Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

I gave $100 to Wikipedia

A little story. It's been a long time since I worked every day at the Unix command line. So, while the concepts are all familiar, they are not fresh. Mostly I work in graphic user interfaces. For a few years I used MS-DOS, which has its own command line. Same basic idea.

Anyway, I'm mostly back up to speed on Unix, but every once in a while I forget how to do something. This morning I needed to know how to create what I thought of as a "batch file." Google'd it. One of the first links explains the diff betw a batch file and a "shell script." Ahh that's right, they're not called batch files on Unix.

So I look up shell script -- see a few choices, go straight to the Wikipedia page where it tells me exactly what I needed to know in the first couple of paragraphs. Then I decided it was time to give them their annual $100.

Wikipedia is real

Without Wikipedia the web would be fully dominated by business models. There would be no way to get the simple single fact you need. If there weren't such a thing as Wikipedia, with all its flaws, we'd wish there was. Or in the future you would tell the younguns about this thing that was so wonderful that had just the facts you wanted and nothing more, and they'd roll their eyes.

I've noticed that Medium is now claiming to be a revitalization of the old web values. Oh that is so wrong. Wikipedia, however, which is very much the web, and very much alive. Yes we have lost many of the non-commercial ways of putting a simple web page up on the net. That doesn't mean we should give up. Not when we still have something as useful and relatively open as Wikipedia.

Give them a little money, today. It's the right thing to do, it's good for the net, it's "giving back" in a way that has very quick immediate impact.

Last built: Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM

By Dave Winer, Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM. Good for the environment.