My Wikipedia Policy

    December 21, 2005

I’m not sure that Scoble has the right idea (Tim Bray thinks it’s a good one) about pledging not to edit their own Wikpedia page.

Wired News’ latest celebrity flap points out:

In fact, Wikipedia’s own guidelines caution against editing your own bio as it “can open the door to rather immature behavior and loss of dignity.”

It’s actually a proposed policy or guideline, and one I would vote against. I do think it is good advice, what you could call media training, to consider that:

  • When you participate on your own page, you open yourself up to debate
  • What edits you make could come back to haunt you
  • Don’t be an idiot, or it could go on your semi-permanent record

However, several reasons come to mind for why people should edit their own pages:

  • You probably have a lot of expertise about yourself and a copy of your resume
  • If enough attention is given to your page, your bias will be countered
  • The policy would be near impossible to enforce
  • It would be easy to obey the policy, but skirt the intent, by getting your friends to edit for you

At the very least, make the practice of watching your page and use your best judgement. For the record, I added some facts a while ago to my Wikipedia page, we will see if they remain.

Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.