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We Have the Tools, the Technology, to Make the Worlds First Bionic WikiPedia

Among others, Lee Blackall is asking if WikiPedia should cost six million dollars in light of the budget details released by Jimmy Wales.

After, all six million clams is a lot of moolah, more than most wikipedia authors/users likely have sitting in their piggy banks.

I could not help a flashback to what that amount could buy in 1974 to rebuild an injured astronaut:

Imagine the new opening..

World knowledge, encyclopedias. A 1.0 concept barely alive. Gentlemen, we can a rebuild it. We have the wiki technology. We have the web capability to build the world’s first user generated encyclopedia. Wikipedia will be that encyclopedia. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, vaster, in more languages….

And according to CNN, a bionic man built for $6 million on 1974 would be inflation adjusted to $28 million in 2008, and actual R&D costs today estimated over $100 million.

Perhaps maybe $6 million for a world written encyclopedia that has undermined all conventional wisdom on reference information, is not so much? I am trusting, and have little doubts a foundation that is based on openness would put numbers in the open that were not on target. It is more than a few linux servers running web sites, considering the scale of Wikipedia, and the multi-lingual versions, etc…

I could not find financial info on Britannica besides some basic info on Hoovers, but back in 2001, they had 201 employees, about 9 times the current full time staff at Wikipedia.


But I was also thinking, what else can one get for $6,000,000 these days? I decided to dig around the net, put to use my rusty dimensional analysis tools to discover for the cost of Wikipedia one could get:

I doubt anyone in say 2001 or 2002 would ever bet on a wiki/user generated encyclopedia to rock the foundation of the reference world, and cause the major player to shift its own gears to compete.

I’d take a $6,000,000 Wikipedia any day, even over Steve Austin.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. lol! This is a 6 mil wikiman!

    My question… if you could call my post a question… was not so subtly wondering about how much people inside the Wikimedia team get paid. Take out the technological expenses from that 6 million… and you start to get an idea how much Jimmy gets paid, and the other 23 people in the team, and the cost of Mania is a little manic. I wonder.. what is the definition of not-for-profit? is comparing Wikimedia corporate costs like comparing chickens to roosters? At what point do we start asking the question I am nudging at? Could the money go further if Jimmy lived in India?

  2. @leigh: That’s now a $6.2 million wiki, enough to cover the Formula One race car.

    Nor for profit says nothing about how much employees get paid; it has to do with not having shareholders who share profits- as long as $ is turned back to the organization, it keeps that status c.f.

    I understand where you are asking, and perhaps they should be completely open about that. I would not want Jimmy’s job, and guess the demands/travel exact a personal toll. But yeah, if Jimmy drives a ’84 Gremlin and eats beans, money can go further.

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