Christie’s has announced an online sale titled The Birth of Wikipedia, containing two items from Jimmy Wales, the founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia that “has become the largest and most-read reference work in history.”
The purpose of this sale is to help support Wales’ alternative social media network project dubbed WT.Social, which aims to create a healthier alternative to existing social platforms with a donation-only and advertising-free model.
The first lot in the upcoming auction is Wales’ Strawberry Apple iMac which was used to create the website in January of 2001. In the site’s early development, Wales personally monitored the site, guarding against potential vandals while watching the site take off. As the computer became obsolete, Wales stored it away in its original box which will be included in the sale.
The second lot offered is an NFT of the first edit to Wikipedia titled “Hello, World!“. The NFT preserves the layout of the original Wikipedia home page based on the earliest source code extant, and a dynamic feature allows the owner to edit and reset the page with a timer.
“It’s been over twenty years since I first typed in the words “Hello, World!” to launch Wikipedia– and even today, I’m still amazed at the size and breadth of what it has become,” remarked Wales. “I’m so pleased that we have this opportunity to celebrate the work of Wikipedia’s dedicated volunteers, and I hope that the funds raised can both contribute to furthering that effort and to help support my latest project, WT.Social, a decentralized, non-commercial social network free of advertising, tracking, information harvesting, and misinformation.”
The Birth of Wikipedia sale will take place from December 3 to 15. Head over to Christie’s website for additional information.