Friday, July 17, 2015

Do You Need a Wikipedia Page?

When I was a kid, if you wanted to know something about a person, you looked here:



Then the Internet came along, wiping out the need to research using a book. Everything you ever wanted to know could be found by simply typing a question into a search box.




But it wasn't enough to search for the information we needed. In 1993, someone came up with the idea for an online version of the encyclopedia. After that idea fizzled and another project, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) GNUPedia, failed to gain traction, Wikipedia came along in 2001 and stole the market.



The problem is that much of Wikipedia's content is crowdsourced. It's written and edited by people like you and me. 



The site does require citations, but you could technically post an article with few citations and get it past the system.



But what many people don't realize is that Wikipedia pages do go through a filtering process. I've written Wikipedia pages for clients and I can tell you, it's a pain in the you-know-what. Mostly because the number (and required quality) of citations requires a great deal of work that has nothing to do with the actual writing.



For published authors, it can be tempting to create a Wikipedia page for yourself. It boosts your Google rankings and provides a level of credibility. But should you create one yourself?



The answer to that question is probably "No." Even Wikipedia strongly recommends against it. There are two major problems with creating your own Wikipedia entry. The first is that unless the powers-that-be deem you to be a public figure, it's going to be deleted. And guess what?



Say you are more famous than the rest of us. Say your page squeaks past the person who controls the delete button. Then comes the second problem...and it's one Wikipedia even points out. Once a page is out there, anyone can add to it. So if someone adds something negative about you, you'll have little recourse.



 
Would you ever set up a Wikipedia page about yourself?

44 comments:

  1. A great subject Stephanie... I'm not famous and I would not set up a wikipedia page about myself even if I was famous. You have a good point about if someone added something negative about a person, they have little recourse.

    I use Wikipedia a lot with the knowledge that the facts may be misrepresented but it's better than nothing.

    I have two sets of Encyclopedia but they are so out of date today that I never use them.
    I'm sure they have hard copies of Wikipedia so I don't worry too much about loosing it. We can get a lot of knowledge instantly and it's free as long as we have internet and a computer. What a difference than when I was young.

    I love that Benjamin Franklin's quote and I lived by that code when I was in business.
    Have a great day.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I have found Wikipedia is great for giving an overview of a topic you want to learn more about. If I ever use any facts in it for content I'm writing, I always find an official source to cite. Sometimes it isn't easy--the information cited is from an article from six years ago, for instance, and you have to try to find more recent information (which often doesn't exist).

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  2. Lmfao. Youtubers do this alllll the time. Then again, every youtuber thinks he or she is famous.

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    1. I can't name a single YouTuber...wait...I think Frankie Grande thought he was a famous YouTuber when he joined Big Brother last year. Now he IS famous, but I'd say he was famous for being Ariana Grande's brother before BB, NOT for being on YouTube.

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  3. Well, I'll take writing a Wikepedia selfie off my to-do list :) Seriously, thanks for the insight. Although I wasn't planning on writing one, I have wondered about some of the folks I've found with such a site.

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    1. Yeah, I have written them for businesses before...even those have to be done very carefully or they'll be denied. The citations are truly a nightmare. I'm thinking about charging double if I'm asked to do one again because it's not writing as much as formatting!

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  4. heck no! i don't even want folks on-line to know my full legal name! :)

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  5. lol I never thought about my own wiki page! That would freak me out, so I'd def never do one myself. My friend used to edit random wiki pages all the time, and in Paper Towns one of the characters does it too, it cracked me up!

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    1. It always amazes me that there are people out there willing to do that stuff for free!

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  6. An incredible post!!! I loved the ' what if google disappears ...' meme!
    I hope no one ever adds me on wiki lol.

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    1. I guess we could all only hope to have those kind of problems!

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  7. Oh, I've tried to write articles for it before, never again, a big pain in the arse. I'd never put me on there though, don't need that hassle.

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    1. It is a pain...definitely a pain! Glad I'm not the only one who noticed that.

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  8. I definitively don't need a page but I do wonder often what will happen if the internet ever goes down, might be scary!!

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    1. I think that's the kind of terrorism we have to worry about.

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  9. I do not want a Wikipedia page about me out there, thanks. :) It's funny because up until a year or so ago, I told my students they could not use Wikipedia as a source. Now, it seems like the pages are more religiously cited and researched (thanks for talking about your experience writing them).

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    1. I do think they once were less regulated than they are now. They realized they were getting a reputation and cracked down. It may take them a while to get around to reviewing every page, but eventually unless something is carefully cited, it will be flagged for deletion.

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  10. This is a very timely post. I've wondered how Wikipedia works, and I'm glad that they have controls on setting up a page.

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  11. No I would never set up a Wikipedia page about myself. I have a Facebook page. What more do I need? Just saying.

    I'm forever grateful I'm not famous. Most that are famous are pretty pathetic.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

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  12. Everyone knows if you read it on the internet that it is fact! I don't see a Wiki page in my future!

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  13. That was interesting about the process to get something on Wikipedia; I didn't know quite how that worked. I know its not 100% accurate with what may be written on it, but I do tend to use Wikipedia a lot in my research for work, but then if I'm not 100% sure will double check with another more reliable source. I don't think I would ever do anything that I would want immortalized on a Wikipedia page :)

    betty

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  14. This reminds me of how mad my kids got in school when teachers always told them they weren't allowed to use wiki as a source, LOL..,.kids!

    No wiki page for me. I prefer being anonymous online.

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  15. Nope. Just because I've been published, I'm not famous. And I know it.

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    1. There is a link to one of my blog posts, on someone else's Wikipedia page... and I have made occasional corrections to other articles.

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  16. Great and interesting facts indeed. Greetings!

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  17. Fortunately not an issue. I am anonymous for good reason. There is nothing the wider public needs (or would want to know) about my boring insignificant self. Which is fine.

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  18. I'm a lowly poet. People like me rarely get "Googled", much less have dedicated pages. It's okay. I'm adding things to my life (publication credits, adventures, etc.) which may earn me pages eventually that I won't have to write. Doubtful, but possible.

    Good topic!

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  19. No, never. If you have to tell everyone how great you are, then maybe you ain't that great.

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  20. Some food for thought. To be honest, I have never thought about having my own Wikipedia page. For me, I wouldn't see the point, and as you say, then anyone could write whatever they wanted about me, true or not. I'd have to constantly keep checking the page to make sure it's accurate. And how many peole would even checking out my page anyway? Seems more trouble than it's worth.

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  21. if it isn't on wikipedia, it doesn't exist

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  22. Okay, so if somewhere down the line if I ever "hit it big" (haha!!) it would be kind of fun to have a page :) But, honestly, I don't put much stock into wikipedia, for just the reasons you noted. I find myself a little suspect of info I find on there, though I definitely still use it!

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  23. I'm chuckling a bit because I am on Wiki. But not because I put myself on it (I'm not thaaat self-conceited, I'll have you know :-D) but because I wrote an article for a national newspaper and someone put the whole thing there, including the link under my name without any bio to go with it. Go figure! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  24. I think it would be awesome to run across a positive:) wiki page on yourself but no, I'd never set one up.

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  25. No, I don't need a wikipedia page. Never thought I did. It's a great resource, though. A good place to start research, and a great link when I'm talking about something on my blog and need a quick definition.

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  26. I would not want one. Exposure is not a big enticement for me. Thus the whole not using my name on the blog thing.

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  27. well we me having 35 translated books behind me and my name being written in the registry of our National Library that many times... somebody really needs to start me a wikidezzia!

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  28. Excellent post. A Wikipedia page about myself... never. Too many skeletons ;)

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  29. I have nothing to hide. lol But no I would never make a page about myself that others could potentially just edit and make stuff up to post on there.

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  30. I've thought about creating one for Choppy - I know full well she is the famous one of our pair!

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  31. Thanks for the insights Stephanie. I knew that it was difficult and about the open revisions, but I did not realize the citation challenges.

    Sure I would create a Wikipedia page, and I even have a tagline after my Slam-dunks title: "His life in sum, and reading this also can cure insomnia!"

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  32. Stephanie, I will never set up a wikipedia page for myself, nor do I ever hope that anyone would set one up for me...lol... I guess as much as I love to write and share about myself, I have no desire to be famous. I don't want to live in that type of fishbowl xox

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  33. I never thought about doing this. And wouldn't. Like you said, I'm not famous. And anyone could just change anything they wanted on my page. They could put a lot of crap in there. Not cool.

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  34. Not famous...yet, (lol) and no way would I want the headache associated with this. Wow! Very interesting info and important to know. Hugs...Ro

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