A few months ago I experienced what is known as a traumatic event .
It was a day like many other days. I was talking to my two sons and we had a disagreement about some fact. (I have no recollection what the fact being discussed was.) So, we did what we always do. We each reached for one of the nearby smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and laptops that populate our lives and went right to the Wikipedia to resolve the argument.
Then it happened. The Wikipedia was down. For a second or two, none of us knew what to do. Then we Googled to find the answer to our question (I still can't remember the subject but I'm sure I was right :-).
But I started thinking, what would happen if the Wikipedia were to go away? It is not that I think the Wikipedia is perfect. In fact, I think it is chock full of problems. But, what makes the Wikipedia special is that the Wikipedia's problems are ours, the users', problems. They aren't owned by big government, big business, lobbyists, the PRC, or anyone else.
If there's a problem, you can fix it, add a comment about the problem on the discussion page with the hope that someone else will fix it, or just ignore it. But, in all cases, I'm making the decision.
So I donated $5 to the Wikipedia. About the same amount I tip the driver who delivers my groceries. Shortly after this trauma, the Wikipedia started posting these increasingly annoying banner requests for donations.
They sure annoy me, but not nearly as much as the 10 minutes or so the Wikipedia was down spooked me.
Being they've continued to post the banner requests, I'm assuming they continue to need more money. So I decided to start what I'm calling The Wikipedia: Just Give campaign.
I'm not sure what the campaign will consist of, but I want to encourage everyone to give to the Wikipedia. I, who am totally untalented in the graphic arts, even made a few icons to help people join my campaign.
So I ask each of you to just give. If you don't have a lot, don't give a lot. But more importantly, encourage everyone you know to just give.
Neil Smithline, 6 December 2011
A proud sponsor of the Wikipedia and its free information.
More sizes of badges will be uploaded. Also, any artistic help would be appreciated.
- Just Give Antipixel badges:
- Just Give: