Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wikipedia 10





I used to be an Online Researcher in my previous life.  The job required scouring the internet for not-for-profit associations, societies and foundations around the world.  This was for a client that supplied telephone directories to libraries and universities across North America.

The intricacies of the job is irrelevant.  The pay rivaled that of a minimum wage earner. But the job allowed me to explore the Internet way before SEO consultants learned to manipulate search engines.  After my stint, I never looked at Google the same way again.

One of my online discoveries at that time was Wikipedia.  The website was still unknown except to its army of volunteers who passionately wrote articles to add to Wiki's expanding database. I didn't get my sources there but it was a good way to pass the time.  For someone who used to spent his recess inside the library reading tomes of encyclopedia, finding Wikipedia was like hitting the jackpot.

Fast forward six years later, everyone gets their information from the free online database.  Forget the citations or the 100% accuracy of a page, knowledge is what's important. Everything from the Moon Hoax, to the Toyota War, to the details of TV5's Face to Face are found there.

And after spending my entire career doing online jobs, Wikipedia is still the number 1 distraction from finishing my paperwork.



After several weeks of intense campaign,  Wikipedia was able to generate more than enough funds to run its operations.  Reading the "thank you" message from its founder Jimmy Wales, I learned that 2010 has been their most successful fund raising campaign yet.

I felt ashamed that I wasn't able to donate $5 dollars for the fund raising considering that I cannot live a day without opening Wikipedia's page.  What's more shameful is that with Bentusi's presence, my Paypal Account gets its funds. Transferring dollars to my favorite website is now just a click of a button.

But it's not too late.  2011 will be the year I give back. 

Below the letter was a link which details Wikipedia's global celebrations after the foundation turned a decade this year. After clicking it,  the invitation was laid before my eyes:


January 15, 2011
Description
In celebration of Wikipedia's tenth anniversary, Wikimedia Philippines (WMPH) is proud to organize the first Philippine Wikipedia Takes the City photo scavenger hunt, Wikipedia Takes Manila.

* What is it? Wikipedia Takes Manila is a Wikipedia Takes the City-style photo scavenger hunt, with coverage of the City of Manila. Teams will take pictures of various buildings, monuments and structures in Manila throughout the day. Following the event will be a party for contest participants and guests.

* Where is it? The central meeting place for this event will be at Paco Park, San Marcelino St., Paco, Manila. The mass uploading of pictures obtained, awards ceremony and party for participants and guests meanwhile will be held at Shakey's Pizza, Maria Orosa Ave. cor. United Nations Ave., Ermita, Manila.

* When is it? Wikipedia Takes Manila will be held on Wikipedia Day, January 15, from 9:00 am PST onwards.

* Who can join? Anyone can join Wikipedia Takes Manila. If you can form a team of 2-3 people and have your own cameras, come sign up! You can register using this form.

* How much? Wikipedia Takes Manila is free! However, teams are responsible for paying for fares and entrance fees incurred in the course of the competition.

Sounds a good excuse to broaden my horizons.

Here's a little confession.  Many years ago, I was contemplating the idea of contributing articles to the website.  But because I found the instructions for joining  too complicated, and my writing skills too inferior, I opt to remain a silent reader.

This invitation is a chance to correct past hesitations, and perhaps accomplish what I aspired to do.


10 comments:

Louie said...

I also felt ashamed that I wasn't able to give a donation to Wiki despite my usage everyday to counter my boredom at work. To think that I am learning new things most especially in history and governments. Hehe. :D

Thanks for the info, I feel like joining the photo scavenger hunt. :)

claudiopoi said...

wow. naiintriga na tuloy ako sa bentusi na yan.

ako din, i use wikipedia for my online works. sometimes, i spin their articles. kasi naman, andun na lahat. hm. i feel like half of my payment should go to them. perhaps, the 5$ donation can at least lessen this gnawing guilt.

tim said...

Well am not aware that they are just new.. LOL.. I mean truly Wiki gives us such nice way easy to find facts about everything that we needed in research. So Kudos for them, hope i can join or donate some.. Tell my dad about this..

Duke said...

while i know that Wiki is prone to errors and sometime people drum-beating about themselves, it is truly remarkable what you could get out from that site..

a couple years back, I've realised that i spend about 2k for my mobile phone bills, and that it only takes 450php to sponsor a kid to school.. so i took their form and sponsored an unknown child from far-flung palawan.. and i just cant explain the feeling whenever i get updates about him and his family..even at php600, it still less than what i spend for my shirt... and he gets to go to school and his family gets assistance as well..

kiel estrella said...

wikipedia rocks.

red the mod said...

Tara sali tayo. Teammates!!! ;)

Also, another trick I learned during high school, when doing online searches try using meta-searches instead of the usual Google and Yahoo search engines. It filters spams and advertorial results, misleading adult content providers and the like. Metacrawler and Metaspider are my usual search engines of preference.

Nielz said...

Bongga naman. go lang! Shoot! :D

Mu[g]en said...

Louie:

Yaaaay! Pareho pala tayo ng binabasa! History and Government rin ang favorite topic ko dun. Second ang pop culture, religion at conspiracy theories.

Ang galing galing naman!

Claudiopoi:

When I met her, sabi niya, this is the first time she ventured in this kind of business. She has never invested so much effort to a team. Imagine mo na lang how it translate into our working relationship. :)

Before the year ends, babalikan ko itong post na ito so I could see if I was able to fulfill my goal of donating to Wikipedia. Hehehe.

Mu[g]en said...

Tim:

In time you will. Hindi ko maimagine ang buhay without wikipedia. :)

Duke:

Uy hindi ko alam na meron silang fund raising na ganun dati. I hope they sent pictures of that boy you were able to send to school. :)

Kiel:

Geeks rule1z Hehehe.

Mu[g]en said...

Red:

Fill out the form. Hehehe. Tanong ko pa, baka dapat SLR lang ang camera na gagamitin mo. If that's the case, baka hindi rin ako makasali.

Neilz:

Join kayo ni Athan. Mahilig yun sa wikipedia, i'm sure.