If you run a search for anything, somewhere in the top results of the search will be a Wikipedia page. So even before Facebook decided that your company or business Wikipedia entry would make good support for community pages, you had good reason to consider a Wikipedia page. Say what you will, the site is a good source of content on the most disparate topics.
What is Wikipedia? It's a free, Web-based collaborative encyclopedia in many languages. The project is supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is derived by combining the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from Hawaiian "quick") and encyclopedia.
The site more than 14MM articles, 3.1of which are in English, have been written by volunteers. Almost all of them can be edited by anyone with access to the site
There is a whole conversation around Wikipedia being reliable, how so few editors decide what the content is going to be, and so on. I was pondering this while reading a newspaper article about how the whole history of the unification of Italy was written without the women that contributed to it in it - in other words, they were edited out.
Indeed, even history is written by the perceived winners. With that in mind,and for a couple of obvious reasons -- search along with third party validation -- you may want to figure out how to create content on Wikipedia.
To write an entry in Wikipedia, you'll need to register on the site. Other things to think about are:
- plan the entry -- figure out how to structure the content, what information and images (search for images in the Wikimedia Commons) you'll want to include, the format you'll follow -- chronological order, for example -- the categories you'll include, etc. before getting online
- play in the Sandbox to get familiar with the process -- it was set up so that people would figure out how to get started. Experiment here
- research references ahead of time -- whenever you make a claim in your content, you'll need to have a reliable source to back it up, just like in an academic publication, a book, or any other credible source. Third party content works well here
- add links to other entries in Wikipedia -- since links are the currency of the Web, you will want to reference other entries whenever possible to improve cross-referrals among articles
- improve or add a stub -- you probably saw them, these are incomplete entries the eventually become full articles. Wikipedia describes a stub as a short article in need of expansion
Once you write an entry, you'll see how the community reacts to information you post. If you created a page about a business, you'll probably notice that unless you have third party validation on claims, they get stripped fairly rapidly by the volunteer editors. Follow Wikipedia on Twitter for more tips and factoids.
Have you created a Wikipedia entry? What was your experience?