Write for Wikipedia

Over the last couple of days, I spent a lot of time wondering what web content I could create, all by my own.

Narrowing down on an answer was not easy.

I have lived three decades on this planet. Been there, done that – but would it interest anyboy at all?

Ideally, I’d like to create content that lasts forever.

But what is it that lasts forever?

People change companies. Companies change businesses. Businesses change technologies. Technologies change. Even science changes.

No matter what I write today, I’m cluttering up the disk space of some server.

If what I write does not serve a purpose today or is not required to be preserved for future, there is no point in my writing it. I only hope that a few bloggers realise this before they waste their efforts.

In these few years that I’ve known the net, I’ve read through a large number of blog sites, checked many search engines for the content they index and browsed through a large number of other websites created by individuals and companies.

I would argue that internet should be used only constructively for education and archiving and passing on our wisdom to the future generations.

All those websites out there that sell sleaze and whose only purpose is to make money would definitely disagree with me.

Internet, after all, is yet another product of the human mind and has consequently evolved to reflect the human mind. There are a great many number of things in it that have a varying degree of utility and legality.

After a self humbling experience of browsing the internet, which is as difficult as trying to understand the human mind itself, a tired traveller can just ask for two things.

“Organisation and structure.”

This is what Wikipedia has perfected.

To me, seeking knowledge on Google represents “the struggle of the mind to find a solution amidst chaos”.

Google is, beyond all doubts, a great tool for the internet. Given that the internet itself is the byproduct of actions of nerds, musicians, artists, perverts, maniacs, grand mothers, lawyers, psychopaths, educators, kids and pretty much every one else, it is natural that seeking knowledge from the internet is as chaotic like what it is today.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, to me represents order.

I am a structured learner. By typing the same search string into Wikipedia, I’ve often learnt much more than what I’ve learnt from Google.

Wikipedia does not help if you are looking to download warez, cracks, source codes for viruses or anything else illegal. Needs such as these, which have a varying degree of utility and legality, are best addressed by Google.

But what Wikipedia does, and does very well, is it lets you seek information in a very formal, structured and hyperlinked way.

I remember my excitement when I first learnt about hyperlinks from a text book without even having seen one and how fascinated I was by the idea that information can be interconnected in any manner we want. Reading through Wikipedia, I realise that the potential of the hyperlinking has been exploited like never before.

To me Wikipedia represents a dream fulfilled, a truly wonderful legacy that we will be passing on to the generations to come.

If every person can add even just one line to it in his life time, the entire 6 billion strong world can benefit from this wonderful tool. I can only urge every one to participate in the Wikipedia wonder, use it and contribute to it.

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