In February 2004 I discovered Wikipedia. Within a few months I realised that Wikipedia was going to be "the next big thing".
About a year ago I tried to convince a number of Christian leaders in Sydney - including those involved in the media - that funding needed to be set aside for a full-time writer to write Christian articles on Wikipedia. I had already contributed a lot already, and had begun some very important articles, especially on the Charismatic movement. Of course, I was also arguing that I would be that particular writer.
It was my assertion 12 months ago that, within 5 years, Wikipedia would be the "centre" of the internet. I plucked facts and figures from Alexa.com to show the exponential growth that Wikipedia was experiencing as evidence.
It was hard to convince people. No one saw the real potential there. Despite the fact that between 10-20 of my articles were finding themselves on the first page of Google searches even back then did not convince people. One person even chided me for spending too much time on the computer and that money spent on such a project would not be "good stewardship".
The Gospel can be found in Wikipedia, as can very complex explanations of biblical theology. It is the starting point for many people in their research into different topics. Christian articles were, and still are, quite undeveloped compared to the scientific/technology based articles that can be found there.
Now it appears as though many people now see Wikipedia as being "The next Google". The argument goes that the 'net was initially controlled by Microsoft, but has lost to Google's increasing influence. Now it appears as though even Google is threatened, with people now turning to Wikipedia to find information rather than typing it into a Google search.
Moreover, since the time I spent 12 months ago trying to convince people, Wikipedia has probably grown 3-4 times its original size. It is now one the top 40 websites, and is increasingly used by journalists and other parts of the media to check facts.
And yet the Christian articles are still relatively undeveloped. This is one of the reasons why I see myself as a "Cassandra" - I can "see" the future but can't convince anyone in the present time.
If you want to look at my Wikipedia contributions, click on my user page.
From the Department of Frustration
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.