Pink Floyd, Baking and Whitewater Kayaking – The Impact of Wikipedia

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Pink Floyd, Baking and Whitewater Kayaking – The Impact of Wikipedia


I’m from Nepal I’m from Iraq I’m coming from India I’m from Byram, New Jersey I live in Birmingham, England Chicago, Illinois — La Paz, Bolivia — Nairobi, Kenya Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Milan in Italy — South Africa Poland — Japan — Armenia Brazil — Russia — Botswana Israel — Uzbekistan — Hong Kong Istanbul — Mexico Chattanooga, Tennessee At the beginning of my joining to Wikipedia in 2008, I started many articles. One of them, I think it was about a lady called Mariam Nour.  We didn’t have an article about it, so — and this was my first article. So I forget about it!  Maybe two or three years later, I passed by this article.  I was shocked.   More than 100,000 people read this article.   They used it, so they got their information from this article.  They passed by this article, so you feel like you affected and influenced more than 100,000 people. I was just so terrified when I pushed the ‘edit’ button for the first time.   I thought, “Oh my god, I’m going to ruin everything!
That can’t work!  I can’t do it!” Wikipedia is an ‘open source’ — where everyone can throw in his or her idea and then somebody else comes in and polishes on that idea to make it superb. There are thousands of people working every day, every hour, every minute on Wikipedia to improve it. A lot of it is the volunteerism.  This is a unique way to volunteer. It brings together both professionals and amateurs who have a love for a particular topic. The people who had different opinions in the beginning start to collaborate. A lot of what you would assume a large Internet corporation would handle is handled by volunteers like me. You just can’t say, “Okay, I’m right, you’re wrong, this is my version of the article!” If there’s an issue of bias, then somebody has probably flagged it and if not, now I can flag it too. You’ve got hundreds and thousands of people seeing that and correcting it. And then I push the button and Boom – The journey started and it was great. First I started with ‘Probability’. The first article I started is ‘Probability’. One of my main articles I wrote on Wikipedia was the article on stab wounds. I write about fly fishing, Montana history, National Park history, Yellowstone. Underutilized crops. Chess players. Biodiversity.  Military history topics. Armenian history. Roman history. Judges. Communication. Biographies. Football. Ireland. Pennsylvania. Mostly photography. Pink Floyd. Baking, because I love to bake. Nuclear weapons and radioactivity, and whitewater kayaking. There’s all this information that’s out there that’s kind of scattered and we’re putting it together in one place. We are offering free knowledge for everyone, in their own language so they can use it. Everyone is benefited by this whether they are rich or poor. For-profit companies have different motivations and different requirements.   From the Wikimedia Foundation, I don’t take a salary and I also don’t even take expenses. I think it’s very important that I’m able to say quite clearly, Look, when I’m asking you for money, I’m not asking you for money for myself — I’m asking you for money for the Foundation which is the team who supports this amazing community that I’m a part of. I think Wikipedia gave me this chance to really make a huge difference in the world. It’s like an investment for your future, for your children’s future.

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