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Everything You Wanted to Know About Wikipedia But Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

Everything You Wanted to Know About Wikipedia But Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

Here’s a paradox: Everyone wants a Wikipedia page for themselves, their C.E.O., or their organization, yet few people know what it takes to create one.

In this workshop, I’ll explain how to bridge that gap. Specifically, we’ll run down the six rules of Wikipedia sourcing.

Jonathan Rick

October 11, 2022
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  1. EVERYTHING YOU
    WANTED TO KNOW
    ABOUT WIKIPEDIA
    BUT WERE TOO EMBARRASSED TO ASK

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  2. MY CREDENTIALS

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  3. The Continental Pool Lounge
    Arlington, Virginia
    2007

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  4. 16
    That’s how many years I’ve been
    helping clients navigate Wikipedia.

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  5. 5
    That’s how many services I offer.
    1. Create
    2. Edit
    3. Consult
    4. Monitor
    5. Train

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  6. WHY WIKIPEDIA MATTERS

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  7. The Bottom
    Line

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  8. THE 6 CRITERIA FOR SOURCING

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  9. “Unreliable”

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  10. MEDIA
    COVERAGE

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  11. Are you “notable”?
    Create Edit
    Are your sources “reliable”?

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  12. CRITERION #1
    Your Media Coverage Must
    Come From a Media Outlet

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  13. “Unreliable”

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  14. “Unreliable”

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  15. Q&As
    Press Release

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  16. “Are you saying there’s
    a blanket ban on all Q&As?”

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  17. Interview
    “I employ 600 people.”
    Q&A
    “I employ 600 people.”
    Reported Article
    “According to Rick, he
    employs 600 people.”

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  18. “Does this mean that all
    broadcast hits are useless?”

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  19. Interviews Reportage

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  20. CRITERION #2
    Both the Outlet and the Content
    Must Be Independent From You

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  21. FreeEnterprise.com
    O
    utlets

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  22. Forbes
    “The Forbes.com article,
    posted in 2013, praised
    Epstein as ‘one of the largest
    backers of cutting-edge
    science around the world’
    while making no mention
    of his criminal past.

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  23. CRITERION #3
    The Media Outlet
    Must Be Notable

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  24. ARLnow.com Patch
    Local Pubs

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  25. The Executive Communication
    Report
    The Washington
    Business Journal
    P.R. Daily Nextgov
    Trade Pubs

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  26. “Trades are arbiters of the given
    trade; nobody knows me better
    than my peers.”

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  27. The Mainstream
    Media

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  28. To be part of the mainstream media, an outlet needs
    to do three things:
    1. Employ editors.
    2. Disclose conflicts of interest.
    3. Issue corrections when it makes a mistake.
    “Reliable Sources”

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  29. A reliable publication is reliable because it has
    a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.
    In general, the more people who are engaged
    in the following three activities, the more that
    readers can trust that publication:
    1. Checking facts.
    2. Analyzing legal issues.
    3. Scrutinizing the writing.
    “Reliable Sources”

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  30. CRITERION #4
    The Coverage Must
    Focus on You

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  31. 3,500 Words 6,000 Words 11,000 Words
    Individuals

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  32. 3,500 Words 4,000 Words 9,000 Words
    Companies

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  33. “What about an article that quotes
    me — even extensively —
    or cites my work?”
    WAIT!

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  34. CRITERION #5
    Your Coverage Must
    Be Available Online

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  35. Wikipedia is what economists call a “lagging
    indicator.”
    A topic is Wikipedia-worthy only if the outside world
    has already taken notice of it.
    “No Original Research”

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  36. CRITERION #6
    Your Coverage Must
    Be Sustained

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  37. Recentism occurs when a Wikipedia page has
    an inflated or imbalanced focus on recent events.
    A recentist page lacks a long-term, historical view.
    “Recentism”

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  38. “Wikipedia’s stated goal is to be an encyclopedia,
    not a newspaper, which generally means the project
    should focus on the information that will be
    historically significant for the long term.”
    —STEPHEN HARRISON
    “Wikipedia Is Not a Newspaper”

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  39. APPENDIX
    A Cheat Sheet

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  40. Source Significant? Independent? Reliable? Pass
    /Fail?
    Is the coverage of you in
    the given article significant?
    Being cited or even quoted
    a few times in an article is
    not particularly helpful.
    Being quoted extensively
    is better, but still not a deal
    maker.
    What you’re looking for
    are full-fledged profiles
    where you’re the focus.
    Is the publication
    completely independent
    from you?
    This rules out news
    releases, sponsored
    content, and Q&As.
    Does the publication have
    a reputation for fact-
    checking and accuracy?
    Does it employ
    editors, disclose conflicts
    of interest, and issue
    corrections when it makes
    a mistake?

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  41. Source Significant? Independent? Reliable? Pass
    /Fail?
    Is the coverage of you in
    the given article significant?
    Being cited or even quoted
    a few times in an article is
    not particularly helpful.
    Being quoted extensively
    is better, but still not a deal
    maker.
    What you’re looking for
    are full-fledged profiles
    where you’re the focus.
    Is the publication
    completely independent
    from you?
    This rules out news
    releases, sponsored
    content, and Q&As.
    Does the publication have
    a reputation for fact-
    checking and accuracy?
    Does it employ
    editors, disclose conflicts
    of interest, and issue
    corrections when it makes
    a mistake?
    Remy Tumin, “How
    M.T.V. Broke News
    for a Generation,”
    New York Times,
    May 11, 2023.
    Yes Yes Yes Pass

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  42. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #1:
    Your media coverage must
    come from a _____ outlet.
    1/6

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  43. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #1:
    Your media coverage must
    come from a media outlet.
    1/6

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  44. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #2:
    Both the outlet and the content
    must be ___________ from you.
    2/6

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  45. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #2:
    Both the outlet and the content
    must be independent from you.
    2/6

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  46. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #3:
    The media outlet
    must be _______.
    3/6

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  47. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #3:
    The media outlet
    must be notable.
    3/6

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  48. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #4:
    The coverage must
    focus on ___.
    4/6

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  49. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #4:
    The coverage must
    focus on you.
    4/6

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  50. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #5:
    The coverage must
    be available ______.
    5/6

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  51. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #5:
    The coverage must
    be available online.
    5/6

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  52. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #6:
    The coverage must
    be _________.
    6/6

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  53. Let’s Recap
    Criterion #6:
    The coverage must
    be sustained.
    6/6

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  54. QUESTIONS YOU DIDN’T
    KNOW WERE QUESTIONS

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  55. QUESTION #1
    Isn’t Media Coverage
    a Flawed Gold Standard?

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  56. 📝
    Editors

    Lawyers
    🎯
    Fact Checkers

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  57. QUESTION #2
    Can I Work on a Page for a Client
    (or, for That Matter, My Employer)?

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  58. QUESTION #3
    Must I Subject Myself
    to the Disclosure Gauntlet?

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  59. N.Y.P.D. Caught Trying to Edit
    “Police Brutality” Out of Its Wikipedia Page
    North Face Forced to Issue Grovelling Apology After It Was Caught
    Editing Wikipedia Pages to Boost Its Results on Search Sites
    Political Staffers Tried to Delete the Senate Scandal
    (and Other Bad Behavior) From Wikipedia
    Congress Banned From Editing Wikipedia
    After Staff Caught Trolling
    Senator Doug Mastriano Caught Editing
    Wikipedia Page With Sock-Puppet Accounts

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  60. QUESTION #4
    Can I Cite an Award We Won
    or a List We Were Named To?

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  61. QUESTION #5
    Why Does Another Page Do
    Something You Said We Can’t Do?

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  62. QUESTION #6
    Will My Page Be Vandalized?

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  63. QUESTION #6
    Is Wikipedia Trustworthy?

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