Wednesday, November 12, 2008

$100 for Wikimedia

Yay! Sue wrote to me! I had hoped she was going to. She’s the awesome new director of Wikimedia, the people who bring you Wikipedia.

From an objective view, I had to send her $100 for her time and attention span, which consisted of, basically, a form letter. If this was a romance, it would be like having to buy a date, or having to really wine-and-dine someone just for them to like you, I guess. Then again, she doesn’t know me from Adam. Not really. (C’est l’amour!)

Yet all of this is a very odd way of viewing the world. Are non-profits truly in it for the money? Well, they do have to “earn their daily bread” like the rest of it. And for many of them during this terrible time of economic crisis, they have to truly work and work hard for people’s support.

That was why I donated to Wikimedia. Because they do the good work. I hadn’t donated with the expectation of a letter from Sue, or that she’d really have any time for me at all. She’s working on a shoestring budget trying to hold Wikimedia together during a hard financial downturn worldwide.

I donated out of the goodness of my heart and out of my commitment for Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects to deliver critical communal knowledge and information to the world. If you want your own “letter from Sue,” donate to Wikimedia too!

Hopefully in the future, I’ll get to actually talk to Sue. I actually did have that as a plan. I would actually like to tie the work of the Global Understanding movement towards the free, public information sources of Wikimedia. Maybe even get something back from the Wikimedia organization. A join venture. An incubator project. A new vision for the world.

Perhaps the next time we speak, it will not be a purely economic exchange based on shared mutual principles. More ideological. Business in the broader sense. Public benefits. Goals and visions.

For now, though, I, the Green Knight, am relishing the first letter I got from Sue Gardner. It was a very nice letter! Here it is:
Subject: Thank you from the Wikimedia Foundation
Date: November 12, 2008 6:30:32 AM PST

Dear Peter,

On behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation, I wish to acknowledge and thank you for your gift of USD 100.00 to the Wikimedia Foundation, received on November 6, 2008. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Your generosity helps ensure that the Wikimedia Foundation continues to make human knowledge free and accessible to the world. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest and most popular collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the world's top ten most popular websites. Our work is important: we are grateful you have joined with us to help make it happen.

Sincerely Yours,

Sue Gardner
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable corporation with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in the United States. No goods or services were provided, in whole or in part, for this contribution. Tax-exempt number: 20-0049703
Onwards to adventure!

-Peter Corless.
650-906-3134 (mobile)

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