Giving for the Good of the Internet

‘Tis the season for giving, and is asking its users to give for goodness sake. Wikipedia prides itself on being a completely free product that provides all Internet users with a tool that is free of membership and ads. However, a site that has averaged 77 million Unique Visitors each month for the past year still needs to pay its staff and technology costs. Each year around this time, Wikipedia asks its user base to donate money to help pay for these costs through its Wikimedia Foundation.

Last year, the Wikimedia Foundation raised $8 million from user donations and gifts from larger corporations. This year’s goal is to raise $14 million by year-end and they are already sitting pretty at $8 million. Another way to look at this year’s progress is to compare traffic to to the traffic from past years.

The chart below illustrates monthly Unique Visitors to from November 2008 to November 2010. Clearly, is attracting more visitors this year than in years past. Unique Visitors to in November 2010 was 5.8 million, an increase of 783% Y-O-Y. This is a great sign for the Wikimedia Foundation whose traffic usually peaks in the month of December.

Unique Visitors to

Wikipedia offers a great product that is far less intrusive than other sites on the Internet. It’s great to visit a site and not be constantly bombarded with ads for things I don’t care much about. Will you be donating and supporting this unique way of doing business? Let us know your thoughts.