support LocalWiki today

Philip Neustrom and Mike Ivanov created the DavisWiki back in 2004, as UCD students — and it is now one of the most vibrant city wikis in the world, with amazing local participation. In their words:

On a given day, about 1 in 6 residents visits the site. Over the course of one week, nearly half of the residents. And over a month, we have found that just about every Davisite visits the wiki. That is a huge local audience, bigger than that of the area newspapers, local websites, TV and radio stations! The wiki has unquestionably earned its ambitious tag line, “The definitive resource for Davis, California.” But another number is even more incredible and illuminating: 1 in 7 residents actually contribute their own knowledge to the wiki. It is not a passive medium. What you have all helped to create here is a completely new model of local participation and civic engagement, unique in the world.

Mike and Phillip recently won a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant to work on their new project:

Which aims to bring the awesomeness of the DavisWiki to communities all over, with new modern software and an outreach program.

But they need help.

They are currently running a fundraising drive to raise $25,000 by September 13. It’s an all-or-nothing drive: Kickstarter only funds them if they reach $25,000.

I have spent a lot of time on a lot of wikis, including the largest, and I have watched the DavisWiki grow since 2006, when I moved to Davis. I can vouch for the DavisWiki being a very special community (a model for what I have always thought “a wiki should be like”) — and Phillip and Mike are two amazing young developers. In honor of all the wiki events happening this summer — RoCoCo, WikiSym, Wikimania — let’s pull together as a community and help them see it to the next level!

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