WikiPedia Chooses Blind Communism Over Common Sense
I’d like to offer a very generous proposal to make Wikipedia financially solvent without the world’s largest online encyclopedia having to beg on street corners for spare change while unshaven and at least a week since their last shower.
Okay, so I took some license here with regard to the panhandling, disheveled appearance and putrid body odor, but the analogy is really not that far off the mark. At least to me, that is precisely the image that pops into my head when I see one of the world’s largest and most successful websites threatening to close down permanently due to financial shortfalls.
Of course, this should come as little surprise considering Wikipedia has relied on donations and volunteer for the duration of its existence. At some point the amount of work is inevitably going to reach the point of excess relative toward the good will and charitable nature of others.
Wikipedia could integrate advertising and within a month pay off any/all liabilities. Every monthly surplus thereafter could either be designated as profit (and Wikipedia changed from a non-profit to for-profit entity). That said, they could allow advertising and remain a non-profit entity.
Wikipedia is so liberal, they think advertising is inherently evil. So they want individual readers and editors to donate to them instead of just allowing advertisers to advertise.
They don’t even need to engage in such liberal blasphemy as advertising. Sure the proceeds could be used to start a foundation to raise money for feeding Africa’s poorest countries or installing a water cleansing or desalinization plant in a place like Haiti… Maybe even some plumbing to go with it.
But no, they evidently aren’t capable of allowing sponsors to sponsor pages/topics, so they won’t help solve world hunger, or provide Haitians with clean water. No, those people will have to continue to suffer an impoverished life the likes of which anyone who has ever heard of Wikipedia can so much as envision (no plumbing, electricity or clean water on an island near the equator).
So here’s my proposal:
Sign over Wikipedia to me, Peter Egan, effective immediately. In so doing, I will be assuming full control of both the organization’s assets and liabilities. Wikipedia will incur no additional financial losses from the moment the paper is signed.
And yet, I haven’t a doubt in my mind that I can not only turn around Wikipedia’s financial fortunes, but do so in a hurry too. If in four months, I don’t have the company solvent at the very minimum, I will incur my losses and spend as long as necessary paying them back. I’ll even agree to keep it non-profit provided I receive a salary consistent with that of an executive or an organization that size complete with healthcare, benefits, retirement, etc.
The below image is more recent than that above. They’re actually soliciting every visitor to the site with a pop-up that covers the entire screen, forcing you to close it or make a donation to view your content. Click the image to view the full-size version.
I don’t foresee that scenario occurring though (me going bankrupt after assuming control of Wikipedia’s assets and liabilities). You see, I am aware of a few concepts called supply-and-demand, and I have no doubt whatsoever that advertisers would be getting in line the moment the announcement was made that Wikipedia would began selling a small advertising spots in a manner that did not in any way corrupt the integrity of the information (which was always overblown anyway).
So Wikipedia, you can either fold like quitters and losers and allow one of the greatest developments in the history of the internet die needlessly because you were too stubborn to put your liberal egos aside long enough to come to your senses and make a rational decision.
Reneging on the vow to never accept money from advertisers is far less of a breach of principle than is throwing away one of the treasurers of the internet — and all because you wanted to prove how much you hate capitalism. In other words, you’re threatening to close Wikipedia if people don’t give money in exchange for nothing, closing one of the most oft-used sites in the web’s history all because you want to show the world how devoted you are to your political views.
What will happen if Wikipedia does become insolvent financially, they’ll (I speculate) charge viewers and move to a paid membership model whereby those who pay for memberships can have access to varying amounts of content, depending on how much is paid. That would have far more influence on the site’s contents than would advertising all run through a third-party broker.
My final question is this: Since your “free,” communist utopia of Wikipedia is failing financially and on the brink of collapse, are any of the site’s founders or major contributors intelligent enough to recognize that this is merely one major example proving the point that communism is a failed economic system everywhere it is and had every been tried? Can they see that it always will fail until the end of time so long as people continue to delude themselves into thinking that it only needs one more chance to work, and that the hundreds of failures from over the past hundreds of years are all aberrations?
Granted, it hasn’t gone full communist yet (paywall model) whereby you MUST pay or you can’t have access, almost certainly with exceptions made for certain groups and individuals who are leftist nobility and/or members of high-priority interest groups. They of course would benefit from those who pay for access by being granted free access. These exceptions, while not explicitly stating as much would only be available to the left’s preferred classes and groupings of people.
This my readers and friends, is why communists being allowed to vote in a free society is a recipe for civil war and economic collapse. I’m as much for freedom of expression as the next guy, but not when said expression takes the form of mass murder, misinformation and financial calamity; which is what has happened every time communism has been tried anywhere, ever.
If Wikipedia does in fact implement a model whereby certain people have to pay while others will still be able to use the site free (socialism), I fear one of the web’s greatest creations and one of the most valuable properties on the web will be left to deteriorate in ruins, much like the abandoned housing complexes (the ones that look like college dormitories) in the old Soviet Union.
If that happens, it will be a shame and a pity. I’d be willing to risk my own financial wellbeing to prove that advertising does not have to influence content.
That said, if I have to pay for access to Wikipedia, or if I make a voluntary donation, I’d like my own page, and I’d like it to be the first one returned when one searches the name “Peter Egan.”