I can clearly remember how during my college days, when I had to do some research assignments for my course over the internet, I had to literally scour every Google page for the right website that had the right information. It was not only time consuming, because of the many non-related sites that occupied the first 10 pages of Google, but was also quite frustrating, as I had to do multiple word combinations searches for Google to finally find that right website. Even though I loved to read books, our university library was literally full of outdated books that was already irrelevant at that time. This was where most of the students get their sources for their reports. In fact, I believe that I had taken that same path I would have had the same exact report of former students of the 90’s. That was how quaint those library books were.
Nowadays, researching for a specific topic over the internet has become a breeze, not only because Google has updated its algorithms to properly indexed more relevant websites in its search engine, but because of Wikipedia. From its humble beginnings in 2001, this online encyclopedia has revolutionized the way the way get up-to-date and relevant information around the internet by centralizing information around the web. Currently, Wikipedia contains 20 million usable articles in 282 languages. The secret to its overwhelming growth was due to its concept, by giving anyone the opportunity to correct or update Wikipedia content. This was made possible through wiki. Thus the name Wikipedia.
The name Wikipedia can be almost heard (read) anywhere especially in forums and in the blogsphere, when commenters, debating on a particular topic, would refer to Wikipedia as their source. But aside from that, in real life the information that Wikipedia has now very helpful to students, journalists, bloggers, and just about any other person with an internet connection. The bottom line is, it has achieved to be the best online encyclopedia.
However, the cost to maintaining such a website is not easy. You may have noticed the following as you searched for a topic in Wikipedia.
Yes that’s right, it’s an appeal and a very necessary one. It seems that Wikipedia, is financially having a hard time to maintain the site. If you have not clicked the appeal here is what Jimmy Wales wrote:
From Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales
Google might have close to a million servers. Yahoo has something like 13,000 staff. We have 679 servers and 95 staff. Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 450 million different people every month – with billions of page views. Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here. Not in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.
When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others. If everyone reading this donated €5, we would only have to fundraise for one day a year. But not everyone can or will donate. And that’s fine. Each year just enough people decide to give. This year, please consider making a donation of €5, €10, €20 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.
We have all been, one way or the other benefited from the information found in Wikipedia. It’s time we give back to them.
Click here to Donate to Wikipedia Donate to Wikipedia Page
You might also be interested in The History of Wikipedia