I was at a friends party 2 nights ago... and the neo-verbs "Google" & "Wikipedia" (as in "...just Wikipedia that!

") were being thrown around left and right. 3) Personally, I use Wikipedia when I really want to be schooled a subject... just like how I used to use a bulky set of Encyclopedia Britannica (aah, the Internet). Compared to Wikipedia, Google amounts to the proverbial bathroom wall: Wikipedia cuts through the bullshit. 2) When you’re Googling a subject… have you noticed that the Wikipedia page pops up nearly #1?? So from a SEO perspective, having a Wikipedia page would be awesome. PLUS, a Wikipedia article page about your personal brand leverages the credibility Wikipedia has created – and actively maintains. Wikipedia is authoritative: It is governed & edited. 1) Tom Peters has one. Robert Kiyosaki has one. I love that Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin have 'em. Even Malcolm Gladwell has one. Yes, Michael Jordan has one. And of course, Oprah has one. Will you also have a Wikipedia page about your personal brand? HOW CAN YOU grow Wikipedia references? CLICK TO HERE TO READ, “How to Wikipedia your personal brand… in 6 steps!” This is an in-depth 6 page guide to do ethically: You can stream the audio in the background (so you can do something else) – on MarketingInCompliance.com! Or download the mp3 podcast there. MarketingInCompliance.com hosts the podBlog that helps experts manage their reputations and develop multiple streams of income. I write 3 marketing tips every week for lawyers, accountants, financial planners, real estate, and health experts. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about actively branding yourself through it. Many notable personal brands already have Wikipedia articles dedicated to them. You can too: I’ve quoted Wikipedia’s policies and distilled it into simple steps & thumb-rules. Wikipedia has many, many rules to follow. And rightfully so. Wikipedia is ripe for abuse. So please don’t… Abusing an unbiased platforms like Wikipedia is a great way to ruin the ethical character of your personal brand!! As they literally say, “Wikipedia is NOT a democracy.” They have editors who scour (and get notified) of violations. Wikipedia unequivocally states, “Autobiography and self-promotion are not the routes to having an encyclopaedia article.” Even Wikipedia’s editors aren’t allowed to

promote themselves. While it is strongly discouraged, you can still have an autobiography page. Keep reading. Updating pages with your opinions or first-hand research is also not allowed. And updating pages with your auto-biographical information is also strongly frowned upon – due to conflicts of interest. Speaking of which, I am annoyed: The Wikipedia page about my college newspaper notes correctly, “In the fall of 1997, the ASP launched SUNY Albany's only creative writing and arts magazine, The Fountain Pen.” Yet it does not credit who founded The Fountain Pen. In fact, the name was removed! Guess who was the amateur poet that launched the campus’ only platform for writers? I’m still proud of the witty pun: After all, SUNY Albany is known for the many fountains on our campus, and the big one in the center - with its own opening ceremony, Fountain Day. (And I used to write with fountain pens. But in the networking world, we share our pens. So now, I just use a Cross ball point that a client gave me.) But I digress. Wikipedia has recently launched WikiProject Biography to house biographies of people living and dead (but not fictitious characters). There you can create new pages of people. How can you create your own Wikipedia bio page? First of all, this is what Wikipedia says, “If your life and achievements are verifiable and genuinely notable, someone else will probably create an article about you sooner or later.” “Creating an article about yourself is strongly discouraged.” But you can still do it. Here’s what Wikipedia tells us… I’ve quoted the juiciest parts: “If you create an autobiography you must have no promotional intent and must be willing to accept it being neutralized if it is not neutral. If you do turn out to be notable, you have also got to expect the article to stay — you cannot just get it deleted because you are not happy with it. Our neutral point of view policy is absolute and nonnegotiable, and all encyclopedic topics are fair game for Wikipedia. One thing which you can do to assist other Wikipedia editors is, if you already maintain a personal website, please ensure that any information that you want in your Wikipedia article is already on your own website. As long as it's not involving grandiose claims like, "I was the first to create this widget," or "My book was the biggest seller that year," a personal website can be used as a reference for general biographical information. As the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy states: Self-published sources and other published sources of dubious reliability may be used as sources in articles about themselves ... so

long as the information is notable, not unduly self-aggrandizing, and not contradicted by other published sources.” AWESOME, so… Step 1. Create your own personal website with a biography of notable achievements. Who owns your name.com? Step 2. Self-publish articles, etc. But you may still be deleted because well, Wikipedia believes writing autobiographies are inherently one-sided. Thus, not fair and balanced (in the un-trademarked journalistic sense). Step 3. Become “NOTABLE.” Wikipedia rules use that word a lot. And they mean it. It’s not so easy to be notable, according to Wikipedia. For example, while they say it’s not a deal breaker, Wikipedia prefers you be the subject of (not just cited by) published secondary sources. What does that mean? Wikipedia says, “Secondary sources are often peer reviewed, and produced by institutions where methodological accuracy is important to the author's and publishing house's, or research institute's, reputation.” So go to scholar.google.com and “secondary-source yourself.” Oh, nobody has even quoted you – let alone profiled you??? Don’t despair. Wikipedia cautions its editors, “… the absence of references in Google Scholar should rarely be used as proof of nonnotability.” Whew. But you should meet other criteria worthy of a Wikipedia page about you. Again I quote the juiciest parts:

“Criteria for notability of people
A person is generally notable if they meet any of the following standards. Failure to meet these criteria is not conclusive proof that a subject should not be included; however, meeting one or more does not guarantee that a subject should be included.

The person has been the subject of published1 secondary sources that are reliable, intellectually independent, and independent of the subject.2 o If the depth of coverage is not substantial, then multiple independent sources may need to be cited to establish notability. o Trivial coverage of a subject by secondary sources may not be sufficient to establish notability.3

• • • • •

Once notability is established, primary sources may be used to add content. The person has been the subject of a credible independent biography. The person has received significant recognized awards or honors. The person has demonstrable wide name recognition The person has made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in his or her specific field.4 Commercial endorsements of demonstrably notable products.”
o

Wikipedia has specified criteria for politicians, athletes, entertainers, and… “Creative professionals: scientists, academics, economists, professors, authors, editors, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, artists, architects, engineers, and other creative professionals.
o o o

o

o

The person is regarded as an important figure or is widely cited by their peers or successors. The person is known for originating a significant new concept, theory or technique. The person has created, or played a major role in co-creating, a significant or well-known work, or collective body of work, which has been the subject of an independent book or feature-length film, or of multiple independent periodical articles or reviews. The person's work either (a) has become a significant monument, (b) has been a substantial part of a significant exhibition, (c) has won significant critical attention, or (d) is represented within the permanent collections of several notable galleries, museums or internationally significant libraries. See Wikipedia:Notability (academics) for guidelines on academics

SOUNDS TOUGH, eh? DO YOU TEACH? Are you an Academic, according to Wikipedia? “The academic is more notable than the average college instructor/professor.” Wikipedia specifically says, “If an academic/professor meets any one of the following conditions, as substantiated through reliable sources, they are definitely notable. If an academic/professor meets none of these conditions, they may still be notable, and the merits of an article on the academic/professor will depend largely on the extent to which it is verifiable. 1. The person is regarded as a significant expert in his or her area by independent sources. 2. The person is regarded as an important figure by independent academics in the same field. 3. The person has published a significant and well-known academic work. An academic work may be significant or well known if, for example, it is the basis

for a textbook or course, if it is itself the subject of multiple, independent works, if it is widely cited by other authors in the academic literature[1]. 4. The person's collective body of work is significant and well-known. 5. The person is known for originating an important new concept, theory or idea which is the subject of multiple, independent, non-trivial reviews or studies in works meeting our standards for reliable sources. 6. The person has received a notable award or honor, or has been often nominated for them.” Some examples of applications of this guideline follow. 1. An academic who has published a book or books of general interest, a widely used textbook, or non-academic articles in periodicals with significant readership is likely to be notable as an author (see WP:BIO), regardless of their academic achievements. Similarly, an academic involved in significant current events is likely to be notable as a person under the general WP:BIO guidelines. 2. An academic repeatedly quoted in newspapers or newsmagazines may be considered to meet criterion 1. A small number of quotations, especially in local newsmedia, is not unexpected for academics and so falls short of this mark. SO… what’s the Step 4? Well, step 4a) Create a free membership When Wikipedia when you create a free membership and go to write your own article, Wikipedia warns, “Do not write articles about yourself, your company, or your best friend. Wikipedia is not an advertising service. Promotional articles about yourself, your friends, your company or products, or articles created as part of a marketing or promotional campaign, will be deleted in accordance with our deletion policies. For more information, see Wikipedia:Spam.” While you can create a controversial article or page about you, it will most likely by deleted very quickly due to conflicts of interest. Instead, develop a personal brand environment where others would want to write a page about you. Step 4: CONTRIBUTE your subject matter expertise to current Wikipedia articles. You can cite primary sources that just happen to quote you – but not written by you! Of course, if your subject doesn’t have an article, you can create one. But by now, your specific area of expertise is mostly likely covered in one way or another: Look up all your professional jargon! And help to develop the authority of that article, especially with scholarly citations.

Remember, Wikipedia doesn’t want your opinions, insights, ideas, original research, theories, or proprietary processes as subjects. Do not link back to your personal websites, including blogs. But you can link the Wikipedia page article to agencies, institutions, and (preferably nonprofit or educational) organizations that are relevant to the subject matter. For overall personal branding benefits, become active in these organizations. As you take leadership, you’ll warrant a mention on their websites. As you become a significant leader, your name may be allowed in the Wikipedia subject matter article. At that point, encourage organization directors to edit/update the Wikipedia subject matter article, and make the necessary references to your title and contributions. Again, it should unbiased and “verifiable” – never exaggerated or promotional. Step 5: Become THE SUBJECT of primary-source media, e.g. articles written by journalists profiling you, your expertise, awards, or personal achievements. Wikipedia mentions that sporadic references in local media aren’t good enough to make you “notable.” Nevertheless, that could be your very practical starting point. Step 6: Develop relationships with academics and scholars who research your subject matter expertise. Academics are often required to publish regularly. They will want to reference primary-source media. You may be the subject of, or at least quoted within, such media. Journals often host or sponsor conferences, panels, etc. Volunteer or participate as an attendee to easily spark the right relationships. As academics reference materials about you, you will become cited by secondary sources. As you develop a series of scholarly citations, you will become the SUBJECT of scholarly work. Waddayaknow, even personal branding through Wikipedia boils down to relationships! These six steps are the most direct and ethical way to earn a Wikipedia page about your personal brand. There are other ways: For example, focus on having your articles published by others. Self-publish all sorts of intellectual property, like books, audios, videos, and blogs. Do not insult your fellow subject matter experts. In fact, edify them. Help peers recognize and reference your work. As you practice the PersonalBrandMarketing.com Formula you will become a Fullspectrum Personal Brand: Naturally, somebody will definitely write an un-biased article about your notable achievements (and flaws) on Wikipedia.

So get to step 1. Then sooner, than later, you will have a Wikipedia page about your personal brand.

BY VIKRAM RAJAN. Feel free to post your comments on his podBlog, ViksMarketingBlog.com. E-mail him at Vik@CoGrow.com. Vik is a Personal Brand Marketing Advisor for lawyers, accountants, financial planners, real estate, and health experts.