Where is the place where users can thank the Wiki and its gnomes and others for the work that they do? A simple way to say thanks is to give the wiki a gift, maybe in the form of a page or a donation. If you have even more to say, write the wiki a love letter.

An Early Valentine's Day letter

The evolution of a new user

Feb. 3rd, 2007 I watched you from afar for many months, dear wiki, before working up the courage to finally introduce myself. Mysterious daviswiki.org stickers appeared around Davis and seemed like bathroom stall scribbles - “For a good time, call Davis Wiki” – and like naughty graffiti, tempted and titillated. Years of good girl or good boy training keep us from phoning mysterious numbers, but don’t you always wonder who is so bold or so foolish to write messages to strangers in public?

I was too tempted - I called the wiki equivalent of a 1-900 number first. Just browsing in anonymity. Looking up copy shop prices to save myself the annoyance of hearing “Thanks for calling FedEx Shipping and Kinko’s Copy Shop corporate conglomerate with the extremely long name. How can we irritate, confound, and make you homicidal today?” I looked up local restaurant phone numbers to avoid another confusing foray into completely useless online phone books. The wiki sweetly replied to all my queries and I found myself thinking that such a straightforward wiki could not possibly be bad.

Then I forgot you, wiki. Even worse, I explored a more famous number, 1-900-YouTube, and found that place full of vindictive haters who used online anonymity as a device to pour random malice into the community. By association, poor wiki, you were dead to me.

Until, that is, I heard of a fundraiser to support you. Huh, I thought. A wiki has needs too. It is not a thing to be used occasionally and then forgotten. I read that many people came to help you and I thought, this wiki has real people who love it. It has friends. Perhaps the wiki is different.

No longer a possibly creepy number on the bathroom stall, I made a date to meet the real wiki. I set up an account and then debated what I should bring you. What do you give to someone/thing who is honest, upfront, and self-revealing? In fact, the answer was not hard to find. You ask to know what we love about Davis. And though I love many many things about my town, I love one thing above all else. So this is what I gave you.

Your friends, the gnomes and others, were very sweet to help me wrap it into a package that you would like. LillianChow taught me to use bullets, and JabberWokky, PhilipNeustrom, and JasonAller showed me how to tie a nice table together and make images and links. NickSchmalenberger and ImNotABear had an online discussion that helped me realize that some locals have pride in their municipal water (I truly didn’t know- thank you!), and this deepened my understanding that a good gift to the wiki must take into account many perspectives, including those of parents, townies, students, and old-time Davisites. JessicaLuedtke provided wonderful additions to that first gift of a page, and it was then that I knew I was quite in love with you.

We’re off to a brilliant start, you mysterious naughty number plastered on telephone poles and utility boxes. There’s more to you that meets the eye. I found that it pays to start off gradually, and to let your wiki gnomes help out where they can. They know what you like, and can usually find a way to say gently that plaid would look better than polka dots when offering up a wiki-gift.

Today I found another typically straightforward request from you when I noticed the DONATE button. Since I’m about the post a bunch of photos, I was delighted to find a way to help pay for the broadband width that it takes to display them. Thanks for asking for what you need – it’s a pleasure to give $20 so that others have the chance to meet you too.

Give me a call anytime. You know where to find me. – JoRo