Will Wikipedia Monetize Their Website/Platform Soon?

Wikipedia Monetize Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales holding Wikipedia logo. Credit:

Last Updated on February 13, 2023 by Okoro Daniel O.

Wikipedia (/ˌwɪkɪˈpiːdiə/ wik-ih-PEE-dee-ə or /ˌwɪki-/ (listen) wik-ee-) is a free content, multilingual online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of volunteers through a model of open collaboration, using a wiki-based editing system. Individual contributors, also called editors, are known as Wikipedians. It is the largest and most-read reference work in history, and consistently one of the 15 most popular websites ranked by Alexa; as of 2021, Wikipedia was ranked the 13th most popular site. A visitor spends an average time on Wikipedia of 3 minutes and 45 seconds each day. It carries no advertisements and is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization funded mainly through small donations.

Okoro Daniel O. wrote;

Somehow, in the nearest future, maybe not sooner enough, but yes, in years to come, the new board of directors of the world’s largest encyclopedia platform, Wikipedia, would resort to other means of monetizing the platform aside from donation.

The donation method really isn’t ideal enough.

Yes, I commend the efforts of Jimmy Donal Wales and Lawrence Mark Sanger for keeping the platform free as possible, but yo! Server maintenance, cost of a running server, et all…

Ever since 2017, I’ve been unable to wrap ‘the decision’ all around my head, sometimes, I’ll be like, yeah, makes quite a sense, making access to information free for all. On the other hand, I’d retort and wonder what it’d have been of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and other tech giants’ owners if they’d kept the luxury of social media for free, how long would it have lasted?

Yes, I understand the luxury (of the SM) came almost for free too, very fair, it’s why I hardly ever complain even if YouTube displays more than 30 ads before playing content on their platform, when I know fully well bucks it’d zip off my pocket if I tried getting that information on Udemy, Storyblock, and others…

But this Wikipedia, omo, mehn, I really can’t process it at all. As a writer and a content creator, almost every now and then, I’m always there on Wikipedia sourcing for Infos on the next article to squash, ‘almost’ accurate details on what to create to avoid pushing wrong ones out.

Again, I understand Wikipedia founders/directors aren’t the ones creating the contents, the creators are people like you and me, refined writers… Yes, I know also that data on Wikipedia are all not accurate, but are fairer enough to keep you educated, thanks to the functions created to guide the community too. But hey, someone somewhere is paying engineers to keep the data center safe – where the server cites.

Lol, if I tell you what it takes to keep a server running, the costs, and shii, you’d cringe. Server maintenance isn’t child’s play.

So for me, I feel Wikipedia should rethink its decision and monetize the platform for good.

Yes, I know big companies like Google does donate to Wikipedia, but alas, the stats still reads 2% from its readers, amidst millions of traffic the platform racks daily . Kilode!

Wikipedia is too good enough to be demonetized.

What do you think?

Type of site: Online encyclopedia
Available in: 323 languages
Country of origin: United States
Owner: Wikimedia Foundation
Founded by: Jimmy Wales & Larry Sanger
Commercial: No
Registration: Optional
— Active Editors: over 297,787
— Registered Users: 98,379,525
Year Launched: January 15, 2001
Current status: Active
Content license: CC Attribution / Share-Alike 3.0
Most text is also dual-licensed under GFDL; media licensing varies
Written in: LAMP platform

Wikipedia was founded in the year January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger; Sanger coined its name as a blending of “wiki” and “encyclopedia”. Initially available only in English, versions in other languages were quickly developed. Its combined editions comprises over 57 million articles, attracting around 2 billion unique device visits per month, and more than 17 million edits per month (1.9 edits per second). In 2006, Time magazine stated that the policy of allowing anyone to edit had made Wikipedia the “biggest (and perhaps best) encyclopedia in the world”, and is “a testament to the vision of one man, Jimmy Wales“.

Wikipedia has received praise for its enablement of the democratization of knowledge, extent of coverage, unique structure, culture, and reduced amount of commercial bias, but criticism for exhibiting systemic bias, particularly gender bias against women and alleged ideological bias. Its reliability was frequently criticized in the 2000s, but has improved over time and has been generally praised in the late 2010s and early 2020s. Its coverage of controversial topics such as American politics and major events such as the COVID-19 pandemic has received substantial media attention. It has been censored by world governments, ranging from specific pages to the entire site. It has become an element of popular culture, with references in books, films, and academic studies. In 2018, Facebook and YouTube announced that they would help users detect fake news by suggesting fact-checking links to related Wikipedia articles.

Wikipedia Sources of Monetization | How Wikipedia Makes Money

So far, the only means of monetization for the world’s biggest encyclopedia, Wikipedia, primarily remains donation.

However, around March 2021, an announcement was made by Wikipedia to launch Wikipedia Enterprise, a platform under the Wikimedia Foundation conglomerate as a ‘paid service’ for companies that use their data. Check out more details on Wikipedia Enterprise here.

As they noted;

“Wikimedia Enterprise’s focus is on businesses that reuse our content, typically at a large scale — e.g., integrated into knowledge graphs, search, voice assistants, maps, news reporting, community tools, third-party applications, and full-corpus research studies. Augmenting Wikimedia’s many datasets to put structure behind our unstructured content will allow all our content reusers to meet their individual requirements while also setting us up to build new tools and services in the future, available to everyone”

Meanwhile, in 2013, Michael Johnston of estimated that Wikipedia could earn about $2.3B in a year. In the estimation, he analyze how Wikipedia could allocate/integrate banner ads(adverts) to sections of pages which include the sidebar and the header section on their website.

Now, this was 2013, when of course, the traffic stats realized then has been tripled. Which means they definitely would earn more than the estimation.

What do you think?

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