When the tenth anniversary of the digital encyclopedia Wikipedia is fulfilled, the company proposes a new business model with advertising to ensure its future and stop relying on donations .
Qualified contributors must be compensated for their time Alex Konanykhin, founder and president of WikiExperts.us (the new professional version of the encyclopedia) presented this Friday in Miami the first network of writers by contract to edit in a rigorous and reliable way the contents from Wikipedia. Konanykhin said that working only with donations, Wikipedia (which has 400 million users around the world) depends exclusively on volunteers , thus missing opportunities to include qualified professionals who charge for their time.
“Qualified taxpayers must be compensated for their time .” History has repeatedly shown that free work is not the ideal long-term or large-scale business model, Konanykhin said. Wikipedia commemorates its tenth anniversary with more than 400 million users and 26 million articles in 271 languages that make this digital encyclopedia the fifth most visited website in the world.
With the aim of reaching one billion users in 2015, Wikipedia has established itself as a reference source for the search for information on companies, products and services, replacing the websites loaded with promotional material and “institutional advertising” .
But in spite of its success, Wikipedia is immersed in a great controversy about the rigor of its contents due to the fact that its articles can be edited by any user. Until now, Wikipedia discourages companies and organizations from editing their own articles and prohibits publishers from charging for their services.
This trend has been modified by the company WikiExperts.us that since last month offers the services of a network of writers by contract to all companies or entities that meet the rigor requirements demanded by Wikipedia. Konanykhin announced in Miami that his company has extended its services to Latin America in Spanish , which is the second language with the most Wikipedia users.
According to Konanykhin, by charging for the publication of articles and including advertising on its site, Wikipedia would ensure its financial future and would not depend on campaigns such as the one carried out at the end of last year by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the digital encyclopedia, in which he requested donations. In that last campaign, in which the face of Wales would appear in the first page of Wikipedia, 16 million dollars (almost 12 million euros) were raised that will be destined to technological investments.
Konanykhin explained that this business model has no future and gave as an example to Google that receives around 23,000 million dollars ( more than 17,200 million euros ) per year in advertising, so it would be much more effective to replace the photograph of Wales with ads advertising of recognized brands.
“Advertising revenues would provide an incomparably better financing system for Wikipedia, without affecting its neutrality and the quality and rigor of its articles,” concluded Konanykhin.