I cannot understand why wikipedia does not allow advertisements? A personal appeal to Jimmy Wales!!!

Since weeks, I see a nagging advertisement on top of every page of wikipedia. In this advertisement, there is always someone new who is trying to convince the readers of donating money to wikipedia.

 

This is an example. A personal appeal from an indian wikipedia author “Dr. Sengai Podhuvan”.

 

I can not understand why wikipedia can not allow ads to be published?

According to its founder (Jimmy Wales):

image“Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here. Not in  Wikipedia” Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder.
Source: Wikimedia foundation

 

Why Mr. Jimmy? Why adverstising doesn’t belong to wikipedia? Is nagging us with a banner for donation better? I have been seeing this banner since at least 1 month ago… If you had allowed an advertisement to be placed instead of this appeal, surely, wikipedia could have generated much more money than the amount it is asking to be donated!!!

Update 23.12.2011, 22:33:
Am I “self-inconsistent” by writing the above? Thanks to “anonymous” for raising this question.

If I knew that an ad that generates money is placed on the top of the page of the website that I want to prosper more and more, then I am happy not only to see one ad… but tens of them…

 

In my opinion, wikipedia is an important milestone in the history of mankind. Yes, it created a new standard for sharing knowledge. This has been done without ads. Yes. But wouldn’t allowing ads help boost this amazing and noble project? Wouldn’t it allow wikipedia to expand more and more?

Mr. Jimmy, the problem is that you are not providing a logical reason for not accepting ads. The only reason that you are providing is that you just want to “be different”. Yes, you were successful. But you did “something different” in a way that negatively affects your great project.

When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others.

Ads: Why not?

I respect a person’s decision if it is based on a logical reason… not to mention deciding it in order just to “be different”  and ignoring “logic” in the way…

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on 12/23/2011 at 21:11

    It doesn’t take a genius or much logic to tell that online ads are evil:

    1. they take valuable space.
    2. they detract from the actual page content (even if they were targeted).
    3. they degrade the aesthetics of the presented information and hinder its consumption by readers.
    4. they pose ethical problems associated with the presentation of content which users have not deliberately requested.
    5. they pose privacy issues because placement of ads gives 3rd party hosting websites the ability to collect visitor information and track your activity on the advertising site.
    6. they are associated with several security risks including the spread of malware.

    “Why adverstising doesn’t belong to wikipedia? Is nagging us with a banner for donation better?”

    The above statement of opinion is self-inconsistent. If you have no problems with ads and banners then a banner asking for donations shouldn’t bother you.

    A repertoire of human knowledge that is accessible to all is an amazing piece of technology. One that is able to support its existence without turning into a business is far far greater!

    Reply

  2. Mr. Anonymous,

    First of all, i have to stress the fact that I am pro-ads in wikipedia because certainly they will benefit wikipedia in terms of what money can do to any website in the world!!!

    It is because I love wikipedia so much is that I want it to develop more rapidly and more enormously. With little money, wikipedia is as famous as it is today… What if it received more financial support, can’t you imaging how greater it will be?

    Concerning the evidence you provide regarding ads:
    1. They take valuable space:
    – I opened a wikipedia page to find if there is really no empty space so as to put an ad in that it and not affect the content. In more than 10 wikipedia pages and found that there is an empty column on the left side of the page that is occupied by few links (Main page, contents, featured content, current events, random article…). It then runs empty till the end of the page. Ads can be placed there to occupy such an empty unused space. What is more, Facebook is an example of a website that places ads “intelligently”. Have you ever been bothered by the way facebook presents ads?… Wikipedia could use the same come up with another intelligent way to place ads just like Facebook does.

    2. They detract from the actual page content (even if they were targeted) and 3. they degrade the aesthetics of the presented information and hinder its consumption by readers:
    – Virtually all websites of the internet place ads that have the “potential” to distract readers… But does this prevent us from reading the news everyday? Does this prevent us from knowing the weather? Reading blogs? etc… Do you think that it is so hard for you and me to read a wikipedia page just because one small banner is placed on the side or top of the page? Please…

    4. they pose ethical problems associated with the presentation of content which users have not deliberately requested.
    Again… what an unimportant issue. So what? What if I am presented with information that I did not request? What is unethical in that? Few seconds, or even few parts of a second are spent looking at the ads, if it grabbed my attention in the first place… Then I will forget about it!!!

    5. they pose privacy issues because placement of ads gives 3rd party hosting websites the ability to collect visitor information and track your activity on the advertising site:

    OK… If someone liked a certain ad and opened their website… What if that site tracked his activity? So what? What percentage of internet sites “do not” collect the visitors information? What if they did? So what???????????

    6. they are associated with several security risks including the spread of malware: If a person is going to be affected by a malware that is spread by an ad in wikipedia… then it means that he doesn’t have a good protection. If he didn’t get the malware from wikipedia, then he will get it from another site. Moreover, certainly, website owners, at any time, can stop the ads of a certain advertiser that proves to be spreading malwares. In the first place, website owners are likely to figure out which advertiser are likely to be spreading malware; if the website owner is not after money, he can refuse many of such possible spammers before arriving at a “safe” advertiser.

    “If you have no problems with ads and banners then a banner asking for donations shouldn’t bother you” If I knew that an ad that generates money is placed on the top of the page of the website that I want to prosper more and more, then I am happy not only to see one ad… but tens of them…

    I want the content of the website to improve more and more… It is true that ads could be bothering (but not to the degree described above). But it is a situation in which you choose the lesser of two evils. Certainly, the money generated by ads can eventually outweigh any “distractions” or “unethical” dilemmas some users might encounter…

    Again, it is because I love wikipedia that I want it to place ads… I want it to grew bigger and bigger…

    Finally, if I am to make an “arrogant” comment in the format of “It doesn’t take a genius or much logic to tell that online ads are evil”:

    “it doesn’t take a genius or much logic to calculate that the benefits of ads on wikipedia easily outweigh the ‘evils’ of ads”

    All respect,
    Moa’bite

    Reply

  3. “A repertoire of human knowledge that is accessible to all is an amazing piece of technology. One that is able to support its existence without turning into a business is far far greater!”

    Please… I cannot understand why some people love this idea of achieving a good thing without the need money? So what? Please… Which is better, to have a better website or to have a “modest” website and be boasting that you are managing yourself without placing ads?

    * Modest website: if you are to compare wikipedia with what it could be should it have allowed ads. Who can argue that money would note help to make any website in the world much better than if this website is only to run on “donations”???

    Reply

  4. Mr. Anonymous,

    First of all, i have to stress the fact that I am pro-ads in wikipedia because certainly they will benefit wikipedia in terms of what money can do to any website in the world!!!

    It is because I love wikipedia so much is that I want it to develop more rapidly and more enormously. With little money, wikipedia is as famous as it is today… What if it received more financial support, can’t you imaging how greater it will be?

    Concerning the evidence you provide regarding ads:
    1. They take valuable space:
    – I opened a wikipedia page to find if there is really no empty space so as to put an ad in that it and not affect the content. In more than 10 wikipedia pages and found that there is an empty column on the left side of the page that is occupied by few links (Main page, contents, featured content, current events, random article…). It then runs empty till the end of the page. Ads can be placed there to occupy such an empty unused space. What is more, Facebook is an example of a website that places ads “intelligently”. Have you ever been bothered by the way facebook presents ads?… Wikipedia could use the same come up with another intelligent way to place ads just like Facebook does.

    2. They detract from the actual page content (even if they were targeted) and 3. they degrade the aesthetics of the presented information and hinder its consumption by readers:
    – Virtually all websites of the internet place ads that have the “potential” to distract readers… But does this prevent us from reading the news everyday? Does this prevent us from knowing the weather? Reading blogs? etc… Do you think that it is so hard for you and me to read a wikipedia page just because one small banner is placed on the side or top of the page? Please…

    4. they pose ethical problems associated with the presentation of content which users have not deliberately requested.
    Again… what an unimportant issue. So what? What if I am presented with information that I did not request? What is unethical in that? Few seconds, or even few parts of a second are spent looking at the ads, if it grabbed my attention in the first place… Then I will forget about it!!!

    5. they pose privacy issues because placement of ads gives 3rd party hosting websites the ability to collect visitor information and track your activity on the advertising site:

    OK… If someone liked a certain ad and opened their website… What if that site tracked his activity? So what? What percentage of internet sites “do not” collect the visitors information? What if they did? So what???????????

    6. they are associated with several security risks including the spread of malware: If a person is going to be affected by a malware that is spread by an ad in wikipedia… then it means that he doesn’t have a good protection. If he didn’t get the malware from wikipedia, then he will get it from another site. Moreover, certainly, website owners, at any time, can stop the ads of a certain advertiser that proves to be spreading malwares. In the first place, website owners are likely to figure out which advertiser are likely to be spreading malware; if the website owner is not after money, he can refuse many of such possible spammers before arriving at a “safe” advertiser.

    “If you have no problems with ads and banners then a banner asking for donations shouldn’t bother you” If I knew that an ad that generates money is placed on the top of the page of the website that I want to prosper more and more, then I am happy not only to see one ad… but tens of them…

    I want the content of the website to improve more and more… It is true that ads could be bothering (but not to the degree described above). But it is a situation in which you choose the lesser of two evils. Certainly, the money generated by ads can eventually outweigh any “distractions” or “unethical” dilemmas some users might encounter…

    Again, it is because I love wikipedia that I want it to place ads… I want it to grew bigger and bigger…

    Finally, if I am to make an “arrogant” comment in the format of “It doesn’t take a genius or much logic to tell that online ads are evil”:

    “it doesn’t take a genius or much logic to calculate that the benefits of ads on wikipedia easily outweigh the ‘evils’ of ads”

    All respect,
    Moa’bite

    Reply

  5. “A repertoire of human knowledge that is accessible to all is an amazing piece of technology. One that is able to support its existence without turning into a business is far far greater!”

    Please… I cannot understand why some people love this idea of achieving a good thing without the need money? So what? Please… Which is better, to have a better website or to have a “modest” website and be boasting that you are managing yourself without placing ads?

    * Modest website: if you are to compare wikipedia with what it could be should it have allowed ads. Who can argue that money would note help to make any website in the world much better than if this website is only to run on “donations”???

    Reply

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