all the petty drug users discover a quick way to make a few bucks, and the quality donors drop out because it no longer has any cachet.
The Administrators, who I took the article to be considering paying, are the people who put in their time to managing the content users provide in addition to any content provision they are doing. One would hope that by the time someone was appointed to that role, they would have shown reasonable skill as editors.
"Editors (or "Administrators" in Wiki parlance)"
No. Editors are editors (registered with usernames or unregistered and known only by IP address at the time), administrators are a subset of the editors that have been given certain administration tools (locking pages, blocking editors etc)
In theory they are supposed to be the more reliable and level-headed but they are only human and so fallible
Money gets thrown away in waste or corruption in organisation that doesn't have proper controls over what happens to its money. Who knew?
That the waste and corruption was revealed by someone who has just left the den of thieves is not exactly news either. Why is it that they never say ANYTHING publicly while they're in post? Why not try to do something about it first and then resign or get sacked?
...the real reson people can't be arsed anymore to add content is because the anal retards who spend their entire time reverting edits that anyone except them add...
... obviously none of these 'tards are interested in skeleton keys (read the first line)
Rather than "Editors should get dosh" in the headline, it might have said "Editors want more tech support". That Wikipedian editors still have to struggle with basics like constructing tables, writing math symbols, and many other functions that should have been improved long ago, is a burning issue. Engineering support is expensive and labour intensive, and there is apparently a backlog of some ten thousand glitch reports to deal with.
So rather than cash payments, the volunteer editors would probably be happy for allocations to more tech support (and even reserve funds) from donors. The volunteer aspect is essential to the culture.
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