Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Revenue Streams

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What Differences for which resources?[edit]

The recommendation reads "The current funding is not enough now to achieve our vision. ".

Currently we generate significantly more than we use, and vastly more than we need. The endowment should be concluded well before 2030.

Two questions:

  1. What additional planned actions are we not able to do now purely due to resource constraints, but would be able to do with the addition of these extra acquired resources
  2. Using best, reasonable, and worst considerations, what are the rough sums to be gained from each of the suggested methods if implemented as planned? It's impossible to do a reasonable consideration of whether a change against our clear ideological route now without well-supported indications of value gained and exactly how it'd be used.

Nosebagbear (talk) 17:17, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

tiered api pricing[edit]

I find the idea of tiered API pricing to be kind of scary. It seems like a slippery slope - how do we be Free as in Freedom, if our api is not free as in money? Perhaps it might be ok if it was solely based on rate limiting and not any features, and only kicked in at the very high end of the rate limiting. Bawolff (talk) 06:05, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

The recommendation is poorly written. Charge for support, not for access. MER-C (talk) 08:52, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
There was significant discussion about it at Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Revenue Streams/Recommendations/1 (if I would venture a summary: fair criticism, significant opposition on principles, and in general a wish for clarification on how it would apply, and for data to fully understand the need/interest). The second iteration of the recommendation is extremely close in language to the first, and most of that discussion probably still applies. Jean-Fred (talk) 22:32, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
User:Bawolff yes that is the proposal. Only charge at very high rates (many millions) such that that money will improve service to everyone. Everyone than gets access to a much better API. We can and will still give access to heavy users who are NGOs / educational institutions. Basically large corporations such as Amazon and Apple can much more easily pay an invoice than make a donation. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:51, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
honestly, the more i think about this the less i like this. We are running a charity here not a bussiness. Companies like amazon and google are furthering our goals by providing our knowledge to people via other mediums. At most we should use political pressure to encourage such entities to donate. Requiring groups to pay so that they can connect people to knowledge (you know, our entire mission) is wrong. Bawolff (talk) 07:19, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Sprint changes[edit]

It looks like these recommendations were not changed at all, other than for formatting purposes. It that correct? Was any previous feedback considered during the sprint? --MarioGom (talk) 17:49, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Where are the links to past feedback? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sj (talk • contribs) 16:00, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
Here are the links to discussions on previous iteration of Revenue Streams recommendations, sj. George Ho (talk) 05:01, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

Editing Services[edit]

There should be estimates of how much money is funneled into editing services today -- white-hat (spirit of community norms) grey-hat (exploiting loopholes in community norms) and black-hat (whitewashing and censoring articles).

A white-hat editing service that explicitly avoids creating any individual full-time jobs but invites any editors to participate occasionally in edit requests, would help limit the wealth and influence of the grey- and black-hat networks, which are currently not only capturing revenue people would like to use to support the project but also influencing the editing, administrative, and voting community on the projects. Surprised that that isn't mentioned here at all. –SJ talk  16:00, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

A good portion of the blackhat stuff is companies who want their links spammed into Wikipedia or want adverts about their non notable companies / selves.
Agree that better edit requests might decrease issues some but will not solve it entirely as many just want to take advantage of us. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:56, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Important area of discussion[edit]

This set of topics clearly didn't get as much discussion as its conceptual space deserves. I hope that it gets another round of fleshing out even as other topics are moving into practice.

In particular, two aspects that can easily be overlooked when making central strategic plans:

  • The topic is much more important for small groups and leaves of the movement, than it is for the larger entities in the movement
  • Revenue streams ignored by the movement create counterweights: sources of power outside the movement that can start to bias or influence it, or create closed alternatives to it. So it isn't enough to 'have enough sources of revenue', we need to be aware of our environment.

SJ talk  16:24, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Agree, how do we deal with revue sources that harm our mission? Ie Upworks and Freelancer... Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:57, 24 October 2019 (UTC)


From what i understand, long ago there was an attempt at a paid oai-pmh api. It would be interesting if this could include lessons learned from that venture (or even why we stopped doing that and other history stuff). Bawolff (talk) 07:32, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Fascinating! I had never heard about that, thanks for digging that up @Bawolff:. Agree this is a very relevant prior art, and it would make a lot of sense to get some lessons learned from it to inform the present discussion. Jean-Fred (talk) 08:18, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Given the failure to respond[edit]

Given the failure to answer my initial query about necessity, and some more specific points by other editors, I am coming down firmly against moving to paid setup.

We don't need it, and I fear it will actually hinder the donation side (e.g. Google might just offset their being charged by donating less etc) Nosebagbear (talk) 08:51, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Legacy / bequest fundraising[edit]

Just wanted to add my 2p on another area that could be included. Fundraising via legacies (gifts in peoples' wills) is a growing area in much of the Western world. There are a fair few countries where legal or cultural obstacles make it difficult, but it could be a significant long-term income stream in many places. There is a brief summary of some further info on this in an international context, here Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 10:46, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

WMF seems to already be encouraging that to a certain extent: Bawolff (talk) 22:12, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
Indeed! Though I think there's much more scope to develop it. There's no reason it couldn't be mentioned to donors in receipt emails, or in email campaigns. And there's a great opportunity to start doing it internationally - most of the countries where this kind of giving is a possibility have chapters who could add some value to it (in some cases only by being the entity that could receive the funds in a tax-deductible way, though potentially much more!) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 12:10, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Certainly I think a bit more publicity would be worthwhile - other than the primary paypal method people are functionally unaware of every single method to donate to the WMF Nosebagbear (talk) 22:42, 25 October 2019 (UTC)