Christie’s recently launched “The Birth of Wikipedia,” an online auction including two objects from Jimmy Wales, the creator of the online non-profit encyclopedia that “has become the largest and most-read reference for work in history.” The goal of this auction is to raise funds for WT.Social, a Welsh alternative social media network that aspires to establish a healthy alternative to existing social platforms through a donation-only and ad-free model.
Wales’ Strawberry Apple iMac, which was used to launch the website in January 2001, is the first property in the forthcoming auction. Wales personally supervised the site throughout its early stages of construction, keeping an eye out for prospective vandals while watching it grow. Wales kept the computer in its original box after it became outdated, which will be included in the auction. The second item for sale is an NFT of the first Wikipedia update, titled “Hello, World!“ The NFT uses the earliest source code available to retain the structure of the original Wikipedia home page, and a dynamic feature allows the owner to change and reset the page using a timer.
“It’s been more than two decades since I first typed “Hello, World!” “I was honored to create Wikipedia– and I’m still surprised by the scale and scope of what it has become,” Wales said. “I’m ecstatic that we have this opportunity to honor Wikipedia’s dedicated volunteers, and I hope that the funds raised will help support both that effort and my most recent project, WT.Social, a decentralized, non-commercial social network free of advertising, data harvesting, misinformation, and tracking.” Catch “The Birth of Wikipedia” starting December 3 up to December 15.