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How To Get Your Band On Wikipedia

Wikipedia-logo Wikipedia has become one of the leading sources for information on the web and continues to find ways to strengthen the legitimacy of its entries. It's also quite likely to be one of the first results returned by search engines.

Being included in Wikipedia is a must for any musical act, but that's not alway easy to do.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

Getting on Wikipedia is a matter of being notable in the manner that Wikipedia defines notability. It's not enough to claim that an artist or band is notable, though that may save you from speedy deletion, but you must also document your notability using reasonably reliable third party sources such as news sites, music reviews and the like.

As Manny Hernandez notes, that means you need to "build your reputation and notability first."  Disc Maker's blog post about Wikipedia, which inspired me to write this post, suggests waiting until "you’ve put out a few albums and gained some media coverage."

But you don't necessarily need even one album to get on Wikipedia and you can have multiple albums and not be accepted.  The key is to have solid third party coverage that makes you sound important within whatever genre you're working.  That doesn't necessarily require an album but it does require putting in some serious work that numerous folks will write about in reputable media outlets.

If you feel you have a good case for being notable, you have to present that case in a manner that fits Wikipedia's editing guidelines. I would strongly suggest that whoever's planning to write your entry should spend time studying the guidelines and then make some edits on other entries and see if they stay up. You can also read discussions about particular entries to see what and why things are removed or accepted.

If you follow the guidelines, make a solid case in the acceptable format and still get kicked to the curb, keep your wits about you and go find the discussion about why you were removed. If it's unclear, talk to the editors involved.  Ideally they will help you see if you need to present your entry differently or will reveal that they aren't truly familiar with the topic and just need some education.

Georgia Wonder has some notes on how their band got on Wikipedia and that's worth checking out to get a further sense of the pickiness of the process. Ideally that pickiness results in a better product. But to be part of that product, you'll need to put in some work understanding the peculiar quasi-academic culture of Wikipedia.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. Flux Research is his business writing hub and All World Dance: World Dance News is his primary web project.