Thursday, 29 November 2012

Thankful Thursday: Wikipedia

Do you know?
Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project operated by the Wikimedia Foundation and based on an openly editable model. The name "Wikipedia" is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick") and encyclopedia.

The founder, Jimmy Wales, decided that there would be no advertising and therefore no distractions and no perception of influence by advertisers.

Google and Yahoo have thousands of servers and staff. Wiki has about 800 servers and 150 staff.

Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 450 million different people every month – with billions of page views.
Anyone can contribute or edit Wikipedia.
How often do you use Wikipedia?

Have you ever contributed or edited Wikipedia?

Oddly whilst I was drafting this a while ago Mark wrote two interesting blog posts on the subject of Wikipedia:  In Wikipedia we trust and The Apocryphal Cow .

Anyone using Wikipedia at the moment will see a banner:
Dear Wikipedia readers: We are non-profit, but also the #5 website in the world. With 450 million monthly users, we have costs like any top site: servers, power, rent, programs, staff and legal help. To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations averaging about $30. If everyone reading this gave $5, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. If Wikipedia is useful to you, please help keep it online another year. Thank you, from the Wikimedia Foundation.
Last year when the banner appeared it occurred to me that I use Wikipedia a lot and I often use quotes and occasionally pictures from it too.  So I decided that instead of seeing advertisements come to Wiki I would pay for the use I had made of it.

This year I did the same: The response was quite enlightening:
Thank you for donating to the Wikimedia Foundation.
It's easy to ignore our fundraising banners, and I'm really glad you didn't. This is how Wikipedia pays its bills --- people like you giving us money, so we can keep the site freely available for everyone around the world.

People tell me they donate to Wikipedia because they find it useful, and they trust it because even though it's not perfect, they know it's written for them. Wikipedia isn’t meant to advance somebody's PR agenda or push a particular ideology, or to persuade you to believe something that's not true. We aim to tell the truth, and we can do that because of you. The fact that you fund the site keeps us independent and able to deliver what you need and want from Wikipedia. Exactly as it should be.

You should know: your donation isn’t just covering your own costs. The average donor is paying for his or her own use of Wikipedia, plus the costs of hundreds of other people. Your donation keeps Wikipedia available for an ambitious kid in Bangalore who’s teaching herself computer programming. A middle-aged homemaker in Vienna who’s just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A novelist researching 1850s Britain. A 10-year-old in San Salvador who’s just discovered Carl Sagan.

On behalf of those people, and the half-billion other readers of Wikipedia and its sister sites and projects, I thank you for joining us in our effort to make the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Your donation makes the world a better place. Thank you.
So this week I'm thankful  for Wikipedia.

12 comments:

  1. So am I....it's well worth supporting.

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    1. I'm not sure what I'd do without it Adrian.

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  2. Thank you for donating to Wikipedia - I have never done that myself (at least not yet, but your blog has made me realize that and why I should), therefore, you paid for my use of Wikipedia, too. Thank you!!
    I use Wikipedia almost daily, and many of my blog posts would only be half complete (if that!) without it. Every time I finish reading a book, I turn to Wikipedia for research on the author. Every time I watch a movie I have enjoyed, I look it up on Wikipedia. Every time something comes up in a conversation that interests me enough to want to know more, I find background information on Wikipedia.
    And while I do know that not always everything is accurate, I appreciate the efforts people make in putting together so much useful and interesting information about any subject imaginable. I also like the fact that you can see what has been changed in an article, and when.

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    1. I've read your references to Wiki Meike. Perhaps you could research the author you last referred to and write the blurb on her.

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    2. Good idea, Graham. Who knows - one day I may do just that! (Although, more often than not, other things come along and distract me from the "one day"-things...)

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  3. That's worth thinking about. I'm very thankful for Wikipedia, too.

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    1. And I think it would be so much less Wiki if there was advertising.

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  4. I donated too a couple of weeks ago too! And was also quite moved by the response letter.

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    1. Yes Katherine Wikimedia was the first organisation to which I've donated to which I've had a response.

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  5. Great minds think alike. I, like you, usually ignore appeals like that but earlier this month I too donated to Wikipedia. I even nearly blogged their e-mail response! Hopefully it will keep going, I'llettle for the imperfections when it it so useful.

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    1. Bruvverly thoughts and actions again.

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  6. Wow, I'll have to look into donating as well..thanks for this eye opener GB.

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