Why and how to create and edit articles for Wikipedia
This proposed presention will be based on a interview I did with David Meerman Scott for his blog:
Wikipedia is among the top ten most visited sites on the Web. When there is a Wikipedia article on a topic that you search on, I'm sure you’ve noticed that article usually appears as one of the top few results, frequently in the number one position.
There's no doubt that Wikipedia is important.
However there are few people who understand the inner workings of Wikipedia and how the more than 3.8 million articles in the English language (and millions more in 282 other languages) are created.
Sure, Wikipedia is an open platform and anybody can create or edit an article. But it's more complicated than that. A lot more complicated.
In fact if you talk to social media marketeers about blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest and their face will light up. But mention Wikipedia and their face will darken. They'll pull you aside and say "Don't go there: the wiki jedi will cut you in half with a rusty light saber."
This talk will tell you about the importance of Wikipedia and help you create and edit articles there.
May the Force be with you.
Four line "Elevator pitch" for poster if selected:
When there is a Wikipedia article on a topic that you search on, it usually appears as the top result or near it. It's tempting for the passionate professionals here to jump in and contribute but be careful because this might backfire. This talk will help you contribute to Wikipedia successfully.
Hi ariherzog, Wikipedia is written by a community and that can include you. If you see bias, be bold and try to fix it! This talk will tell you how to do it properly.
There is a Facebook group called CREWE that is trying to lobby from the outside. Why they picked Facebook of all places beats me! Crazy! There is a group with similar aims inside Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Cooperation that has been much more effective.
Wikipedia is also very biased -- and scores of articles are not updated, despite being neutral. I was invited to an online group trying to develop policies to amend it.
Yes the wiki markup is recognized by everyone in Wikipedia (up to and including the cofounder, Jimmy Wales) as being an obstacle to attracting new contributors. A Wordpress-like solution is in the works but (due to technical limitations of the underlying platform) it will take a long time to complete. Here is the project page http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/WYSIWYG_editor
There are volumes of policy about Wikipedia. A good starting points are 1) the tutorial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Tutorial 2) "The Five Pillars" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Five_pillars and 3) [long] The Missing Manual http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:TMM
Brian Schwartz commented
I just went through a difficult article submission process, and I can see where a session like this would be valuable particularly about the Wikipedia syntax. The coding is a little different than say Wordpress. Also, I didn't find the online reference materials all that helpful. It wasn't until I started to copy other pages coding/formatting that my page came together. The other thing I think would be helpful to people considering to create pages especially for companies is to have a discussion about what constitutes language that "sounds like advertising." Sounding like advertising is cause for page rejection, and I am not sure what the standard is and whether it is applied consistently.
I will say that once it was published, Google indexed it within about two hours.