Language Courses for Wikipedia Writers and Editors

As an experienced Wikipedia Writer, I can tell you first hand that your written language is very important when contributing to the Wikipedia platform.

Poorly written content has a lot of drawbacks:

  • You are not taken seriously by senior Wikipedia Writers and Editors: That’s a fact. Often times, your contributions will be rolled back or entirely deleted because the quality of your written word isn’t upto par. Wikipedia writers and editors participate on a voluntary basis and not everyone is going to take the time to correct your spellings and grammar. The easier option is to simply delete what you have written no matter how important it may be.
  • Site visitors also will not place much importance to what is written if they can’t make out exactly what you have written. It’s a waste of your time and a waste of theirs as well.
  • You are accused of vandalism: I have to be honest; not every Wikipedia Writer and Editor is of the good kind. Some are quick to accuse you of vandalism just because what you wrote didn’t quite make sense to them given the language barrier.
  • Your account gets suspended/banned; that’s right. Some Wikipedia Editors will go as far as banning your account for consistently writing content that didn’t quite make sense to them.

While I am talking specifically about the English Wikipedia, it’s safe to assume the same cases arise for other language contributions as well.

If English isn’t your first language, but you want to continue improving the English Wikipedia, you aren’t too far away from your goal.

Here I have compiled a list of online language courses to help you improve your written word. Certainly, improved writing is not only good for Wikipedia but it will help you in your other aspects of life. So here we go:

EDX is my favorite. They have half a dozen ESL courses to choose from. Some of them are from reputable universities such as the University of Washington. These can also count towards your university credits, but be sure to check with your university.

Coursera also has a wide variety of English language courses to choose from. This will ensure your Wikipedia submissions are never again turned down due to poor spelling and grammar.

And lastly the well-known Udemy. For the budget conscious, Udemy is perfect. You could start perfecting your English for under $13!

Once you perfect your language, you too could work on getting to senior levels of Wikipedia Writers and Editors accounts. Let’s go!

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How to Become a Wikipedia Writer or Editor – Part 3

This is part 3 of How to Become a Wikipedia Writer article series. Click here for Part 1 and here for part 2.

Making a Notability Assessment

Before you go ahead with creating a Wikipedia page, it’s important to check if the subject qualifies for inclusion on Wikipedia; in other words, if the subject is “Wiki worthy”. To help make the distinction between a notable subject and a non-notable one, Wikipedia has set out a list of guidelines for Wikipedia writers to be able to make a decision. Let’s take a look at these.

General Notability Guideline

Wikipedia says;

Wikipedia Writers

Significant Coverage: This means that the source material doesn’t just give a passing mention of the subject. For example, if an article is about the health of Americans living in Europe, briefly quoting a doctor or any other individual within that article wouldn’t fall under the definition of significant coverage. The source material should directly talk about the subject (A person, company etc) for it to be considered significant coverage by Wikipedia writers.

Reliable: The source material should come from a website/book/Newspaper that is well known and has editorial integrity. It’s quite easy to set up a blog and write on it whatever you want to use it as a source in your Wikipedia article, but wouldn’t be considered reliable by Wikipedia editors. On the other hand, an article published in the New York Times would be considered reliable by all Wikipedia writers.

Sources: Wikipedia highly values secondary sources. In other words, Wikipedia wants to include what other people have said about a particular subject. For example, if you were to create a page about Tesla the company, you wouldn’t want to use content that the company has published on their website as a source. Rather you want to include what a finance magazine may have said about Tesla. That’s what secondary sources is all about.

Independent of the subject: A Wikipedia writer must not use content as a source if it has been created by the subject. When writing about the CEO of a company, you cannot use what the CEO has written on his blog. You must only use those sources that the CEO cannot directly influence. In other words, sources should be independent.

 

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How to Become a Wikipedia Writer or Editor – Part 2

If you haven’t already, check out part 1 of How to Become a Wikipedia Writer

Before you take a dip, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the basic guidelines that govern content contributions to Wikipedia. As a newcomer, you will be under special scrutiny so you want to ensure you start on right footing.

  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia

You probably know this already but it’s important to shed a little more light on it.

Wikipedia is not Linkedin -You cannot post your entire resume/CV on it.

Wikipedia is not a marketing platform – Even if your company qualifies for a Wikipedia page, it doesn’t mean you should list all your products and services on the company’s entry.

  • Neutral Point of View (NPOV)

As a Wikipedia writer or editor, anything you write must carry a neutral tone. Using language that is promotional in nature – or derogatory for that matter – will most likely have the page flagged with appropriate tags. State things as they are without sounding salesy.

  • Cite your sources

Whether creating a new page or editing an existing one, as a responsible Wikipedia Writer, it’s important that you back your contributions with appropriate sources. Remember Wikipedia is not a platform for expressing opinions; it’s a place where content can be verified. And sources help do just that. If a source for said information isn’t available, it’s best not to include it even though you are 100% of its accuracy.

  • Check for notability before creating a new page

A lot of new users get frustrated when they spend hours creating a page to only see it flagged and deleted within minutes, if not hours. To save yourself time and energy, check to ensure the subject you are writing about meets the notability criteria that is set by Wikipedia. We will do a separate post on this to help new Wikipedia writers make an accurate assessment.

  • Respect copyrights

If you wish to add a photo, make sure you are the owner of that photo or have appropriate permissions from the copyright holder to post their work on Wikipedia. Also know that any such contributions give other Wikipedia writers full permission to use them as they wish. Picking images from search engines and publishing them will probably mean deletion and consistent violations will mean your account could be banned.

In the next few posts, we will discuss the above in more detail so you have a better understanding of what is required.

 

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How To Become a Wikipedia Writer or Editor – Part 1

We will be doing a series of blog posts on how you can become a Wikipedia writer and edit pages on the platform.

Wikipedia is considered to be an unbiased, authentic and extensive source of information by a majority of internet users today. And statistics confirm Wikipedia as the front page of the internet when it comes to searching for information; the site has had 5 billion pageviews since inception and a daily traffic in excess of 230 million! Contributing to the site means big exposure for your work.

While demand for information has increased, the growth in the Wikipedia writers and editors’ community has failed to match the pace. Wikipedia has tried to make contributing to the site easier for new users but haven’t managed to extensive success if the falling numbers of Wikipedia writers is anything to go by. The learning curve is steeper than what meets the eye.

This post is an attempt to get you started should you wish to become a Wikipedia writer.

Getting Started

First things first, you will need to create an account on the site. (While a Wikipedia writer or editor may contribute without creating an account, the server will use your IP address as your identity which in today’s security-compromised internet isn’t a very good idea)

Here is a brief video to guide you through the process of creating your Wikipedia Writer account and setting up your user page.

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What Questions to Ask When Hiring a Wikipedia Writer

Contributing to Wikipedia has several layers of complexities that are unbeknownst to someone who is new to the platform – like a game of chess when you don’t know how to play it. But your Wikipedia writer has to be a master to handle your case perfectly, in the very first try.

So what are some things you should ask when hiring a Wikipedia writer?

Experience

Ask the Wikipedia writer about their relevant experiences as pertaining to your case. If you are looking to remove negative content, does your writer know the ropes? Can they guide you realistically on what is possible and what is not?

Wikipedia is closely monitored by hundreds of editors. A wrong move – one that makes it obvious that a person or brand is being helped – will not only have your page frozen but it will also have your Wikipedia editor’s account blocked.

Turnaround Time

How soon could your Wikipedia writer complete your project?

With Wikipedia, there is generally no accurate timeframe. Especially when it comes to removing flags. A lot of times, the Wikipedia writer that you have hired will need to have a discussion with other editors to convince them to let you remove whatever flag is in question –  it could be related to neutrality where the tone of the article is promotional – or notability where new links have to be provided. Given the possible exchange of messages between editors, one cannot control when other editors decide to respond.

Cost

Ask your writer about their fee structure. Be clear about your own budget expectations. There have been cases where disputes have arisen after a project is completed with the writer demanding significant pay or reversing all changes that were made to a page.

Samples

This is a tricky bit. Asking for samples brings about two issues.

Firstly, it puts the Wikipedia writer at risk; the writer could be exposed and their profile would get deleted.

Secondly, you could be deceived. When a writer claims they wrote an article and shares its link, there is no way to verify that it’s actually them who wrote the said article. Wikipedia editors don’t use real names. Almost all accounts are created under a pseudonym.

Conclusion

Wikipedia brings immense value to brands and individuals. It’s no surprise almost all top organizations are doing their best to utilize this opportunity. However, it’s important to ask the right questions when hiring a Wikipedia writer, to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

 

 

 

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Why Wikipedia? A Wikipedia Writer’s take.

Companies and individuals are flocking to get their Wikipedia pages set up (and edited for those who already have a Wikipedia page) by professional Wikipedia writers. So what’s driving this wave of Wiki-awareness.

Wikipedia is not a blog where you post information about you and it disappears in the depths of search engine results. It’s much more powerful than.
Let’s look at a few driving factors;

A lifetime internet billboard

Hire Wikipedia Editor
Wikipedia is not your average website. It’s highly respected by search engines such as Google. When a Wiki page is created and published, it will almost certainly rank on page 1 for your name (Or your company’s). And most likely within the top 3 results. This happens without the need to do ANY link building and promotion work on your part. It just happens!

A positive Image

Wikipedia writers for hire
Wikipedia has an almost psychological effect on your potential clients. They see your Wiki page and boom! they will rank you above your competition. How does that happen?
Over the years, Wikipedia has developed an image on impartial and accurate content. ‘If you see it on Wikipedia, it must be true and legitimate.’ So goes the phrase in most minds. Let’s use that positivity for your brand!

A bump in search engine rankings for your website.

Wikipedia writer

Ask your internet marketing head to create a worksheet for all your target keywords and their respective rankings.
Have us do your Wikipedia page and then check rankings again after a couple of weeks.
It’s a small investment for big results. A backlink from Wikipedia (albeit nofollow), would still provide a whole lot of search engine juice to your website.

Need help with your page? Hire Wikipedia writer today!

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Common Wikipedia Page Flags and Their Meaning

While browsing Wikipedia, one often comes across boxes on top of articles with various error messages – a constant reminder that Wikipedia is not static, but perpetually under construction and improvement. These tags appear when an issue, ranging from simple grammar mistakes to complex factual disputes, requires the attention of Wikipedia Writers.

Citations needed

One of the most common page tags, this occurs when an article doesn’t have enough reliable sources backing up its content. An article should have one in-line citation per paragraph as a minimum; ideally, it has one for every statement. In addition, there are many rules governing the type of sources to be used, but the most important is: use secondary sources, those published by a party independent of the article subject. Citing a primary source, such as a book written by the article’s subject, is like citing yourself in a scholarly work – it doesn’t add authority.

Tone

An encyclopedic tone is vital to any Wikipedia article, as it makes it accessible to the average reader. A Wikipedia article should be formal, concise and professional. Imagine presenting the topic to a group of people – not so much a business meeting, but more like a classroom. The goal is to provide as much information to your audience as possible, not to push or sell something to them. A page might have received the “tone” tag for several reasons: typically excessive detail; business slang and/or scientific jargon; or an overly conversational style.

Orphan

A Wikipedia article is an orphan when it doesn’t share internal links with other Wikipedia pages. This also applies to groups of articles that link between each other but not to outside pages; in Wikipedia parlance this is called a “walled garden”. The best way to add incoming links is to find other articles or lists where the subject is already mentioned. Note that the “orphan” tag is invisible unless included in a “multiple issues” box, as per the above example.

Cleanup

One of the simpler issues to address, this tag mostly deals with spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. While this problem can be solved by a thorough copy-edit, many Wikipedia articles continue to fall into the trap of poor writing and/or neglect. No matter how important or engaging the underlying content, an article simply can’t succeed without professional presentation.

Conflict of interest

This is one of the more difficult page tags to resolve. Wikipedia discourages editing about yourself or your family, friends, clients or employers as it could be a “conflict of interest”. But what do you do if you’re an expert on the topic? As mentioned previously, a neutral, professional tone and numerous references to secondary sources usually does the trick.

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Who needs to be on Wikipedia? You do!

Sometimes people ask if they need to be on Wikipedia. And although need is a subjective term, the answer is usually yes. In truth, the value and impact of a solid Wikipedia presence is so great that any company in a competitive market would be foolish not to pursue a strong Wikipedia page for their business.

But what does a Wikipedia presence gain your company? There are several misconceptions and some misinformation about the value of a Wikipedia page for businesses. Let’s look at just a few.

Misconception #1 – Wikipedia links are valueless for Search Engine Optimization.

This is a patent falsehood spread by Wikipedia editors who want to downplay the commercial significance of Wikipedia. They want to discourage companies, people, and other entities from seeking to promote themselves on Wikipedia, and they promote a viewpoint that Wikipedia’s attempts at making links less valuable have rendered them useless.

It’s not clear whether this is driven by a lack of comprehension on the part of Wikipedia editors, who oppose commercial activity on Wikipedia. It could also be purposeful misinformation designed to mislead people about how Wikipedia links interact with the real world.

In either case, the standard argument is that Wikipedia’s linking structure uses a “nofollow” linking structure and that this structure causes search engine spiders to ignore Wikipedia links when scoring pages for relevance, linkage, and other factors which contribute to Google’s search engine scoring.

It truth, nofollow links are meant to keep spiders from crawling and indexing hidden pages, and they were not designed to be used as Wikipedia uses them. Their effect on links from Wikipedia pages will be to make them less valuable for SEO than they might otherwise have been, but this is a far cry from being without value. If you are tempted to buy Wikipedia’s story, consider two things:

  1. Google’s search result policy is meant to optimize the user’s experience. And if users are negatively impacted by a Google policy, you can bet their secretive scoring algorithms will be adapted to fix this. Simply put, if Wikipedia’s use of nofollow links makes Google less effective, Google will change how it indexes Wikipedia.
  2. If nofollow links actually do work as Wikipedia intends and make links from Wikipedia pages less valuable from a SEO perspective, they will, as a direct result, make those links MORE important as link building resources. Wikipedia pages will compete with commercial pages for search ranking, will have huge advantages in placement, and will become destinations from growing search engine traffic.

Whatever the subtle and changing nuance of this issue is, Wikipedia links will always have value for SEO simply by the fact that they show relevance.

Misconception #2 You can’t influence your presence on Wikipedia.

This is another myth propagated by the Wikipedia elite, who think they alone should get to decide if a topic is worthy of inclusion. Purists will tell you that the only way for a company to get a Wikipedia page is if some entirely disinterested editor suddenly decides that the company is worthy. Then they have to take their own initiative to create a page for the company.

Simply put, most pages are placed by someone with an interest. Sometimes people list their own company or enlist someone else to help them do it. The utopian days of disinterested editors managing Wikipedia from an ivory tower are long gone if they ever existed at all.

Misconception #3 – Wikipedia isn’t used for business.

Wikipedia is one of the ten-most-visited sites on the internet. Everybody uses it, and links to it are widespread. While traffic may be driven by people in their personal lives, businesspeople use Wikipedia to research their purchases, get background on potential customers, and stay abreast of changing technology. Simply, Wikipedia may be used in people’s personal lives, but it isn’t a Facebook application where use is overwhelmingly personal and business only relevant if designed to consumer audiences.

In fact, it Wikipedia’s use in business is limited, it is likely because it requires skill and subtlety to influence Wikipedia content, and many companies lack the time and interest to make their mark there. Which means that companies who do make a impact on Wikipedia may see even more value due to their rarity over paid venues.

Jim is a Wikipedia writer and Wikipedia editor for hire.

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