Bloomberg Interviews Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales [VIDEO]

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was on Bloomberg TV earlier this week to clarify that there has not been a mass exodus of voluntary editors.  Wikipedia is still very much driven by the community.

Wales also revealed some interesting numbers about Wikipedia.  To maintain Wikipedia, it costs around $10 million per year.  The website survives primarily off of donations.  So far Wikipedia has over $3 million in donations for the year.

Personally I’m impressed by how little it costs to maintain Wikipedia.  On a per day basis, it costs about $27,397.26 to keep Wikipedia running.

What about some of the other top websites?  As a comparison, YouTube costs about $2 million per day in just storage and bandwidth.  Facebook most likely costs close to $300,000 per day considering that they are hosting 10 billion photos.  In 2007 and early 2008, Facebook spent around $67 million on rackable servers.  Facebook most likely spends $500 million per year between servers, employee salaries, infrastructure, office space, and other miscellaneous costs.

Below is a video of the interview [via BusinessInsider]:

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

Bloomberg Interviews Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales [VIDEO] Comments

  1. Gregory Kohs says:

    In actuality, because the Mediawiki software renders pages that are easily cached and serve up mostly text (certainly not video or pages and pages of images), it only costs about $1.2 million per year to physically sustain Wikipedia with bandwidth and servers, including the salaries of about 3 developers. This information is all available in the legal Form 990 document that the Wikimedia Foundation is required to file.

    Where is the rest of the $10 million budget going? Mostly to salaries of a bloated staff of 35 who sit back and watch the 99.5% of the work that is being performed by unpaid volunteers. Also, the Foundation tucks away between $1 million and $2 million into a bank savings account for a rainy day in the future.

    The other firms you cite (YouTube and Facebook) cost more because those companies are trying to ramp up to a state of profitability. It costs money to make money. Wikipedia has no such profitability incentive, so that's why costs are kept low.

    I run a site with over 50,000 pages, and over 1,200 unique visitors per day. It costs 61 cents per day to run. Do the math.

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