One of the places I regularly go to for details or more information about a topic is Wikipedia. When Wiki first began in 2001, I was one of many who felt it would never amount to anything useful. After all, I was a child who grew up spending hours reading Encyclopedia Britannica on any given rainy Saturday. Early Wiki could never match that amazing ten foot long, A to Z resource!
Wiki has come so far. While I still keep my healthy skepticism engaged when doing any online research, I’m also amazed at what a powerful and practical resource it has become. It is the fifth most widely used website in the world serving nearly one-half billion people each month. And, hurrah, there are no advertisements on Wiki! What a relief in an otherwise overly commercialized online world.
Wiki is funded solely by donations and if you’ve used it lately, you surely have noticed they are asking for contributions right now. I remember those big old encyclopedias were not cheap. My mom and dad bought that Britannica on “time payments” that totaled several hundred dollars—in an age when a new car cost less than three thousand dollars. Knowledge has value.
Because I now routinely rely on Wiki as a source of information, I decided to become a regular financial supporter. It was easy and felt great to just send them something each month through PayPal.
I know many readers of this blog are also big users of Wiki and that many of you also already support it financially. If this is not something you do yet, I’d ask that you consider doing so. I know many of you also contribute to Wiki by writing, and I offer my sincere thanks to you. Making written contributions to Wiki is something I’ve not yet done, but hope to do soon. When I read the section on Infrared Thermography, I see it is in desperate need of being updated and expanded by industry experts.
So if you are into making New Year’s resolutions, please consider chipping in to Wikipedia. It is a resource we all seem to rely on more and more and one that is worthwhile supporting. Even Fluke has a reference! With less than 100 staff members, it is an amazing organization that deserves our support. Thanks.
John Snell—The Snell Group, a Fluke Thermal Imaging Blog content partner