You all must have seen in the top of the Wikipedia pages the red link saying: “donate now”, and the tag line “You can help Wikipedia change the world!”
As a critical person you are probably thinking: “hmm… these people are not too humble” or “do they seriously think that they are changing the world?”
I think Wikipedia and the Wikimedia project are changing the world – slowely, to the right direction. They are “making the Internet not suck”. This is very important when more and more people are joining the Internet. All the new people online should find free havens from the Web. Wikipedia is a free haven – a site that is community driven, community governed and community own. It provides a powerful platform and a method for people to build their own capacity – to build their own knowledge infrastructure.
Wikipedia is now going places where people are getting online: China, India, South America and Africa. It gives tools for people to document their cultural knowledge in their own languages. This way it will also preserve small minority languages and cultures. This is very important, as we know that a lot of knowledge and wisdom will die with the languages.
Here are two videos related to Wikimedia in Africa.
The first one is about a project I have been working with partners in South Africa. It is a platform called MobilED. With the MobilED you can use Wikipedia or some other wiki-site with your simple mobile phone (text-voice).
The second one is also from South Africa. The iCommons and the Wikimedia foundation are organazing Wikipedia Academy events in collaboration with Universities. The main purpose is to show how people can start encyclopaedias (and other wiki-sites) in African languages.
So, if you’ll find all this interesting and important, you may donate. If you need more reasons for giving, please read the Why Give to Wikimedia? – The Wikimedia Foundation Fundraiser Blog.