Case Study: Presentation (1): The Wikimedia Foundation "Imagine a world in which everyone can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's what we are doing." ~ Jimmy Wales. Founder, Wikipedia History, Mission and Values. What is Wikimedia? • A non-profit organization headquartered in San Fransisco, California. • It was founded in June 20, 2003. • It's focused on providing free, open content, wiki-based Internet projects. The history and growth of Wikimedia: • Wikimedia was founded in June, 20, 2003, two years after Jimmy Wales, an American Internet Entrepreneur founded Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in 2001. • The name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton, in a post to the English Wikipedia's mailing list in March 2003. • The name was criticized due to its similarity to other projects, such as Wikipedia, and MediaWiki (the software it runs on). • In 2005, it was officially approved by the US Internal Revenue Service as an educational foundation, under the category "Adult, Continuing Education", making all the contributions made to the foundations tax-deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes. • On September 25, 2007, the Wikimedia Foundation board gave notice that the operations would be moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. Key people of Wikimedia: • • • • Sue Gardner. (Executive Director) Jimmy Wales. (Chairman Emeritus) Michael Snow. (Chair of the board) Erik Möller. (Deputy Director) The main goals for Wikimedia: • Wikimedia falls under section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code as a public charity. • Its National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code is B60 (Adult, Continuing Education). • The foundation's bylaws declare a statement of purpose of collecting and developing educational content and to disseminate it effectively and globally. • The Wikimedia Foundations's stated goal is to develop and maintain open content, Wiki-based projects, and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge. The mission: • The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license, or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. • In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which serve this mission. The Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity. ~ From The Wikimedia Foundation's "About" page. Values: • Freedom: encouraging the development of free-content educational resources that may be created, used, and reused by the entire human community. • Accessibility and quality: providing online access to high quality Wikimedia project content 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, as well as providing access to regularly updated, user-friendly, and free dumps of Wikimedia project content. • Independence:As a non-profit, Wikimedia depends on gifts to operate (donations, grants, sponsorship, etc.). It is very important to them to ensure their organization stays free of influence in the way it operates. For this reason, they strictly follow a donation policy, reserve the right to refuse donations which could generate constraints, and try to multiply the diversity of revenue sources. Values (contiued..) • Commitment to openness and diversity: Though US-based, the organization is international in its nature. Wikimedia's board of trustees, staff members, and volunteers are involved without discrimination based on their religion, political beliefs, sexual preferences, nationalities, etc... Not only do we accept diversity, but we actually look forward to it. • Transparency: Information about the Wikimedia Foundation must be communicated transparently in a transparent, thorough and timely manner, to their community and more generally, to the public. • Their community is their biggest asset: As community-based organization, Wikimedia operates with a mix of staff members, and working together to achieve our mission. We support community-led collaborative projects, and must respect the work and the ideas of our community. Achievements • Studies: Over the past year Wikipedia has been recognized by a number of media, foundation, and academic institutions for its achievements in the quality and accuracy of volunteer-written content In December 2007, the German magazine Stern announced in an independent study of 50 articles that the German Wikipedia was more accurate, complete and up-to-date than the longstanding German print ncyclopedia Brockhaus. The March 2007 peer-reviewed study „Assessing the value of cooperation in Wikipedia‟ by Dennis M. Wilkinson and Bernardo A. Huberman in „First Monday‟ validated Wikipedia “as a successful collaborative effort,” stating that “Wikipedia article quality continues to increase, on average, as the number of collaborators and number of edits increases.” • Projects: The Wikimedia Foundation has established eleven major projects. Each project has its own purpose and stores a certain type of knowledge. List of projects: • Wikipedia: a free online encyclopedia. • Wikitionary: a free online multi-language dictionary. • Wikibooks: a collection of free educational textbooks and learning materials. • Wikiquote: a collection of quotations structured in numerous ways. • Wikisource: a project to provide and translate free source documents, such as public domain texts. • Wikimedia Commons: a repository of videos, sounds, and images containing over 3,300,000 files. • Wikimedia Incubator: used to test possible new languages for the other projects. List of projects (continued): • Wikispecies: directory of species data on animalia, plantae, bacteria, fungi, archaea, protista, and all other forms of life. • Wikinews: a news source containing original reporting by citizen journalists from many countries. • Wikiversity: educational and research materials and activities Other achievements: • All the eleven projects run on a total of 500 servers. Most of which are gifts and donations from major corporations and firms such as Yahoo, Kultura Inc., and more. • Wikimedia became the 4th biggest website on the internet. • The Wikipedia project now holds more than 2,500,000 articles, and a total of above 12,600,000 in more than 250 different languages. • The Wikipedia is the biggest competitors to the famous Brittannica encyclopedia. Administration and Finance: Who runs Wikimedia: • The Wikimedia Foundation currently has a small paid staff of no more than 27 employees, working out of a main office in San Francisco, California. Several staff members also work from Florida and overseas. Everyone else involved with the projects is a volunteer, including the members of the board of trustees. And how are they organized? Wikipedia Usability Project Organization Chart: Where does the money come from? • Wikimedia recieves its funds primarily through donations by tens of thousands of individuals, and also through several grants and gifts of servers and hosting (benefactors). • A small amount comes from mission-friendly business activities such as the sale of live-feed data services. • Donations come from more than 50 countries around the world. Most of the donations to WMF come from English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia). Though individual donations are relatively small. • The Wikimedia is not considering advertising as a source of revenue at all. • The Wikimedia Foundation has 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in the United States. Donations made from other nations may also be tax deductible. Financial Pie Charts of 2007/2008: Financial Pie Charts of 2007/2008: (continues) Financial Pie Charts of 2007/2008: (continues) How is the revenue spent? (1) To support the continued operation of Wikipedia and our other free knowledge projects (by paying for servers, hosting, bandwidth, and operations staff); (2)To continue the development of the open source software powering our projects; (3)To respond to requests from our volunteer community; (4)To support the growth and impact of our international volunteer community and the content in our projects through key events like Wikimania and Wikipedia Academies, through strategic partnerships, and through the cultivation of local chapters around the world; (5)To pay for financial, administrative, legal, and fundraising expenses.
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