What to Know About Your Wikipedia Page

- - Adam Kidan

what to know about your wikipedia page by adam kidanHaving a Wikipedia page can be both a blessing and a curse.  The basic principle of Wikipedia is that anybody can edit an article, a democratic ideal based around reasoned and intelligent discussion.  Of course, few things turn out as intended, and sure enough, any Wikipedia page is subject to Internet trolls that can wreak havoc on your page.  As somebody with my own Wikipedia page, this is something that I’ve experienced firsthand.  I recently read an article on entrepreneur.com where another entrepreneur, Amy Osmond Cook, shared her experience navigating the complicated rules and regulations surrounding Wikipedia page.  Her experience was a bit different from mine (I’ve had mine tampered with quite a bit, but unlike her my page was never taken down), nonetheless there were some great takeaways.  Here are a few that stuck with me:

Hire a Wikipedia editor: While Wikipedia states that notability doesn’t depend on the way that a page is structured, that’s not always the case.  Editors take down pages when there aren’t enough sources or they aren’t properly structured.  Yet there are luckily plenty of editors who specialize in Wikipedia content structure.  They spend years understanding the ins and outs of structure, offering your page the best chance for success.  

Keep this secret: According to Amy, one great place to find Wikipedia editors is Upwork.  Find somebody that can offer you an honest estimate, then reach out with a dummy account that doesn’t reveal your actual name.  Wikipedia trolls often look for work at Upwork, and will take down the pages of other editors if they don’t get a job.  

Write good content: In the digital world, (good) content is king.  If you try to make your Wikipedia page an advertisement, then it’s going to get taken down.  Make sure what you write is informative and objective.  Furthermore, make sure your Wikipedia page is well-written.  Since so many Wikipedia editors aren’t native English speakers, this can be an issue.

Don’t be a “sockpuppet” or a “meatpuppet”: If your page does end up getting flagged for a debate on whether or not it should be taken down, then you’ll want to solicit other people to speak for you.  Yet be careful with this!  If you have some friends or colleagues speak on your behalf, then you’ll be accused of “meatpuppetry”, or using cronies to back yourself up.  “Sockpuppetry”, where one person creates numerous accounts in their own name to defend their cause, is an even bigger no-no.  Wikipedia tracks the IP addresses on which accounts are created, so it can be tracked.  This hasn’t happened to me, but Amy suggested that if it does, then the best course of action is to hire established editors to review and comment on the page.

If you do get taken down, lay low for a bit: If your Wikipedia entry ends up getting deleted and you keep making edits and resubmitting them, then you could get permanently banned or blacklisted from the site.  Rather, study other entries and become more familiar with guidelines, then wait a bit before you resubmit.  

Adam Kidan