Dear museums, help me to help you.

Email I just sent to the Victoria and Albert museum:

The family went to the V&A today. I didn’t have cash on me, so I didn’t put money in the boxes. “No worries,” I thought, “I’ll donate on the website when I get home, I have my card.” Except I can’t see a way to do that.

I want to give you £20 from my Switch card just as if I came in today and put £20 into the boxes with “suggested donation” on them. I can’t find a quick and easy way to just casually give you money! Do you have one?

I took a few photos, of course, with the insanely-high-ISO F70EXR (and next time I want a DSLR with me). I’ll see how they come out. The V&A asks that photos be kept non-commercial except with permission, but they get along very well with Wikipedia, so it’s worth a try.

Museums: please include a quick, simple and hassle-free “just give us money!” option on your website.

Update: Buried deep in the site they have this form to donate online to one particular funding appeal via RBS WorldPay. I’ll wait on their response as to whether there’s a more general method, though.

Update 2: As of 3rd February, no response from the email and no response from their Twitter. I’ll have to assume the V&A has all the money it needs and doesn’t want mine.

Wikileaks is in trouble.

Despite frequent press confusion, Wikileaks is nothing to do with Wikimedia at all — “wiki” is a generic term for “mass-editable website” and they use MediaWiki, but there’s no connection.

That said, Wikileaks is well worth supporting. They’re pretty radical about freeing information and will, from what they’re doing, overstep the mark from time to time (as in the case of the pager data release). I know Julian Assange slightly — he was the sysadmin at and he and Mark Dorset tirelessly defended my critic-of-Scientology website against baseless legal threats over several years. He’s got titanium balls, he really has. He’s a personal hero.

And Wikileaks is in trouble. They have less than a month’s operating budget left.

After you’ve donated to Wikimedia, those of you who think Wikileaks are a net win for democracy, as I do, may feel inspired to help keep them alive. I just donated £50. Tell your friends as well: