How Can Artists Use Wikipedia?
A recent report by Yahoo highlights how important Wikipedia is becoming to the artist/fan relationship. It quite rightly points out that Google will often return the top three search results as the artist site, the Myspace site and the Wikipedia site. And yet, for all the time artists spend updating MySpace very little is spent checking and updating their Wikipedia.
The fact a Wiki can be changed by anyone is both a positive and a curse. Check the Jamiroquai Wiki and you’ll see it has been updated with the latest tour dates, it has a full history and band member info. However, it can often be changed by a well-meaning fan to contain a mis-informed “fact” or quote. In addition, we find the link can sometimes be changed to the wrong site, probably maliciously to gain traffic.
We offer the following advice:
- Keep checking it regularly but remember, a Wiki tends to be self-policing so despite the occasional mis-leading statement, on average it will tend to be more right than wrong.
- Keep a particular eye on the links which can easily be changed.
- Wikipedia enforces a strict link policy and will not allow links to fan sites, social networking sites (with the exception of Last.fm and MySpace) or shops.
- The Wiki is an encyclopedia and not for press releases or subjective statements like “this is the best album yet released by Artist X”. The objective nature of the information is what is so appealing to fans who want facts, not hype.
- Encourage fans to visit the Wiki from the official site. The Wiki is complementary to your own biog and not in competition.
- Ensure the discography is correct and remember the global nature of the Wiki means you should not focus entirely on one country, or assume everyone knows what ‘Top Of The Pops’ is…