Indiegogo is a worldwide funding platform. “Fund what matters to you”, says the website and it upon further inspection it shows truly how different things that people want to fund are. There are pages to help raise money for cancer patients and for a documentary that highlights human trafficking, but then there are pages asking for funds to develop an “athletic underwear” and a book version of Wikipedia.
The idea is to give people an idea of how massive Wikipedia has truly become. The goal is to raise about $50,000 to print a 1000 volume set of Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. The books will be twelve hundred pages each and will feature articles from the well known to the obscure.
Wikipedia is huge, but in the end it is truly a virtual encyclopedia and lacks tangibility. Perhaps this project strives to give one of the most active websites in the world, a ‘real’ tribute. The books will be encased in a bookshelf 32 feet wide and 8 feet long. A total of twelve million pages on a single book shelf will make an impressive small library.
A previous attempt had been made in 2012 by a design student called Rob Matthews. He printed more than four hundred articles from the site in a copy 19 inches thick.
The project may perhaps be a little appreciated for its aesthetic value but the usefulness of such an endeavor has to be questioned. A free encyclopedia that may be accessed at ones leisure and features a search option does not need to be translated in to a book. Surely encyclopedias have their historic value but they also had a certain usefulness that wikipedia did not. For one they were compiled with credible sources, of which Wikipedia successfully fall short repeatedly. One can easily remember stub articles and the words ‘citation needed’ in brackets.