Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Yes, Junkk.com will run ads, for sure

Further to my last blog, and confusing me at least a lot further, under the headline 'Founder: No, Wikipedia Won't Run Ads... Probably' ClickZ writes to condradict last week's news report in Times Online. Apparently Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he was misquoted and has no plans to introduce advertising on the Wikipedia site.

 "There are no plans of any kind, no announcement, no change in stance," he told them. "What I said is something I've been saying for five years. We don't believe we need advertising in order to survive. My view currently is that we're much better off without the advertising. It's better for our mission. It's better for our fundraising."

However, they go on to point out that Mr. Wales did hedge: "The question is going to arise as to whether we could better pursue our charitable mission with the additional money" that ads would bring, he said. "We have never said there would absolutely never be ads on Wikipedia."

Er... ok, then.

Just so it's quite clear: Junkk.com will run ads. We need the money. Bring 'em on! 

New year's resolutions

Back to work. And as it is traditional, let me make some resolutions:

* Exercise more & eat less.. All work and no play makes Peter an unhealthy boy. I also note that I do not have my best ideas sitting in front of the screen or in the office. However, as I am there most of the time:

* Do the day's filing every night
* Share one or more invaluable snippets of news or information daily (36 in a year? A snip!).
* Generate at least one good new idea every week
* Start making a profit. 

In that last noble aim, I am inspired by a piece today about Wikipedia. It's fairly obvious, but I had not until now appreciated that it was non-profit, with all that implies (good.. and groan-making). 

Founder Jimmy Wales has indicated that "at some point questions are going to be raised over the amount of money we are turning down." That's an odd way of putting it, but then that's why I groan when I see the words 'non-profit making'. They carry baggage that just doesn't seem worth the chest-beating. Do a good job. Don't charge. Make money from those who can afford it to keep on doing the good job.

But, it seems likely that ads would meet with disapproval from the volunteers who create entries. We've seen this before, perhaps a bit closer to home, with such as Freecycle. Someone has a great idea, they put a lot of effort, blood, sweat, tears and money into creating it, and doubtless a ton more into getting it out there. And then, just as it's doing something really amazing in the public domain, they hit the small matter of affording to keep on doing it. And having set out as one thing, there is a messy period trying to become another.

As some even more inspirational facts, Wikipedia now receives around 2.5 billion page views per month, with traffic doubling every four months. According to Nielsen/Netratings, it was the ninth-fastest-growing website in 2005. That's a spicya meatballs! 

It's also why we have never set ourselves out to be anything more or less than a commercially-based site. But why not? It is entirely possible to provide information and entertainment in an independent and objective manner with advertising. Why do folk get so excited when a website suggests it when they don't give it a second thought when they swith of the TV or radio, or open their morning paper?