Why we wiki.

Over 10 million people have shared their knowledge on Answers.com.  There’s something magical about typing your thoughts on your keyboard and knowing that they will become part of a permanent information resource that is consulted by millions every day and can benefit generations to come.  As contributors we know we are making a difference when we receive messages of thanks from readers on our message boards.   But one of the top WikiGuides, “Worldwide520,” put things in perspective with a poem about the following encounter he had with a reader of his answer.

Why we Wiki, by Worldwide520
A girl just lost her sister,
She had taken her own life.
I don’t know quite how,
I have no idea why,
But this random event
Just changed my life.
One normal day
I was browsing the site
Our amazing Answers.com,
The greatest place on the Web.
I was perusing the boards
And making some merges,
Reorganizing questions
And adding some answers,
Then a few key words did catch my eye
Of a particular question
That I happened to find.
I first thought it ought to be trashed,
But with requisite care
I was not so rash.
Essentially, the question asked:
My sister just leapt from a window high,
How did it end, her precious life?
Using my knowledge of anatomy,
I gave a straight answer,
Though it was hard for me.
For kin of my own
Have encountered death
So I sympathized with this child,
Though we had not met.
The question was touching,
In a unique way,
For she came to us,
To soothe her pain.
When I said the end
Had likely come quick
I received a message
That I did not expect.
The girl was relieved
That her sister
Had not known suffering in the end,
And I was touched,
For look at what I did.
A solemn answer was refuge
To a grieving young girl
Who’d just lost her sibling,
Her closest friend in the world.
And people will often ask
Why we’re so dedicated to our site,
They’ll ask,
What’s the value?
Why do you waste your time?
It may seem insignificant,
Like a trivial little story,
But times like those
Remind me why I contribute.
We believe in knowledge,
And its availability to all;
We love cooperation,
Diversity makes us whole;
This is why I Wiki,
This is who we are.

[If you would like your original poetry profiled on this blog, please e-mail it to poetry @ wikianswers.com (no spaces) and include your Answers.com username!]

Spreading poetry Worldwide(520)

WORLDWIDE520 (a.k.a. Chris) is one of the most prolific WikiGuides you’ll find! Chris reached Noble WikiGuide status on August 4, 2009, little more than a month after joining Community Outreach.

In his spare time, he also likes to write short stories and poems (one day he’d like to publish a book of them) or play video games. Chris is also an avid volunteer and enjoys helping out at his local food bank. He views WikiAnswers as one way to make a positive change in the world.

Without further ado, Chris is stepping up at the Poetry Cafe with his poem “The Mountain Scene.”

[If you would like your original poetry profiled on this blog, please e-mail it to poetry @ wikianswers.com (no spaces) and include your WikiAnswers username!]

The Mountain Scene

There is a calming effect about a placid lake-
The crystal blue glass, barely making a wave,
The only sounds are movements we make.
The wind softly whispers through the trees,
Nature’s beauty is all we see.
The sun makes crests sparkle like gems;
The mountains around glow a soft red.
And next to me a pine stands dead, those of its kin planted around,
Tall they stand, tall and proud- oh, so beautifully holding their ground,
Through driving wind and biting cold,
I see before me Nature’s beauty unfold.

– Chris Kaplan ’09