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Wikiloops transparency report on 2016

wikiloops transparency report on 2016

posted on #1
Dick Supporter
Posts: 2839
Joined: Dec 30, 2010
It is one of our traditions on wikiloops to share some deeper insight into the way the project is developing over time, so here it is, for the 6th time we are offering the annual transparency report to anyone who might be interested.

I have attached the report as a .pdf this time, which is probably more convenient for you to read and also allowed me to add some quite revealing visual graphs.

Thank you for your interest!
Before I start to offer any comment, let me just leave you with the report itself for now, here it is:
Report on 2016 pdf

For completion, let me offer the links to the previous years reports here as well, so they can be easily spotted from here:

Report on 2015:
Report on 2014:
Report on 2013:
Report on 2012:
Report on 2011:
Dick attached the following file:
posted on #2
adu Supporter
Posts: 257
Joined: Feb 1, 2014
Thank you for your annual report! This will cost you a lot of time.
I will not be tired of offering you my help in whatever manner and will. So do not be shy when it is necessary. You already know me a little. ;) Just leave me to say THANK YOU! :)

All the best
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posted on #3
jjdf Supporter
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 21, 2015
Hi Dick, thank you very much for your effort and your team in keeping this multilingual project up and running. This site is fantastic! I just read the annual transparency report 2016. It does not deliver a golden picture for the future. It would be very sad that this wonderful site did not have enough funds to carry on. You can count on me to help you guys with translations to Portuguese idiom. Please feel free to call me if you need it.
posted on #4
OliVBee Supporter
Posts: 760
Joined: Jan 7, 2013
interesting and enlighting read my friend ! Your efforts since all these years are really appreciated !! and i'm 100% sure it's not only by me ;) thanks for this and for everything you're still doing for the loops !!
posted on #5
Posts: 286
Joined: Jan 20, 2014
Thanks for everything Dick. Without Wikiloops, life would not be the same.
posted on #6
Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 8, 2014
good read... loved the 16.6 years of human fun bit on page 3!
looks to me like, if 2017 follows the trend of 2016...........................actually i aint a bean counter (accountant), so i doesn't mater what it looks like to me.
I just hope you get a living from it for you and yours, and once again thank you for all your efforts. much appreciated by me.
posted on #7
frenzie Supporter
Posts: 77
Joined: Sep 3, 2015
First what a wonderful report! Reads easily and clear I love the graphics and tables!
It gives very clear picture: my conclusion is simple the donations must be turned into payed members,
(Downloads and uploads for payed members, new members can have a few free down and uploads) if 2000 uploader become payed members and pay 25,- per year you will have 50k!!
on the bright side we did get 619 donors paying about 25,-pp so this figure of donation seems realistic....
Another bright side in 2011 you got 135 € on donations in 2016 you have more than 15.000 €!!

Okay dick you did it again! giving 400.000 people a small town 16,61 years of musical fun!!!!

We cannot thank you enough!!! Your achievement is both impressive, humbling and inspiring!

I hope this place will survive it makes our lives so much happier! And make us grow as a musician!

Thnx a million!

posted on #8
frenzie Supporter
Posts: 77
Joined: Sep 3, 2015
How about a fundraising campaign using social media and making donating a one click effort or an sms effort 1€ per sms make a campaign movie or let people jam live online some kind of jamming marathon for wikiloops

Not trying to be a wise guy just some loose thoughts...:) :)
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posted on #9
Wade Supporter
Posts: 496
Joined: Nov 25, 2013
It's good to see "supporters" rallying and understanding the need to make changes. Dick's report is clear and the conclusion obvious. There will need to be changes if the site is to survive. Everyone here should be extremely grateful to Dick for having funded a heck of a lot of fun and great times.

We are more than just another web site. This is a community that needs to come together and show our support for Dick and to keep this site going. The majority have not paid anything towards this site and merely taken advantage of Dick's belief that musicians will understand the benefit and support the site. Hopefully those same people will feel a tremendous loss when no longer able to download and upload for free. Joni Mitchell said it well: "you don't know what you've got till it's gone".

We could rant and beat up on the freeloaders, but I think it's much more important to present them now with a real world equitable proposition. You know what this site has to offer and are welcome to stay. Expect to be paying your share of what's fair.
posted on #10
kmoon235 Supporter
Posts: 60
Joined: Oct 8, 2016
Dick: I have expressed to you privately in the past what this site has meant to me in my recovery from a serious medical setback. I just want to publicly say that, for me, it has been much more than fun. My doctor says it is music therapy and my best medicine. I am not sure how you measure making such a difference in my life. I just wanted everyone to know that to me, and, who knows, maybe others, this is a serious necessity in our lives.
Also, having reviewed the report you shared with us, I come to the conclusion that the site must, in my opinion, move to a paid subscriber model. Certainly the demand is there. I also want to thank you for all of your efforts for what you do. I have the utmost respect for you trying so very hard to succeed under the original (current) model. However, I would rather the Loops survive under a paid subscriber model than go away under the current model.
I will continue to support the Loops to the full extent of my abilities. Again, thanks Dick as well as to all other contributing members.<3
posted on #11
Dick Supporter
Posts: 2839
Joined: Dec 30, 2010
Thank you people for your kind words, thoughts and the appreciation for what has been achieved - it does mean a lot to me.

Today is the 14th of january, and my first two weeks of 2017 consisted of fairly little but analyzing data, developing ideas based on that data and discussing them with quite a variety of people of different professional backgrounds and different levels of involvement in wikiloops.

"You don't know what you've got till it's gone" is a brilliant line to quote here,
and whatever we do, we should watch out and be sure we are aware which corners of paradise we are paving.
(For anyone not familiar with the song, the next line after the quoted one is "they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot").

I guess it is needless to say that I didn't do what I did to end up with any kind of parking lot.

Even tho it may seem a bit picky, I'd also like to say that I didn't "fund" the fun on wikiloops of the past five years (a wording that sounds as if I had invested cash, which would have been comparably easy to do if you assume I was rich), what I did was give five years of work, heart and brain to create wikiloops.
To me, there is a big difference between "giving" and "investing", as there is between "donating" and "buying".
I have learned that very few people seem to be able to understand the difference and to see why one would be preferrable over the other. That is saddening in a way, but being sad will not save wikiloops either.

As Wade says - there is no use in blaming anyone, and any emotion of the angry kind should be dropped, as it will not lead to any good conclusions.
To deal with the feelings along the lines of "it would have been so easy if-only 500 more people could have been convinced to give 50 bucks" is not easy. But the time thinking "ifs and would haves" is much better spent on saving any inch of paradise we can.
After the efforts taken to communicate the need for support during the past 8 weeks, sadly there is no sufficient reason to hope people will wake up in time or could be stirred by another "rally".

I'm aware that you in your "supporting member" status may have seen little of my efforts asking for help,
but trust me, our call for support was just as obvious as the one offered by the wikipedia, with the difference that I decided not to bug those who already had recently supported.
I couldn't escape the thought that I'd probably be able to run wikiloops for three years on the budget which the wikipedia guys spent on rallying for support in 2016... but these are the kind of thoughts that will not really lead anywhere.

What I see coming are the following steps the wikiloops project will have to take, which I shall try to offer here in a short list.
What seems important to me is to avoid any un-necessary panic and confusion, and also to make sure those who come to rush for help will know which kind of help really makes sense at the time of arrival.
I would hate to frustrate any well-meaning person offering help, so it will be necessary to communicate things carefully.
I cannot tell which of the following steps is the one where you may have the feeling of "and there goes paradise", I guess this will be very different depending on what it is you value about wikiloops.
What I'm trying to prepare you about is that I can't guarantee we will have any option to back out and find a better plan by that time.
If we are to move anywhere near what some called the "obvious solution", the process of getting there will involve more than two months of full-time work on legal paperwork, translations and setting up the gated-access to paradise which seems to be the preffered solution of those who have priorily donated.

There is no capacities on my end to run some kind of "last chance - support wikiloops now or we will move to Plan B" campaign at the same time, and seriously, I would feel bad about asking people to support a free wikiloops while sitting down with the architechts of parking lots behind the scenes.
Let us not have that.
A "saved by the bell three minutes before they would have paved paradise"-scenario would make for a nice hollywood production, but let us please not forget that we would have to pull that off every year.

To be sure anyone reading this is aware of all info I have given, let me repeat here that I already promised to keep wikiloops available to the supporting members, so there is little need for real worry among the group reading this, well, at least as long as you are happy to jam with other supporters only.

Today, all else I can tell you about the next steps is this:
- I'll need a week or two more to seek advice and make sure the "Plan B" which will be presented to the public ideally guarantees to be a long term solution. We could discuss 1001 plan Bs, but without any data to make assumptions on, this will lead nowhere good. I am currently collecting as much data as possible, feel free to request access to that if you really want to spend some hours looking at statistics, trends and assumption-based predictions.

- In the tradition of working together, that Plan B will be presented to you here once it is defined. There may be aspects which might be optional and which we could then have a poll about to it.

- After that feedback cycle with you, I'll need to get to work programming whichever changes will be necessary. A potential need to review the terms of use of wikiloops, and the need to re-word possible wronged indications of "free" on the whole site will require a lot of attention. Even parking lots do not pop up out of nowhere.

- if the terms are changed regarding existing members, all members need to be informed about the change some weeks ahead of time.

- a realistic idea on when the change will take effect might be sometime in april 2017, if all goes well.

Wishing you folks a happy weekend on the loops once more,
I'll keep you updated as good as my time allows.
posted on #12
TeeGee Supporter
Posts: 1749
Joined: Sep 27, 2014
Dick, first of all thank you again for wikiloops. And for letting us voice an opinion, and for giving us all these details - not many websites or projects would do that.

I will keep it short: Whatever the outcome, I am fully behind you. I trust you, and I know that whatever you decide, you are a spiritual man, not motivated by greed or selfishness but exactly the opposite, sharing and love. TG
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posted on #13
kmoon235 Supporter
Posts: 60
Joined: Oct 8, 2016
I won't try to improve upon what TeeGee said above so I will simply strongly second those well expressed thoughts.
posted on #14
FrankieJ Supporter
Posts: 203
Joined: Jul 16, 2015
A few things:

1. Thank you Dick for wikiloops.

2. You and I corresponded when I first signed on here. Which brings me to my final point.

3. kmoon235 posting on 13-01-2017 says it all and speaks for me, verbatim.
I cannot improve upon his words.
"I will continue to support the Loops to the full extent of my abilities."
posted on #15
Posts: 0
Joined: May 15, 2014
Just a reply to what Dick communicated. Nothing is free and nothing is easy. There is no free meal. If you want to play you have to pay. I think you devalue all the time and effort on your part by not charging. There are no other free sites that even add up to what Wikiloops has become. Appreciate your great job and others here running the loops. It's been a lot of enjoyment for myself. Thanks always for your efforts.
posted on #16
Dick Supporter
Posts: 2839
Joined: Dec 30, 2010
Dear Drumshticks,
I have given your feedback some thought and would like to offer my view on one thing you mentioned - as you will hopefully be able to tell I'm not out to say you are wrong, it just sparked some thought with me.

There is no free meal.

The origin of that often quoted sentence is explained fairly well (and ironicly for free, too) in below-linked wikipedia article:

It goes back to people thinking about economy, and their conclusion is logically correct in that context.
What seems at danger to get lost when just quoting the statement out of context is the option of
"free lunch is possible, if someone else takes care of the cost", and personally,
I have had such a huge amount of "free lunches" where exactly that scenario was the case that I feel stating above quote should be done with care.
I mean, who would like to convince ones mom that there was no such thing as a free lunch? ;)

If we conclude that there is nothing for free after enjoying almost six years of free wikiloops (which the supporters and me payed for, no question about that), then that seems a bit strange, no matter how correct these economists may have been.

There are 45.000 witnesses out there who can tell you they found a free wikiloops, so, while "no free meals" is correct on a quite abstract level of thinking, the individual experience was a different one, and I would even say todays wikiloops would probably not be happening if the individual experience would not have been that way.

"The amount of "free meals" served by wikiloops from april 1st 2011 until today
and the low level of cost-per-minute-of-free-fun are both remarkable, and an example on how much can be achieved when people get to work outside of 20th century economic paradigms" is the conclusion which I would prefer, and it is just as true :)

Have a nice sunday folks :)
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