Let’s go Wiki and join communities – Wikipedia

The Wikimedia Foundation and Project Gutenberg: These are the Internet collaboration projects closest to my heart.

Readers here might wonder what these have to do with “recovery from drugs”. Well, a lot actually. In a way, they remind me of the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) fellowship; and they do have many similarities. You’ll see this later below.

I’ll write more about Project Gutenberg and Narcotics Anonymous in separate posts another time. Today, I’m going to say a bit about Wikimedia, and what we can do to help each other. And “we” here means “us all … fellow humans”. Please remember that whenever I use this term, I do not refer only to recovering addicts or active addicts; unless the post is specifically about these.

Let’s get back to what I really have in mind here… 

Wikimedia: Its stated goal is to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge. It operates several online collaborative wiki projects including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks (including Wikijunior), Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikimedia Incubator and Meta-Wiki.”

I’m going write a bit about its flagship project – Wikipedia. Basically, it is an online free encyclopaedia … a free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. And it ranks among the top ten most-visited websites worldwide. (BTW it is also spelt as “encyclopedia”)

“So what?”, the more cynical might ask. Well, take into consideration that there are hundreds of thousand, or maybe even more than a million sites on the Internet; so being in the Top 10 IS A BIG DEAL!

But the more important thing is this – Why it got to be so popular … its content. Try doing a search for something there … oh, about “drugs”, for instance – you’ll get a lot of useful information instantly from that site alone; besides getting other links to follow up on.

Another great thing about Wikipedia is that, you can use the information for free, for there is no copyright.

So where does all the information come from? From us all… Or at least, from the people who had spent their precious time and energy researching and writing for free.

This is where Wikipedia shares some basic similarities with Poject Gutenberg and Narcotics Anonymous – having the same spirit of cooperation, selflessness and mutual help. I want to be involved in these, and I have started doing so with Wikipedia.

I now have an Internet connection from home since the middle of last month [16 July 08] – a basic Celcom Broadband 3G access. I was deprived of this necessity for six years, after having my fixed line dial-up disconnected due to unpaid bills (Guess why, and where the money had gone to). So getting back an Internet connection – and at a reasonable, fixed rate subscription – is something to be grateful for. I’ll write more about this in another post.

At Wikipedia, I’m also cendana287 (I’ll also write about what “cendana”and “287” mean later). I’ve looked around for topics that I can contribute to – and there are a lot. Right now, I’m concentrating on topics concerning “Malaysia”.

Involvement in Wikipedia brings about the feelings of satisfaction, pride and hopefulness. When I was using, I was only concerned about “me”, “myself”… and not giving others the time and energy required. Basically, I was a loner – I chose to become one.

Well, I hope to change this, for “No man is an island”. Try and pervert this, and you’ll receive the consequences … negative ones. I believe that to rehabilitate, one must be a part of society … a part of OTHER BIGGER THINGS. Being involved in collaborative online projects is one of them.

But involvement can get seductive, and be misleading if I’m not careful – of thinking and feeling that “I’m already getting involved in society”. Yes, being involved in online projects is good and beneficial, but there must be a balance. At this particular moment, my own balance is not too good.

I have to keep reminding myself (as I’m doing right now) to remember the “offline/real world/everyday world” … of my immediate family, in-laws, neighbours, relatives, friends, acquaintances, associates, authorities, `the common people’ … and to do something about it. *THIS* IS THE MORE IMPORTANT WORLD.

2 thoughts on “Let’s go Wiki and join communities – Wikipedia

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