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Where would we be without …

Wiki.

Lest you think “leaks,” let me clarify …

“Wiki” is the Wikimedia Foundation (nope, no connection to Edward Snowden). In case you haven’t had the opportunity to experience its wonders, Wiki offers a range of services, including Wikipedia, an exhaustive encyclopedia that is free to use for any purpose without the clutter of advertising, and Wikimedia Commons, a vast collection of images that are also free to use (you may notice that I use them in my Raising Jane entries).

Just look at the gorgeous photo I found on the front page of the Commons a few days ago …

800px-India_-_Varanasi_green_peas_-_2714

Photo by Jorge Royan via Wikimedia Commons

Are you beginning to understand my wild affection?

According to the Foundation, Wikipedia contains more than 32 million volunteer-authored articles in over 287 languages, and is visited by more than 490 million people every month, making it one of the most popular sites in the world.

“Wiki is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people during the past 12 years: anyone can edit it, at any time,” explains Executive Director Lila Tretikov. “It has become the largest collection of shared knowledge in human history. The people who support it are united by their love of learning, their intellectual curiosity, and their awareness that we know much more together than any of us does alone.”

I can vouch for that—I’m happy to support Wiki financially because I strongly believe in keeping this incredible resource free (and ad-free) for all. So I encourage you to donate, too. Check out Wiki’s Ways to Give site to learn how you can support the hardworking volunteers who have revived and revolutionized the concept of “encyclopedia.”

-Old_school_knowledge

Photo by Joi Ito via Wikimedia Commons

 

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