Wikimedia is the foundation that runs the suite of Wikipedia services that have changed the worlds thinking about knowledge management and collaboration. As i was consulting Wikipedia this week (as i seem to do daily), i noticed a banner at the top of the page that read:
Please read: a personal appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales
Curious, i clicked on the link. I began to read:
Let’s just say some people were skeptical of the notion that volunteers from all across the world could come together to create a remarkable pool of human knowledge – all for the simple purpose of sharing.
No ads. No agenda. No strings attached.
It dawned on me, "Wow, that’s right. There are no ads …" As i pondered this it began to sink in. I am sure Wikimedia has been nagged both internally and externally to add advertisement space to there pages. I am sure they have heard the arguments "everyone does it … its a gold mine … do the math …" But Jimmy Wales didn’t bend, and today we have the largest knowledge management database that has ever existed, and the fifth most popular web site in the world, ad free. To me that is amazing and inspiring. So as i realized this was a fund drive i decided to make a small donation; not because i love the service (which i do) or because i hate ads (which i do), but because i am impressed with the vision, integrity and tenacity of this organization that is not willing to sell out its dream for financial gain. Wikimedia remains a not for profit today and i would encourage you, if you have ever used Wikipedia, to give a little bit of encouragement to them.