O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

My Notability Is In Question

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.

Comments read comments(7)
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posted July 24, 2008 at 9:15 am

A friend of mine drives around a 90-something Dodge neon. In emerald green. He calls it The Humbler.

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posted July 24, 2008 at 9:26 am

Does this mean that some photo of you will begin to slowly disintegrate? Ala, Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.Never fear though, you’ll always have your Facebook presence. They keep anyone around, notable or not.

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Travis Thompson

posted July 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

no no no, you should be able to reference your history channel interviews and they’ll be cool with that. Have you been interviewed or cited in any major publications? You should be able to establish notability.

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Jason Boyett

posted July 24, 2008 at 10:54 am

Yes, I have. You’re probably right about the HC stuff, Travis. But it’s really not supposed to be me who does the updating. It ain’t kosher for a person to self-notabilize.

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posted July 24, 2008 at 11:21 am

you just have to do something notable. you might try running across the country like forrest gump or maybe even jumping out of an airplane without a parachute and landing on top the white house. Either of those things would make you notable :)

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Travis Thompson

posted July 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm

I’ll see what I can do about it… My fun wikipedia experience is that I started the wikipedia page on Pickleball. Don’t know what that is? Check it out on wikipedia!

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Haley Ballast

posted July 24, 2008 at 11:10 pm

brother i could not be more proud that you started a wiki page for pickleball! that is one awesome claim to fame.

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