Wikipedia is running its first banner ad

a Wikimedia Foundation banner ad on Wikipedia

I had a minor jolt seeing a big banner ad across the top of Wikipedia this morning. However, the “ad” (actually a few are rotating) is a link to a message from Jimmy Wales encouraging users to donate to the WikiMedia Foundation. Part of the pitch: Wikipedia will stay ad-free forever.

Sidenote: If you’re a registered user of Wikipedia, check out the new “Beta” look of the site. I’m assuming it will launch around the first of the year. It’s a part of the “Wikipedia Usability Project.

Sidenote 2: We recently moved to what is the Wikipedia “Beta” design on Like all wikis, is a constant work in progress. (P.S. Unlike Wikipedia, is a commercial venture, but I’ve decided to remove all banner ads from it. I’ll be posting on that topic later.)

Update: A note to those who say there have been “ads” for all previous annual fundraising efforts for Wikipedia. I agree. And I support them and think it’s great. All I’m saying is this is the first time they’ve used “banner ads” as in, a standard IAB format and served up like an ad. Okay, we can all go back to important stuff now.