The importance of being Wikipedia

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Importance of having a free encyclopedia[edit]

Many philosophers have included knowledge as a key component of our human existence. (man cannot not live by bread alone)

  • An essay by Richard Stallman

The brand name free encyclopedia[edit]

We are a community of wikimedians who have a great and easy-to-remember web address. Wikimedia has created one of the largest wikis on the planet on this site, and the unique breadth of topics makes wikipedia frequent resource for a large number of people.

Responsibility to consumers[edit]

The large number of people who rely on wikipedia for their research is staggering. (statistic please!) If there are mistakes, a lot of people can be mislead. Wikipedia will be a definitive source of information if it keeps growing at its current rate (statistic please!).

Outline content[edit]

As Wikipedia inches towards 100,000 articles and Wikipedia day nears, this is a great opportunity for Wikipedians to spread the word! This article aims to explain to the newcomer what is great about wikipedia, how and why it works and how much fun it is to participate. This is not exactly a press release. Perhaps it will be posted on kuro5hin, and then hopefully be picked up by slashdot. We need a catchy title. Any ideas? The release date will be some time before Wikipedia day.

Points for writing this article:

  • The importance of having a free encyclopedia (See this essay by Richard Stallman)
  • The wiki concept and why it is so cool; and how a wiki is particularly suited to writing an encyclopedia
  • History
  • How it works - Newcomers will not be motivated to contribute if they feel the project is ultimately going to disintegrate into chaos.
  • Why it's fun to contribute, and how easy it is to start contributing.
  • Response to the objection: "But I'm not an expert at anything!"
  • You don't need to be a geek to be a Wikipedian! It is possible, maybe likely, that a newcomer feels that wikipedia is associated with the "hacker culture" and the average web surfer will feel unwelcome. This impression must be negated.
  • Other wikis/sister projects (Wiktionary)
  • The future

We are yet to start writing this article. Please contribute!

See also: