I wasn’t prepared for Wikipedia’s 15th birthday (today) and I have homework to do, so this won’t be long. But here’s what I want you to know about Wikipedia.
Wikipedia shaped my teen years. I joined the site in 2009 and logged 10,000 edits in 3 years. I created over 9000 pages. I met countless people, read about numerous subjects, and contributed a little bit to global knowledge. I learned a lot about proofreading, formatting in html, and citing sources. Wikipedia changed how I think about collaboration and objectivity. During years when I could have been goofing off, I was learning, growing, volunteering. And that was invaluable for me.
Wikipedia is open for anyone. It’s good for teens. For adults. For people with a lot of education or not very much.
Don’t say you don’t have anything to add. Wikipedia always needs people to handle vandalism or correct typos or any number of other low-difficulty tasks.
Wikipedia is a world resource that should continue to grow. But it won’t grow without us. Join. Edit. Grow. Ask other people to join. Get involved in a project that is uniquely open, diverse, and important.
If you do want to edit and have questions, I’d love to answer them, either in comments, over email, or on Wikipedia.
If you’re a Wikipedia editor, I’d love to hear about your experiences.