How To Get A Wikipedia Page And Make It Stick

Ever wanted to know how you could get a page on Wikipedia? Here's how to do it without breaking the bank.

College Humor's Professor Wikipedia Was On To Something

Yesterday at SocialTimes, I mentioned that if you or your product don’t have a Wikipedia page, some could argue that you don’t exist. I don’t think I would go that far, but it’s certainly true that you wouldn’t exist to lazy reporters out there. And if you don’t exist to them, it’s less likely that they will cover the thing you’re asking them to cover. If you have a Wikipedia page, even if the reporter just regurgitates stuff from that page in order to do their story, the presence of the Wikipedia page can be the deciding factor between you getting coverage and you getting ignored.

That’s why it’s important to have a Wikipedia page. Because once you do have one, you’re able to help control the story that’s being told about you and your product. For example, if you were feeling devious, you could plant something into the page that’s not entirely true, then have the reporter repeat that not true thing in their story. Then, you can add the citation of that reporter repeating that not true thing to your Wikipedia page, making that untrue thing a true thing. This happens more than you’d think.

Not that any of you would ever THINK to do something like that … Right? Right. I’m going to assume you want a Wikipedia page for good reasons. Primarily because you want to help get yourself and your product some coverage and not because you’re looking to manipulate people for evil.

How do you get a Wikipedia page? Especially one that will stick and survive the review process? Anyone, and I mean anyone, can go in there and create a page, but the odds are it’ll be deleted before long, usually because the page won’t meet Wikipedia’s “notability guidelines”. Solving Wikipedia’s “stickiness problem” is what I’m going to focus on here. That’s because whether you know someone who is a Wikipedia editor, you’ve paid to have a page created for you, or in the rare but preferable event, a Wikipedia editor has taken it upon themselves to create a page for you, it doesn’t matter how the page comes about. What matters is getting the page to stick once it has been entered into the system. And how you get that page to stick is by meeting the notability guidelines of the site.

So once you’ve figured out how to get that page created, you immediately have to deal with Wikipedia’s “stickiness problem”.

 

You need to do two things to make sure your Wikipedia page sticks:

1. The need to use neutral language in your Wikipedia article should be obvious. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, the entries shouldn’t read as advertisements. Self-explanatory, right? So any page created should be neutral. And what that means is that nothing in it should be promotional or self-serving. Think Joe Friday asking for just the facts. That’s all that should go into any page on Wikipedia, not just yours. And facts are neutral. Sure you could be selective, but that’s not a wise decision. If you look at my Wikipedia page, you can see it talks about my heart attack, my divorce, and getting banned from Alfred State College’s campus radio station, WETD, in 2002. Or perhaps more embarrassing, how I once had to take a job as a Mall Santa in Queensbury, New York. These are not things I go around discussing with people or ever bring up, but they’re facts that are mentioned in numerous places accessible by the public, so I can’t hide them either. Wikipedia pages are meant to read like an encyclopedia, and so all the facts, both good and bad, should be included in any page that’s created. So that’s what it means when I say “neutral language” here. You’re just presenting facts, and you’re telling a complete story with those facts, warts and all. And if you’re uncomfortable with that, you shouldn’t be. Don’t ever try to bury something you don’t want people to find because they will find it, and when they do, it’ll be ten times worse. Especially if a lazy reporter finds it and thinks they might be able to squeeze some page views out of embarrassing you for their website.