Words Change Worlds, Wikipedia

My family and I like to donate to charities through the year. The holidays are a great time for it, but so often in January our thoughts turn to what we can do to improve our own lives. This is fine, admirable even.

It might even be that your bank account is rather, we’ll say flat after the holidays. That’s why I’d like to suggest Wikipedia as the cause of the month.

Now, I hesitate to call Wiki a charity. I mean, raise your hand if you’ve never used it to research some piece or another. No, no one? Okay, let’s start with the fact that we owe them.

I love Wiki not only because I use it to work almost every day. I love it because it is nothing short of magic. It is written by anyone, everyone. I could hop on there right now and add to it, and so could you. Now what you or my add might very well be clever and useful.  I might well go on and write all about poetry or short fiction in an entertaining and educational way. But I might also go on there and write about nuclear reactors or Vietnamese cooking. I know nothing about those things and am not in any way capable of giving useful information.

Therein lies their magic. Despite the fact that Wikipedia is updated by anyone who might want to update it, it is surprisingly useful for research. I always use it as a starting point, and I surely do check multiple sources for all of my facts, but more often than not I find the information correct. That has to be magical.

Wikipedia is magic for another reason. They are the most often used website in the world, and they have no ads. I can’t say that. I do ads all the time. (Click here to pre order Thirty Days, Thirty Ideas for free, with the promo code 30one) What they ask for instead is an occasional small donation.

If you visited Wikipedia during the holidays you noticed the pop up asking for donations. “If everyone reading this would donate three dollars, we would reach our fundraising goal in an hour.”

If you can spare some time and three bucks, please do two things for me. Go to Wikipedia and donate three bucks. Even the most broke of college student can spare that much, and if not this month maybe you can next month. Then, if you’ve got a blog, maybe show some Wikipedia love there. If you do, please link to your post in the comment section.

Free education, free sharing of information is a cornerstone of the internet. Let’s all do what we can to help it out.


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