Mar 042013

We have been using internet for quite some time now. We use it for entertainment, news, knowledge enhancement, communication and many other purposes on a large scale via computers, mobiles, tablets and other internet enabled devices. One of the main reason for logging on to the net (as we call it) is accessing information. And the largest cache of information is available on one and the only, the website hosted and maintained by wikimedia foundation. This is the largest manmade cache of information available to mankind. An encyclopedia for the people, of the people and by the people. The information is uploaded by common people like us and validated by similar other common people. Even though being a non profit organisation, wikimedia has been able to sustain throughout all these years of its existance.

But if you have ever hosted a website, you will surely know how costly it is to maintain a website. It requires lots of resources to maintain a #5 website at that position without any revenue from advertisement. Yes, you might have noticed that wikimedia websites do not host any advertisements, thus making maximum area available for information while we have fastest loading pages. This all while serving about 450 million people every month with billions of page views. And to complicate the matters, the websites are maintained by miniscule staff to reduce overheads.

With all such logistics involved, it is natural that the founders of this organisation ask for a helping hand from us users time and again. And its more appropriate from our part to provide assistance. They don’t ask for much. They simply calculate that if everyone reading the request for donations donate Rs. 100 their fund raiser would finish in an hour. That may not be possible in practical world, but what’s possible is for us to skip that pizza once a year so that everyone can access wikimedia websites for another year.

I on my part have been putting in my minimum since 2 years. That and this informative blog. Its up to you readers to increase their funds.

Be a Wiki Donor.

Nov 162011

As we all know, the internet has been the biggest source of the IT revolution in past few years. And few giants have been creating difference in our life by serving us with astonishing products from time to time. To name a few, Google, Wikipedia, MSN, Yahoo etc. But of all this lot, one name that stands out for being a truly world class free and open source service is wikipedia, the internet based encyclopedia.

The punch line for this service is The Free Encyclopedia and the modus operandi has been more or less on a voluntary basis. About 90,000 people worldwide strive to keep this operation running. It is people like you and me who upload the information and verify it. It’s due to these uncommonly common people that we have an access to huge amount of free information, which would have caused us a fortune, had we been forced to buy the competing products.

To keep the operation alive, they have to maintain the few hundred servers, and pay for the minuscule staff, who keep things going. This maintenance has to be borne by someone, because as you might have noticed, Wikipedia doesn’t approve of advertisement on their page. This is to ensure that the reader gets clear and unhindered access to the information required by him, without the ever-nagging advertising banners creating nuisance.

So it’s time for us to support this organisation who has never thought about it’s own survival, but only about distributing free information to the needy.

Read this message by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia and do your bit towards the society.

Help Wikipedia!!

Jun 162010

Internet has grown out to be a source of information, huge in magnitude and unimaginable by human memory standards. Lots of data is available at our finger tips. Google has become a synonym to search(though google has spread its branch much wider then just search technology) and wikipedia is considered to be the boss of all the encyclopedias. But wikipedia cannot by itself help us comprehend the diversity and the vastness of the internet. Lots of websites go unseen by majority of netizens. Lots of information goes unaccessed. I personally would have been happy to access more pages with interesting contents. But its very difficult to go through the different combinations of web addresses.

So, something has comeup on the internet which excites me. Stumble upon!! I actually stumbled upon this site while going through few blogs. And I was quite surprised about the way it works.

All we need to is login to our personal account on stumble upon and choose the preferences of the websites we would like to visit. Then we start stumbling. Just on a click of a button, a random website is displayed as per our preferences set before. This website might turn out to be quite interesting or plain boring, and we can indicate that by clicking on the thumbs up or thumbs down button. The website will remember this and try to refine its choice of webpages for us. The sites that are  displayed, are actually submitted to stumble upon by various user of net under some catagory, when they find it to be of their interest.

We need not always go onto the stumble upon website for stumbling. Addons are available for different browsers which add a toolbar containing the stumble tools into the browser window. After a one time login, it becomes easier.

Whenever we are bored, or just want to be fed with some useful or unwanted information, stumbling can be a good option. For once we find it very good upon “stumbling”.

Few of the websites that I stumbled upon are listed here. I felt they were quite ineresting.

1. Funny windows messages.

2. Funny conversations that travel booking staff encounters.

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