Fundraising 2007/Why Give blog/OMG! Wikipedia is gone! I'll flunk my exams

This blog entry has been posted as part of the Wikimedia Fundraising 2007 blog. Please see Fundraising 2007/Why Give blog for more details on these blog posts.

Just what would you do if instead of the cornucopia of information you're used to you got a message that "Wikipedia cannot afford to continue operations"?

Librarians and professors hate us because we, on the whole, make life easy for students - sometimes too easy. I've been watching the comments popping up while the fundraiser has been running, a common theme is "Wikipedia got me through college".

But nowadays everybody hits Wikipedia. Google is 90+% likely to return one or two hits from the site for almost any query. Jimmy Wales said something to the effect of, "We make the Internet not crap". I agree with it. I can pretty much get an overview of any subject with a quick search, I can find out more about anything my doctor prescribes me than she likely knows, and I can waste hours of my time becoming a "mine of 'useless' information" because reading Wikipedia and learning things is actually fun.

It is up to you whether or not you believe these assertions are true, but if you're a student on a budget, perhaps holding down a part-time job to make ends meet, you can still help. Could you afford $5 per month? That'd be $60 a year in small nibbles. It'd pay for far more access to the project than you likely use, but students in India, Pakistan, Thailand, and all across Asia - the world even - will benefit from your supporting the Wikimedia Foundation.

Give the gift of knowledge - or we'll tell your professor you used Wikipedia to get through college. ;-)