Why I heart Wikipedia

Why I heart Wikipedia

I got an email a few days back from Wikipedia, thanking me for the donation (I contribute a small amount every year), and it contained a link to a video introducing their volunteers. I finally got around to watching it today, and it reminded me why Wikipedia is my favourite online project. It is an example of all the best things about internet (which in itself I believe is the best thing that happened to my generation).

Have a look. 4min10sec of inspiration.

I love Wikipedia because it fulfills the promise of what internet should be. It is free, it is shared, it is a collaboration, it doesn’t discriminate, it is truly global. And it doesn’t have a commercial agenda.

I found Wikipedia to be the most unbiased source of information. Being Russian and reading stuff about my country when knowing facts and knowing local realities, I often find that traditional media outlets skew the information based on whatever (or whoever’s) agenda they pursue, being it in Russia or in the West.

But on Wikipedia, because it’s crowd-written, you can’t have one biased opinion against another – especially on topics that many people have passionate opinions on. You can’t say your opinion is right-er, and shut down the conversation, because other people’s opinion matters as much, and you have to stick to the facts.

Granted, of course, there is random and incorrect stuff out there. But as a basis and a starting point for information on practically any topic, Wikipedia is hands down the best source out there.

I’m in awe that all this wealth of information – from fungus types to the history of baking to the probability theory to the names of celebrities’ babies – is created by people who are mostly volunteers and who create articles simple because they care about the subject. I guess it’s a win-win – Wikipedia collects content and in return gives contributors a platform to share their passion with others, and find fulfillment in the knowledge that this passion is useful, and there are like-minded people in the world – for everything.

How many times I turned to Wikipedia to get my facts, I cannot tell you. If I want to check the history of Armenian genocide, or I want to know more about a marketing theory, or I need to check when the next Game of Thrones season is out – I turn to Wikipedia. It’s one of the bookmarks I have in all my browsers on all my devices.

THANK YOU, Wikipedia and its volunteers. You make our internet world a better place.