Friday, April 20, 2007

Internet: the problem with Wikipedia

Internet: the problem with Wikipedia
by nbleven
Tuesday 17 April 2007

Wikipedia is today’s number 1 online encyclopedia, and everybody on the internet can get free access to it. Registering an account is free, publishing an article is free, Wikipedia users are not bothored by ads, because the online encyclopedia decided not to put any ads. But Wikipedia is also a leading source in information. Even if sometimes some informations are not correct, everyone can post whatever they know and Wikipedia is a great way to get to meet other people and build an entire network of online friends.
Wikipedia’s staff is quite important in matter of size, but no one is paid for the time they sacrifice to Wikipedia. Usually, companies starting on the internet do hire volonteer staff but, once they make a considerable amount of money, it usually starts paying some of its staff. At some point, the entire staff is paid. However, that is not how it goes on Wikipedia. As I said, all staff volonteers to work, but that is simply because Wikipedia cannot afford paying their workers.

The only source of income Wikipedia has is donations. Indeed, users on Wikipedia are encouraged to donate some money. The money goes to Wikipedia’s foundation, in which money mainly goes to the site. Donations can go up to a million dollars within a few weeks, but the online encyclopedia cannot ask too much money from its users. Wikipedia also has important donors, who donate quite a good amount of money to the site. Wikipedia must always stay in touch with those donors, in order to make sure that they still keep giving them money.

With 1 million dollars, Wikipedia can only last a few months. If Wikipedia finds itself financially into trouble, their website is at stake. Which means the online encyclopedia can shut down at any moments. 1 million dollars is lavished quickly at Wikipedia; they must pay trials,pay for the maintenance, etc.

Wikipedia has entered the top 10 most visited websites in the world, and its traffic is huge. There is no doubt Wikipedia could make tonsof money if they were willing to make that money. For example, Wikipedia could set up features/advantages to members who pay a certain amount of money on monthly basis. This could make Wikipedia win millions of dollars every month. Though Wikipedia does not want ads on its site, it should resort to ads; they would make a lot of money by setting up some ads.

Wikipedia is a great online encyclopedia; we can share informations, we can learn, we can search for many different subjects, and we can also contribute work to Wikipedia. Its only drawback — and it is a major drawback — is that it is not financially stabled, at its site is permanently at stake if money is not raised on time.

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