Fundraising 2011/Kaldari Letter

Translation instructions

To create a translation of this page, write your language's language code in the following box and follow the instructions.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the translation process, please post them here. Translation FAQ

The Internet used to be really cool.

There was so much diversity on the Internet back in the “old days” of the 90’s that it felt more like a community of interesting people rather than – you know – just glorified television, which is basically what it feels like now.

I was one of the volunteers who created Wikipedia. And we decided a long time ago that sharing information and educating people is more important than making money. That’s why Wikipedia is now hosted by a non-profit organization, and will never ever run ads. It does take money to keep the servers running and pay a small staff. But instead of having advertisers and financial influence skewing what we do, every year we simply ask our readers to vote with their dollars to support a real community of people who represent something different on the Internet. Please pitch in with $5, $10 or whatever you can.

After years of editing Wikipedia, I finally went on staff as a software developer. And I can tell you, the infrastructure that supports Wikipedia is about as barebones as it gets.

Google might have close to a million servers. Yahoo has something like 13,000 staff. We have 679 servers and 95 staff.

Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 470 million different people every month – with billions of page views.

The best thing about donating is that when you contribute $10 to Wikipedia, it’s multiplied many times over. If that $10 goes to help pay one developer’s salary, who then develops a tool that lets 1,000 volunteers do something great on Wikipedia, then all of a sudden your $10 has facilitated a lot more than it can in any other website.

Your donation will help us keep making Wikipedia better – and to make sure that at least this part of the Internet stays cool.


Ryan Kaldari
Wikipedia Programmer