18090004 story Should Wikipedia Just Accept Ads Already? 608 Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday December 16, 2010 @11:11AM from the or-gimme-a-tote-bag dept. Hugh Pickens writes "Large images of Jimmy Wales have for weeks dominated each and every page on Wikipedia, making Wales arguably the single most visible individual on the planet. Now Molly McHugh writes that Wikipedia is once again pleading for user donations with banners across the top of its site with memos from purported authors and this week, Wales stepped up the shrillness of his rallying cry by adding the word 'Urgent' to his appeal. Wales attempted the same request for donations last year, and failed to meet the company's goal until Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar donated $2 million and Google stepped in with another $2 million gift to the foundation. This time around the foundation is approximately $7 million short of its 2010 fundraising goal, and Wikipedia analysts are saying the site would be better off with a marketing scheme as Alex Konanykhin of WikiExperts explains that the donations-only, no-commerce model restricts Wikipedia to relying exclusively on free volunteers, losing opportunities to involve qualified professionals who charge for their time in addition to the thirty staff members already on the Wikimedia payroll. 'Advertising is not cool. You're not as cool if you have advertising. But you know what else is not cool? Begging,' writes Jeff Otte. 'We do not care if there is advertising on Wikipedia, so long as it is not ridiculously invasive. So please, replace your sensitive mug with a Steak 'n' Shake ad or something, and start making advertisers pay for people to have stuff for free and not feel bad about it. It's the Internet's way.'"