Getting yourself a page on Wikipedia—the things you need to know

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that covers a wide range of topics and people.

It is a living and breathing encyclopedia, allowing anyone, and I mean anyone, irrespective of age and background, to augment the knowledge held by it.

Besides the fact that it allows you to contribute to its contents, it also allows you to create biography pages. Pages of people who have gained world’s attention in recent times, including both the living and the dead. And if you meet those requirements, yes you can have a page of your own as well.

However, page creation or biography creation on Wikipedia is not as easy as people often think. It’s a rigorous process. If you are oblivious to the rules and regulations guiding the community, your page might get deleted. Why?

Wikipedia is a platform that is full of many DOs and DON’Ts; and unless you know what you are doing, you might end up getting frustrated sooner than later.

But not to worry yourself over this, in this post, we will be highlighting some of the things you need to know as far as page creation is concerned; some of the steps you can take in order to sail through the approval process. And finally, some advice from a friend.

Creating a Wikipedia page:

  1. You need to create an account with them first: Before you can make edits on existing pages or create a new one, you need to be a Wikipedia registered user. And to do that, you need to sign up an account with them first which is pretty straightforward. To do that, click here to begin the registration. If you’ve done that, well done! You are now a Wikipedia registered user.
  2. Research: The second thing you need to do is research and become acquainted with the Wikipedia Community and how it works – the ins and outs, so to speak. You need to know the guidelines about page creation, editing, and submission. It is my belief that through enough research, you will completely learn what works and what doesn’t. To help you widen your research, below is the list of articles that I’ve found quite useful, in recent times: The Grande Guide to Wikipedia, How to get Your Company Listed on Wikipedia, Part 1, How to Game Wikipedia.
  3. Start small: Just like we advise when we’re just starting a new business: start small. This is the greatest hack of all. Don’t quickly jump into creating pages instantly. Try out your skills first by editing existing contents. See if the Wikipedia editors are fine by it. If they are not, start building yourself up. If you are consistent, you will be able to build your profile to a point Wikipedia won’t want to resist. And with that, you can become an “auto-confirmed” user yourself. This will allow you to easily create new pages and move it up to the public space without having to go through approval procedures, provided you didn’t break any of their rules when writing content.
  4. Gather your sources:  It’s important that you gather your sources for the article/page you intend to write/create. This will definitely save you the stress and energy that you will face when you are finally ready to pen down your ideas. Let me also use this medium to let you know that sources are significantly important when it comes to “writing” in Wikipedia. And since it is an encyclopedia, everything you penned down needs to be verified first. I cannot stress this enough.
  5. Writing: finally, you are ready to write your first draft on Wikipedia. There are two dimensions to this. First, you could start by writing your content on your word processor, format it, and paste it to your Sandbox. From there, you can move it to your Talk page (Part of your account tools, you will see it when you log in). Or, you could write everything on your Sandbox and do the formatting there, then move it to your Talk page. NB: By moving your content to your talk page; you can easily access it just in case it gets deleted during submission. You can also format your page using “wiki code” (a Wikipedia program written in Html). However, most people tend to avoid it because of the complexity of the language. Even if you are an Html savvy, you can have a hard time navigating it.
  6. Submitting to Wikipedia: The submission procedure is pretty straightforward; however, the exasperating part is that upon submitting to Wikipedia for review, you may have to wait days, or even weeks before getting any response. Once approved, you will be moved to public space and your article will be live… just be aware, it can be flagged and removed at any time.

You can also easily create a biography page the same way. The only difference and discrepancy is that you can’t create one for yourself. Not that you’re ineligible (even if you meet up with their notability criterion), Wikipedia frowns upon it. Wikipedia is believed to be unbiased. So everything that is uploaded must be unbiased as well. They believe by writing your own biography yourself, there is a high tendency of sentiment creeping in. And as a result, you’re not permitted to write your own biography page.

However, you can hire someone to do it for you, provided you meet Wikipedia notability criterion –the yardstick for having a bio page. Good luck!