Friday, May 4, 2012

Do you want to write for Wikipedia?

Wikipedia, the registered trademark name for “the” onsite web encyclopedia, is well known by almost anybody who uses a search engine on a computer.

Anybody can write for Wikipedia or any other wiki farms. Wiki farms are groups that cater to specific subjects and usually contain many sites. Farms host many wikis run from single websites. EX: Wikia, @Wiki, WetPaint, PBwiki, and Wikispace.

Wikipedia is comprised of volunteer editors and writers. You may participate as either or both. Wikipedia is not a directory for everything in existence. It is selective regarding what topics are included. The general categories are: academics, astrophysical objects, books, events, films, music, numbers, organizations and companies, people, sports and athletes and web content. This does not mean you can tweak your article to fit into one of these categories and expect it to be accepted. Your article has to have mass appeal. It will be checked for suitability and quickly deleted if found lacking.

You need to ask yourself if the subject for your article follows these guidelines.

1. Is the topic of enduring notability, not just a flash-in-the-pan, here today interest?

2. Articles about living people have particularly strict oversight. A person cannot be noted for one event only. If event has longevity, the event will be more likely to be covered than that person. Who eats the most rattlesnake meat at the annual Texas Rattlesnake Round Up will not qualify. The Rattlesnake Round Up may not meet the requirements either.

3. Notability is not inherited. If your great, great, great, uncle John signed the Declaration of Independence, an article by you on him is not necessarily notable. There is no “reflected light” theory.

4. Do outside sources back up the research you cite? Are they reliable? Are they independent of the company or special interest groups associated with it? You must provide the sources. Editors at Wikipedia will determine if the subject has sustained interest and has reliable sources.

5. Minutiae, topics of interest to a narrow group of people or field, most crimes or violence of any type do not qualify and most matters in the news considered routine are ineligible.

6. Subjects for merely filling a role, which could be filled by others, are not considered. (Marilyn Williams portraying Marilyn Monroe for instance.)

7. Self-promotion and routine coverage do not create notability. Paid promos, local or occasional notoriety and politicians and political causes do not qualify.

If you wish to write here are the steps, you need to follow.

Go to

The guidelines will suggest you practice editing published articles first to get the feel for the writing styles, content, and formatting.

Here are also templates to follow, advice and step-by-step instructions.

a. Find out if your article meets suitability guidelines.

b. Research to see if other articles are included in Wikipedia on your subject. Can you add information to them? Should you amend another article or write one separately? Ask the editors.

c. Gather information and references from authentic sources to supplement your article. See guidelines on “reliable sources.” YouTube, your website and My Space are not considered reliable sources.

d. Ask for feedback from editors on “talk page” before you begin to write on WikipediaProject or “Drawing Board.” There is no sense in wasting your time for something that is not suitable for inclusion.

e. Think about writing your article in your “user space” and asking for editorial help.

Do not promote yourself, your company, your newly patented invention (books included) or what you did on your summer vacation. Wikipedia is not the place for new work including any original theories, opinions or insights. It is a space for reporting strictly notated information of general interest to a large number of people. Pearl diving for Norwegians is not going to make the cut. The topics must be “community oriented.”

Among others, one element not considered when the editors read your article is poor writing; they can fix it. Neither the author nor the motives to write are considered. Qualified research does matter. If the topic is interesting or useful, being liked or disliked by the editors is not a factor. What is considered is if the evidence shows that the world at large deems the subject worthy of notice. In the end, having your article accepted is like filing your income taxes. The IRS ruling is the one that counts. Wikipedia editors control the content, final answer.

This information was provided directly from these sites.

Google “how to write an article for Wikipedia”

1 comment:

Kathy Cooney Dobbs said...

Interesting post, Jennifer. Most of us have read Wikipedia, but imagine few of us understood anything about who provides & writes the information.