We’re all guilty of the crime of self-Googling. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Maybe we flat-out Google ourselves manually (which sounds dirty but usually isn’t), or we get all advanced about it and set up Google alerts with our names in it, or we just troll around friends’ blogs looking for shout-outs. Don’t even try to deny it.
So I was self-Googling the other day and, for lack of something better to do, I clicked on the 7th link on the first page of results.
It was my Wikipedia entry.
My heart nearly broke.
Before I tell you why I was saddened, I need to be honest about my Wikipedia entry: I wrote it. Yes, it’s true. I broke the 1st law of Wikidom, and wrote most of that entry about myself. I did it back in 2005 while anticipating the release of Pocket Guide to the Bible. Surely having written four books and contributing to a few national magazines makes a person notable, right? And shouldn’t notable people be in Wikipedia? Then why wasn’t I in Wikipedia?
Then a better question occurred: If Wikipedia was user-driven, then why shouldn’t I, as a user, just, you know, kind of introduce myself? So I wrote this quick, simple entry and listed my books. It was humble, subtle, straight-forward. I hardly thought about it. It was over and done with in, like, three minutes. Yes, it was a sin. But it was a minor sin, like coveting your neighbor’s iPhone.
Other than some coding and categorization, my entry stayed mostly the same in the years since.
Until recently. Apparently it’s been too long since the page has been updated, or since I’ve released a book, or since I’ve been interviewed in any legitimate publications. Because when I clicked over to it the other day, I discovered the page had been tagged with this notice:
This article may not meet the general notability guideline or one of the following specific guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. If you are familiar with the subject matter, please expand or rewrite the article to establish its notability. The best way to address this concern is to reference published, third-party sources about the subject. If notability cannot be established, the article is more likely to be considered for redirection, merge or ultimately deletion, per Wikipedia:Guide to deletion.
My very existence is “likely to be considered for…deletion”?
That’s never fun to hear.