Boomis.com and the Wikimedia Foundation
Adapted from Wikipedia:
Bomis is a dot-com company founded in 1996. Its primary businesses are the sale of advertising on the Bomis.com search portal, and the sale of erotic images over the Internet (Internet pornography). It was created by Jimmy Wales.
Bomis originally created the online encyclopedia project Nupedia. During the early stages of this project, Larry Sanger began the development of Wikipedia, which was originally intended as a sub-project and drafting platform for the more formally organized Nupedia. However, Wikipedia, with its much lower barrier for widespread participation, rapidly outgrew its "parent", and soon became far larger than the main business of Bomis itself.
For a while, Bomis not only provided web servers and bandwidth for these projects, but owned some key items such as the associated domain names. When an alternative ownership model for Wikipedia was determined to be preferable - the Wikimedia Foundation was created (June 20, 2003). Related assets (intellectual property and computer hardware) were transferred or donated to this 'non-profit organization'. The Foundation now funds the operation of Wikipedia through donations from various sources. Until October 2004, Bomis paid the total cost of Wikimedia's hosting and bandwidth fees, and from October 2004 to February 2005 continued to sponsor half of these fees.
The Lounsbery Foundation
Helped in funding Wikimania, Wikimedia's first international conference in August 2005.
This is where it gets pretentious. A real mania. No, Virginia, this is not the notorious cultural-studies journal, and you will not find it discoursing on the decline of deleuzianism, or the philosophical analysis of corruption in corporate culture, queer studies, etc. No, Socialtext is cultural studies become "enterprise" - a thoroughly corporate entity that makes (thoroughly proprietary) software for corporate communications. The software includes a wiki. Jimmy "Guevara" Wales is on the Board of Directors.
Socialtext about itself:
Socialtext Incorporated makes enterprise social software for collaboration. Socialtext captures the best features of web-native tools called "wikis" and "weblogs" and brings them inside your enterprise to create a collaboration and knowledge tool that works the way people do.
As Socialtext CEO, Ross Mayfield, says, "Simple tools with simple rules yield the best results. " Socialtext is social software that groups can actually use to make themselves and their organizations more productive, while building trust between participants.
When people collaborate, good things happen. Since 2002, over 50 organizations - including 10 Fortune 500 enterprises [among them Walt Disney and Eastman Kodak] - from business, non-profit and academic sectors have become part of the Socialtext network.
Socialtext investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, SAP, and the Omidyar Network.
Business Week on Ross Mayfield, founder and CEO of Socialtext
Mayfield, a tall, gangly Palo Alto native, stumbled onto wikis via an unlikely route. After graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in political science, he opted to work in nonprofits, in hopes of changing the world. He landed in Eastern Europe in 1995 as a $300-a-month American Former special adviser to Lennart Meri, Estonia's first post-Soviet President. After starting a broadband service provider and a Web-design and software-development company in Estonia, he returned to San Francisco in 1998, where he got a fast education in boom-era entrepreneurial frenzy. He co-founded RateXchange, an online business-to-business marketplace for telecommunications capacity, which went south in the telecom bust.
(...) Then he dabbled in a few other ventures, getting interested in the social dynamics of e-mail and the Web. By the end of 2002, Mayfield and some friends became jazzed with the business potential for wikis, which were mostly a nerd phenomenon. Thus came Socialtext. (...) Socialtext has subsisted on less than $300,000 from friends and other social-software entrepreneurs such as LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman and Tribe Networks CEO Mark Pincus. Last month, it got another $300,000 from the Omidyar Network, the semi-philanthropic organization launched by eBay (EBAY ) founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar and several other individuals. (...) [Those] who know Mayfield say that in contrast to his easygoing demeanor, he won't get shoved aside easily. "He is tenacious and scrappy," says investor Pincus.
One cannot help but remark how all these saviours and improvers of the world invariably go bust. Or rather, their companies go bust, their shareholders go bust. The 'entrepreneurs' themselves somehow always survive, to go on to the next, ever more ambitious and more 'world saving' venture.
Kennisnet Foundation ("kennis", by the way, is Dutch for "knowledge")
Technical support to help the Wikipedian cyberpolice more efficiently block your edits before you even submit them to Wikipedia. Or, as the agreement puts it - to 'promote the shared values and educational objectives' of Kennisnet and the Wikimedia Foundation.