We’ve all seen the constant nagging prompts to donate to Wikipedia, but the truth is, they have plenty of it, enough to last many, many years of hosting. They don’t actually create the content, instead they overpay their staff, buy lavish furnishings for their offices and invest their $51m cash hoard poorly. What particularly annoys me, is that despite all this non-work going on and piles of cash, they are still brazen in guilting people into donating more, when the money could be going towards more worthwhile community and open-source projects which really DO need funding (like GPG, Gnome, the EFF or Mozilla). These are projects which power the open web and bring computing freedom to the masses, yet they are barely scraping by.
“Note the focus on programmers. But programmers don’t make Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s core software is essentially unchanged since 2001 when the project started. Since then Wikipedia’s programming efforts have been a disaster. The Visual Editor (a tool that would allow WYSYWIG editing) was a failure. Editors still edit using tags and arcane code to create their edits. The recently introduced Media Viewer is universally hated. The people who really make Wikipedia are the unpaid volunteers, but hey get nothing from donations. Nothing, while programmers who don’t have a clue get paid. Is that really where your money should go?”