Wikipedia Will Start Paying Illustrators

    December 3, 2007

The average edit to Wikipedia will still, at best, earn nothing more than a written “good job” from other members of the community.  But, in a huge departure from tradition, certain illustrators may be able to make $40 per picture.

Philip Greenspun gave the Wikimedia Foundation $20,000 to be used for those payments, and in an email to Noam Cohen, he reasoned, “It occurred to me that when the dust settled on the Wikipedia versus Britannica question, the likely conclusion would be ‘Wikipedia is more up to date; Britannica has better illustrations.’”

Indeed, your WebProNews writers will often go straight to Wikipedia for information, but we’ve found that a trip to Google Image Search or some other resource is almost necessary for finding decent photos.

So the new payment system will hopefully address this issue.  Ruben Francia provided details of the plan, and things certainly look promising; it’s not a case of $40 for every stickman sketch, and illustrations will only be accepted for certain subjects.

“Round 1” is expected to start sometime this month.  We may, at some point, discover a problem with how this will work, but in the meantime, we’re just looking forward to seeing around 500 new Wikipedia pictures.