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Who owns Wikipedia?

01 Dec

Who owns Wikipedia? by Seth Godin.  Too good too pass up!

You have probably noticed the big banner ads with Jimbo Wales‘ smiling face on them… they show up whenever you visit Wikipedia, the single most useful destination online.

The question: why are they there?

After all, if Wikipedia ran Google ads in the sidebar just three days a year, they’d pay for all of their operating expenses.

I haven’t talked to Jimmy about this, but here’s my guess, one that applies to other community-funded efforts: If the user supports it, she owns it. If support comes from anonymous government money, or some corporate sponsorship, then the interactions don’t matter so much, and it’s more distant from you.

I would bet than any charity or cause that gets involvement from its supporters (and I believe that volunteer support is worth more than cash) outperforms equally well-funded organizations that don’t have as deep a connection.

In other words, you own Wikipedia.

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