Saturday, November 26, 2011

Want to donate to Wikipedia?

I just noticed a burst of traffic from a site discussing whether to donate to Wikipedia.  Welcome to Beyond Necessity.  On donating, I'm not necessarily saying don't, but do check where your money is going first.

If you are logging in from an IP based in the UK, even if you are not from the UK but here on business or pleasure, you will be taken to a page owned by Wikimedia UK.  Note that carefully.  It says Wikimedia with an 'm' not a 'p', and it says 'UK'.  If you are outside the UK you don't get the 'UK' but you still get the 'm'.

Wikimedia is not the same as Wikipedia, so you are not donating to Wikipedia.  Now some of the money will go to Wikipedia to pay the costs of running the enormous servers which support the huge Wikipedia traffic. But that  is small compared to the sum that Wikimedia spends annually, and in any case you are not supporting the construction of Wikipedia itself, which is entirely written by volunteers.  Often very badly written, as I have said many times here. Gregory Kohs has some good financial analysis here.

Wikimedia International (the Wikimedia Foundation) spends lots of money on travel, entertainment, and Sue Gardner's decent salary.  But none of this supports Wikipedia itself. As for Wikimedia UK, the money will go entirely on what is listed here, none of which I can make any sense of.

If you want to help education, donate via gift aid to an institution run by competent and qualified staff.  I donate generously to the Warburg, which is a great place and offers great courses, and has a great library of Renaissance books.  I don't give any money to a bunch of incompetent clowns at Wikimedia UK.


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4 Comments:

Blogger Belette said...

The mywikibiz analysis looks a bit rubbish actually. Did you read it?

Since you mentioned SG's salary, I paid attention to the "The current Executive Director and Deputy Director had a reported compensation budget of $472,000". But that refs http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/4/41/FY_2008_09_Annual_Plan.PDF, which has a 472k line for "Office of the ED". I don't see how that can be translated into two salaries. Or, to be blunt, I think GK is telling porkies in an effort to rile people up.

12:11 am  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>The mywikibiz analysis looks a bit rubbish actually.

Not everything about the finances. I have emailed Greg and asked him to clarify. I don't think this affects my point that there are a number of salaries involved, and that they do not strictly involve supporting Wikipedia.

3:19 pm  
Blogger Gregory Kohs said...

Belette isn't being fair.

The MyWikiBiz analysis clearly says that the $472,000 is a "reported compensation budget" of
the "current Executive Director and Deputy Director", because the very same line item for the previous year said in the footnote:

"Includes salaries for ED, DD and PA; consultant fees, relocation
budget, travel expenses".

Out of those items, any sane person would conclude that the primary salaries (for the Executive Director and Deputy Director) are the primary burden of that budget line item. But, if you want to imagine that a personal assistant and some consultant fees, a relocation budget, and travel expenses are making up the lion's share of that amount, making the report "a bit rubbish", you are free to engage in such fanciful imagination.

As if that were not enough, then actual direct compensation to Sue Gardner alone was later reported at $240,159 (in fiscal 2010), in the Form 990 for that year. That's one person, money directly in her pocket; no consulting fees, no relocation budget, no travel expenses.

Yes, the $240,159 income for Sue Gardner puts her almost exactly in the top 1% personal income tier in the United States -- exactly the people that "Occupy Wall Street" protesters are angry about.

Feeding the Wikimedia Foundation is feeding a "One Percenter" and her machine of employees who are doing very little of the "work" that has always been done by the Wikimedia project volunteers.

I stand by the report, Belette.

10:40 pm  
Blogger Sid Verma said...

Wikipedai sucks. Wikipedia states that it has entries from people, group and companies but those groups or employees of those companies cannot post or edit entries relating to them.
I noticed Shaadi dot com entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaadi.com
Looking at the revision history even a high schooler can figure out it is being constantly edited by company employees and its SEO agents. When I tried to add an external link to it, I was banned. Is it not discrimination or a nonsense from Wiipedia admins who have no clue what they are doing???? Here is the revision history from Wikipedia

(cur | prev) 10:53, 4 July 2012‎ Seoamitverma14(talk | contribs)‎ . . (7,755 bytes) (-61)‎ . . (→‎External links) (undo)
(cur | prev) 10:52, 4 July 2012‎ Seoamitverma14(talk | contribs)‎ . . (7,816 bytes) (0)‎ . . (→‎External links) (undo)
(cur | prev) 10:51, 4 July 2012‎ Seoamitverma14(talk | contribs)‎ . . (7,816 bytes) (+128)‎ . . (→‎External links) (undo)
(cur | prev) 09:28, 4 July 2012‎ Seoamitverma14(talk | contribs)‎ . . (7,688 bytes) (-4)‎ . . (→‎External links) (undo)
(cur | prev) 09:28, 4 July 2012‎ Seoamitverma14(talk | contribs)‎ . . (7,692 bytes) (+58)‎ . . (→‎External links) (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:26, 7 June 2012‎ 203.197.78.162(talk)‎ . . (7,634 bytes) (+4,830)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 08:52, 7 April 2012‎ Mean as custard(talk | contribs)‎ . . (2,804 bytes) (-1,462)‎ . . (revert to less blatantly promotional version) (undo)
(cur | prev) 07:02, 3 April 2012‎ People Interactive(talk | contribs)‎ . . (4,266 bytes) (+3)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 07:01, 3 April 2012‎ People Interactive(talk | contribs)‎ . . (4,263 bytes) (+56)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:59, 3 April 2012‎ People Interactive(talk | contribs)‎ . . (4,207 bytes) (+1)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:58, 3 April 2012‎ People Interactive(talk | contribs)‎ . . (4,206 bytes) (+393)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:56, 3 April 2012‎ People Interactive(talk | contribs)‎ . . (3,813 bytes) (+99)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:48, 3 April 2012‎ People Interactive(talk | contribs)‎ . . (3,714 bytes) (-26)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:47, 3 April 2012‎ People Interactive(talk | contribs)‎ . . (3,740 bytes) (+835)‎ . . (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:44, 3 April 2012‎ 125.99.112.110(talk)‎ . . (2,905 bytes) (+101)‎ . . (→‎External links) (undo)
(cur | prev) 06:45, 9 March 2012‎ Rahulmothiya(talk | contribs)‎ . . (2,804 bytes) (0)‎ . . (link update) (undo)
(cur | prev) 07:51, 19 January 2012‎ Ankit Maity(talk | contribs)‎ . . (2,804 bytes) (+1)‎ . . (undo)

7:49 pm  

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