The Merit of Wikipedia

Do you use and reference good ol’ Wikipedia? I do. Quite a lot. Lately, there have been pesky pop-ups all over the site. Being adept at ignoring online advertising, I never noticed what they were about. I didn’t want to know.

To avoid even subliminal persuasion, I stare out the window while finding the close “X” with my peripheral vision, then swiftly stab it with a mouse click. I will not be manipulated.

Today, however, for some odd reason (possibly the, after all, irresistible manipulative force of repetition), I looked at the Wikipedia pop-up. Whoops. The Free Encyclopedia is my friend, of course, yet the glimpse was a persuasion-suckered slip-up, and I got an unwanted eyeful.

But, then…

It turns out that I’m honestly glad I did. Upon reading the pop-up message, I felt a swell of PRIDE. This is what the pop-up said:

To all our readers in the U.S., we will get straight to the point: This Wednesday we ask you to protect Wikipedia’s independence. Time is running out in 2017 to help us. We depend on donations averaging about $15. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this gave $3, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. That’s right, the price of your Wednesday coffee is all we need.

When I made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned me I’d regret it. Over a decade later, it’s the only top ten site run by a non-profit and a community of volunteers. Has it crossed my mind how much money we could have made if it had ads? Sure. But it wouldn’t be the same. We wouldn’t trust it. Our annual budget is minuscule compared to most of the tech giants, yet our impact is absolutely enormous. Please help keep Wikipedia online and growing. Thank you.”

Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia Founder

Rewarding the Good Guys

Wikipedia had not even been near my Little-Giving List. But now that I pause to think about it, I’m in genuine awe of them! Wikipedia is the only nonprofit among the Top Ten Websites. They have a minuscule budget, seem to appreciate minuscule donations, and make an enormous impact. I feel a tsunami-sized urge come over me to… reward the good.

While my own philanthropy may not exactly be largess (a pun!), it is pure pleasure to reward meritorious good guys. And, when joined by a thousand other people with the same urge to — reward the good — it will make a huge difference to Wikipedia.

Hmmm… where is that list of the original humble-donation recipients? I’ve been meaning to send them all thankful, if modest, merit rewards. Since we’ve entered the holiday season, now is a good time to get to it.

[Why the bolded phrases? Just trying out the Repetition Persuasion Technique for a worthy cause: Rewarding the Good.]

‘Tis the Season to Give! ❤


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