Do you want to see Google Ads on Wikipedia? Or Facebook ads? Or even worse, Encyclopedia Britanica ads? No, no, no! Three times no! No subscription plans, built-in store, or corporate acquisitions, either. Wikipedia must remain free and undiluted by ads because knowledge should be free. Internet lover, denizen of the Web, computer user, smartphone and tablet owner, Wikipedia reader, Wikipedia needs you. Donate now!
Here are some facts about Wikipedia:
The English Wikipedia is now one of more than 200 Wikipedias and is the largest with over 4.8 million articles.
There is a grand total, including all Wikipedias, of nearly 35 million articles in 288 different languages.
As of February 2014, the English Wikipedia had 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month.
Globally, Wikipedia had more than 19 million accounts, out of which there were about 69,000 active editors as of November 2014.
Whoever you are, whatever you do, I bet my hat that Google has led you at least once to one of the many informative, interesting, or simply amazing pages on Wikipedia. Maybe you were writing a school paper, or maybe it was something related to work, or maybe you just wanted to learn about something or verify your existing knowledge. Either way, I’m sure Wikipedia has helped you. Probably not just once. Probably many times.
How many delightful minutes or even hours have you not spent reading or scanning one Wikipedia article after another, being led by the irresistible blue links to new pages, one more engrossing than the other?
How many times have you not rushed to Wikipedia to clarify the complicated plot of a book you have just finished reading?
Or to discover the background story of the recording of your favorite music albums?
Or to check the Personal Life section on the Wikipedia page of your favorite musicians and film stars?
Come on, let’s go a step further, let’s admit that you secretly hope that one glorious day you will have your own Wikipedia page and thus secure your immortality, at least in the digital world that is. (I myself keep my fingers crossed.)
Entertainment, science, technology, history, literature, biographies, politics, art, videogames, even the personal lives of actors and singers – Wikipedia has it all. And it’s free. Free for all, anywhere, anytime. Isn’t that extraordinary? But how can it be? What about servers and the endless racks of hard disks that store all those pages, all those links, all those references, all those words? Who pays the bills? Who pays for their maintenance? Who pays to keep them running? The government? Bill Gates? A bunch of encyclopedic billionaires?
For those of you who don’t know,
Wikipedia is a free-access, free content Internet encyclopedia, supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Those who can access the site can edit most of its articles. Editors are expected to follow the website’s rules. Wikipedia is ranked among the ten most popular websites and constitutes the Internet’s largest and most popular general reference work. The Wikimedia Foundation relies on public contributions and grants to fund its mission. It is exempt from federal income tax and from state income tax. It is not a private foundation, and contributions to it qualify as tax-deductible charitable contributions. – from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
Come on people, let’s run a reality check, let’s be honest. Which is the greatest website on the Internet, and not only that, but also the symbol of freedom and multiculturalism and openness that epitomizes the Internet?
It’s NOT Facebook, sorry.
And it’s NOT Twitter or YouTube or Yahoo!
Nope, none of these.
And just before you mention Google.com, please just don’t. Google doesn’t need more attention than it already has. And besides, aren’t they making billions with their ads?
What?! Do I hear some whispers?
Do I hear some of you murmuring WordPress.com?
Oh, you innocents, you are close, you are close, but come on, let’s be truly honest, let’s be real, let’s admit it…
THE GREATEST SITE ON THE INTERNET IS, WITHOUT A DOUBT,
And Wikipedia needs you to remain what it is, the greatest site on the Internet.
You don’t have to be rich to donate to Wikipedia. Wikipedia tells us that if every Wikipedia visitor donated the price of a cup of coffee, the fundraiser would be done in an hour. So what are you waiting for? Just do it. Now.
PS: I don’t work for Wikipedia, nor am I affiliated to the Wikimedia Foundation. I don’t even know anyone working for Wikipedia. I’m just an Internet user like you, and I love Wikipedia. Don’t you?