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Directory:The Wikipedia Point of View/Wikimoney-a

MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Monday November 19, 2018
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Jimmy Wales' pitch is that

"Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge ... To create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language - That's who I am. That's what I am doing. That's my life goal."

But history tells a different story, one extensively entangled with commercial goals and ad-supported websites. An old "Overview" page (bit.ly/seth10) at Wikipedia states: "Originally all of Wikipedia was at the .com address. Bomis, the company owned by Wikipedia patron Jimbo Wales, hoped to make Wikipedia profitable, or at least cover the costs of operation, so it was at least theoretically a commercial operation. At one point, Jimbo was planning on placing unobtrusive advertisements on Wikipedia, but that plan has since been completely abandoned."

But as Seth Finkelstein comments in the UK Guardian it is not as clear-cut as that.

'... history tells a different story, one extensively entangled with commercial goals and ad-supported websites. An old "Overview" page (bit.ly/seth10) at Wikipedia states: "Originally all of Wikipedia was at the .com address. Bomis, the company owned by Wikipedia patron Jimbo Wales, hoped to make Wikipedia profitable, or at least cover the costs of operation, so it was at least theoretically a commercial operation. At one point, Jimbo was planning on placing unobtrusive advertisements on Wikipedia, but that plan has since been completely abandoned."'