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?