Wikipedia is “a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 15 million articles (over 3.3 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site.”
What Wiki Is:
Too many entrepreneurs don’t understand the beauty of this particular information system. This website was created for us and is constantly being updated by us to share accurate information. You might even call it a “living” encyclopedia. All information that is edited there is to be referenced with verifiable sources and must meet Wiki’s high quality standards. To leverage the value of Wikipedia means contributing well researched information to it’s already vast library. Wikipedia can be a tool to prove that you are an expert on your topic or in your field of business. Sharing information and having others verify the accuracy of the information is a great way to show your expertise. They keep tabs on who has made what edits, and believe me when I tell you that there will be a wiki administrator who will either undo any information without a good source or delete the wiki page altogether if the it isn’t deemed “notable” enough. Of course, when you accurately and holistically contribute a good article, you should blog about it and be proud of sharing your piece of wisdom with whole world. 😉
May I use myself as an example? You all know that I am a virtual IT assistant right? But what does that mean? A little under a year ago you wouldn’t have found any information if you looked up “IT assistant” on Wikipedia. I am proud to say that I contributed the IT_assistant page. When an employer puts out a classified ad for an IT assistant, you can find out what the skill requirements are for an IT assistant’s position. Even if you have never worked under that title, you may have experience to fit that job well.
What Wiki Isn’t:
Not just anyone can go to Wikipedia and create a wiki page about how fantastically interesting they are.
There are many of us “gurus” who have been quoted here and interviewed there, but that doesn’t make us wiki material. Maybe you have worked extensively in our chosen field. You might have a successful business or single handedly spun yourself an extensive social network and have become quite popular. You may have written articles for popular websites like Mashable.com or Monster.com, but you don’t have recognition on Wiki. Not just anyone can go there (or hire someone else go there) and post up a wiki page about how fantastically interesting you are. Until you are interviewed for your expertise on CNN or Time magazine wants to put you on its cover, you probably don’t belong in the encyclopedia. (Sorry, but it’s true.)
There are dozens of wiki articles deleted everyday because so many newbies want to sign up and use it as some kind of social media tool that grants them an opportunity to market themselves, create backlinks to their blogs, or to just get their name out there. It just is not what Wiki is for. I mean, it is social, but its not about networking its about information.
Wiki is not the place to validate or establish yourself; the quality of your work will do that for you. Maybe someday you’ll have your place on Wiki, but for now, let’s use it for what it’s good for: information.