Imagine having a Wikipedia page dedicated to the accomplishments of your life or lauding the success of your business. Who wouldn’t be flattered by such a compliment? After all, Wikipedia has become the Rolls-Royce of the online encyclopedia websites, claiming bragging rights to a full 36 percent of adults doing research online. It isn’t a standard or traditional encyclopedia, either. Wikipedia describes itself as a “collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia.” It relies on everyday people to submit articles but that doesn’t mean every article submitted is accepted.
Wikipedia has standards, and standards mean rules that must be followed. With an army of editors prowling over newly submitted material, little gets through if it doesn’t survive the scrutiny put to it. So how does one go about getting an article included in the behemoth that is Wikipedia? There are a few tricks to the trade that can help get your article through the scrutinizing of Wiki-editors lurking around out there.
Wikipedia offers a “how to” section to help with submitting your first article. It includes a link to their Article Wizard if you want to use it in creating your contribution. But writing an article and submitting it doesn’t guarantee it will remain there. When you first post, your article won’t be universally visible. Shortly after you post, a prowling editor will stroll by. If your article does not make the cut, it will be summarily removed.
There are ways to get through the minefield surrounding acceptance of an article to the heralded halls of Wikipedia. Here are a few of the main tips and tricks that can help you get ahead of the competition if you want to see your name or your business logo emblazoned across the top of a Wikipedia page.
- Research. Know what you’re dealing with. Read through Wikipedia’s instructions for creating a Web page. Read articles on how others have gotten through the maze of approval for their Wikipedia submissions.
- Register an account. Only registered users can create Wikipedia pages and make changes to existing ones. The process is not arduous, unless providing your name and email are anathema to your desired level of Internet privacy.
- Go small or go home. Registered users are allowed to make small edits to existing pages. This is a good way to get used to the Wikipedia way of doing things. It can be something as simple as adding additional biographical information you’ve gleaned from the Internet to an existing page. While doing this, gather sources for your own page or article you’re planning. This will also help build your own Wikipedia user profile.
- It’s all about the facts. Content must be presented in a neutral, non-biased point of view, and it must be 100 percent factual. If those prowling editors suspect your purpose is to promote a specific business or embellish a particular person’s reputation, don’t be surprised to see your article disappear rather quickly. Anything you submit needs to be verifiable.
- Go for it. When you’ve got everything together and established yourself a bit, then get down to the heart of the matter. Write your article. You can do it first in Word then paste into Wikipedia’s interface. Once you’ve got it just right, submit it for review. Once it is approved, check it frequently and keep it updated.