I got a lot of funny looks ten years ago when I started talking to people about Wikipedia.Let’s just say some people were skeptical of the notion that volunteers from all across the world could come together to create a remarkable pool of human knowledge – all for the simple purpose of sharing.
No ads. No agenda. No strings attached.
A decade after its founding, nearly 400 million people use Wikipedia and its sister sites every month – almost a third of the Internet-connected world.
It is the 5th most popular website in the world – but Wikipedia isn’t anything like a commercial website. It is a community creation, written by volunteers making one entry at a time. You are part of our community. And I’m writing today to ask you to protect and sustain Wikipedia.
Together, we can keep it free of charge and free of advertising. We can keep it open – you can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want. We can keep it growing – spreading knowledge everywhere, and inviting participation from everyone.
Each year at this time, we reach out to ask you and others all across the Wikimedia community to help sustain our joint enterprise with a modest donation of $20, $35, $50 or more.
If you value Wikipedia as a source of information – and a source of inspiration – I hope you’ll choose to act right now.
All the best,
P.S. Wikipedia is about the power of people like us to do extraordinary things. People like us write Wikipedia, one word at a time. People like us fund it, one donation at a time. It’s proof of our collective potential to change the world.
The above letter is from Wikipedia’s Chairman and appears here on the Wiki Media Foundation’s blog. They smartly have asked for your tax deductible donation just a month and a half before the end of the year. While I highly encourage making a donation, and I made one myself. I could not get over how much this lines, “Together, we can keep it free of charge and free of advertising.” and “Each year at this time, we reach out to ask you and others all across the Wikimedia community to help sustain our joint enterprise with a modest donation of $20, $35, $50 or more.” made me feel like I was listening to an NPR pledge drive.
Wikipedia and public radio share the fact that they provide public information at no cost (as a public service). The really interesting part about wikipedia of course is it’s contributions are public too.